Stop Praising Able-bodies for Treating Disabled People Like Human Beings

Something that seems obvious, but apparently isn’t.

Running with Crutches

Periodically, memes and news stories about able-bodied people befriending, helping, and even inviting people with disabilities to prom swirl on social media. To many, these stories are heartwarming and may even “replenish one’s faith in mankind.”. Undoubtedly, hearing about these events is more pleasant than hearing about bombings, robberies, or murders, however, these stories also belittle disabled people. The world needs to wake up and understand that disabled people are human beings, and therefore, have no less value than their able-bodied peers.

Many articles write “Girl takes friend in wheelchair to prom,” and the comments section is spilling over with positive responses like “What a sweet girl,” or “What a lucky boy,” and what these commenters fail to notice is that they are promoting the stigma against disabilities in society. If an able-bodied girl asked her able-bodied friend to prom, people would not praise her for making her friend feel…

View original post 242 more words

ranty-pants-ness from a fed up white chick

This isn’t autism related, but it is empathy related, and I just felt it needed saying. Thank you for reading.

**********************

Trigger warning: Racism, violence.

********************************************

This has been rolling around in my head for a few days, and with the help of a friend to make sure I checked my privilege at the door, I put it down in writing. As a white person, I honestly have no real clue about the trauma of slavery and its ongoing impact on our American culture. But I like to think I have at least a sliver of empathy, so that’s how I’m approaching this issue. I’m probably grasping at straws thinking that those who need to think about this issue would read this, but what the heck – if only one person does, that’s the first domino to fall.

So some “students” at Texas A&M (who have a lot to learn apparently) harassed visiting students of color recently, shouting “go back to Africa” at them, among other things.

Let’s unpack that, shall we?

Picture, if you will, yourself, hanging out with your family and friends one day. Suddenly, an armed crowd comes upon you and kidnaps the young and healthy of your group. Maybe they leave you and the rest of your family/friends alive, maybe they don’t. Maybe they only injure some of you. Regardless, you’re unarmed, or underarmed, and you lose.

You lose your family, your children, your friends. They are kidnapped by armed strangers and taken away.

Now, put yourself in your child’s place. Maybe you survive the trip across the ocean where you were taken. Maybe not. Either way, it’s a shitty experience of starvation at the very least, and emotional/physical/psychological abuse that you can’t imagine on your worst day.

Now you arrive at your new “home”. You’re put to work. Hard, physical work. And training is beating. You have nothing of home. You are stripped of everything familiar. Your new owners don’t speak your language, and you’re not allowed to either. Work, eat, sleep. that’s it.

Now, it costs money to go get more slaves. Imagine how new ones are made. Do I need to go there for you? Write it out? I’ll use the word “breed”. You are “bred” to another slave – whether you want to or not, you don’t have a choice. And if you have a child, it’s not yours. Perhaps your owner likes to “sample the merchandise” – a “no” answer isn’t an option here, either.

So the next generation is born. And over and over and over it goes. Languages and culture are lost, mixed together, watered down. Family ties are erased, memories are destroyed.

And then one day, either through the law or social change, your great-great-grandchildren are freed – with no education, perhaps the clothes on their backs, no money, and a society that looks at them like they are less than nothing. Staying where they are, they will be treated like crap, may get killed or at the least beat up for looking at someone wrong. Even if they leave, they’ll probably run into that attitude elsewhere. Fighting for basic rights is a battle for a few more generations. And it still is a battle in some places, even a hundred years after “freedom” was achieved.

And then some jerk looks at your great-great-great-grandchild, ripped away from his/her family a few hundred years ago, and tells them to “go home”?

It’s truly embarrassing to be part of a culture that thinks this kind of crap is OK; that thinks the multi-generational trauma of slavery – for all of society – was magically disappeared when the Emancipation Proclamation was read and signed.

No, I didn’t own slaves, and my family didn’t either. But that doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge the massive amount of wrong that was done, has been done, and continues to be done.

We white people don’t need to be “embarrassed” about our past. Shame leads to denial, and making excuses, and evasion. It changes nothing.

I’d rather be disgusted and try to figure out how to repair the damage past generations inflicted and endured.

Life is not a “zero sum game”. Making things better for others, empathizing with others, doesn’t mean you lose. It means you win.

I changed the name of my blog and this is why you should care

THIS – exactly, exactly this.

Mother of Bones

branko_2

In case you haven’t noticed, I am trying to be more stealth with using B-man’s real name (and face!) these days. I’m not quite used to this, as it feels really awkward, kind of like “Hi I’m Jenny but people call me J-Wow” awkward. I promise, I have at least a few good reasons for this change, and even a few more good reasons for the other changes to the site.

I noticed, with the help of some super-awesome bloggers, that everything I was doing was wrong.

Wait, wha? (Gimme a sec. I’m still picturing that scene from Jersey Shore.)

I used to have a page with no fewer than 3000 words (maybe more?) dedicated to explaining, in detail, his entire medical history. I included details of his oxygen and BiPAP settings, how many bones he’s broken, and the pièce de résistance: exactly which chromosomes are affected by his microdeletion. I’m surprised…

View original post 482 more words

How do I stop my child using autism as an excuse?

I didn’t expect to be asked this question as often as I have been. It’s a tricky one to even ask. After all, autism really does affect children in extremely serious ways. And parents are often swamped by ignorant people accusing them of labelling their children to excuse their bad behaviour (which is a disgusting…

Source: How do I stop my child using autism as an excuse?

 

Helpful post, and nice explanation of Reason vs. Excuse – intent plays a large part.

Dear Other Dude at the Playground…

Surprise!

Daddy Coping in Style

Dear Other Dude at the Playground on Saturday –

Remember me? I was the dad with the son wearing a pink dress.

Before he burst onto the playground, and as I parked the car, he was positively vibrating. I asked, “Now…you’re sure you want to wear your dress?”

He shouted in response, “Yes! Because I want to show everyone how beautiful I am in this beautiful dress!”

It was a big deal for him; and for me.

He hasn’t asked to wear a dress “out,” before. I didn’t fight it. Who cares, right?

Or so we’d like to think.

As you noticed, he couldn’t contain his excitement showing off the dress to the only two kids playing…your daughter and her friend. He skipped and twirled and chased them for ten minutes shouting, “Do you like my dress? I’m wearing a dress! Can I play with you? Will you play with…

View original post 433 more words

Disability vs. Inability

Right in the feels, and REALLY awesome message, period.

The Artism Spectrum

disabilityinabilityFULLI had an epiphany the other night about disability.

I was walking to meet my partner, Tom, at a restaurant. I could feel the familiar unease building; I’m much more anxious meeting someone at a destination than arriving with them. As always, I sent him a text message asking where he was sitting. I wanted to know exactly where I would have to look to find him when I arrived.

I had been having a fairly good day, and I was feeling more self-reflective than usual. Right after I hit send, I thought to myself—why do I need to know where he’s sitting? Why does it matter so much?

I know the easy answer.

Autistic people like predictability.

I, as an autistic person, like to have a clear mental image of exactly what’s going to happen before it happens. It calms me. It makes me feel safe. But why?

View original post 621 more words