Going Around in Circles: Blame Does Nothing

Last night, I touched on a subject that I think needs more explanation: the blaming of the other party and the other race for the existence of racism. I think I need to state the obvious: No side is clean. We are all to blame for going around in circles and not taking our part in fighting racism. We are literally giving blame, and therefore power, to the other side for the racism in this country. The result of that? The gaining strength of racism and hate in this nation, of course.  

Let me look at one which has dominated my feed: Republicans vs. Democrats.  

Here’s a typical “infopic” running around the Republican circles: 

DemocratRacism

And here’s a typical infopic running around the Democratic circles: 

gop-racist-bunch_n

See? Both parties are blaming the other, and NOBODY is taking responsibility. Stop picking my pictures apart for one cotton picking second and just acknowledge that blame pictures exist.

Now, let’s look at Black and White racism blame: 

dont-blame-trump-obama-stoked-racism-for-7-years-the-6028658

halfwhite

Stop picking my pictures apart for one cotton picking second and just acknowledge that blame pictures exist.

Once again, going around in circles. Giving our responsibility and power away. Is it any wonder we feel so powerless? We’re giving our power away. If it is up to THEM, what can the US do about it? Nothing. If there is an US and a THEM, truth be told, it’s always the THEM that has all the power. The US is always washing their hands of any responsibility.  

Let me make one thing clear: Hate exists in the minds of EVERYONE. EVERYONE must stand up and fight it. If we give the responsibility for eliminating racism to the “THEM,” we are denying our own responsibility in the process. Since I have to have a house fall on you, here is the falling house: 

WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR RACISM.

Stigma on TV: The Carmichaels Edition

I’m getting real mad at The Carmichael Show. This is what facing mental illness stigma is like. 

Well, the episode started with the matriarch crying by herself in the kitchen, while nobody else knew. The elder son’s girlfriend, who is a therapist, caught her, and the matriarch would not let her help her. They went out to the living room, where the girlfriend told the men (and got called a snitch), who began a discussion about depression. The discussion following reeked with stigma. There was talk of weakness, of not talking about it, of saying it only happened to rich and (implied) white people, and even self-medication with weed. It literally took holding the day’s plans hostage to actually get her to go to therapy. She eventually went to therapy, but admitted she lied about everything. It took a fight out front in the living room and admitting the pressure she put herself under to get her to go to therapy again.  

Anyway, I summarized the episode because I’m still processing the information. It makes me mad because if this is what we with mental illness face going into various communities, it’s no wonder so many of them are going to jail! Now, I’m not blaming the African American community at large for the crimes of a few. That is not the problem. The problem is stigma. The problem is hate and discrimination against the “crazy” (and yes, that word was used at one point), which will get them locked up in jail or prison before they get help. The largest mental health institution in the United States is the Cook County Jail in Chicago. Perhaps if people were encouraged to seek help for their problems, maybe they would not wind up in jail! It often takes TV shows like The Carmichael Show encouraging getting help to get people to get help. Unfortunately, I feel they dropped the ball on this one. Why not fight the stigma?  

Take Them at Their Word 

Have you noticed that the more different a person is from you, the less likely you are to take them at their word? Case in point: I have an African-American neighbor. She experienced racism when she once called the police to report criminal activity. The policeman threatened to lock HER up, even though SHE called the police. The policeman did not back off until a white man intervened on my neighbor’s behalf. While this is shocking to most white people, I decided to take her word for it, because I know racism persists like a virus in this world. I wonder, why do people deny the different person’s experience? Is it that people are more likely to trust their “Own Kind?” I do not have that luxury. I have met very few of my “Own Kind.” My “Own Kind” are autistic women, who have been taught by society’s wishes that they barely exist. Also, I was often taught to doubt myself and my own instinct in my family, and that kind of betrayal gives you a major distrust of anyone. So, what is taking a person at their own word? To me, it is revolutionary.

Some people have the luxury of trusting their own kind – mostly, white males. I’ve observed their behavior, these people who can trust their own, and it seems that they trust their own because they seem themselves in them. Why don’t you try to see yourself in people different from you? Is it because they are “less human” because they are not your clones? How much like you does the person have to be for you to trust them? Also, how much faith do you put in similarity anyway? Similarity is no guarantee of safety.

So There is an Outbreak of Measles in Minnesota…..

So there is an outbreak of measles in Minnesota among Somali-descended children, spreading to other vulnerable populations. I want you to understand that. What I don’t want you to do is point the finger at me about it. For the longest time, I thought that, being autistic and scary to a neurotypical population that is afraid of me, that I was the cause of unvaccinated measles outbreaks, in Minnesota and Southern California (at Disneyland, no less), especially since Jenny McCarthy literally blamed her son’s autism for all her suffering in life. But, in this case and others, I have already dismissed my existence as a cause of measles outbreaks, especially since now there are more complex, pointed reasons as to why there is an outbreak of measles they are dealing with in Minnesota. I want you to read the next sentences very carefully. That’s why I have separated them out.

*****

The causes of the outbreak of measles in Minnesota are as follows:

  1. Ableism, represented as Anti-autism
  1. Racism
  1. Xenophobia

The causes of the Disneyland outbreak in Southern California are as follows:

  1. Ableism, represented as Anti-autism

*****

These lists are not finished. First, I want to discuss the discovered causes of the measles outbreak in Minnesota. Let me start with ableism.

Thank you so very much, Jenny McCarthy. Thank you, Andrew Wakefield. Thanks a lot, Autism Speaks. While I won’t go into the extremely non-duplicated, thoroughly debunked, corrupt and hateful so-called “study” of how you think the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine causes autism. I have felt personally responsible and personally attacked because of you. You have made children sick because of my existence. You have murdered over nine thousand children as of July 2015. And the cause of all this pain and destruction? The existence of autistic people. I am autistic. Therefore, you make ME a target. Your hatred of me justifies your actions of denying children their health, their immunity, even their lives. You justify your kills because of me. I am tired of being the cause for the loss of innocent lives.

*****

Now, onto the next two causes, because they are interwoven and intersected. They are Racism and Xenophobia.

Now, when most white American people look at Somali immigrants, what do they see? They see dark skin – race being the previous mark of slavery, and they devalue the person. They see a foreigner – those “evil” people trying to come and take their lives, jobs and livelihood. They see a Muslim – and deem them dangerous, evil terrorists, not realizing that most Muslims HATE those terrorists. (Don’t get me started on some of my Muslim friends’ seething rage.) So, when these dark-skinned foreign so-called terrorists come to them with an issue – their children are getting autism – what do those white American people do? They ignore and deny help to these inferior people. So, what does the ableist, Anti-vaccine camp do? They listen, and recruit soldiers for their own terror. Herd immunity is compromised. And children in Minnesota now have measles, many of them hospitalized because their weak and developing immune systems are defenseless against the onslaught. Now do you see how danger and strife can get a foothold due to racism and xenophobia?

*****

I am not here to bring anybody down, or anybody out. I am simply facing hatred in three intersecting directions of ableism, racism and xenophobia. Now, I know I am not black and an immigrant, but I will fight the diseased rot of ableism, racism and xenophobia right alongside its victims. I do it every day – even in my mind. When children are dying, there is something wrong. One absolutely must speak up for the sake of the future. One must speak up for the sake of the suffering children.

 

April Post 1: Neurotypical Supremacy, as Proposed by Autism Speaks

Content Warning: Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks has largely hijacked the dialogue about Autism. And as we know, Autism Speaks is just as mean and hateful towards the autistic person as the Ku Klux Klan is toward other races. Sure, they don’t say they want a cure now, but it still searches for “solutions.” Autism Speaks still describes our genomics as “MSSNG,” which is “MISSING without the I.” How negative is that? They want to “crack autism’s code.” To me, that means they still want to rid the world of autism.

Why do I hate Autism Speaks? Simple. I am their worst-case scenario. I am what they fear. I am different. I am an autistic adult.

You see, their way of thinking and processing the world is thought of as “right” and therefore “supreme” by them, the exact same way that whiteness is supreme, if you ask any Ku Klux Klan member. It makes me shudder to think how similar they are to the Ku Klux Klan in their hate.

Hiding Your True Self

It’s a troubling thing I have come up with: I often wonder if I would have succeeded more, or gotten more in life, if I had not known or revealed my autism? I sometimes think that, but then I remind myself: lots of people have to hide certain “undesirable” traits about themselves, like choosing a “less black” name for a baby to make a resume more “acceptable” to certain hiring staff. (I watched an episode of Blackish a couple nights ago. Bear with me; it was a plotline.) It troubles me that people feel the need to hide their true selves. It’s a form of lying. Somehow, the truth will always out itself. A funny thing about lies: little white ones always grow and get color to them.

About lying about yourself: it’s often necessary to hide your diagnosis, or your race, or your nationality, etc. In order to be accepted to people who would judge you as “less.” So, maybe they’re partly responsible for people hiding themselves. Of course, I’m not placing blame on any system or person. Nobody gets away clean in the bigotry-and-hiding-cycle. The gatekeeper is a bigot; the person trying to get in is a liar. I think we may have to completely reject the whole cycle to get away from it. It is a big mess.

Black Bart and the Unseen Enemy

Blazing_Saddles_inline_-_Gene_and_Cleavon.jpgI am a fan of “Blazing Saddles.” Yes, the 1974 movie about a black sheriff taming a Western town. There, I said it. It is one of my favorite movies concerning prejudice. It gives the lesson with a good spoonful of sugar. In case you missed it, the racial lessons are the medicine, and comedy is the sugar. Not to say that “Blazing Saddles” is perfect. For example, there is a lot of mockery of gays, especially gay men, plus tossing around of homophobic slurs. (Personally, I do not find them funny.) That is not to devalue the lessons in “Blazing Saddles.” As I said, it was made in 1974.

The warning of “Blazing Saddles” is that the societal ill of racism is elusive, and must be defeated in order to defeat the enemies. It is the fatal flaw that the townsfolk must overcome. The nature of the unacknowledged societal ill is plenty displayed. It works like a malevolent ghost, waiting for the right time to strike, and strike it does, in the form of the sheriff’s general treatment by the townsfolk. Of course, it takes the striking down of racism in the townsfolk’s hearts to save the town. Watch it for how it works.

Unfortunately, in real life, that ideal has not happened yet. It’s still 1874 in some people’s hearts. What some people think about racism – that it was over in 2008 – and what is going on – that it went underground only to resurface with some misguided permission – are markedly different. Racism is a poltergeist.