As we like to say around here, there are assholes and they walk among us. So as we relate this story of two drunken assholes harassing an elderly, disabled woman, focus on the particular taunt one uttered after stepping out of his SUV (boldface mine):
Two males, approximately in their twenties, reportedly verbally abused a North End senior when she asked them not to park in a handicap space in a housing project parking lot, according to an email sent to the Regional Review by the victim.
Apparently both males were intoxicated six footers who gave the four foot, five inch female who gets around in a power chair a hard time.
The victim reported that she was treated to a torrent of screaming and cursing from the two alleged drunks, all because they were asked not to park in a handicap parking space. She was told by the bigger and reportedly the drunker of the two idiots that he “would park anywhere he felt like” and his “tax dollars paid for her welfare apartment” and if she was “so disabled, why was she “out so late at night.”
Maybe this is progress? It used to be (yoostabee!) that said assholes would have said something awful like “Shut up you fucking gimp!” Now they just recite the Republican Party platform and Atlas Shrugged.
Two things to take away from this little tale. First, words have meaning. When supposed leaders engage in the politics of cruelty towards the least among us, they only encourage this bad behavior. After all, if we’re going to blame video games and television for violence and other bad behaviors, certainly mass political movements, including televised propaganda, would also be able to legitimize brutality. Second, the politics of cruelty are about, well, cruelty. Underneath the ideological window dressing lies an appeal to the basest impulses that is no different than coded appeals to bigotry and racism.
Time for some people to take personal responsibilty for their words…