If you have special needs kids, that’s not my problem, shut them up and shut them down, put them where I can’t see them, nor hear them. They’re a NUISANCE.
This is essentially what two Malaysian citizens have to say about a day care center for special needs in their neighborhood, they have filed a case against the school and want it removed from their locality.
To quote them from the article linked above:
“The applicants have suffered nuisance throughout the day from 8.30 am to 5pm, Monday to Friday as a result of intolerable noise made by the special children as well as their attendants and carers. (The applicants have suffered) nuisance of experiencing the uncomfortable sensation of seeing the disabilities and sufferings of all the special children, the whole day, day in day out.”
What is it to me, and why am I writing about this?
My friend helps run the Bangsa Ria Day Care Center , and her son is one of the students.
But that is not the point.
I have been to this school. Watching the smiles of the people who work there, and the special kids they share their day with, is an incredibly joyous experience.
But that is not the point either.
That’s not my day care center, my son doesn’t go there, heck, I’m not even a mother. That’s not my neighborhood, Kuala lumpur is not my city, Malaysia is not my country. What business is it of mine if this little daycare thingie gets shut down? I can make a few sympathetic, clucking noises to my friend, and move on with life.
But here comes my point: I’ve had it Upto Here with people telling me to shut up. With people telling other people to shut up when all they want is to be accepted for being who they are, with no intention of harming anyone at all. Growing up in India as a child, and later as a woman, I have often been told that I should be seen, and not heard. That I should not poke in my nose where it doesn’t belong.
That is where it all begins, in that silence, that apathy.
That, right there, is the starting point for a Society that moves from being liberal and a Hub of the Arts to becoming a Host to Concentration Camps, in small, everyday steps. That is from where a Society starts where women are ultimately reduced to becoming pieces of property, or children are handed guns or sold as slaves.
The beginning of the end is when those without power are shorn of their Voice. When the rest of the Society thinks of it as a small thing. What is it after all, but a Voice unheard?
Who cares, no big deal, two crazies filing a stupid case. Right? Wrong.
Forgive me, dear neighbors of Bangsa Ria, who find these smiling, laughing children (and adults) a nuisance and want to take away their right to have a Voice, to exist.
I don’t give a damn if it is not my country, or my neighborhood. If people without the power to make their voice heard are being asked to shut up and shut down, then it is sure as hell my business, because I’ve been there. I know first hand what having my voice strangled feels like.
Most of the kids can’t really make a noise, and a lot of them can’t speak at all. So, I’m going to shout and scream and yell and bang tables instead. I’m going to laugh and sing right along. I’m going to be downright NOISY.
If any of this speaks to you folks reading this, if you believe that sometimes silence equals aiding and abetting, that these kids have the right to exist and be themselves just as much as anyone of us, Join Me in Making Some Noise.
Have you had experience with special needs kids? Do you think the Bangsa Ria Care Center deserves to shut down? Would you join in making some NOISE? Would you like to go show some of the brave folk running Bangsa Ria some love?