Economics/Class Relations

Society’s War on the Mentally “Ill” Gets Political

By Nick Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I’m a crazy person, or at least, so I’m told. I could dress it up with all kinds of politically correct labels and DSM approved diagnoses for you, but let’s just cut the bullshit right here and call a spade a fucking spade. I’m nuts, crazy, bonkers, a loon, a psycho, bash steel baby, corner cuckoo. But the best way I can think of to put my condition is that I am pathologically at war with normal. I can’t cope with mainstream society. Civilization makes me fucking nervous- crowds, traffic, tall buildings, elevator music, nine-to-five jobs- all of this shit gives me fucking panic attacks and the social isolation that results from this inability to play nice with normal often leaves me so fucking depressed that I can barely get out of bed.

This situation has put me in the incredibly uncomfortable position of being an anarchist on disability in order to stay off the streets. Shockingly, none of this is particularly fruitful for my self-esteem but I can’t help but to blame society, especially when you consider that society and its deadly devices in the state and the mass media have essentially declared war on those of us who find ourselves pathologically at war with normal.

If you don’t believe me then just turn on your TV. The 24/7 news circus is teeming with lurid stories of unhinged vagrants on the prowl in a city near you. Homeless people wandering the streets aimlessly like the living dead in a George Romero flick, just looking for the nearest pearl-clutching suburbanite lost on their way to Pottery Barn so they can shove them in front of an oncoming subway train. Both major parties have made containing people like me and my homeless cousins a major cornerstone of their post-midterm agendas and I don’t deny that the shit is coming down like Helter Skelter but we’re not the ones who fucking started it.

It is only after centuries of abuse at the hands of sadistic cops and role-crazy shrinks that America’s mentally unstable class find themselves lashing out recklessly at a cruel system designed to contain us along with the stable people it benefits. The result is an epic crime spree of blowback in the streets of America’s wealthiest and most economically unequal metropolitan areas and increasingly this violence is spilling over into the palatial estates of the monied elites with a rash of quasi-partisan attacks on the once sacred cows of the Beltway duopoly. None of this should be misconstrued as a defense. This kind of nihilism solves nothing, and initiatory violence is always despicable but for the straight world to act like this carnage is unprovoked amounts to gaslighting of epic proportions.

The facts are that people suffering with what society has labeled mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of initiatory violence than to commit it and homeless people are murdered at a rate 25 times higher than the housed. In other words, we have been getting slaughtered in the streets of your precious cities for generations and more often than not it is the state itself with its finger on the trigger. People with untreated mental disabilities are 16 times more likely to be killed during a police encounter and 25% of the people shot and killed by the police in their own blue crime wave are people suffering from a mental crisis.

This includes my friend Osaze Osagie, who the State College Police put three bullets in for the crime of being suicidal while Black. So yeah, shit’s getting a little wild in the streets of this glorious fucking nation, but my people didn’t throw the first punch and you’re going to have to forgive us for fighting a little dirty. After all, we don’t have the luxury of a well-funded militia or a cable news PR team to spin their tax funded carnage.

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