Those with severe mental/emotional disorders can relate to an opression similar to that of racism. Bullying by authority and others has always been rampant toward the mentally ill and those in the throes of drugs and alcohol addiction. I recall seeing a drunken indigenous person being thrown into a paddy wagon years ago. The door was slammed against the poor guy’s leg and there was no sympathy expressed by the officers. I remember cringing but actions by those in authority was never questioned in those days.
In the early nineteen eighties my son who was hallucinating on the streets of Toronto was taken down by police who launghed as they ground his face into the sidewalk.
The lower nature displayed by some humans reminds me of young turkeys towards those that fall or are sick. Bullying has to do with survival of the biggest and strongest of the species.The human world should be long past that stage of existence.
One policeman who had taken the new “sensitivity” program developed for police officers said he was pleased that it was available. The program helped police distinguish between erratic gestures displayed by mentally incompetent and those exhibiting genuine criminal behaviour. But, as the officer pointed out, the intense RCMP defensive training in Regina for recruits, would most likely cut in when faced with the necessity for an instant reaction toward perceived life or death situations.
I like the idea of trained and empathetic mental health professionals working in the field together with law enforcement officers.
One thing I do not understand is our sublime acceptance of groups advocating obscene and dangerous racist attitudes. There is no excuse for allowing the Neo-Nazi and Klu Klux Klan groups to exist, after so much horror and bloodshed has been documented regarding the history behind these groups. It has been noted that their mandate can inspire dangerous psycological imbalances just by their very existence; particularly among young not-quite-developed minds. Many years ago Oprah Winfry took a chance by inviting KKK members to be on her show. The show went quite well and it appeared that these fellows had an attitude change. But the horrible aftermath was that Oprah received a huge number of calls – from young men who inquired how they could join the KKK organization!