March 26, 2008

Hiding on the 'Net: Hate Crimes Against Epileptics...



I was startled when I looked up 'epilepsy' on You Tube, to discover much content designed to provoke seizures among those of us with E.

Then, when I checked my email from the Epilepsy Foundation of America (EFA) a few days back, one of those haters had sneaked in and posted (unsuccessfully) something else designed to cause seizures, complete with an embedded message: You Deserve a Seizure for your Postings.... when the EFA is successful tracking these anonymous fools down---they may be prosecuted for hate crimes, particularly if anyone reports they have been hurt by this content.

What kind of little twerps would do this kind of thing? I can imagine, sheltered in the shadows of the internet, these little pigs howling with laughter at the prospect of hundreds of epileptics suddenly seizing in unison, because of what they have created. They must really dig the power fantasy...

This just in: the EFA has discovered who you are, what you did, how you did it and have turned over the information. Now, you just have to wait for the knock on your door. (You left footprints!)

The notion that folks will take off after any disabled folk is sickening. It brings to mind the Nazi doctrine of "the useless eater", those disabled who do not deserve to live among the healthy---that somehow, we are only a drain on society, that we contribute nothing to our fellow man.

How is it okay for disabled Americans to be left out of the civil rights language used to protect all others??? Protected classes of human beings, of citizens, should be equal under the law---not excepted from it. Below is a comment on an opinion piece called "Too Big A Tent":

Re: "Too big a tent," editorial, Oct. 29

I was surprised and dismayed to read an editorial urging Congress to narrow the hate-crimes act to not include people with disabilities.

Greater inclusion of people with disabilities in American society has not been a painless process. To say there is no problem is to relegate people with disabilities to a second-class status in which bias-motivated crimes on the basis of disability are somehow more tolerable than those committed because of a person's race, ethnicity, national origin or religion.

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia include people with disabilities under their hate-crimes statutes, but this is not enough. The federal government must send the message that hate crimes committed because of disability are unacceptable and give meaning and substance to this message through the act's provision of crucial resources to local law enforcement.

Curt Decker

Executive Director
National Disability Rights Network
Washington, DC

I have to agree with Mr. Decker. This needs to be a nation-wide law with teeth in it. It should also include language against "mercy killing", euthanasia and assisted suicide. Too many of us could be easily pressured into agreeing to relieve our families and loved ones' of the burden of us... And, not to put too fine a point on it, it should also include crimes of hate perpetrated on the internet, specifically against disabled groups, like our friends, with the clever scheme to invade the EFA chat groups. Hateful, yes. Successful, certainly not.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, hate groups in the United States have risen 48% since the year 2000. Lots of these folks like to take off after the disabled. It is important for all of us to support the
Southern Poverty Law Center and become familiar with the work they do on all of our behalves.

Stay well, be careful and safe... even online!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hear you about this hate crime thing. it really breaks my heart to no end that there are some people that will wish things on an epileptic that will bring undo harm on the person that is disabled or their family member.i have been epileptic for 31 years. i have either been accepted wholeheartledly or dismissed without much thought. i know the pain you feel.

CJ said...

My daughter has just been diagnosed with Epilepsy and I swear this scares me more than the diagnosis did! How could so many people be so mentally unhinged as to think that inducing a seizure of any kind is funny! Thank you this post and for your wonderful blog!

jane said...

It is greatly disturbing to find that people actually try to induce seizures in epileptics and find this somehow "funny". Makes me wonder if I could "induce bleeding" if I were to shoot them. It's the same construct: it's simple violence. I do not mean to meet violence with violence, I am simply pointing out how ludicrous the whole thing is...

I once had someone tell me that she "hoped that (I) die of a seizure". She actually wanted me to die from a seizure ~ and further, this coming from someone whose own child has epilepsy. Nice, eh? Makes you wonder what she feels toward her own child, or maybe I'm just not being "understanding" enough? I think regardless of how she felt and no matter over what, there are some things you simply do not say and in my darkest moments, I have never ever ever wished anybody such ill-will or harm. I find that people can be so disappointing at times. That I'm sorry to report that throughout history, in Western culture, epilepsy has often met with this type of reaction because it represents and "unknown". The Inuit and Native American cultures have a far better understanding in making the epileptic the village shaman or holy person... IN those cultures, the epileptic is revered as having a more "divine" power and a direct link to the divine. I'm not arguing that either extreme view is right, simply that in those cultures there is a more enlightened view, yet in the West, most people honestly believe they are more enlightened.

How funny yet how very sad.

Be well - and thanks for this.