Do you remember Jeffrey Dahmer? He was that guy who was a serial killer and he engaged in cannibalism of his victims. Kind of hard to forget. But what I most remember about him was his murder. He was murdered in prison after he was taken out of protective custody and put in general population. From what I understand, he was in protective custody because he was a target for people who wanted to score points with whoever matters in prison, by killing him. He was also accused of some sort of racism in his choice of victims which made him even more of a target. When he was killed it was generally thought that the prison moved him into general population knowing that it would be the death of him. And it was also generally agreed that he got what he deserved, certainly Karma did not get it wrong in his case. He reaped what he sowed. There was no public outcry decrying his fate. There was no uniting of groups of self-proclaimed cannibals seeking the safety Dahmer had been denied. There was no outcry for cannibal rights. There was no outrage from flexible liberals who took up anyone’s cause, as long as the person was viewed as unfairly mistreated. Society did not view what happened to Jeffrey Dahmer as unfair, and certainly no one in society wanted to publicly align themselves with him. There are certain people in our world that the world tells us are unworthy of even basic human dignity and respect. People who deny that they have any prejudice against anyone quickly soften their self righteousness when I ask them about child murderers or serial killers. They don’t really count. They chose to abdicate their humanity. And the murder of one prisoner who is nothing but an expense to taxpayers is good riddance to bad rubbish. How many of us feel like this? I kind of agree, in part, I admit.
Certainly I am not a peer of Jeffrey Dahmer. But I do have something in common with him and his ilk. I belong to a group of providers and even former providers who are viewed as less than human. Even if it has been years or decades between the present time and a previous offense society looks down upon us with a smirk and a shrug. Few advocate for our murders, and police will go after someone who victimizes streetwalkers. I cannot truly say I know the police are less motivated, although I was just about to make that unproven comment. (Wow, it is eady to make an unproven assertion based on what I believe I see! Especially when emotions stir). I can reasonably say it is my perception that the media does not devote as much time or attention to crimes against women who I have heard designated as “the low hanging [easily accessible] fruit” of potential victims. If a woman deemed respectable is murdered journalists quickly assert her “innocence.”
Let us leave murder aside and examine how we are generally treated. I must bite the bullet and say “we” and not “they” have had comments about my criticism of unnecessarily cruel reviews of providers on websites that feature such discussion forums. for providers that can be summed up with “You asked for it. ”
Maybe our society doesn’t like people who are to blame for their problems. I say, if we are going to judge people’s culpability in their own bad situations then I suggest we place a scale in every emergency room. Anyone who comes in with an ailment that might be related to obesity needs to stand on that scale, and if the person is overweight that person must go to the back of the line. We need to throw triage out the window and forget seeing the sickest first. Only treat the people who are worthy. You can’t put down the fork and everything has to stop because you have chest pains? What do you expect?
And while we are at it, if you are foolish enough to go rock climbing and fall off a glacier…Or you’re so troubled you are a cutter and took a blade to your flesh…Or you run a marathon even though legend has it that the very first marathon runner dropped dead…Don’t even waste the hospital’s time. I bet Queens hospital has seen self injurious cases but I bet the ER nurse didn’t say to those patients what she said to me after reading my file with disapproval: Get up, get out, I’m not your mother.
Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Don’t we all live in the same fragile domicile? Yet only some of us have to keep ducking. People like Jeffrey Dahmer. People like me.