To the Friends of Richard Lapointe,
Speaking purely as the mother of an adult son with very complex disabilities, I want to thank you for standing by Richard Lapointe, and also thank him for standing by all of us as the so-called “system” continues to fail him. His faith in humanity is impressive beyond words.
Every day around the world, people with disabilities are subject to the terrible mistakes and misjudgments of their fellow men. In big and small ways, people suspend all logic in the face of the ancient taboos they carry in their hearts. Richard Lapointe’s case shows that this is true: deeply wrong, terrifying to us mothers and to people of conscience everywhere, but true.
Public officials and civil servants, like any members of our society, can be blinded by fear, ignorance and superstition. These are the components of prejudice and hate, and they are not excused by being commonplace or “official.” If we learned nothing else in the last century, we learned that man’s inhumanity to man is indeed the responsibility of each man. You are right to urge us to take Richard Lapointe’s case personally.
May 2008 see the rise of conscience in Connecticut. May you find success in your cause.
Sue Swenson (Charlie’s Mom)
Submitted January 2008