Ableism Kills

A while back, I wrote a post begging the Canadian Government to open it’s borders to Americans with Disabilities as refugees from a slow-motion genocide. Someone left a comment on that post to which I’ve been meaning to respond for a long time.

CYNTHIA: I had previously mentioned this to Michael.

Reluctantly, as a fellow Canadian, I cannot fully support this.

As you know, the United States has 10x the population of Canada. It is a first-world country.

There is no way that the math works for Canada to be able to support the complex heath care needs of Americans with pre-existing conditions. As you mention, the system is already at capacity when it comes to providing proper health care with disability support programs for Canadians. No system can function unless you have a large base of relatively healthy people paying into the system to cover the costs of those who are using it more.

Of course, in a situation of someone being a genuine refugee from any country, humanitarian considerations should come into play. That can’t be extended to American “medical costs refugees”, though, because it would break our system.

In the long run, Canadians need a system that is sustainable – and ultimately, that benefits all Americans as well. Americans are looking at us to see how our single-payer system is functioning. If it works relatively well, that increases political support for it. If it doesn’t, that increases the dire warning about “socialized medicine”. The most vulnerable Americans ultimately need an American health care system that works, and they are less likely to get it if the Canadian health care system breaks or if ordinary American voters stop fearing the consequences of repealing Obamacare because they think that free health care will always be available to them in Canada. Right now, that fear has managed to stop the repeal attempts, to the benefit of all Americans who will ever need health care.

Continue reading “Ableism Kills”

Ableism Kills
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I Can’t Move On, It’s Not Over Yet

I cant move on, it's not over yet imposed over a blurry picture of a frozen winter landscape
The type of writing I do, the type of people I connect with, I tend to come into contact with a lot of people who are struggling with medical systems. Because of my own experience navigating these same systems, as well as because of the way some of my areas of privilege align – and sometimes not even privilege but just random chance that turned out well, I have also been finding myself more and more acting as a patient advocate for people.

This can mean helping someone find a doctor, helping them come up with questions to ask or ways of phrasing things, making phone calls from location to location, and sometimes even showing up to physically advocate for someone.

There are many people who I have been able to help in some small way and it was enough for them to be able to move out of trouble enough not to need me anymore. There is one core group of people, however, who no matter how hard I advocate, what strings I try to pull, what privileges I bring down to bear, I never seem to manage to get through to their primary caregivers enough for them to start receiving the help they need. Continue reading “I Can’t Move On, It’s Not Over Yet”

I Can’t Move On, It’s Not Over Yet

Foot In the Door: The Rise of Nazi America

Text: The Rise of Nazi America, showing an American Flag where the stars are swastikas and behind the red bars of the flag are the silhouettes of two imprisoned children
It starts “innocently” enough.

Someone carves a swastika into a school desk or draws one inside a textbook. They don’t understand the symbolism. They don’t understand the horror, the pain, the death, that was brought about as a result of that symbol. They’re just trying to be edgy.

Youth of all stripes make the news when they joke at doing the Nazi salute or dress up in Nazi costumes, even those in the public eye like Prince Harry take their turn at parading around the costume. To them it’s just a joke. They never experienced what it was like to face a world where Nazis didn’t just exist, but wielded terrifying power.

It isn’t long before comment sections explode with the use of racial slurs. Words that were considered egregious social faux-pas are used like common expletives. They’re just kids enjoying the power of anonymity. They’re basement dwellers making themselves feel better by pretending to more power than they have and living fantasies of superiority.

Continue reading “Foot In the Door: The Rise of Nazi America”

Foot In the Door: The Rise of Nazi America

Father’s Day

CN: suicide attempt, absent fathers

I never know what to call you. Father seems too formal. I usually just call you “my dad” when I talk about you, I use your name when I talk about you to mami or my brother. I never became comfortable with calling you “sperm donor”. You were there at least for the first two years of my life. Papi and Daddy have too many positivite connotations attached.

Usually though I just don’t talk about you at all. It just to be too painful. I have at least gotten to the point where I don’t immediately burst into tears at the mention of fathers. This episode of the Fresh Prince still manages to make me teary eyed. There a lot of similarities between what Will says and I feel.

It’s been 14 years since I last saw you. Before that I hadn’t seen you in 13. Last time I saw you, we shared our love of Elvis Presley. We found out we have the same favorite color. You told me you didn’t have any money, I told you that didn’t matter to me. I told you all I wanted was to have a relationship with you; to get to know you. You said you’d buy me a doll for Christmas. I told you I was much too old for dolls. What you didn’t know is that I would have loved and cherished that doll. You never bought it. You never came back.

I would call you and you would never answer. Your new family would, your step-daughters would. Those girls got to have you in their lives and I didn’t. I hated them. I do think your wife felt sorry for me. I could hear it in her voice.

Last time we spoke I cursed you out. You said mami had done a horrible job in raising me and my brother. My brother never bothered talking to you. I was the fool that held onto some hope that you cared.

I stopped crying over you after I attempted suicide. I was taken to the hospital and mami called you. You called the hospital to verify that I was indeed there. You said you’d go visit me at home. I was so excited when mami went to the hospital to pick me up. I actually thought you’d show up. You never did. I stopped crying over you because I realized that I could have died and you wouldn’t have cared.

You called one last time for my 16th birthday. I was still recovering from my suicide attempt and so you talked to my brother. You called to wish me a happy birthday.

Sometimes I wish I could see you. I wish I could talk to you. You’re a grandpa and you have no idea.

All I have left is some pictures from when I was a toddler. You seemed like a proud and happy dad. Mami told me that you were very devoted and that I was a total daddy’s girl. I can see that from the pictures. I put those images up against the images I have of you in the flesh. The man, who told me about your favorite Elvis songs. The man who said I had attempted suicide just for attention. The man who called me “not very nice”. The man who promised to be there and then wasn’t. The man who then called me for my birthday, the man who said I had “a heart as big as Texas” for still wanting a relationship with you after 13 years of absence.

I hate that you’ve made me feel insecure and unloved. I hate not knowing if you’re alive and well. I hate that a small part of me still cares.

You’re right. I do have a very big heart. You don’t deserve the head space I give you. That space though has become smaller.

I only notice it when Father’s Day comes around.

So Happy Father’s Day, I guess.

Father’s Day