Mental Health Awareness Week Continued

I used to care. I really did. I cared about every injustice I came across. I cared about every oppressed group and I campaigned loudly on their behalf. I believed that if we chipped away at injustice one cause at a time, then eventually there would be no more injustice. Eventually, I thought, it would be my turn; all the groups I had supported would get around to supporting the mentally ill in their campaign to be included fully in society and not remain the victims of unpunished bigotry and prejudice.

Then one day, shortly after a breakthrough in the fight for gay equality, it dawned on me. Nobody was ever going to take to the streets to protest against the injustices the mentally ill have to endure on a daily basis. We are just not cool enough and anyway, beneath the surface pretence most people, including the most vocally inclusive, believe that the mentally ill are an embarrassment and should be shut away from sane society. Furthermore, it has become obvious to me that as soon as most people get what they want they stop being concerned about injustice, especially injustice affecting those without the kudos of trendiness. In fact, people will be unjust to others if they think it will further the campaign for justice for themselves.

Of course, a better person than myself would not care about what was in it for them. Such a person would carry on fighting for gay people and transgender people and black people and women and war children and migrants even though there was no chance whatsoever that gay people, transgender people, black people, women, children and migrants or anyone else would ever return the favour. But I am not capable of such altruism. This is why I advocate that we do not split our fight for justice into individual campaigns. We need to campaign for justice for all who are oppressed at the same time. We should not accept freedom for one group if there is not freedom for all. Mostly, we should stop pitting one oppressed group against another as that is exactly what the oppressers want us to do because they know it is the thing that we do that harms us most.

I am too old now to ever recieve restitution. Things move far too slowly and, in respect of the mentally ill, they have hardly even begun. I have given in. What a fucking waste it has all been.

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