Those humans targeted for destruction under Nazi eugenics policies were largely living in private and state-operated institutions, identified as “life unworthy of life” (German: Lebensunwertes Leben), including prisoners, degenerate, dissident, people with congenital cognitive and physical disabilities (including feebleminded, epileptic, schizophrenic, manic-depressive, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, deaf, blind) (German: erbkranken), homosexual, idle, insane, and the weak, for elimination from the chain of heredity. More than 400,000 people were sterilized against their will, while more than 300,000 were killed under Action T4, a euthanasia program – Wikipedia article on Nazi Eugenics
TRIGGER WARNING: Murder, Discrimination, Holocaust, Prejudice Discussion
I am not blind to what is going on. It is a tragedy, one which seems to continue to persist through time. The murder-suicide of Cynthia Busch and her mother, Barbara Busch, is similar to so many of the people who murder their children. Here is the cycle of violence:
- A caregiver murders their disabled charge.
- People find out the victim is disabled.
- People make excuses, believing that caring for a disabled person (the victim) “overwhelmed” the murderer.
- People sympathize with the murderer.
- Another caregiver murders their disabled charge.
- People find out the (second) victim is disabled….
Let me break down these steps, one by one.
- A caregiver murders their disabled charge. This often comes after planning, lack of help, and just plain lack of support for a person who thinks their charge’s life is probably worthless due to them having a disability. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Disabled people are considered worthless because people think disability takes away any contribution to society, even though there are countless examples of disabled people contributing to society in many positive ways.
- People find out the victim is disabled. This is reported in a news article about the murder. There is no worth assigned to a disabled person. Remember, disabled people are considered worthless parasites by an ableist society.
- People make excuses, believing that caring for a disabled person (THE VICTIM) “overwhelmed” the murderer.
- People sympathize with the murderer. “Everyone hopes this can be explained by way of mental illness so we don’t have to leave open the possibility that a mother could plan to so horrifically murder their child,” Branam said. “But it appears from the evidence we have in this case that this was exactly what happened.” –Article on the Murder of London McCabe
- Another caregiver murders their disabled charge. Autism Wars: On the Murder of Cynthia Busch
Now, let’s consider what drives this troubling cycle: ableism. It means that in order to contribute to society, you must be fully able-bodied and able-minded. If you actually contribute to society, you are a freak, because “disabled people cannot contribute to society, remember?” It all comes back to that worthlessness assumption – or do they say, that “people with disabilities are worthless parasites”?
Currently, as an autistic, I care for my physically disabled mother. I do the cooking, I do the cleaning, I even help her get dressed when she needs it. Now, I’m not saying this for sympathy. I am simply saying this because it is the truth. But most people would assume one of two things: 1. Because I can “pass for almost normal” (which is what they mean by high-functioning), they consider my mother a burden, which she is not. 2. If they know I am autistic, they consider me the burden, because remember, “people with disabilities cannot contribute to society.”
My mother is not a burden; she is funny, caring, happy and a help to me in times of trouble. She knows how to read my moods, and can give me what I need to hear in order to alleviate the troubled ones. Now, how can a person who does that be a burden? My mother and I can live on this truth: We are not, nor will we ever be, useless burdens to each other.
We need to think critically when it comes to our prejudices. They are now beginning to incite violence and warring within the various factions of people across the United States, and around the globe. We are headed down a path of destruction when it comes to prejudices, and I would hate to see how the ones who believe these prejudices come up with so-called “solutions” to aid these prejudices.
Maybe I should just say this: Please don’t kill me.