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The days have gone, thank God, when we simply couldn’t talk about mental illness. When families had a dotty aunt whom they hid in a suite in the back of the ancestral home. When the errant son who got into trouble was written off, banished, never mentioned again.
It wasn’t that long ago, though, when anybody with a disability was shipped off to a separate school for the blind or the deaf. When mental illness wasn’t even considered a disability -- it was a disgrace that reflected badly upon the family.
It’s not that way anymore. But yes it still is.
When someone breaks a bone, gets an infected tooth, or has surgery to remove an appendix, we don’t think any less of that person for their “illness.” But a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or autism instantly diminishes that person’s value.
Categories: Sharp Edges
Tags: mental illness, TGA, amnesia
The diagnosis of mental illness took a great leap forward this last week. From the far side of the Pacific Ocean, Donald Trump was able to determine that Devin Patrick Kelley was mentally ill.
Of course, Kelley was white.
No one excuses mass killings as mental illness if the killers happen to have Arabic-sounding names, or have immigrated from an Islamic country. Such people are automatically classed as cold-blooded terrorists, who knew exactly what they were doing.
The excuse of mental illness seems to be offered only to white male Americans. Devin Kelley, who murdered 26 people inside a Baptist church last Sunday morning in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Stephen Paddock in Las Vegas. Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary.
They obviously can’t be in their right mind if they shoot fellow Americans, can they?
Tags: mental illness, Sutherland Springs; Baptist church, Devin Kelley, guns
Unlike most recent mass shootings, Santiago did not die in a hail of police bullets, leaving authorities to guess about his motivations. And often, I suspect, to create conspiracies where none existed. We’re told he has been cooperating with police.
Even so, most news reports have included a line such as, “Terrorism has not been ruled out.” Or perhaps, “Authorities are still investigating possible terrorist links.”
Why, why, oh why must Americans find someone else to blame?
Tags: Esteban Santiago, airport killings, mental illness