Media and murder
October 19, 2016
I currently feel like I'm ducking and dodging stories of ableism in the media. Of course other social prejudices upset me and weigh heavily on my being, but ableism is, in some ways, sharper and cuts the deepest, because the loudest and most prominent reactions to horrific violence and blatant human suffering involving disability, use and perpetuate the damaging inhumane ableist framing of it as an insufferable burden. The alleged murder-suicide that happened on Monday hits close to home, literally and figuratively. My mum, Lynne worked at Saint Lucy's some years ago, curating and writing an audio tour of the students' art, and I went to its opening. The school is lovely, so warm and the curriculum is based around artistic expression. Anyway, I can only imagine what trauma this tragedy is doing for that community. Meanwhile, the mother was the prominent caring parent and so obviously is the prime suspect. And "her" fatal actions are viewed as devastating and drastic but understandable, because her kids were autistic. I feel like society needs to be asking itself, why on earth is it even remotely understandable to be so desperate and feel so helpless that causing harm to others is justified. We have been asking this in relation to terrorism, sexism and racism.... We need to start a similar discussion about disability. NOW! PLEASE!! If I was killed, my murderer shouldn't be able to be justified, or my life to be summarised as a burden.