If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that.
(Cross-posted at SexGenderBody)
I read this post at The Most Cake, earlier today. It’s a tongue-in-cheek look at being in relationship with someone that uses drugs. I tweeted it in part for the humor and in part for the willingness to look at something from another point of view.
In some of the replies to the tweet and in the comment field of the post itself, I began to notice something. Several people really laid into either the post itself or drug users in general. I saw a bit of a familiar pattern emerge.
It is similar to the monkey-pile I see people jump onto when targeting transfolk, queers in general, women and so on. It is the mob brutality of gangs targeting individuals.
Society so readily accepts the negative judgment of drug users and the “othering” / damning of them. How happy we are to flog someone in the village square for the crime of not being who we think they should be – and how their not being “good” is used by us as license to blast them with language, isolation and punishment – including violence. In short, dehumanizing them is unquestioned and relentless.
But the point is that “druggies” are no less human and no less likely to be in a relationship. They are just as likely to be loved by someone: a lover, a sibling, a parent and that they are no less deserving of love than anyone else.
People sit in judgment under the banner of being “morally superior”, but what kind of morality can issue the vicious attacks by someone onto another person whom they perceive to be weaker than themselves?
Perhaps my own road from addiction to sobriety allows me to look back to the desires I had for love, human touch and community – even in the throes of my addiction. Perhaps I have learned after half a century that opinion and judgment are not nearly so valuable as we would have others believe.