Killing defenseless people with disabilities is not very difficult. They can’t fight back and, in many instances, either they have no advocates, or those advocates are overwhelmed in the unrelenting drumbeat for death.
It’s this latter point that Terri Schiavo’s family has had to live with since her untimely and completely unnecessary legal execution in 2005.
They fought as hard as they could, and were helped by many people who knew how dangerous the situation was. There were several disability organizations as well as faith-based groups who all saw that what was happening, and then did happen to Terri.
They all knew that it was a precursor of very bad things to come.
Terri’s family did everything they could, everything they knew how, but the pro-deathers prevailed.
Since Terri’s death, her family have lived and breathed her memory in a constructive and positive way – by establishing a small foundation to spread the word and also to help others in similar predicaments.
No good deed goes unpunished, apparently.
A TV station in Florida ran a piece yesterday headed “Terri Schiavo’s Family Profiting From Foundation.”
Now, with a lead like that, which way do you think the story was going to go?
All innuendo and spin. Why would we expect anything else? Even all these years after her death, Bobby, Suzanne, and Mary spend countless hours trying to correct misleading reporting about the circumstances of Terri’s death. This is just one more media attack in a long string of animus posing as “news” and comes just a few weeks after Fox’s The Family Guy made horrible fun of Terri and her disabled condition.
Let’s be clear – the media and others with less than unbiased interest are hammering the Foundation for one reason and one reason only: Its existence reminds them that people with disabilities are worth less than the rest of us and are easily disposed of. They’d rather not be reminded of their part in shaping this view, now widely held across the country.
At another level, they understand that it takes only a split second for any of us to be in the same state as Terri.
And that they, too, could be legally executed.
The Schiavo Foundation reminds them of their own fragile mortality.
They’d rather not have to be reminded about it.