Do Autistic Lives Matter To You? 

I finally had to speak about the shooting of Charles Kinsey, who was trying to care for his autistic charge and got shot in the leg. What troubles me more is that they felt they had to shoot somebody. The officer said he was trying to kill the autistic subject. Seriously? Are police that trigger happy? Do they worship guns and power like a god? Is that supposed to make people like me feel better?

I wanted to talk about fun stuff, but issues like trying to kill autistic and black or brown people for not acting like servile Uncle Tom types scares me to no end. Are some police such cowards that they have to hide behind the gun? I think the answer is yes. Of course, I am wondering if I am, in someone’s mind, unfit to live.

I am autistic. Let’s see how I am portrayed in the media, followed by my reaction to the stereotype:

1) A Budding Mass Murderer. Why would I kill anyone outside of self-defense?

2) Fit for Murder. Here’s the reaction.

3) Useless. I usually do the cooking, cleaning, and general running of the house, as a caretaker for my disabled mother, as well as doing things for my aunt and uncle, who are also disabled. Would you like to call me “Useless” again? Many people with autism contribute to society in many ways. If they are taught and accepted, who knows what could be the limits of their potential?

4) A Sociopath / Psychopath. This is a common characterization, usually untrue 

5) Unemotional/Unempathetic. Have you read my last article?

*****

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I wonder how much fear and loathing I would strike if I wore a puzzle piece T-Shirt or article of clothing? It scares me.

But by no means am I talking about all of the police officers out there. The truth is, I don’t think we have “bad” policing as the culprit. What we have is a system of fear, hate and continual subjugation in the name of “order” and “power” on the side of those who have power. Also, I would point to poor training in the police departments. This is 2016, people. Not everybody is going to react to the police in the same way all the time. Why are police not trained to see and handle autistic people, as inferred by the shooting of Charles Kinsey, or should I say, the attempted shooting of an unarmed autistic man?

Blonde Dolls Everywhere 

Now, let’s talk about real systemic racism. The systemic racism that exists in your toy box. I am writing from a position of privilege, so bear with me while I tell you what I see.

When I was a child, the lead character in any given cartoon was always blonde-and she still often is today. Let me give you a few examples from my era: Rainbow Brite, She-Ra, Jem (You KNOW she’s blonde under that pink dye!), Barbie and Skipper, Sailor Moon…need I go on? It was easy for me to find a doll that looked like me. You see, I was a blonde. The trouble is, I don’t think I had a lot of dolls that looked like my friends. That, to me, was troubling.

You see, I grew up in Southern California, among a group of friends that did not look like each other at all – and that was life. People looked different, people acted different, people even spoke different languages! But then and there, it was all acceptable, because it was life. I actually miss that part of Southern California. It’s the part I miss most, the diversity. I like learning about different things, and different people. Fascination and curiosity are great things.

Trouble is, there was not a lot of diversity in the toy box. If you were a brunette or a redhead, for example, you were relegated to sidekick. I had to specifically ask for redhead dolls to include my redhead friend. I even got blowback and freakish looks from my parents for asking for diversity in my doll kingdom. I mean, all my real friends are different, so why not have all my imaginary friends be different too?

What really hit me hard, though, was going into a store with Spanish-speaking owners, in my twenties, and seeing blonde dolls in Spanish-language boxes. At the time, I had just learned about various kinds of Eurocentric beauty standards, including Asian eyelid surgeries made to look more Western-which seems to be an Asian code word for European. Coming from my position, it still baffles me that they want to look like me, and not their beautiful selves. Anyway, back to the dolls. They looked nothing like the dark-haired beauties I normally came across with Hispanics. Blonde Hispanics do exist, even in natural states, but they are literally praised for “passing” as white somehow. I find all of this disturbing, that a person could hate their genetics so much. Of course, I am currently a size 18 in my clothing when the average model is a size…what is it now? Zero? So I can relate somewhat. Don’t even get me started on dolls in wheelchairs. Maybe they ought to exist, too?

Maybe celebrating differences would be better than making a uniform case that the leader is one uniform look, which could possibly be unnatural to the group of people supposedly represented. (I’m looking at you, Sailor Moon.) Perhaps make the brunette the leader, or the dark-skinned girl every once in a while?

I Don’t Want To Be So Serious! 

 

Looking back at the previous entries, there is a disturbing trend among them: There is so much serious, depressing material. It gives the impression that I am really serious, and it really depresses me. There is so much I want to talk about, but I am stuck speaking out about autism issues, civil rights issues, and just issues in general. I wanted to talk about things that were fun and universal, not serious.

I want to talk about fun stuff, like how Rihanna is a hardcore Trekkie, and Star Wars! I am a total geekgirl. In fact, when I heard the Wachowskis came out as sisters, I was cheering for the fact that fellow geekgirls had somehow snuck their way into a position of power and influence in a place they would not have normally gotten in the door! I am all about Rainbow Brite, Star Trek, The Matrix, Sailor Moon, Sherlock….but I’m stuck drilling ________ Lives Matter into your heads. (Fill in the blank with your type. Unless you’re a Stan Smith. Then you don’t need to say “My Life Matters” because it actually does. For example, Donald Trump is a Stan Smith.)

Believe me, sometimes I need to rant and strike out about stuff like Star Wars as a form of self-care. Oh, and just so you know, I LOVED Jupiter Ascending. As a matter of fact, I would design my wedding around its botched wedding scene. I don’t care who knows. I suggest you watch it, you know, unless you’re insecure about your manhood or something stupid like that.

Oh, and By The Way….

People are just flabbergasted that Carrie Fisher / Leia Organa Solo actually aged before their eyes. Come on, people! That’s what women do! They age! I have also noticed that nobody has hated Harrison Ford / Han Solo for aging. Just putting it out there.

Boy, the world is confused and hateful of reality.

Why I am So Vocal About Civil Rights

Why I Am So Vocal About Civil Rights

I went on one of those “Word Cloud” meme sites, just to see what my “word cloud” looked like. Sure, there was a giant “retweeted” in there, but there were lots of much more interesting words in there to look at. For instance, “black,” “white,” “rights,” and “#AllLivesDidntMatter” were among them. I found that to be very interesting, considering I am clearly a white person. What I realized, however, is that the “Black Lives Matter” movement got my attention, and my voice. As I have said before, equitable treatment under the law and by its enforcers is all the movement wants. And isn’t that an inalienable right?

I have many reasons to feel this way. I have friends, especially Facebook friends, of all colors, shapes and sizes, political beliefs, etc. I grew up in southern California, where diversity was an everyday occurrence. (Orange County, to be exact, before it got too expensive for most people.) Sure, there were hiccups along the way, but I was taught by my parents to give everyone a chance to impress you, no matter what. I am also autistic, and by this categorized disability have faced discrimination. Sure, I could sit around and whine about how hard it is to be an autistic person. It’s certainly no walk in the park, but the reason I get so vocal about civil rights, especially of people who do not look like me, is much more simple: I am an egalitarian. Here’s the definition from Oxford Dictionary:

e·gal·i·tar·i·an

[iˌɡaləˈterēən]

ADJECTIVE

  1. of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities:
  1. “a fairer, more egalitarian society”

NOUN

  1. a person who advocates or supports egalitarian principles.

 

Just in case you were wondering.

Perhaps I speak about racial equality too much these days, but it has come up as a major issue. There has been race baiting to push both liberal and conservative agendas. Both sides have been screaming themselves hoarse to make sure they can be heard, but is there any real listening? Have we progressed as a nation at all?

Perhaps I am just reacting to potential blowback concerning my little Quickshot on not calling the police on kids hanging out. Are they just hanging out, or are they actively talking about or doing something illegal/immoral? My mother once called the police on a huge crowd of youths in our yard when I was a child, but they were actively fighting. (By the way, I did not see anyone very dark skinned that day, especially in that crowd, if you were wondering.) The point is, I know the haters are out there. Maybe I should not be so scared.

Can You Please Wait A Damn Second Before Calling 911

femwoc

charles kinsey

I’m sure you’ve seen the latest incidence of unnecessary police brutality – a black healthcare professional named Charles Kinsey who was shot while on the ground with his hands up as he desperately tried to calm his autistic patient. I hope you’re outraged and appalled. And I hope you’re tired of the violence. I am.

I’m not black, but I am a brown mother of brown boys who will grow up to be brown men, and I need you to hear me when I say that I fear for their lives, not because I expect them to do something wrong that will lead to a confrontation with the police, but because I fear that you – you being someone in the general public – will perceive them as a threat where no threat exists, and will call 911 for absolutely no damn reason. If you are reading this and are…

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