I know that in my previous article, I was focused on race a bit. It did seem like it was only black and white, did it not? Well, I’m back to say that people of almost all races are at risk of discrimination. Case in point: I was mad as hell that the Ancient One in Doctor Strange was not Asian. It was explained to the public that the characterizations of the Ancient One would be stereotypical. Don’t you think, for instance, Lucy Liu would be dying to bust stereotypes she has faced all her life? What about the beautiful Tamlyn Tomita? Is Hollywood so racist that they cannot trust their Asian actors to break their own stereotypes? Maybe that’s it. Hollywood is so racist that they cannot trust ANY actors to break their own stereotypes. Boy, do we have a long way to go.
Something that grinds my gears is the notion that race decides your musical tastes. Some people have it in their heads that if you’re black you must listen to this music and if you’re white, you must listen to that music. If you ask me, that notion is ridiculous. There are race-crossing musicians appearing all the time. Eminem, Darius Rucker, In Living Color, Killswitch Engage’s lead singer, Sevendust’s lead singer, the list goes on and on. Maybe my opinion is more popular than I think, but I am stating that when a person likes a certain genre of music, they ought to be given free rein to explore and develop their talent to fit said genre. I grew up in the 1990s. I liked En Vogue and TLC as much as I liked Nirvana. “Free Your Mind” helped me challenge my views of many different types of people. Even back then, I got the feeling that this notion of race deciding musical taste was creeping into society. As I said before, just ridiculous.
Why don’t most “Autism Parents” care to listen to autistic adults? Don’t they know that we are their child’s future?
My stimming story is a little different from other people’s stimming stories. My initial stim was a monotone hum. Unfortunately, that was an unacceptable one. My mother asked what it was for. I said it was to get rid of excess energy. Eventually, my mother would tell me to go run up and down the hall. (We had a long hallway in our house.) I found better ways to stim as a person throughout my life, even when I was not allowed to stim by my sisters. (I was also not allowed to enjoy my own money or mental safety.) Of course, once I got away from my sisters, I was “allowed” to stim again. Strangely enough, I did not stim too much.
There are many times and ways I stim, but one thing they have in common: they are to get rid of excess emotional energy. That means, stimming can come at any time, for any reason. It’s a comfort that many neurotypicals do not understand or apparently need, so they always want us to not do it. They don’t want any indication that we are autistic. I say, screw them.
I have stared into the abyss of racism. And it was not pretty. I made the mistake of web searching “white genocide” this morning, and boy, was it ugly. Fear and racism everywhere. But my question is why? Why are we so afraid of persons of color? Is it a numbers game, or a guilty conscience?
Let’s be honest here, a guilty conscience is the reason most white genocide fears keep going. Let’s start with the obvious: Genocide? Strangely enough, there are instances of genocide in white history. Another fear: Enslavement? Yes, there is racial enslavement in white history. We fought a Civil War to end it. Taking our jobs and resources? Hell, that sounds like karma. We’ve been taking the best of all the world for years! The Koh-I-Noor Diamond, from what is now Iran? On top of the British Queen Mother’s crown. Now, I’m not condemning the British Monarchy by any means. What I am saying is that since white people have thought themselves superior, they have run roughshod over all the other races, leaving them to think that if the other races gain control, they will run roughshod over them. It’s all in guilt and shame.
I know just about nobody will change their mind by just what I say or write. I’ve even been called a race traitor. But if being a race traitor is what it takes to clear a guilty conscience, then why not?
You may be wondering why I haven’t spoken out against separating children from their parents at the border. Well, I’ve been in a fight with someone very important about it. Make no mistake, I believe that separating the children from their parents, who usually have little to no choice in the matters of their parents, was a horrible idea.
However, I am square in the middle of Trump Country, where many people here tend to act as though Donald Trump died on the cross for you, and God raised Donald Trump from the dead. (No on both counts; that was Jesus.) I had to engage many people gently, even some very close to me. I had to simply had to agree to disagree.
Now, I know that they were illegal immigrants, which complicates matters. What I do not know is whether it will soon be illegal at all for people of color to immigrate now that Trump is president. I firmly believe Trump is telling his supporters that “illegal immigrants” and other persons of color are to blame for their lot in life, which is not entirely true.
Now, here’s the thing: a superhero can galvanize and empower a still woefully untapped sector of American society, at least by Hollywood. (Black Panther, for example.) That is the same with autistic people, especially concerning the superhero genre.
Or is it?
I think we have an autistic superhero – or three. Stay with me and I’ll explain.
The first case for an autistic superhero is Drax the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy. This stems from a story that a young boy with autism identified with Drax when it was revealed he does not understand metaphors. (Look up “Nothing goes over my head” for a reference.) Now, since Drax is of an alien race, a diagnosis of autism may not apply as well. Maybe this trouble with metaphors is typical of Drax’s species. After all, in the Cinematic Universe he is from a race called “primitive.” (Or so the other species think.) Anyway, some autistic people identify with him, so he counts.
The second case is Groot, also from Guardians of the Galaxy. He is often identified with nonverbal autistic people, due to his lack of verbiage. (Everything is “I am Groot.”) Anyway, since he is not canonically diagnosed as autistic, his case spreads a little thin, I must admit, yet his nonverbal tendencies helps some autistic people identify with him.
The third, and only canonical, case for examination, is Billy Cranston, portrayed by RJ Cyler in the movie Power Rangers of 2017. Let me make it clear that it is not the TV Billy portrayed by David Yost. It is strictly given to the movie version. Now, this is an excellent, canonical representation of autism in the superhero genre. The first reason is obvious: Billy’s autism is canonical. The second reason? It is one of the few portrayals of autism by an African-American. Normally, the autistic person is portrayed by somebody white, and more often male. Trouble is, autism does not know or care what race or gender you are. I’ve met many different types of autistic people. Finally, the autism Billy has seems to be accurate to a certain extent, but not representative of “ALL” autistic people. Nor does it have to be.
I’m glad that autistic people can find themselves a superhero. It’s a great vehicle of empowerment.