By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the story, unless you live under a rock. There’s a family in Ontario, Canada and they have a boy with autism. Family receives an anonymous letter. The letter is pretty unbelievable. So much so, throw rocks at me if you want…but I’m not 100% convinced it’s real. It’s a little too outrageous. Maybe part of me thinks it’s so horrible that I just don’t want it to be true. But hey, I’m just saying I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s found out it is a hoax. Is the autism letter a hoax? Who knows?
But here’s the thing…people, including children…ARE actually killed for having a disability. I wouldn’t say it’s “all the time” but even once is too much. So while I’m seeing this letter go viral all over the internet and on the news…why isn’t there the same amount of outrage for the ones that are killed?
Earlier this summer, a boy in Chicago was killed by his mother and caregiver and they have been arrested.
In Maryland, a 26-year-old man with Down Syndrome died while in police custody. He ended up in police custody because he had just attended a movie and did not want to leave the theater. Apparently the punishment for not exiting a movie theater…is death?
In 2012, a man with autism was tortured and killed by his stepbrother in Wisconsin.
Just this week, right here in Philadelphia, a woman with disabilities was found tied up in her basement. She is alive, but was kept there by a relative who is reportedly her legal guardian and was taking her SS income. And let’s not forget the other story from a few years ago, when four men with disabilities were found chained up and malnourished in a different Philadelphia basement. I’ll wrap up Philly’s tragic history in this area with a quick reminder of poor little Danieal Kelly–who had CP and was literally left to rot to death, including maggots, by her own parents.
This is just a handful of people. But these folks actually were killed as a direct result of having autism or another disability. Why are we mad at an anonymous letter and not equally as mad at the people who are actually committing these crimes?
So while we all read the horrible letter and pass it around, nodding our heads and saying “Gee, isn’t this awful?” and thinking it could never happen, think again. It does happen. Why are we so outraged at a piece pink of paper….when it actually is happening all the time? Why don’t those stories hit the internet and media with the same amount of virality, outrage and disgust?