The Culpable Silence over the Genocide of the Disabled

Two weeks ago Mike over at Vox Political posted a piece about how he had praised on Twitter the Last Leg for its hosts describing the Tory government’s lethal policy of throwing disabled people off benefits for what it was: a disabled genocide. Alex Brooker and the show’s main man, Adam Hills had said of the policy

“At first these cuts looked like a good plan experiencing teething problems, then it started to feel like a badly executed system but now – it’s beginning to look a lot like disabled genocide.”

“This government is slowly killing off a generation of disabled people.””

He continued: “The only question is are they doing it on purpose? Because if you are, why stop at sanctions?

”Why not round us up put us on a reservation and sterilise the drinking water because that is literally more humane than what you’re doing right now. For any Conservatives watching that is not a genuine suggestion.”

Brooker and Hills then urged the government committee meeting to examine the issue not to issue bonus for swift assessments, but to punish people when they do so wrongly.

Mike makes the point that his blog had also been describing the Tory policy as a genocide for years. Mike also hoped this would spark a debate, but noted that the social media was far too much a minority pursuit to do so on its own. He hoped mentioning the Last Leg, a popular comedy news review show on Channel 4, would do something to get more people interested. Unfortunately, Mike was disappointed. After only a couple of days, the story had been overtaken by the controversy surrounding Emma Watson showing much of her bosom in one of the fashion magazines.

See: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/03/05/praise-for-the-last-legs-attack-on-disabled-genocide-but-was-it-only-words/

I am not surprised there has been this silence over the organised murder of the disabled. Much of the supposed news content of the mass media is, as Mike and the other bloggers have pointed out time and again, ad nauseam, about provoking hatred and demonising those on benefits and particularly the disabled. Mike has frequently cited the statistic that while fraud accounts for only 0.7 per cent of benefit claims, the general public seem to have swallowed the media’s lie so that they believe 25 per cent of all benefit recipients are scroungers and malingerers. One of the worst offenders in this regard is the Daily Hail, where these stories are a constant staple of its ‘journalism’. The TV companies aren’t much better, however. Over the past few years we’ve also seen the emergence of ‘poverty porn’ TV series, like Channel 4’s Benefits Street, looking at the lives of Britain’s poorest people on welfare. These series also regularly show amongst their cast of real-life characters, at least one person, who is committing fraud. It wasn’t a coincidence that one of these series was produced by the TV company owned by Esther McVie, Cameron’s ‘Wicked Witch of the Wirral’, who was briefly in charge of throwing the disabled out off benefits and out of their homes when she was at the DWP.

The media’s and general public’s lack of reaction to the claim that Britain’s disabled people are being systematically targeted for extermination by an uncaring government reminded me of the controversy in America way back in the late 1980s and early 1990s about claims that there was a secret government plot to exterminate the Black population. Many Black Americans were so convinced of this, that Jack White, a journalist at Time magazine, wrote an article rebutting it with the title ‘Genocide Mumbo Jumbo’. Harry Allen, the ‘media assassin’ with the Black rap outfit, Public Enemy, was then asked to write a response to it. Adam Parfrey included the resulting article ‘How to Kill: Are Afrikan People Subjects of a Genocidal Plot?’ in his book Apocalypse Culture (Los Angeles: Feral House 1990) 229-44.

Apocalypse Culture is an anthology of essays and articles on fringe and extreme issues in America during the late ’80s and first year of the ’90s. Many of the articles are written from an occult perspective, or that of new religious movements, the paranormal, and extreme or fringe political movements so that the authors include the late head of the Church of Satan, Anton Szandor LaVey and the founder of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammed, as well as Oswald Spengler, the conspiracy theorist John Shelby Downard and the chronicler of weird phenomena, Charles Fort, and the Red Brigades. This is genuinely transgressive writing. While I don’t agree with the occult and am not a member of a new religious movement or hold the extremist political views of some of the authors, this does not mean that I don’t think that some of the writers have a point.

Allen in his article interviewed Jack White and Asiba Tukahache, a First Nation American woman, who stated that she’d been aware of the genocide of Black people since 1973. Clearly the organised campaigns that have been inflicted on Black people and Indigenous Americans are different from the British government’s attacks on the disabled. Nevertheless, some of the observations Tupahache and White make do seem to parallel some of attitudes and the process of discrimination that disabled people on this side of the Pond are experiencing. For example, Tupahache remarks on the way racist portrayals of Blacks were still considered acceptable on television, and the way monuments to her people on Long Island were being obliterated in the 70s, at the same time Roots was on TV and everyone was talking about slavery. She said that what first brought this issue to her attention was

‘Seeing an ‘Inky’ Warner Bros. cartoon caricature on television. I was just amazed that the cartoon was still being shown, and just how easy it was for that to be shown, and no one objected. No one seemed to think anything was wrong. I started making photographs, taking pictures, shooting off the television-Flintstones cartoons, shooting ads out of magazines, billboards and everything. Just feeling like there was something I was going to do with it, just to tell everybody how wrong it was and how abnormal it was to pretend, or at least not know, that anything was wrong, when it really was a very hurtful thing. I didn’t what I was gonna do, I knew I was gonna do something, and I just started collecting stuff, and it turned into boxes…

I think the turning point was when some land markers were going to declare on (sic) of our ancestral areas Long Island’s first Black national land mark. It kind of flipped my brain inside out, trying to deal with the panic and outrage of my relatives, while at the same time trying to understand and cope with deaf, dumb and blindness of a public, who I thought wanted to know the truth, but who, in fact, only wanted to know what they wanted to hear. 1977, right after Roots was televised, and everybody was slave wild. And it was bicentennial time, and nobody wanted to hear about this obscure idea of a people called Matinecoc getting in the way of their slavery revelry and their bicentennial minutes.

Tupahache was nevertheless successful in bringing the issue to a large number of people, and said in the interview that she was overwhelmed by the public’s response. She stated that it had received

Very positive reactions, for those who have seen it. And I guess that’s probably what really overwhelmed me the most. The first week I sold a hundred copies of it, after a radio discussion on a show called Night Talk. I didn’t really understand the impact that it made on people, but it did [make one]. And just the process of sending them out to people, then finding it had been understood and useful was kind of a transition right there, because I had spent all the time gathering the evidence, figuring it out, writing it all out, and then sending it out. Saying goodbye to it.

She also makes the point that many people in Nazi Germany also did not believe that their government was trying to exterminate people because of their race.

Well, you have an environment of extreme terror. People are responding in terms of genocidal acts of aggression against them, because of how brutal things are and can be. And also, as DePres has said in his book, that a lot of people refused to believe that it was going on in Nazi Germany too.

And it was just that people who, quote, ‘live decently’, unquote, don’t want to think that there is anything going on around them that could mean a guilt on their part, or an examination of their lives, or a questioning of their own motives or failure to do something about it. But that has its opposite reaction: For all of that denial, you also have that very same panic and fear. Not that the fears of the people are unfounded, when I talk about panic, but from the absolute fright of what’s going on =which is so obvious to them, but is totally deniable and invisible to others who seem to wilfully not want to address it or change it.

There’s another form of absolute terror! When you totally rearrange what’s going on around you into “Mumbo Jumbo”, or to trivialise it, to the point of contempt, is another form of denial. To say it isn’t rue, to trivialize.

White and Tupahache also differed in their attitude to whether genocide was possible in a democracy. Tupahache did not believe it was, while White admitted it could. When asked if it was possible in the United States, he replied

Well, I think it’s probably unlikely. But sure, why not? I mean, probably not in the United States, but you’re asking in principle, right? In theory? Sure, I think it’s possible. I think that’s why in societies like this one we have constitutional protections: To protect minorities, because I think it’s always possible. I mean, the mass hysteria that attended the rise of Nazism in Germany could conceivably take rise in any society in the world, if had sufficient friction, and the right ethnic group, and the right sort of numbers involved. Again, I say, I don’t think that pertains to the United States, but it’s conceivable it could occur somewhere else, and probably has. I don’t know that it has but it probably has.

Some of the difference between White’s and Tupahache’s view of whether there is a Black genocide in America comes from their difference in attitude to what constitutes it. For White, it seems to be a matter of the use of physical force. For Tupahache, it comes through a system of racialization that denies people their nationhood and connection to the land, which makes them other than human, and which also leads the victims to blame themselves for the brutality that is inflicted upon them.

Reading these different, it’s clear from Tukahache’s experience that disabled people in Britain are not alone in finding that a public that considers itself liberal and informed does not want to hear about or discuss the way they are being systematically discriminated and killed through the withdrawal of the support they need. People don’t see it, because, like the racist images of Black people in mainstream culture, they don’t see anything wrong with it and don’t connect it to mass death.

The public is being told by the mass media that welfare recipients, and particularly the disabled, are all scroungers and malingerers, so they think that if people are being thrown off benefit, they’ve only themselves to blame, because they’re obviously a scrounger or malingerer. And like the Nazis, the Tories have been very carefully to keep the numbers of people they’ve killed from reaching the public. You look at the articles posted by Mike over at Vox Political about his struggle to get the information from IDS’ DWP. The Department refused again and again, decried his requests as ‘vexatious’, and did everything it could to block or evade answering the question. And it’s still doing so.

And my guess is that much of this indifference also comes from the was accusations of Fascism have become so routine, that there is a tendency not to take it seriously. For example, one of the people, who took the opportunity to pose on the empty fourth plinth as a public work of art, was a disabled woman in a wheelchair. She dressed in Nazi costume, and sat in her chair, on top of the plinth, as a protest against the government’s treatment of the disabled. This was reported in the Independent, and then, I think, forgotten. Yet another person from a minority making an hysterical and inflated claim to persecution.

My guess is that for most of the public, discrimination against the disabled is probably connected with issues of accessibility and jobs. These are issues of frustration and injustice, yes, but not at the same level as being herded into gas chambers, shot, or dragged into reservations or forced labour camps. And because of that – because the organised campaign to deny disabled people the funding they need to live, let alone live with dignity – it is easy for the public and the media to dismiss any complaints about genocide as grossly exaggerated. More inflated hyperbole from grievance-mongers.

Except that this is a genuine grievance, and the disabled are being genuinely killed by the government’s callousness and determination to save money, even if it means death to those refused it.

As for the issue of racial genocide, I’m afraid that now, after a quarter of a century, that seems far more possible in Trump’s America than it did when the article was first published. Trump’s administration is racist in its determination to deport and ban Latin American and Muslim immigration, and it includes people, who are genuinely racist and hold views that could reasonably be considered Fascist and White supremacist, like Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer and Sebastian Gorka. They need to be stopped, before they start killing people.

As for raising awareness of the genocide against the disabled in this country, Stilloaks, Atos Miracles and DPAC are publishing details of the people the government are victimising and throwing off benefit. I hope the Last Leg will continue to cover this issue, and persist in calling it what it is so that the Tories can’t get away with denying what they’re doing. There are artists out there, who’ve also made it the subject of their work. Johnny Void had on his site a few years ago a picture made up of smaller photos of some of the victims of the government’s policy. I hope they also carry on, and are joined by more artists, journalists and commenters. And perhaps what we need here is for a few more people on talk radio to cover this, and not be satisfied by the smooth, patronising lies of Damian Green, Iain Duncan Smith, Cameron or May.

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17 Responses to “The Culpable Silence over the Genocide of the Disabled”

  1. truthaholics Says:

    Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    “My guess is that for most of the public, discrimination against the disabled is probably connected with issues of accessibility and jobs. These are issues of frustration and injustice, yes, but not at the same level as being herded into gas chambers, shot, or dragged into reservations or forced labour camps. And because of that – because the organised campaign to deny disabled people the funding they need to live, let alone live with dignity – it is easy for the public and the media to dismiss any complaints about genocide as grossly exaggerated. More inflated hyperbole from grievance-mongers.

    Except that this is a genuine grievance, and the disabled are being genuinely killed by the government’s callousness and determination to save money, even if it means death to those refused it.

    As for the issue of racial genocide, I’m afraid that now, after a quarter of a century, that seems far more possible in Trump’s America than it did when the article was first published. Trump’s administration is racist in its determination to deport and ban Latin American and Muslim immigration, and it includes people, who are genuinely racist and hold views that could reasonably be considered Fascist and White supremacist, like Steve Bannon, Richard Spencer and Sebastian Gorka. They need to be stopped, before they start killing people.”

  2. vondreassen Says:

    why are we so obsessed with America ? why doesn’t our Press have a look around Europe at our NEAR neighbors and learn something from them ? try the Scaninavians for ex… or are they afraid of what they will find ?

    • Beastrabban Says:

      I think they are scared of what they’d find in Scandinavia – a functioning welfare state and an economy that is geared to supporting people and avoiding extremes of wealth and poverty. The media in our country, and the Tories, desperately want to avoid and destroy that type of society, if they can help it. Hence they do not want to talk about the European countries, except to denigrate them, as when the Sun when Thatcher was in power started banging on about how, with the British economy growing, the French were wishing they had a Margaret Thatcher of their own. And so the British media concentrates on America, because it has the kind of right-wing, anti-welfare state they’d like to impose over here.

      • Florence Says:

        I saw a post on an FB page by a Norwegian living in the UK for 10 years. He was appalled at the hysterical denouncement of Corbyn as “hard left” not only in the media, but from within the Labour party too. He remarked that in Norway the sane policies as Corbyn are just centre with a bit left, and had been in power for the best part if 40 years. They had one of the best societies to live in on the planet. My brother lives in Denmark with two small children and on visits here he struggles to understand what has happened to the society he grew up in. I think we are all struggling to cone to terms with the take over by the far right, and the only way out – through Corbyn’s reinvigorated Labour party – is being destroyed by our own enemies within.

  3. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  4. jeffrey davies Says:

    hmm just look inward everyday more and more disabled sick mentaly are dying looking to america nay blair set the path the torys beat us with it daily now look about ever wondered were that nice man or woman lived who now you dont see they took their own lifes because our government treated them terrible yet on it goes open your eyes before there are no disabled no mentaly ill people left they culling them under your very eyes jeff3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww800PzlJ6Y

  5. stilloaks Says:

    In Memory Of

  6. katythenightowl Says:

    Reblogged this on The Night Owl and commented:
    From my observations over the last decade, especially as I became more ill, more disabled, and found there was less and less help out there for me and mine, I truly believe what is being discussed here, on Beastrabann’s Blog.
    It feels as if all that ails this country has become focussed on it being the fault of the disabled and ill – as if it were our fault that the Banks grew too big, powerful, and greedy, and that we, who have the least in material wealth, should be the ones to pay for it all.
    Just like in Hitler’s time, we are an easy target, especially as the last few governments have managed to take control of the vast majority of the media, and so our struggles against these insidious cuts that are slowly killing us, are falling on deaf ears.
    Until this country wakes up to all the deaths that have been happening over this last decade or so, directly because of the governments deliberate policies of attrition, then nothing will be done – and then how many people will be shouting that they hadn’t seen it happen, or hadn’t known it was going on?
    . . . and how many of us will be dead, unable to have our voices heard?

    • Florence Says:

      I’m glad you say “decade” as it did indeed start under Blair, Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper being major players. So much about Cooper has disappeared from the internet, she must have made use of the “right to forget”. It is appalling that they can erase uncomfortable truths from the public record, while we live with their monstrous legacies. The article above just nails it – until ppl can be forced to confront what is really happening and realose their part in it, we won’t get change.

  7. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

  8. joanna Says:

    Hi Beast I noticed a word in the second paragraph of your article, Executed!!! That is what has happened! I don’t see victims who have taken their own lives, I see victims who have been pushed to the extreme of miserable circumstances and Executed!!!
    No humane society would Ever tolerate this type of behaviour, why should we?!!!
    I know someone who says that in his opinion, “every person in this country is capable of doing some work”. Even though I have tried, I can’t change his opinion, he is also a “qualified NLP practitioner and has expressed an interest in CBT, how can I, being as uneducated as I am, fight against this opinion.

    I like this person as a friend, but I am horrified by his opinions, which I know I cannot fight! I feel more useless and hopeless everyday!

    • Beastrabban Says:

      Jo, you’re not useless or hopeless for not knowing quite what to say to people like that. I think everybody knows someone with very entrenched opinions, who won’t change them, no matter what you say to them. As for everyone being capable of doing some work, that’s clearly wrong. It might be true that more people could work in ideal conditions. I once met a severely disabled young bloke, who was paralysed from the neck down, but was a superb computer programmer. He was fortunate in that, despite his severe disability, he had a skill he could use. Others aren’t so lucky. For many disabled people to work, they need extra help from their employers, whether in terms of specially adapted workplaces, or a level of tolerance in accepting that the work they do may not be completed as swiftly as their fit workmates. And an increasingly small number of firms are willing to do this, despite moves for equality in the workplace. So there are many reasons why a disabled person legitimately can’t find work.

      As for CBT, I’ve had it. It can help with depression and anxiety, but it is not the panacea Cameron and May want the public to believe it is by a long way. If your friend believes that using it will automatically make everyone into more positive people, able to get any job they want, then he’s going to be mistaken. As the Tories want him to be.

      • joanna Says:

        Hi Beast I forgot to include that this person wants to do Online CBT, that can’t right? how can that be right? Don’t you have to at least be physically near the person to get a sense of who they are?
        I knew someone who was used as a guinea pig for DBT, Dialectical behavior therapy. She was already mentally ill with violent tendencies, this seemed to make her worse because she was sectioned for her own protection a few times.
        It might be fine as a therapy but I do not like the mandatory side to it, as in the mandatory group therapy, that is something I would never participate in willingly. I don’t visit any social networking sites because they scare me so much, also I have no interest, I like the internet as a window to the world, I just don’t want that world looking back at me!

    • Florence Says:

      CBT (NPL) is the next instrument of torture. Delivered through the DWP to unwilling and unsuitable targets, it seems within the first few weeks it may well already be claiming victims. A friend of mine, suffering from sudden disability and ongoing life threatening problems, was sent for CBT. I didn’t express an opinion before she started as I thought she may be one if the few it provides temporary relief. Instead, after the first session she went home, deleted all her FB pages, all her message contacts, telephone numbers and contemplated suicide. I haven’t asked what stopped her BTW, she may tell me when she’s ready. This is what happens when unqualified people are made into practitioners. How many will die now, how long will it take to get the figures, and will we ever see and end to this democide?

  9. Cynthia Hawley Says:

    They have already started removing the elderly off disability or retirement.. usually in their late 60 and up.. I see many elderly with signs that say they took their money away and they are now homeless and starving. I know for a fact there are many on disability that are drug addicts that only got on it because they claim to be sick in one way or another.. I also know that those who are legitimately disabled are paying for it.. We live with drug addicts and alcoholics who have no desire to even try to work as their money pays rent and drugs for their addiction. Always in low income parts of the cities.. I got on disability back in 95.. I then in 1998 was able to get myself back to work driving truck.. I fell off of it a year later and am now permanently on disability.. I have tried to get jobs. No one will hire me. I have looked for phone jobs.. Where you do not have contact with the public. They see a walker or wheel chair and the decision is made right there even before the application is filled out or taken the person will not be hired. I asked one of the people who did the hiring for a larger business to be candid.. Why am I not being hired.. He said its the wheel chair.. despite your ability to do the job efficiently.. you will not make it through the hiring process.. We have 5 interviewers and two that make the decision.. You wont get hired. If you do.. they will take advantage of any issues you may have that might cause you to lose time and not do your job to fire you. When you come in your photo is taken automatically.. and they make most of their decisions from that photo. At this time.. I am almost 60.. I am still willing to work part time. My disability will not allow me to do any more than this. But I have volunteered and put in my time.. to help where ever I could.. Saved a lot of people a lot of time and money. This is the thanks we get.. OUR government and elites believe in the georgia guide stones. I am no drug addict or alcoholic.. I am not mentally ill.. nor crazy in any way… But we are looked at as being a burden on society because we have a right to live our lives and we see fit. I am active and love life and do many things. in my daily life that by many are seen as a good life. But limited money and told I cannot make any above a certain amount is not acceptable. I understand losing my disability if I can make my own money but I cannot. I get 800 a month and 80 dollars in food stamps. No one can live on that. They are doing every thing they can to starve.. over medicate, and make us believe we are worth nothing.. They may be able to take my life in the end. But my dignity still stands. Thank you for this article. I am sharing it.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Thank you for the appreciation, Cynthia, and your personal account of the appalling treatment of people with disabilities. I hope you will stand firm, despite everything they throw at you, and wish you all the best looking for a decent employer. So many disabled people are in your position on both sides of the Atlantic.

  10. jeffrey davies Says:

    cynthia sais I know for a fact there are many on disability that are drug addicts that only got on it because they claim to be sick in one way or another.. I also know that those who are legitimately disabled are paying for it.. We live with drug addicts and alcoholics who have no desire to even try to work as their money pays rent and drugs for their addiction. yet you are doing the governments work for them pointing to these people yet they are disabled by their illness nay never pick on those who crutch is that drink or drugs has they to need that benefits pointing out those is whot the governments wants jeff3

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