There has never ever in my mind been a question that all lives matter. That is an inviolable fact that is true regardless of gender, race, neurology, intellect, religion, or whatever classification you want to insert. I am welded to the belief that all lives matter, they matter for the very reason that they are human.
There is only one race – The Human Race. We all share that fact, that we are in fact human.
In the USA today we have a Presidential candidate who openly declares his racism and misogyny, and hatred of other. This man whips of fear. He certainly doesn’t believe that all lives matter.
In Australia, we have just elected to our senate a woman who has declared war on muslims. Calling for a closing of our borders to muslims, a ban on the building of mosques and a reassessment of all muslim refugees who have arrived since the 2008 election. This woman doesn’t believe all lives matter.
Of course it’s not the first time this hateful woman has been elected. 20 years ago she rose up also, that time Asians and Indigenous Australians were the target of her hate.
It’s not just a question of colour.
The politics of fear, of course, relies on more than just hatred and fear of different skin colour or ethnicity. What it does rely in is a an appeal to a fear of difference, a fear of other, a fear of a divergence from normal. It is so frequently seen dressed up in racial rhetoric and so-called patriotism. But, it’s far more insidious than that. It’s far more dangerous than that.
As an autistic adult I see it in the world around me when national organisations promote my way of being as disease, disorder, abnormality, and deficit. When I see national organisations provide sympathy to parents that murder and abuse their autistic children. When I see national organisations present dog training style behaviour therapy as the best-choice option to normafy children.
As a heterosexual human I see it in the hatred and bigotry of hate groups like Westborough Baptist church declaring unbridled hatred towards LGBTIQ+ people. I see it in national Christian organisations standing against marriage equality. I see it in Christian commentators refusing to even use the words marriage equality.
As a Christian human I see it in fellow believers declaring people to hell for their divergent thinking, their so-called heresies. I see it in the arrogance that leaves no room for a God bigger than we can imagine them to be.
As an Australian I see it in the politics of fear that locks people away in conditions akin to a prisoner of war camp for no other reason than claiming political asylum.
When this politics of fear rules we are so much the poorer for it. We lose. We lose in so many ways. We are impoverished by it. But the biggest loss, the most massive loss is the degradation of our humanity.
So much lost.
When fear wins, our communities become less diverse, more homogenous and we are the poorer for it.
As I have grown in Australia I have benefited so much by the experience of an increasingly diverse population. I have learned about cultural practices that never would have, I have eaten foods I would never have, I have seen clothing I never would have. These are all wonderful things, but the most important is what I have gained in the enhancement of my character, the growth of my compassion, the widening of my horizons, and the enhancement of my humanity.
If fear wins, all this is lost.
The cost is too great.
Let’s not go down that road.
In the last 20 years the autistic community has seen what happens when fear wins. Fear has had a temporary victory in the guise of the lie of vaccines causing autism.
The temporary victory of this fear has seen so much damage.
Parents wishing cancer on their child rather than them being autistic.
Autistic children murdered for their neurological make up.
Thousands of autistics having bleach enema forced upon them.
Thousands of children being exposed to preventable, life-threatening diseases in fear of a maligned neurology.
Charlatans making millions by promoting these lies.
We mustn’t give in to fear and go down that road again. Even now we still battle this lie in the autistic world. Still we have politicians, public figures and celebrities spreading this lie and breeding fear and hatred of autistic people.
We must not give in to fear and lose.
We must not let fear win.
We must fight this fear, with humanity, with compassion, with love, with acceptance.
We must not give in and resort to those same tactics of fear, hatred and bigotry.
Yes All lives matter. And that is precisely why at times we must focus our attention on particular groups, on particular minorities. Yes #BlackLivesMatter. #YesIndigenousLivesMatter. Yes #AutisticLivesMatter. But right now, in this climate of skin colour being a contributing factor to life expectancy then we must hone our focus on that point. #BlackLivesMatter.