Although I have written many articles and spoken out on various issues on many occasions, I have had to come to accept the cold hard truth that not only will there be persons who will never change, but there will also be those who will be intentionally cruel and feel absolutely no way about it.
I’ve seen people who care only for themselves and are highly annoyed when they come into contact with persons with disabilities who they deem as “below standard”.
Some people don’t realise the amount of intolerance and hate that still exist on this planet, and if you had any doubt, you could read the letter which went viral on the Internet, written to a mother with an autistic son from a highly ticked off neighbour who didn’t even have the guts to sign her name at the end of the letter. I wanted to highlight a section of it because of the limited space I have, but justice wouldn’t be done and so here is the letter in its entirety:
To the lady living at this address:
I also live in this neighborhood and have a problem!!! You have a kid that is mentally handicapped and you consciously decided that it would be a good idea to live in a close proximity neighborhood like this????
You selfishly put your kid outside everyday and let him be nothing but a nuisance and a problem to everyone else with that noise polluting whaling he constantly makes!!! That noise he makes when he is outside is DREADFUL!!!!!!!!!!! It scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!
When you feel your idiot kid needs fresh air, take him to our park you dope!!!!!!!!! We have a nature trail!!! Let him run around those places and make noise!!!!! Crying babies, music and even barking dogs are normal sounds in a residential neighborhood!!!!! He is NOT!!!!!!
He is a hindrance to everyone and will always be that way!!!! Who the hell is going to care for him???? No employer will hire him, no normal girl is going to marry/love him and you are not going to live forever!! Personally, they should take whatever non retarded parts he possesses and donate it to science. What the hell else good is he to anyone!!
You had a retarded kid, deal with it….. properly!!!! What right do you have to do this to hard working people!!!!!! I HATE people like you who believe, just because you have a special needs kid, you are entitled to special treatment!!!! GOD!!!!!
Do everyone in our community huge a favor and MOVE!!!! VAMOSE!!! SCRAM!!! Move away and get out of this type of neighborhood setting!!!! Go live in a trailer in the woods or something with your wild animal kid!!!! Nobody wants you living here and they don’t have the guts to tell you!!!!!
Do the right thing and move or euthanize him!!!! Either way, we are ALL better off!!!!
One pissed off mother!!!
Now as unbelievable as that sounded, it was very much a bona fide letter. It created quite an outrage in Newcastle, Canada where the family lived and since the letter was brought into the public domain has really had tongues wagging about the heart of man.
The autistic boy at the centre of this hate mail is 13 year old Max who is the light of his parents world! His mother has said publicly that she refuses to stoop to the level of the writer and return insults but went on to educate the public about her son and his disability.
The coward who wrote this letter of course has not shown her face but charges will be made if the identity is revealed. Max’s mom Karla went on to say how much of a blessing he is and added: “I think I’m lucky: How many mothers still have their 13-year-old son wanting to sit on the couch, have mommy time and cuddles, and not be afraid to show love and affection?”
This story taught me a couple things. The first is that hate has a face. An ugly face. The second is that even with education, some people will always refuse to change and hence roll with whatever they choose to believe or exercise regardless of anyone else’s feelings.
I’ve seen how people here still treat persons with special needs as second class citizens (and I’m being kind), and make absolutely no apology for their behaviour. Telling their children not to play with an autistic child because they would “catch” whatever they have and become retarded too, seeing adults point at children with down syndrome and laugh while asking the parents why they don’t keep them home, telling parents that God cursed them and their punishment is a stupid retarded child, saying that they are a burden on society and don’t deserve what normal people are entitled to — happens here everyday.
It’s clear that not everyone will change; but their behaviours and actions should never be the prevailing ones! That popular quote which states that: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”, is very applicable here and in every sphere of society. Even if we choose to do nothing, that’s still an action which makes an even louder statement than speech.
It’s time we stand for something, because we have seen the alternative and it’s an ugly reality. Your voice does matter. Make it count!