The San Bernardino shootings & disability rights

As of now, police have not revealed the motives of two shooters who entered a California community center for those with developmental disabilities (cognitive and/or physical disabilities). The shooters killed 14 people (not yet identified) & injured at least 17 others–some very seriously.

It seems inexplicable that those with disabilities would be targeted for violence but it’s actually the way in our world to target those seen as vulnerable–or most repugnantly, as inferior. We can’t presume the motives of the shooters but likely social hatred for disability played some part. My concern is personal because my younger brother Paul Francis committed suicide after four decades of abuse as a man with learning disability.

The disability rights movement emerged in the 1970s when resistance to oppression & marginalization was the gestalt of the era for many groups. It was the era of identity politics when intolerance for every form of social hatred became the political clarion call. It was a glorious time in human history to see (& be part of) fightback of such breadth & see those looked down on as inferior stand tall with dignity & a proud sense of identity.

We should take a moment to express our deepest condolences to those who suffered such trauma or who lost a loved one. We can render solidarity by committing ourselves to advancing disability rights.