Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hate from the Government, Hate on the Street.

Today I went to an appointment, and afterwards, when I was almost home, a man who was coming from behind me shouted something. I turned to him and laughed and said, "that made me jump", and he yelled it again, but I couldn't work out what he said.

He crossed over the road and yelled the same thing for a third time, and I worked out that he was saying "fucking DLA stick". I said, "I don't know what you mean?" but as I was saying the words I realised that I did. He was implying that, as I walk with a crutch, I was faking a disability to receive benefits.

For the rest of the length of the street, he yelled 'fucking DLA stick' at me again and again. I felt very intimidated and frightened.

And I knew. I knew that it was caused, as well as by a nasty, nasty man, it was also caused by this:

and this:

and this:

and every other story by the government and the media portraying disabled people as lazy (see the photo in that final screenshot!) scroungers.

I do not need to justify my use of a mobility aid to a complete stranger in the street, never mind one who is flinging abuse at me. The thought that I would carry a big, awkward metal thing around with me at all times in order to claim benefits is just ridiculous. The realisation that this is what some people think, that's frightening.

If anything like this happens to you, remember that it is a disability hate crime. You can report it directly to the police, or through an intermediary such as Stop hate UK.

The war against benefit claimants is, sadly, proving more effective than ever.

(This was cross posted at Where's the Benefit? blog)


Midnite Skys said...

wow I have a family friend and another friend that was to repeatedly has to go to court to prove their disability. One broke his back falling 3 stories and the other had a brain injury.. You can't see it but they are disabled!
But really that man needs to remember his manners.... the same man that would scream if you didn't do something he wanted fast enough! Oh yea I work with the public and one of the things that drives me crazy is that... they think you should do 20 things at once and they are the most important tyoes...

Neil80 said...

Sounds like a terrible experience. I think you're right as to the reasons though. Sadly most of the media, in place of real journalism, trade in lazy stereotypes and they are aided and abetted by politicians, especially the Tories.

I share your outrage at that 'posed by model' photo in the last picture, truly, truly outrageous.