Beating of Disabled Teenager Highlights a Crime That Often Goes Unpunished
By MITCH SMITH and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA JAN. 6, 2017
CHICAGO — The appalling video seized the nation’s attention this week: A group of young people kidnapped, bound, beat, slashed, gagged, humiliated and threatened to kill a teenager with mental disabilities over nearly three days, and laughed about it as they carried out their acts.
But by far, the most unusual thing about the episode, advocates for people with disabilities have said, was not the abuse itself, but the fact that it was recorded. Violence against people with disabilities is far more common than most people realize, advocates have said, and frequently goes undetected or is not taken seriously.
The Life of a Disabled Child, From Taunts to Hate Crimes
By MARGARET CARLSON JAN. 6, 2017
Since the days when my mother wouldn’t let my older brother go out to play stickball if I wasn’t with him, there’s been a lot of progress in attitudes toward those we now call developmentally or intellectually challenged. There’s mainstreaming them into public schools, the Special Olympics, TV shows like “Speechless,” Down syndrome children in clothing ads. There are group homes, not warehousing. There’s awareness that words can wound. I flinched when someone yelled “retard” at my brother, Jimmy. For some comedians, it was a laugh line. You don’t hear it much anymore.
And now a barbaric attack in Chicago on an intellectually disabled teenager is rightly being treated as a hate crime. Authorities cited the virulent racial epithets shouted by the four African-American attackers at their white victim, but also noted that they hurled insults about his developmental limitations as well.
So, you have your marching orders, right? The video of blacks abusing a white kid has nothing to do with virulent prejudice against whites or Trump, it has to do with Society’s prejudice against the intellectually disabled minority.