Are you a Stigmatizing Coward or De-stigmatizing Fighter?
Youtube Video Saturday June 2nd, 2018 Index of Relevant Information
Two days ago I woke up to four talking heads on CBC discussing racism in Canada. Tweets between a female Liberal MP who happened to be a black lady and a caucasian Conservative male, were discussed. A decade ago I would not have had too much to offer in terms of perspective aside from “I am not racist”. Having now lived an exposed life in a highly oppressed minority group I do have something to say.
The following link from BBC in 2011 highlights in Britain, racism exists.
It is naive to suggest racism is not a reality in Canada. As observed by one CBC analyst however, it is not systemic. I agree. But it does exist just like gender inequality still takes place as does some level of discrimination within all other minority groups. Most minority groups however are on the barometer of improvement some more than others but there have been significant improvements of which Canada as a multicultural mosaic, is a positive leader.
Persons with substance disability as a disadvantaged group in stark contrast, are not on the barometer of improvement. We are not close. In fact we don’t even have legitimacy that the condition is a bonafide mental health disability. We are still arguing on consensus of definitions. As a consequence human rights abuse discrimination and prejudice permeates at every level of society. It is a systemic brutality. My forced willingness to confront the discrimination, prejudice, and abuse of my own circumstances has merely exposed me to a further set of abusive experiences which have been so breathtakingly transparent and individually catastrophic to my life, health and wellbeing it reached the point I have had to risk my life through hunger striking nine times in order to access some sort of justice. And I’m still not there. Rather I get accused by the other side as being mentally ill.
The Liberal MP in “chastising” the Conservative MP stated as a caucasian male he was privileged. Hence the added vim to the CBC discussion. I agree with her. As a caucasian male with a mixed race nephew I see it and as caucasians we most certainly cannot ever know what it is like to live as a person of colour. Just like you cannot understand what it is like to live with the stigma applied to substance disability. The mandatory obligation of all of us is we show respect to all people and abide by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms section 15 where all citizens are to be treated equally and fairly and with dignity and respect irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability.
Caucasian’s whether consciously or subconsciously act as superior beings far too often but with an innate ability to be so cowardly and arrogant - namby pamby - meaning we will not always admit to it. The 101 Stigmatizing Cuts I outlined 6 months ago while most are very good people, most are also caucasian and most remain totally unaware as to how they had stigmatized myself and the health condition and were included on the list. And they don't care enough to find out. While ad-hoc in validity, it still illuminated a powerful caucasian stigmatized attitude towards a member of a highly disadvantaged, oppressed group.
Meanwhile, Roseanne Barr gets rightfully condemned for her appalling Tweet as if to solidify with a wallop the point of the Liberal MP to her Conservative counterpart. The condemnation of Roseanne and her immediate firing at least illustrates where on the barometer of improvement racism is. It has improved but it still fluctuates, as barometers do, confirming racism still exists no matter how subtle or overt.
And with personal reference to my known substance disability status dormant or not?
Since my substance disability has been exposed I have been called a crackhead, a junkie, a loser, a criminal, a 20 year crack addict, ill, sick, unhealthy, dirty and all with impunity. I have been slandered, defamed, turned down for employment, unemployed for 9 years, had privacy obliterated, told all what I achieved in my soccer career is now worthless, removed from employment, discriminated against, prejudiced, abandoned and isolated. In the mental health care industry remitted to support it is just as bad if not at times worse.
I have worked as a dishwasher, a dog walker, raked leaves, certified as an addictions coach (no wonder the treatment system is so bad when persons have no choice but to do it), taken university addictions courses (reluctantly) and worked in an automotive factory. I have taken York University, the HRTO and McCarthy Tetrault to the Supreme Court of Canada doing 90% of the work at two levels and a local soccer club and their legal firm to an HRTO hearing receiving a settlement. Both legal processes and law firms abused my rights and myself as a person with impunity.
And then if I stick up for myself (confront) then the bombardment of: you need help, get well, get healthy, good luck in your recovery, oh its so sad, all follow on like clock work and all with such self-righteousness.
The fact I am on day 58 of a ninth hunger strike and still receiving prejudice, abuse and scapegoating from the other side including from Maureen Armstrong and agonizingly Bob Rae cements how dreadfully bad the stigmatized approach is towards mental disability in the form of substance disability. All I get from the Liberal Party is life is tough, life is not fair, what did I expect. And from York University via Maureen Armstrong and Bob Rae - seek help get healthy, a convenient disrespectful undignified display of willful ignorance. We cannot seek decriminalization as a society (an absolute necessity) if that attitude remains.
The inhumanity is staggering beyond belief as is the hypocrisy of the propaganda that Canada cares about the mental health of its citizens. No it doesn’t. We are the worst of G8 countries. We are prepared to “kill Canadian citizens" rather than facilitate a fair access to social justice. If as a nation we did care so much how on earth, in gods name, in Allah’s name, in Buddhas name is it, that I am on a ninth hunger strike seeking some element of justice/resolution which would by association assist millions of others and yet with still no effort for justice and no media outlet covering the story truthfully, transparently or even at all?
Bell Canada’s Lets Talk about mental health to defeat the stigma doesn't work. In fact for persons with substance disability it categorically harms us by the default position of not addressing or recognizing substance disability as worthy of being a part of the discussion.
Defeating stigma is not about talking or being open as the fulcrum. It is about the willingness to take Action. Defeating stigma can only effectively be achieved when discrimination and prejudice is defeated. For that to happen you have to live in a just, honourable fair society with organizations, a judicial system and media that are not “corrupt” on issues of their choosing but ethically resolute and accountable to getting to the Truth on all matters. Without Truth on the subject you facilitate and perpetuate ignorance and stigma. Only when Truth is disseminated and conditioned onto society through a judiciary and political system that gets it right can stigma and its ill effects be diffused. Bi-partizan politics on mental health disabilities including substance disability should be mandated.
Many people privy to the full Paul James story have said they are surprised I haven’t committed suicide. And of course having lived through the ongoing abuse and punishing humiliation from everywhere I have felt such rage it has given me a nightmare appreciation of why a psychologically weaker person could snap into full out human destruction. But then most social change emanates from tragedy and is perhaps why York University have treated my circumstances with such immorality, deceit, impropriety and callousness. They give the impression and present the image through their handling of the Paul James matter that they really don't care about what happens as a consequence of their ethos in dealing with organizational errors.
With the institution promoting itself as a socially inclusive, culturally diverse organization sensitive to social injustices the Paul James matter from 2008 onwards solidifies they have failed abysmally to cross pollinate these values towards substance disability. It is credit to them however that they can keep a straight face in light of what they promote in my regard. Without a different approach to the Paul James matter they will have set back progress on defeating the stigma of drug addiction and mental disability a generation when alternatively they could facilitate progress. To accomplish that they have to be brave, honest and moral.
1. Links will be provided in the description of Fridays Youtube. Links (part one)
2. Definition of Words/Phrases:
To: Ill Treat, Abuse, Crush, Run Over, Bully, Grind down, Subjugate, Repress, Keep down, Rule with iron; Disrespect
A person or group who oppress. Oppression of substance disability is systemic. It infiltrates every level of Canadian society to our detriment.
Condemn, brand, label, pour scorn on, denounce, discredit, disparage, shame, disgrace, criticize, embarrass, ridicule, scapegoat, punish, devalue.
Challenge, Face up To; Addressing matters directly; Meet up with those who harm; Being Brave/Fearless, Accosting Bullies; Challenge bullying deceitful manipulative behaviour; correcting untruths; pursuit of justice from injustice; asking difficult questions:
Stigmatizing Tactics of Oppressors of Substance Disability (top four)
Punish Scapegoat Ignore Patronize
Until the Canadian courts guarantee through enforcement that Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will protect a person with substance disability from discrimination, prejudice, unfair, and unequal treatment then the risk to open up about substance disability is far too great, most specifically if you reside in an older age cohort.
Conforming to society’s norms and expectations if your disability is exposed, is to remain self-stigmatized in denial that you have human rights and that the consequential prejudice, judgment and discrimination you will inevitably receive is unlawful. Also,
a. disability can/will get used against you in the event of a simple argument or at the level of significant grievance b. employment will be limited if you are outside an elite class c. discrimination will be prevalent d. prejudice through stigmatizing language and inappropriate questions are a guarantee e. ridicule and scorn of your condition is a guarantee - dormant or not f. false definitions of who and what you are/were
Links (part two):
The following three documents illustrate the oppression, injustices, poor treatment, discrimination, prejudice and abuse PJ received and continued to receive at every level of Canadian society since he opened up and sought support for mental disability and then his confronting the social injustices. The information proves unequivocally society’s discriminatory, prejudicial reaction to substance disability is profoundly and devastatingly systemic.
Individual citizens are conditioned with information that is not correct and based on two contradictory harmful ideologies. Without change substance disabilities will remain as the most stigmatized of all oppressed minority groups no where near the barometer of improvement.
Leave to Appeal Supreme Court of Canada: January 5, 2016
Supreme Court of Canada Affidavit: Summer 2016
Links (part three)
Hillsborough Disaster: relationship with social injustice in the Paul James matter in Canada: Richard Duckenfield/York AD: The LIE and the Coverup.
What chance do citizens have in more repressed countries if Canada is not progressive and truthful/accurate on the subject matter?
Crimes against humanity have been committed because of ruthless unlawful War on Drugs ideology in the Philippines.
Conservatives should reflect deeply on what is happening in Mexico and the Philippines as a consequence of an extreme War on Drugs ideology. Unimaginable suffering.
History will condemn those who supported this misguided approach for so long, which has caused such atrocious carnage.
Links (part four)
Inhumane photo sitting on couch June 2017 - Trudeau and Scheer - make public statements on substance addiction
Trudeau - we need to de-stigmatize the stigma of substance addiction
Scheer - we need to get into every office across the country to get answers
Both leaders fail to intervene/contact or care
Photos also on Instagram from March 2018 (when is it that I am mentally ill?)
How do you penetrate 50 Billion Dollars the annual economic burden on Canadian society due to mental disability and particularly untreated mental disability if you cannot protect those that seek help and support from discrimination and treat those persons with dignity and respect.
4. Truth on Substance Disability is the Starting Point:
Substance dependence is Not a crime; Not an illness; Not a disease.
It is a mental health disorder - substance disability - which requires protection under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to establish this very fact.
A person with a labelled illness and/or disease with no medical remedy; no mutation of cells and no internal virus faces stigmatization, isolation, shame, guilt and ridicule because of the misaligned definitions. Yet mainstream society believe there is simple punitive/medical remedy: dirty addict into rehab washing machine and then come out clean. It does not happen that way. And as a result you are back to square one. Labelled ill, bad or irresponsible worthy of disgrace and condemnation and unemployment.
There is however a non-medical simple remedy for curing substance dependence/disability.
The person just stops ingesting the substance of “need”.
At the disability level however it is not straightforward for the compulsive learned behaviour to be erased and eliminated. And the reason why is because substance dependence/disability is a psychological disorder first and foremost. The erroneous other definitions harm those at the diagnosed level and stigmatizes their lives to their detriment.
The BioPsychoSocial model surrounding treatment of substance dependence as a psychological condition is realistic and humanistic the social aspect of which is the most difficult to achieve because again society has been conditioned to view substance disability as a crime or illness. Person’s are judged that without abstinence you cannot work or be a productive member of society. You are either deemed a criminal or an invalid, incapable of working and to be avoided. In reality, most who reach the disability level never achieve complete abstinence but instead learn to live productively with their condition while keeping their reality private often at a cost of unnecessary stress and in many instances the development of real medical illnesses and disease.
Asking someone if they are clean is a loaded, prejudicial, judgemental, punitive, stigmatizing, disrespectful, undignified question. You can tell the erudite moral character of a woman/man on whether they ask you the question.
Recently, smart thoughtful Rosie DiManno - who innocently made the 101 Stigmatizing Cuts list - wrote a compassionate column on a mother fighting for change regarding stigma because she has been so affected by her son’s death from an opioid overdose.
In the column Rosie referenced that at some point he was clean for a year and half. How can you ever know? Knowing what I know I would say it was highly unlikely he was. But what is he to say when someone asks such a stigmatizing question? Most answer inaccurately. It stigmatizes and harms the psychology of people questioned because if you admit yes you are isolated, condemned, stigmatized further.
The mothers son died a few years after “dormant disability”.
If he was using however and was free from the chains of societal stigma and judgement perhaps he would have learned to live with his substance disability in a way that mitigated harm and permitted him to live as a productive member of society. To do that however he would need the knowledge on the approach and for that he could not have kept his true status completely private. If he did keep it private stating he was not using when perhaps he was it was because he knew - we all do - the judgement and lack of composure of others is far too debilitating.
Either way under the current system you lose.
And with the deepest respect to the lady (mother) victim of her sons unnecessary death while the “safe use sites” are humane and a credit to Canada, for the overwhelming majority who attend them to responsibly use it is too late for them to live a future life free from use of their substance of “need”. Any social worker/addictions counsellor with an ounce of credibility will concede it is the case. Not getting there in the first place is the challenge and Confronting and Reconciling the Stigma of Drug Addiction reformed to Confronting and Reconciling the Stigma of Substance Disability is a pivotal thread.
Recognizing substance dependence as a substance disability which persons can learn to responsibly live with including while being employed is a more realistic way for a society to live with drugs in a much better way. And counterintuitively to the lay person the chances of achieving abstinence will improve because most diagnosed persons absolutely do not want to be using.
Status quo under the criminality disease/models will sustain the stigma of “drug addiction” and continue to deliver a juggernaut of carnage onto society which remains invisible to most people because most don't want it to be visible. Its the elephant in the room in regards to mental health disabilities.
Undignified and Disrespectful Moments:
1. 25 Stigmatizing Moments 2. 101 Stigmatizing Cuts
Respect, Dignity and De-Stigmatizing persons/moments