I just listened to Jones' interview with Carol de Delly, whose son Tim McLean was viciously murdered and decapitated in an unprovoked attack on a bus last summer. This was a crime that horrified and baffled all Canadians. Two weeks before it occurred, we had allowed my stepdaughter to take the bus home alone for the first time in her life. I remember being mildly concerned at the time that the bus stations weren't taking any of the safety precautions you see at airports. There were no metal detectors, very few security guards, etc. But I reassured myself that bad things rarely happen on or to Canadian buses. So, needless to say, the death of Tim de Delly disturbed me greatly. Whether his killer is mentally ill or not, he must not be allowed to rejoin the public as a free citizen, both for his own safety and for ours.
Most mentally ill people, however, are not a danger to themselves or others. Particularly those people who are diagnosed in a timely fashion and receive appropriate, professional treatment. Even those who don't get help, however, are typically not a threat to anyone. I am acquainted with several mentally ill people in my city, including a schizophrenic woman who believes she is being gangstalked, a street poet who interprets mundane coincidences as miracles, and a musician who believes he met Christ on Vancouver Island. While their worldview is irrational and they sometimes have temper tantrums, hallucinations, or bouts of paranoia, none of these people has ever been "dangerous" in any sense of the word. Neither has my grandmother, who is a paranoid schizophrenic. Over the years she has made countless bizarre accusations, but she is not a threat to herself nor anyone else. In many respects she's like anyone else's grandmother; she takes in cats, embroiders potholders, watches gameshows.
Now that you know where I'm coming from, I have just two things to say to Alex Jones today:
Here is what Alex Jones said about people with schizophrenia: "They're inherently evil people. They call it 'psychological' or 'mental' - whatever, they're a demon. And that's the end of it."
Ms. de Delly agreed with this appallingly ignorant, Medieval bull, but she's a grieving mother who has been through a nightmarish situation and is trying to prevent others from suffering the same thing. I'm going to cut her a lot of slack, even though I'm not comfortable with her suggestion that people diagnosed with schizophrenia should be denied Canadian citizenship.
Jones, on the other hand, should seriously know better than to talk like this. Yes, he's somewhat religious and lives in the Bible belt. That's no excuse for branding schizophrenics as "inherently evil demons". Yes, he lives in a state that executes people who are severely mentally challenged. That's no excuse. Yes, he distrusts science and the medical establishment. That's no excuse. Yes, he supposedly has been "stalked" and harassed by people that he deems to be schizophrenic. That's no excuse.
In short, there is no excuse in this day and age for labeling the mentally ill as evil. I realize that public libraries are probably part of the New World Order Communist Agenda, but I suggest that for once in his damned life, Jones go there and do a small amount of book larnin' so that his willful ignorance will no longer reinforce the idea that all white Southern males are illiterate, bigoted, inbred morons.
See? Stereotypes suck, don't they?
Interestingly, Jones offered a description of people with schizophrenia that could apply rather well to himself. "That's how these schizophrenics work...they'll take any little cue to decide you're the Devil or you work for some secret group..."
Also, at the start of the broadcast, Jones said Ms. de Delly would be talking about the fact that "no one helped her son on the bus." Minutes later, she told the listeners that even though others have placed blamed on Tim's fellow passengers for their inaction, she herself realizes that they did not even understand what was happening at the back of the bus. Things happened very quickly. Besides, if anyone had tried to overpower or disarm this deranged man with a hunting knife, there would certainly have been more fatalities on that bus. The situation left no room for heroes. However, as de Delly pointed out, a trucker who stopped to help the passengers very bravely barricaded the bus doors shut, trapping the killer inside.
The notion that someone else should have intervened was Jones' alone.
Jones also complained that he is "always treated badly" at the Canadian border, while non-English-speaking people are not. "Is Canada just for people from the Third World?" he asked de Delly. She tactfully, politely rerouted the conversation back to the ostensible topic, her son's murder.
As a U.S.-Canadian citizen, I have crossed the border more times than I can possibly count. In fact, for a short time I lived on one side of the border and worked on the other, so I was crossing on a daily basis. Never have I been "treated badly" in any way. I have always found customs officers and airport security people on both sides of the border to be professional and civil. That's probably because I don't throw temper tantrums or say "I feel like I'm being raped, here" when asked to provide identification.
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