Brown and Autistic: A frightening encounter with the police.

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Buckholtz
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14 Aug 2016, 7:29 pm


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” However, I’m part of an invisible worldwide majority; black, Brown, Multiethnic, African, African-American, Negro, or, whichever Blumenbachian social caste system inspired expression you’re most comfortable using. I’m also a musician…that just happens to be on the autism spectrum. Understanding and truly empathizing with what it’s like to be part of both groups (Brown Multiethnic and autistic) may help broaden the autism conversation beyond European toddlers or teens and their American descendants.


“My name is…”

Let’s start with my ‘declaration’. Getting ...



alex
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14 Aug 2016, 8:13 pm

Thanks for sharing your powerful story Mike! It's incredibly important to bring light to these issues, especially from the perspective of the autism spectrum.



sonicallysensitive
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14 Aug 2016, 8:43 pm

I often feel like the 'harbinger of bad news' on this site as my views often clash with others, but please read what I write here before an unjustified attack.....

(yes, I read the article)

PS I'm also not starting with a declaration of identity, as this is potentially dangerous on a forum/online.


Buckholtz wrote:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” However, I’m part of an invisible worldwide majority; black, Brown, Multiethnic, African, African-American, Negro, or, whichever Blumenbachian social caste system inspired expression you’re most comfortable using. I’m also a musician…that just happens to be on the autism spectrum. Understanding and truly empathizing with what it’s like to be part of both groups (Brown Multiethnic and autistic) may help broaden the autism conversation beyond European toddlers or teens and their American descendants.


We are likely 'created equal' as we are blank slates, as it were. We have done no good or evil.

I think to use this in any other context is simply using the quote as it is useful to our personal ends/aims.


It could be said 'we are all created equal' completely contradicts the statement often read on this very forum i.e. 'we are all different'.


Since you're discussing race:

1) You are browner than me
2) I am whiter than you

Therefore there is a difference between us. This means we are not equal. I'm not equally as brown as you.


If there is any doubt to human difference, try running the marathon at world-record pace.

Or inventing the USB.

etc.


To your other point: maybe most of the money has went into 'European toddlers or teens and their American descendants' as the Europeans and their American descendants are the ones coughing up the money for the studies in the first place?

How many black organisations are setting money aside for autism research? I ask as I genuinely don't know.

And if being black bears no relevance to the issue of research funding, consider your own racism towards 'Europeans and their American descendants' - without which, there would likely be zero historical research on autism. Without which the very term wouldn't exist.

It's potentially offensive to drag autism into a race debate.


And is very obvious to see - despite the personal touches of 'hey, I'm your friend, a nice musician'.


Yet another example of 'autism' being hijacked for ulterior motives - that of race.

I personally encourage autistics to think on the OP's subject herein with a clear mind.



somanyspoons
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14 Aug 2016, 9:01 pm

Dictionary definition of equal: "being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value."

Equal does not mean that two things are the same. They mean that they have the same value.

You are participating in racism by warping its central theme to appear more docile. There is no such thing as racism towards white people. Black people can have prejudice, in that they pre-judge based on our whiteness, but racism is a system that rich white people set up in the 1600's in order to cement their ability to exploit the labor of people in Africa. It was never just about skin color preference. It was about a brutal system of making more money by enslaving people instead of paying fair wages.

You are the only one hijacking this conversation. Instead of just allowing this conversation to be about the OP's article, and his own experience with autism and race, you are turning it towards yourself.

As one white guy to another - cut it out. At the very least, if you can't agree with people of color, at least step aside and allow them to speak without trying to drown them out. Just let them have their own opinions. If you are really so fair minded, you should be able to do that. You should be able to tolerate people seeing things differently than you.



wilburforce
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14 Aug 2016, 9:07 pm

Yeah, please don't speak for other white people with this word salad of rationalisations for racism. I'm white and I completely disagree with everything you've said here (at least, I disagree with what little sense I could make of it). Don't try to stop people who have different experiences from you (like people of others races, for example) from sharing their stories and their struggles. It makes you look bad both as an autistic person AND as a white person.


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alex
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14 Aug 2016, 9:09 pm

Yeah, the post by sonicallysensitive just underlines the fact that widespread racism still unfortunately exists.


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somanyspoons
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14 Aug 2016, 9:19 pm

alex wrote:
Yeah, the post by sonicallysensitive just underlines the fact that widespread racism still unfortunately exists.


Yah. I can't change their minds yelling on the internet. But I can speak up for the truth.

You know you are being controlled by racism when an article by a man expressing how autism and race work together to make his life miserable make you feel threatened. If you weren't interested in keeping racism or ablism alive, you wouldn't be bothered by it.



alex
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14 Aug 2016, 9:21 pm

His life isn't miserable. He's a multiple platinum record producer who enjoys life.


He simply shared stories of things that happened to him.


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auntblabby
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14 Aug 2016, 9:24 pm

there needs to be some outrage among people outside of the colored communities, white folk need to give a damn because ultimately it is about [perceived] class as much as it is about race. if one belongs to the lower classes, the pigs mistreat them regardless of color. I know as I [and other nominally non-colored folk] have been a recipient of a similar class of treatment at the hands of the jackbooted thugs.



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14 Aug 2016, 9:57 pm

alex wrote:
His life isn't miserable. He's a multiple platinum record producer who enjoys life.


He simply shared stories of things that happened to him.


You don't know he enjoys life any more than I know life is miserable. Chances are its like most of our lives - somewhere in the middle.

He shared stories of things that happened to him with a purpose.

These articles are rarely shared simply to satisfy the author's need to hear himself or herself talk. I think its reasonable to assume that this article was written in an attempt to rally support in an area that really can be miserable. I didn't mean that to be taken as all life is miserable. Although, if you need me to, I will concede that that's what my words literally meant.



alex
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15 Aug 2016, 10:40 am

somanyspoons wrote:
alex wrote:
His life isn't miserable. He's a multiple platinum record producer who enjoys life.


He simply shared stories of things that happened to him.


You don't know he enjoys life any more than I know life is miserable.

Considering the fact that I actually know the guy and am friends with him and have hung out with him quite a bit, I would say I certainly know more about him than you.

And I was responding to your erroneous characterization of this piece as "an article by a man expressing how autism and race work together to make his life miserable" which is so far off base.


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15 Aug 2016, 10:58 am

I am glad to read about and learn from your experiences, Mike.

sonicallysensitive wrote:

To your other point: maybe most of the money has went into 'European toddlers or teens and their American descendants' as the Europeans and their American descendants are the ones coughing up the money for the studies in the first place?

How many black organisations are setting money aside for autism research? I ask as I genuinely don't know.

And if being black bears no relevance to the issue of research funding, consider your own racism towards 'Europeans and their American descendants' - without which, there would likely be zero historical research on autism. Without which the very term wouldn't exist.

I don't think anything in the article could remotely constitute "racism towards Europeans".

A large amount of research funding is provided by governments and charities which have no reason to only represent one race. White isn't "the default".

Quote:
It's potentially offensive to drag autism into a race debate.

And is very obvious to see - despite the personal touches of 'hey, I'm your friend, a nice musician'.

Yet another example of 'autism' being hijacked for ulterior motives - that of race.

It isn't offensive for a second.

We have to acknowledge that life is different for black autistics than white autistics. We face different challenges because our disabled identities intersect with our racial identities. Talking about those intersections isn't "hijacking autism" or "hijacking race". For people like Mike, the two come as a package.



Buckholtz
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15 Aug 2016, 11:49 am

Thank you, everyone, for reading my experience. Let's keep this conversation going. I'm available to have this conversation with anyone anywhere.



SocOfAutism
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15 Aug 2016, 11:58 am

Buckholtz- Hey thank you for talking about this. We need more discussions about racial identity plus autism.

I do have a question if you don't mind.

Do you think that black culture is supportive of the idea of being a black or POC autistic person? Do you think they have a mental frame of reference for this kind of person, or, like many people, is it just too convenient to picture a white male child when thinking of an "autistic person"?

I am wondering if it's like the idea of being "down low" and black. Where have the other identity (gay or autistic) takes away from your other identity (race). As if your culture will not allow you to be both.

But I really have no idea if it's similar- I haven't known the families or other friends of the POC autistic people I have known in my life.



naturalplastic
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15 Aug 2016, 5:31 pm

You have been a member of WP for 8 years? And you have only made four posts in all of that time?

Feel free to drop in more often, dude!