Following Up: Hate Crime Case in Portland, Oregon

The Story of Kaitlyn

When I saw a video of Quaden Bayles talking about committing suicide because he was severely bullied at school due to Dwarfism disability, and racism. Why? He is part of aboriginal. That was heartbreaking to see this.

That reminded me of Kaitlyn whom we rode on the same school bus ride. She was also Deaf, Disabled and Dwarfism. Her hands were deformed. I don’t know what it is called, but it is not important anyway. She also had lots of health problems.

Kaitlyn was also severely bullied, too. There were a couple of stories she would share with me on the school bus. For example, someone would degrade her by calling her midget, ugly, Deaf and dumb, and many ugly names. She was crying. Hurting. I do remember. Those people who bullied her was out for excitement, or gain social approval.

Kaitlyn loved to ride horses. Her mother decided to set up a horse track at her house to give Kathryn the love she loves the most. Then I went to a different school. Got driver’s license.

Years later, I asked a friend of mine who knew Kaitlyn informed me that she died of a heart attack while riding on her favorite horse, Lil Bit. Her mother was with her. She was no less than 16 years old.

When a story like Quaden Bayles goes viral, the social media is so powerful, how come it is not enough discussed that it is a hate crime? It is a global problem.

What is called “Invisible Hate Crime” targeting people with disabilities? Physical, intellectual or any kind of disability apply. However, hate crimes against people with disabilities are under-reported, under-investigated, or even under-prosecuted.

Why? They are not in the position of power where their stories become invisible every day. The social media needs to acknowledge that it is a hate crime. Why keep sweep under the rug?

Quote: “Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye”-Jackson Brown

-JT