content warning: discussion of ending other peoples’ lives
Our society is filled with narratives about people that we couldn’t fix, who couldn’t or wouldn’t handle our expectations and fit into society already. And the narratives say that those people are better off dead, whether it’s the poor sick, broken people or the deviant, different, dangerous people. Our narratives write them off and rewrite their stories and they get conveniently erased . And these people continue to suffer and die. And our narratives tell us they are better off that way, that we have done the right thing, that there was no other way.
(dead, locked away, similar argument.)
Here’s the thing. Those people are just like us. No, they ARE. They are human beings just like us. No more, no less. They deserve our support.
We act like arbiters of who is human, we act like arbiters of life and death. We rewrite reality to make ourselves feel better and to justify our actions. We erase our responsibility towards others by pretending it is undeserved or impossible to fulfill.
When what we really need to do is give people- ALL people- the support they need. This is not impossible. This is encouraging a person to seek mental health services instead of reinforcing their (society- and depression etc- fueled) view of hopelessness and despair. This is providing appropriate supports in actually adequate amounts to the disabled and their caregivers. This is accepting that a different response is not necessarily a dangerous or deficient one. This is acting as if you actually care about people. This is accepting people as actually being people.
This is about changing the narratives.
No one would be better off dead if we actually did our part.
See also Between justice and genocide