I woke in the small hours of the morning and felt the blue planet working in the first light. Felt my heart beating with its Zen obedience. Felt sand in my eyes. Thought about the moment in Huckleberry Finn where Jim tells Huck about what its like to be ridden by a witch all night like a horse. It was 4 a.m..
I turned on my computer and went to the blog of William Peace, one of our best disability rights bloggers in my humble opinion. Over at Bad Cripple I read before dawn about the plight of the Paul and Barbara-Anne Chapman family. Bill Peace has written about their experience of discrimination at the hands of Canadian immigration authorities and I urge you to read what he has to say.
Briefly: the Chapman family has twice been denied entry into Canada because they have a disabled child.
Remember that it was before dawn when I read about this matter. I recall that I was looking for something like confirmation. That is, I’d hoped that by reading Bill’s blog I might find some pre-sunrise lift. And that’s exactly what I found though not in the way I’d imagined.
People with disabilities are routinely denied rights of access; rights of inclusion to be more precise about the matter.
Just last evening I was talking with a friend who knows a doctor who is trying to build an eye clinic in Tanzania because (as I currently understand the matter) women with cataracts are perceived by some to be "possessed" or to be witches as it were, and apparently, so I’m told, its considered to be an appropriate measure to murder these blind women.
I sat at my computer in the pre-dawn roseate light and I found myself grieving for the human race.
Yes, like a Jim in Twain’s novel, we are ridden by the forces of enslavement. Oh I do not say this lightly.
Canada’s argument for keeping the Chapman’s out of the country is that their daughter might well require medical and social resources.
If you parse that argument to its core, what it means is that they don’t accept the Chapman’s daughter who has a disabling condition to be eligible for citizenship.
Ergo: she is the equivalent of the enslaved person who is at best a kind of property.
The "broken body" lacks true economic utility. It should be kept in a warehouse.
I’m sure that Canadian immigration officials would recognize Adolf Hitler’s assertion that the disabled are just "useless eaters."
I was fully awake after reading Blind Cripple. By God I was talking to myself before the sun was up.