Relative Safety

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“Should be safe to rest here,” Ron lowered Percy’s carrier. The straps left red gouges on his shoulders. The boy was too big to be carried but we had to leave the wheelchair behind.

Ron rolled his neck, glanced at the underpass’s puddle, and reached for the tablets. “I’ll purify some water.”

“Will they find us, Mama?” Percy put words to my heartache. He’d endured silently through miles of jarring terrain.

“We’ve been careful,” I looked into his worried eyes as I massaged the contracted limbs. “Also, new laws or not, we won’t let you be taken by Leave-Only-Abled-Children raids.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

29 thoughts on “Relative Safety

    • Hi Suzanne, I wish it was only based on imagination … I was thinking about the ugliness that the Nazis in Germany did when they were finalizing their plans for a ‘master race’ — disabilities and developmental delays did not factor into their image of themselves, and they’d began with mass euthanasia and murder of disabled children and the infirm.
      And … there is the worry that in places where authoritarianism and corruption takes precedence over humane and moral leadership, there are those who are not too far removed from considering the care for the disabled (or any they consider “the other”) a ‘burden’ and see them as ‘moochers’ who live with ‘entitlement’ whose access to care best be reduced if not removed … So, while thankfully this is not a scenario that is real at the moment, it had been in the past, and it could be again, if we not keep our moral compass and hold our leadership accountable to all, not only their minions or donors.
      Here’s to a humane humanity, Hugs, Na’ama

      • Gosh, I had forgotten the Nazis did that. The rise of the far right across the globe at present is so troubling. I agree, we need to hold to our moral compass and keep leaders accountable. Just how we do the latter when its months or years from an election I don’t know. Over here in Australia we have had a new prime minister foistered on us without going to election. It will be months before we have our say about this as voters. Meanwhile this hard hearted man continues to ignore pleas to bring the very sick refugee children in offshore detention centres to Australia so they can get proper medical and psychological care.

      • Yes, it is heartbreaking. I don’t know that there are any immediate or quick solutions to abuse of power, other than to not lose hope and to do what we can, when we can, to speak for those who are less able, and to vote when it is possible, and make noise – peacefully but forcefully – in the interim, in whatever way we can. xoxo Na’ama

    • Indeed! Alas it isn’t too far from what the Nazis in Germany did to the disabled and the chronically ill, systematically murdering the helpless as part of their goal for a ‘master race’ (nothing masterful about cruelty or inhumanity, as the world had come to show). It is also — alas — part of the reality of what could be if those in power decide that care for the helpless isn’t worth the ‘investment’… But, yes, horrifying! Thank you for reading and for the comment! Na’ama

    • It is terrible, Abhijit. It is also part of a history people want to forget. Part of the Nazi’s ‘master race’ plan was to eliminate the ‘undesirables’ who didn’t fit their view of what they wanted to be seen as. This included (mostly secret at first but well documented) mass euthanasia and brutal murders of the disabled and the infirm. In essence, they were going to leave ‘only abled children.’
      In a current world where some still see groups of ‘others’ as less worthy of life and dignity, we’d do well to not forget history, so we not repeat it. And … yes, very terrible!
      Na’ama

  1. Very chilling vignette. I recently watched with horror a PBS series entitled the eugenics crusade
    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/eugenics-crusade/
    which catalogs the American roots of many of the Nazi positions on disability.

    Hitler was strongly influenced by an American book explaining the supposed mendelian inheritance of negative traits such as “feeblemindedness” (which was extremely loosely defined, to include conditions including poverty and Eastern European ancestry).

    Hitler read the book in prison, long before acquiring power, but these notions were widespread and popularized at world fairs and lead to laws on sterilization (without consent) here, long before the atrocities in Europe.

    Your story is a very important reminder, that the notion, that human rights belong to all humans, is very new indeed!

    • Yes, thank you for adding this important aspect of the eugenic and the use of power to justify atrocities against those one deemed ‘less than’–much of the roots of racism can be seen in colonialism all over the world and pseudo-scientific (and pseudo-religious) justifications for enslaving, robbing, and killing whomever those in power deemed to be ‘the other.’
      Human rights belong to all humans, yes. There are those who would try to chip at this truth, but there are also those who’d protect it. May we be of the latter. Thank you again for the important comment and resource.
      Na’ama

    • Yes. Humans can be unbelievably cruel. They can also be unbelievably kind and heroic and brave and compassionate and helpful and humane. May we always find a way to be the latter. Thanks for the comment, James!

    • Yes, he had. 😦 As there are some who think of other groups of ‘others’ as useless or unworthy of life-saving or caring for. Yet history need not repeat itself, if we take care to prevent it from repeating …
      Thank you for the focus that your comment adds to the story!
      Na’ama

  2. Na’ama Y’karah,

    As others have already said (I’m running way behind this week), this was not only engaging, but gut wrenching. Just when I think I’ve heard all the stories I could about the Nazis, something else surfaces. Stunning piece.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

Feedback welcome! Please leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s