How They Hate Us
Brenda Millson of Newcastle, Ontario received a hate letter on Friday about Max, her thirteen year old autistic grandson. The family have contacted the police.
If you need any more evidence that yes, ableism is actually a thing, then go ahead and read the letter below. If you're on the front page of this site, you'll have to click past the jump to see it. (Yes, it's bad and horrible enough that I added a jump line to prevent people from accidentally scrolling down from the homepage.)
This is a photograph of a piece of paper that has been folded several times. It appears almost pink in the lighting. The text is transcribed directly as follows:
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 pulluting 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 body 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!!!!!
Here's the news article if you, for whatever naive reason, don't believe this is real.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not claiming that every allistic person in the world hates autistic people or that every abled person in the world hates disabled people.
But if someone has the gall to write something like this?
Ableism is a thing, people.
This letter is appalling in its litany of slurs and threats.
It harkens to eugenics that seeked to eradicate defective bodies/minds from the human gene pool by targeting disabled people for sterilization, segregration, and death.
It reinforces the attitude that disabled life is subhuman, without value, and invalid.
It objectifies the autistic child in question, presumes he does not communicate, and directly addresses itself to the grandmother under the assumption that he would be unable to understand the letter, let alone respond to it, himself.
It parades the tired notions that disabled people are incapable of working, that disabled people are incapable of loving or having romantic or sexual relationships, that disabled people are inherently undesirable, that disabled people are mere burdens on their relatives or caregivers as well as society at large.
It even gives a brief salute to compulsory heteronormativity in its assumption that even if Max were somehow able to express romantic or sexual desire, he must be heterosexual, in its assertion that no normal "girl" would ever love or marry him.
It argues oppression of the privileged by asserting that abled, neurotypical people somehow have a "right" not to be subjected to the presence or existence of disabled people.
It threatens violence and justifies its threats with the rationale that of course disabled people should either sit down and shut up, or stop existing altogether because we inconvenience abled people. Because we are abnormal and atypical.
If we can't conform, if we can't pass, if we can't adhere to compliance as ethics, if we can't become invisible...
We should die.
This is the kind of hatred that we face.
And this isn't even one of the innumerable stories of disabled people murdered by their own family members.
This is a letter from someone's neighbor.
This is the kind of hatred that justifies murder and rape and confinement and abuse and torture.
And you wonder why I'm angry?