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No Change in DC Deaths

Six years ago today, Washington Post reporter Katherine Boo, whose investigative piece "Invisible Deaths: The Fatal Neglect of D.C.'s Retarded," had just run the day before, took part in an online chat with Post readers. In March, she'd written the series "Invisible Lives: D.C.'s Troubled System for the Retarded," and it, along with her December story, would win her a Pulitzer Prize.

"When I read your article last spring, I assumed that it meant things would start to change," said one of her readers. "It is heartbreaking and shameful to read 8 months later that almost nothing has happened yet."

Eight months? Try six years. Even a Pulitzer Prize has not forced change.


"Even a Pulitzer Prize has not forced change."

Nor have Papal edicts, laws, or any of the other means we indulge in.

As you know, I think that "humanity" does in fact "hate" disabled people. Sometimes it's pejorative folk "wisdom", sometimes the actionable (but rarely acted on) physical stuff.

The bible thumpers contend that this is due to Godlessness while we "secular humanists" (oh all right Atheists!) find that "people of the book" are such frequent sources of said hate. That morality/ethics need some pie-in-sky basis like a berobed Hebrew in the sky to underlie them is absurd. Words don't rape/torture/bedevil the institutionalized and those who suffer rage about it don't need any second-hand deity to justify their urges to end war and stop starving babies.

With all the work on genomes it's still clear that it takes a year to grow one ring on a tree and that getting over the madness of putting people in the joint because we can pass laws that put them there takes generations. And maybe it can't be done at all, and maybe we're going about it all wrong, and maybe it won't work out even if we succeed in freeing our people.

John Hope Franklin still has heart and keeps on keeping on against all evidence pointing to pointlessness and I guess we're doomed to similar grief/disappointment.


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