20 December, 2012

trigger warning

tw: recent mass murder and various discussion of other kinds

Nobody liked my original title/premise for this post so it isn't happening. Can I just point out something though about "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother," which is a boring viral post by a lady about how her son, who has autism or some kind of behavioral problem or PTSD, threatens suicide and murder-suicide a lot. I don't even remember the post that well, but I don't know how much more you need to know about it than someone publishing pictures of her 14-year-old on the Internet and saying that he is the same as someone who killed 26 people. I don't even care what her point about mental health services was supposed to be (the impression I get from her blog is that she likes guns, so she is trying to suggest "mental illness" is the cause of mass murders and the main policy issue that people should be thinking about in the wake of them).

Anyway, I'll say it again, I just really don't think it is cool to post pictures of an innocent child calling him a mass murderer just because he said he was going to kill his mom and himself when he was mad at his mom.

I don't think it's a GOOD thing when people with mental health problems regularly talk about killing themselves or other people, but it's just disingenuous as hell to act like people who do this are the same as mass murderers or even have much to do with any kind of murder at all. I don't think I have said stuff about other people but I've gone through a lot of periods where I would bring up killing myself in response to various small frustrations. It's not healthy but I think it is probably normal for people who are having really extreme emotional states and it means more that they need help with those emotional states than that they are going to carry out a premeditated crime.

I'd also like to point out that parents of kids with disabilities talk about murder, suicide, and murder-suicide all the time! I don't like for people to demonize Alison Singer because she did apologize, but she is a famous example of a person who talked about wanting to kill herself and her kid, and basically told her kid about that desire, and was praised for it. I can think of lots of other parents who have been praised for talking about this. No one compares them to mass murderers.

(PS I think it is interesting how much people seem to hate Andrea Yates, when if her kids had psych disabilities instead of her, they would probably feel sorry for her.)

I am feeling a little faint right now and this isn't the most well composed post in my whole blog (maybe I will have to delete it because this is a pretty risky thing to write about when I'm not at 100% cylinders), but these are just some thoughts about how people respond to threats based on whether the person making them can be categorized as disabled.

1 comment:

  1. That blog post was pretty appalling in and of itself, but what was really disturbing was to see how receptive so many people were to its message. At least five or six of my facebook friends posted it, and I was glad to see that a couple of the critical responses also went viral, namely:

    thegirlwhowasthursday's "You Are Not Adam Lanza's Mother":


    And Sarah Kendzior's "A brief response on Liza Long":


    (There have been follow-up posts as well, including a joint statement from Sarah Kendzior and Liza Long.)

    I think it is worth sharing the following summary of Mark Ames' book *Going Postal* (about mass shootings) from Yves Smith of the blog Naked Capitalism:

    "[Ames] looked at all of the mass shootings as of that date and found there were pretty much NO patterns among the killers except they were largely (but not all!) men, generally young men. Most were intelligent, from two parent homes, almost never a history of violence or mental health problems. The biggest common element (and this took place in pretty much all the cases) was having been bullied."

    I think it should be stressed that, as Sarah Kendzior noted, "[Liza Long's] child’s privacy and reputation have been irrevocably damaged... [H]e will...have his mother’s cruel words following him online for the rest of his life."