No Mate of Mine!
I personally don’t regard my Aspergers as a disability although l know quite a few autists who do regard autism as such a thing. To me it’s a disorder, a different thinking, but irrelevant to what l personally opinionise it as – l have sadly fallen victim quite a few times to both bullies and manipulators.
My first experience of ‘disability hate crime’ was at my own home whilst growing up, and it was at the hands of my Father who believed his Son to be backward due to the unseen ‘autism’. My own Father whom l strongly believe to be on the spectrum himself, sees any disability as a flaw, an imperfection and they are not permitted, equally as much as homosexuality is not allowed. However he fails to see his own moral disabilities as a problem, it’s ‘perfectly’ okay to be sexist, racist, narcisstic and chauvinistic because they are not flaws.
Growing up was hard work, not an easy chore at all, and whilst my Father says he has changed his ways from back then, l am of the opinion that a leopard never truly changes its spots and a homophobe is still a homophobe no matter how much you disguise it and whilst he is not some kind of active disability terrorist, his views are no longer just antiquated but unacceptable. The time for the Alf Garnets’ of this world has passed.
My life was filled with bullying and manipulation from the time l left home to around 5 years ago, when l was subjected to the most appallingly lurid form of slavery to a pair of private landlords where l used to rent. Fact is, no one can tell me that disability hate crime is NOT a rife problem in the UK today because first hand l know it is!
But when l was growing up, it wasn’t known as that specifically – it was aggressive bullying, taunting, jaunting, jibing and generally poking fun at someone disabled. In the 70’s there was a host of disabled jokes doing the rounds at school, and whilst not as ‘popular’ as they once were for want of a way of describing societies fixation on them, occasionally you hear of a poor quality one liner from someone, trying to raise an inappropriate funny.
According to the latest surveys from 2016 – prosecutions for hate crimes against disabled people had risen by 41% from the previous year. From 2015 – 16 there was almost 1000 prosecutions!
These crimes performed both on and off line is part of an ever growing concern by the regulative policing authorities of the United Kingdom. Homophobic, transphobic, racial and religious hate crime are all on the up – hate crime is almost like a new fashion trend, but it is still a crime and not to be ignored or brushed up under the carpet, and treated like a taboo.
People are cruel, it is that simple and furthermore, people have been cruel to one another since the very dawn of time – mankind, is cruel. Society is cruel to society, if something stands out as being different or unusual, or doesn’t conform to supposed ‘normal defines’ then it has to be treated as alien, and no aliens apparently come in peace, so they must be attacked first, and maybe asked questions later – maybe.
And what’s different, what causes someone to suddenly look upon you as a threat to normal defines?
Well that can be anything, from the simple feature of your preferred sexuality to your visual sexuality, or your religion, your skin colour, your political belief, your football team, the colours green, red and pink striped, the way you wear your clothing, your hair, your makeup – anything can lead to a sudden surge of attack or hostility of physical, verbal or mental abuse!
Hate crime, is a criminal offence – it’s that simple – and it is acted out because of the belief or perceived belief of someone’s disability – in the eyes of another.
I was subjected to three years of serious disability hate crime from 2009 – 2012 and it was one of the most distressing times in my entire life and will remain with me as a memory probably till the day l die. Whilst l have moved on from that ‘episode’ of my life, it is because of that that l am an advocate against hate crime.
Hate Crime can take the form of many guises:
• Physical attacks
• Threat of attack through intimidation
• Verbal abuse, harassment, insults, gestures, printed literature, bullying
Equally as insidious is mate hate, or mate crime – carried out by those deliberately befriending those with disabilities with the sole intention of taking advantage of them, stealing from them, subjecting them to bullying and physical and mental violence.
We each have a duty to each other, to ourselves and to those who are seen and are considered vulnerable. That should we witness crimes and or incidents then we should report them, but not get into such a position that the tables are turned on yourself.
Disability Hate Crime, No Mate of Mine!
For excellent advice on Disability Hate crime of Mate Crime, see link.
Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger
Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.