Visiting academic demands disability hate crime law
University of Toledo sociologist Dr Mark Sherry says research reveals that thousands of disabled Australians are victims of hate crime. Brisbane cerebral palsy sufferer Byron Albury copping horrid abuse from neighbours, for example:
They'd leave abusive notes in our mailbox; they'd abuse us for parking maxi taxis [that were] dropping off in front of their property or picking up in front of their property because of their size.
We tried to resolve this like rational people and they just weren't interested, basically.
We got comments from them like 'you've devalued the property, [it was] bad enough that nobody told us that you lived here, because if [we had known] you lived here we wouldn't buy the property'.
Yes, unneighbourly intolerance definitely warrants a legislative remedy.
Disability hate crimes are not unique to Australia, however, as noted in the description of Dr Sherry's new book Disability Hate Crimes: Does Anyone Really Hate Disabled People?: "Disability hate crimes are a global problem."
Interestingly, a former Adult Guardian is unaware of the huge disability hate problem. Visiting expert Sherry attributed this to "ignorance".
Ignorance? Real ignorance is coming to Australia and telling the locals their country should be more like the United States.