Some of us disabled are taught to live. We are taught particular skills and behaviours. Many of these are rewarded with hugs, or comments. Never do we get for example, “fuck you retard” or a punch in the face – except perhaps where there has been ongoing abuse, such as a particular school or particular sheltered accommodation, for example Winterbourne. These training courses ‘prepare’ us for the wide open world.
The problem with preparing is that it has built-in obscurity and does not prepare us for the world. We go out into the world and someone says “fuck you retard” or some other awful denotation. Then someone else comes and punches us in the face or pushes us down some steps. Clearly there is hatred against us. And it repeats again and again.
All in all we may feel very confused, hurt and not respond because the people who did these things clearly are the ones with the power, the keys to the mystery of how and why these things occur. We know we barely have a say in the ‘system’ because our experience has shown that it is them outside of us, the control majority, who manage the participating collaborations which manage this very system – a crowd mentality. We disabled are simply the obscure.
What becomes more confusing is others then start playing that ‘game’ too. These are not the rules we learnt, nor those we know. But these rules are being played with willful aplomb to the advantage of others who clearly have a grasp of the mysterious mechanisms implicit in these social management games.
As a twist of irony, it comes perhaps as no surprise when disabled people are beaten up, spat on, called names, called things of unspeakable magnitude or worse, murdered. Often murders of disabled people regularly involve more than one person. This shows there is a complicit consciousness that conspires against the very being, the very fabric of the disabled person.
Take the case of Bijan Ebrahimi for example. We can see there is a structured approach and response that reflects what society’s managers see and know. We can say this is a construct that serves this commonly denominated system. Its like saying ‘the police did their job.’
There are those who bang to rights about disabled people who complain about the police or other authorities and try to take these public bodies to task for their failures. They think they are helping this system by enabling it to learn new ways, but its simply a case of the same old ‘fetch the bone boy’, no matter how knackered the dog happens to be.
When the police get involved, it becomes a very unfair playing field. The police know the ways and means in which that ‘society’ operates its laws and legislative structures – after all they are part of that society too. They are also its participating managers and it is to their advantage that obscurity is regularly practised.
There was the Pilkington case, now of course we have Bijan Ebrahimi. The authorities are saying ‘look we made mistakes here and there. We apologise and we have learnt.’ The key however is obscurity. The many mistakes are forgotten and every new case is an opportunity to recycle the apologists and their apologies as if it was completely new and fresh at that very point in time.
Laws are supposed to protect people, but much of the time this doesnt happen. Disability hate crime legislation did not protect Ebrihami, nor Fiona Pilkington, not David Askew or the many others who fell by the wayside. Many of those victims have become the obscure, the forgotten.
We could say ‘every new case means a new apology.’ In other words there is a ‘law’ which ensures that the apologies and the ‘never say never agains’ are effectively pushed into obscurity. We saw Leicestershire Police committing themselves to this obscurantist slant again and again following the Fiona Pilkington tragedy and we see Bedfordshire and other police forces attempting the same old wheeze. In other words the same mistakes are played once again and the same excuses rolled out each time. It is to their advantage.
If I were to say I was going to take action against the police in the form of a complaint or a civil claim, its not because I am playing the game they play. Its because they play a game that excludes me. It is an unfair system, one that attempts to push my rights or anyone elses’ into obscurity. I am simply a statistic they tick off. Its like saying “the mission has been accomplished. The client is neutralised and officially obscure.”
Those who operate or support this unfair system need to be brought to task. Many of us who are disabled have to struggle to expose this unfair system whilst simultaneously struggling also to prevent the lessons from such oversights and the promises to learn from mistakes from slipping into obscurity. The ways in which such a system works can clearly be seen in how the DWP and IDS currently operate. Each mishap (whether its a death or sanctions) becomes an obscure statistic. Unimportant. Irrelevant. And it works to their advantage.