When I work on this blog, I sometimes think you know, maybe I come across as a little too bitter. I mean, I know I’m ‘Angry Autie’ and all but maybe I should tone it down a little bit. After all, I don’t want to alienate or insult my audience. At the same time, every now and then, I come across a little story in the news that validates my cold cynicism, astringency, and philosophical mistrust. This is one of them: Canadian Greg Simard, 24, beats up a 12-year-old child with autism and leaves him to die in the woods. When interrogated by the police, this is what Simard had to say:
“He’s a drain on society. His life is meaningless. It’s no big deal.”
AND thinks he deserves a pat on the back:
“I did it for my country… maybe someone should come and shake my hand… a few pats on the back…”
As for the boy, whose identity is not revealed for confidentiality reasons, he’s alive but,
“…his eyes, ears and nose bloody, teeth fractured, brain damaged. Months later, he cannot walk, cannot eat properly, cannot use the toilet and at 12, has to wear a diaper.”
I wish I made this up, but alas! at the bottom of this post is a link to the article with the gruesome details. All I can think is, “what if I had this psycho looking after me when my autism was more visible?” The idea that someone hates my kind so much is a dizzying thought. I’d weep but I’m too shocked.
I’m not looking for your sympathy, for I’m no stranger to this feeling and have gotten used to it. That doesn’t mean I like feeling this way all the time, though.
To make things more complicated, Simard is pleading insanity. Supposedly, he has schizophrenia and, according to my source, as a result, cannot tell right from wrong, making it possible that he didn’t realize that what he was doing was wrong at the time. I don’t know very much about schizophrenia but in the little research that I’ve done in preparing for this post, I haven’t found an erosion of ethics to be one of the symptoms. In addition, he’s “an A-student at Fanshawe College’s developmental services worker program who got one of the few highly coveted placements at CPRI” and “suffers from several mental disorders, including some caused by substance abuse.” Um, okaayy… I guess that happens.
I know schizophrenia is very complicated and it’s possible that this erosion of ethics was a part of the disorganized thinking that comes with schizophrenia but I’m getting the sense that the media is just being apologetic for Simard. I see this as part of a wider tendency of the media to ascribe/emphasize a mental illness if the wrongdoer is white and ascribe/emphasize violent tendencies if the wrongdoer is black in an attempt to remove the burden of responsibility from the white person. They turned it from a story about a hate crime towards people with disabilities, which is all it is as far as I’m concerned, into a story about a fallen white kid.
To be honest, I’m not sure what point I’m trying to make with this, one of my more pathos-driven posts. I thought I’d try out pandering to emotion but I feel like I didn’t actually make a point. All of my previous posts had a point. This post is just moral outrage that may lead you to think “don’t trust schizophrenics with auties” but that’s just an awful message. This story touched a sore spot for me when I first read it and this post was my way of getting it off my chest.