Rep. Murphy…. You are a distraction not the solution

Prisoners With Mental Illness | Human Rights Watch 
【from Next Browser】

Dem senator eyes changes to ‘draconian’ provision in mental health bill | TheHill 

On Asylums

Representative Murphy if I am not mistaken it has been 3 years since Newtown. Your crusade hasn’t yet got past your front yard. For all your noise, all your sermons, all your self congratulatory pronouncements nothing has changed and there now appears doubt it will. At least not with what you have suggested.

The three articles listed above say three very important things….

1. Horrible nasty things are regularly, consistently and chronically happening to people with “mental illness” in the jails and prisons of this country. It is not as you say simply a mass failure of treatment. It is a failure of policing. There is a culture of violence amongst too many of our police that prescribes and defends the use of extreme, even deadly force against innocent people who are the wrong color, or who look or act differently than other people. I have never heard you even acknowledge it. When you lay it all at the feet of untreated mental illness it comes across as you saying people through their behavior “brought it on themselves”. Whether you mean it or not or even understand you are doing it you are left as an apologist for atrocity.

2. There is no reason to believe that what didn’t work before is going to work now. We are not going into a second age of asylums. That ship has financially, socially, pragmatically and morally sailed. The age is over and all the psychiatric chatter in the world is not going to change it. No one drinks the kool-aid anymore other than those that stir the pitcher.

3. And finally your bill as it stands is not going to make it. It has too many poison pills and you have to convince too many people who are not true believers. Aot is a problem for many people. As far as I know you have never explained why something that is already a law on most states need be a federal law nor why states that don’t have it should be coerced into having it. And you have most assuredly not explained how a program that in it’s greatest current reality in New York that serves 1/3 of 1% of the people served by the system is the centerpiece of any type of wide ranging reform.

Representative Murphy I am not as worried as I once was of the dangers I saw you as presenting. Perhaps you will win. You are certainly determined and perhaps every session will see a Murphy Bill until you just wear people down. And perhaps I am wrong and this year will see victory for you. Perhaps…

But your biggest danger is as a distraction. You hold mental health reform hostage and while asylums and AOL are debated other discussions will be silent. And as long as you worship at the shrine of “untreated mental illness” the overwhelming tragedy of a police culture that sanctions violence against “different” people will go unchallenged.

And that is wrong. So very very wrong.


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