Friday, April 30, 2010

On Dehumanization, Tape And Isolation

According to news reports an employee of ResCare, one of the largests behavioral health centers in West Virginia, recently taped together the hands of a client for whom he was responsible and left her in his car while he spent an extended amount of time elsewhere. Brandon Watts, the ResCare employee, said he did it because she often became combative while riding in the car with him.

Ya think?

If it's true she was sometimes aggressive in the car, it may be that she knew pretty well what to expect when Watts said "let's go for a ride." I doubt one raises to this level of abuse without some stepping stones of neglect along the way. Riding in the car with Watts --or perhaps spending time with him in general--probably wasn't that much fun for the woman.

Too often in our society we're guilty of dehumanizing others. We walk past people who are homeless without notice, or dismiss individuals with disability. We tend to ignore, patronize, avoid or abuse folks who are different, and we do it for the most selfish of reasons. We see them as less than . . . Less than we are. Less than human.

I won't be surprised if Brandon Watts taped the woman and left her in his car so he could take a nap or play a video game.

Because to people like Watts, those things are more important than a person with a disability.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Horrible shame - isn't it? There are just a lot of people in this world that just don't seem to care at all about others, especially those who are different.