Saturday, February 02, 2008

More Exploitation?

It’s all over the internet and every news source throughout the world. I'm talking about the "reports" that Al Qaeda used 2 women with developmental disabilities as unknowing suicide bombers. Folks are outraged that these terrorists would stoop to taking advantage of these women; who in most cases are being called “mentally handicapped”. The media is telling us this story using language that both infuriates and elicits pity. I have to wonder how they know these 2 women had developmental disabilities in the first place. I also wonder how they know these women weren't aware of what they were doing.

I have a question. Where have these same “protectors of the vulnerable” been while people with developmental disabilities have been struggling to eke out an existence in nearly all the countries of the world... for centuries? It seems as though these people are using a label of "mentally handicapped" to further their own agenda(s). People with disability labels are being taken advantage of, so that some people's beliefs and actions can be validated.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe that suicide bombing of innocent civilians by Al Quaeda is anything short of heinous. It just troubles me that people with developmental disabilities, the same group of people that have been virtually ignored by society at large, are now being exploited in yet another way.

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