How did we get here?
Really how did we get here? Where you might ask. Well here, a world that seems to be at war with autistic people, prominent celebrities rail against settled science, and social media is all a flutter over a dentist killing a lion (rightly so) but silent on autistic children being abused by professionals, parents and systems.
How did we get here when the life of one lion creates such outrage yet the lives of many many children seems to be of far less importance?
Obviously as an autistic I have a bias about the abuse of autistics, and would like to state that I am sure that it is not only autistics but many disability communities that have similar situations.
The autistic community is well and truly used to negative views of autism portrayed in the media, and even by our so called peak bodies such as Autism Speaks. We are well used to feeling we have little importance as human persons to these groups rather that we are fodder for their war against the evil autism.
What we are not so used to is seeing the horrible things that have been seen in recent times in Australia. Just this year not one but two situations of structures to isolate and effectively imprison autistic children have come to light. The first a cage in in a school in the Australian National Capital was constructed in a classroom to hold an autistic child. You can read about it here.
The second, a wooden coffin like structure built to hold an autistic person, and with some involvement directly or indirectly from the national autistic peak body Aspect Australia. I have chosen not to read about this one as I am too distressed by it, but you can read about it here.
Of course it goes without saying that when things like this emerge into the news media they are not isolated cases and reflect that this is occurring more than in just these situations. It is sickening. I am sickened. It is disgusting and it is surely a breach of autistic children human rights. Here’s a list I count several at a glance that are breached.
In other news, another horrible shooting in the USA. This time in Oregon. Another absolute tragedy. A horrible crime committed against human people. The perpetrator a clearly disturbed person. But, the takeaway for the media seemed to be the fact that he was autistic, social media became flooded, Facebook pages were begun with titles like “Against Autistic Shooters”.
Here’s the thing. There are assholes in all walks of life. It’s not a neurology thing. There are autistic assholes and their are neurotypical assholes. In fact, wherever people gather there tends to be some number of them who turn out to be assholes.
Meanwhile a couple of months ago Cecil the Lion was shot in the name of sport. This is a terrible crime too. Is it of equality to the continued abuse of autistic and other disabled people. You be the judge. But, it seems if you think of the number of inches of newspaper, magazines and blogs it received, if you think of the airtime on radio and television media it receive that it is far worse. I am not going to comment on which is or isn’t a worse crime. It’s not my place.
Is this the world we live in. Is this the world the founding fathers of the USA dreamed of as they declared their independence? Is this the world dreamed of by the Australian federation makers? Surely not.
The slogans of the autistic community seem pertinent here #DifferentNotLess #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs #ActuallyAutistic
The question remains. How did we get here? I look forward to your thoughts in the comments?
How did we get here?
Please share your thoughts.