SBSK (Special Books by Special Kids) Rant/Vent/Concerns etc.

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Blue Jay
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14 Apr 2021, 4:05 am

If this is in the wrong section or category, I apologize.

If this has been brought up before, I apologize, although I doubt, from some searching I've done.


I been biting my damn tongue about this for the longest, but I can no longer do so, and I'm gonna keep it real, and talk about the pink elephant in the room, everyone else is scared to talk about or point out.

I first heard about SBSK (Special Books for Special Kids), in a html/IRC chat I believe I was in. I was telling the person I was chatting with, I feel hopeless and lost as a gay black man with autism, bipolar/manic depression, and I have OCD and social anxiety as well. They then asked me to watch the SBSK channel on youtube.

What is SBSK?

Well I'm not glad you asked lol. It is a youtube channel that is highly successful, in which this very extremely attractive, handsome, privileged, well off, white guy named Chris, interviews people (and their families) with disabilities, from all aspects and types.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4E98H ... kTKIgrSmtQ

He talks to them (and their family members), in my personal opinion, kind of like objects and pets and animals, he doesn't really seem that empathetic in my personal perspective, and I just frankly and truthfully just find it hard to see where he isn't making this whole purpose about him, and his agenda, as opposed to bringing awareness to the people that he showcases.

Chris talks to these people very disrespectfully usually. Asking very plastic and milquetoast questions like, "How are you" "How do you feel" "What makes you happy" etc. Instead of actually being down to earth and just naturally interviewing them and being relatable to them. He associates with the family members the same way, "Do you love your child" "What are you happy about your child" etc. again, very weird plastic questions.

There have been many people he's showcased, but one case in particular I had a problem with (mainly because I felt very connected and related to this particular situation perhaps), is he brought on a black autistic man (like myself) and like some autistic people, he has the ability to remember trivial things quite well. In his case, he's able to tell you the release date of any blockbuster movie.

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I'm not gonna post the video here, in lieu of saving bandwidth and space on this post, but you can look the video up easily online. But I just felt the way Chris was talking to him was really shady and horrid, and he was treating him like an animal, and kinda belittling him, and talking to him like he's a dog or he's not a human. Like, I'm sorry, I can't help but not think Chris was being an indirect jerk.

Another person he interviewed was this guy, claiming to have Schizoaffective disorder, and having terrible schizophrenic episodes. Despite the fact he looks like he takes extremely good care of himself, well groomed, dresses well, (unlike from my own belief is that people under heavy Schizophrenic psychosis, are disheveled, aren't taking good care of themselves, and would not be presentable to do an interview for a youtube channel, at least not looking dapper and like well groomed idk.)

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Chris, again is asking this guy bland and very insincere questions. But that's not the part I have a conspiracy towards. It turns out this guy is actually an actor, and you can look up his acting reels and skits he's done. He also has a youtube channel with a huge, substantial amount of subscribers. So this is really interesting. I'm beginning to wonder if this is a stunt or act. I understand this guy said he was in the military and was going to sober living homes and things like that. Which I don't know if that's true, which I pray for him and that's awful to deal with, but I don't know. I'm not saying Chris knew this guy was playing a "character" or what. I don't know.

My last example is going to be of Chris interviewing an adult man who is autistic. The way Chris talks to him like he's a child, and he's nearly the same age as Chris, and kinda disrespectfully shouting at him, and kinda mocking him and teasing him, is just awful. His mother and father are interviewed as well, and he's not being genuine to his parents and asking them plastic questions as usual, and the guy is calling out to Chris, and asking him questions, and Chris just ignores him, which I can't believe. It's really uncomfortable to watch.

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Miscellany. I know other people have complained that when Chris interviews siblings, or "non disabled" siblings, he acts different, and more personal, and flirts with the attractive sibling/sister, and this was something I was like "yeah right" at first, but I wouldn't say he "flirts", no way, but remarkably, I kinda noticed this as well, and it's so strange and also weird.

Lastly, I'm not saying the channel/network is entirely bad. Is Chris an evil guy? No he's not. I don't think that's the case. However, I don't feel he should be hosting or facilitating this organization, as he does not know how to interact and deal with this caliber of situations. I think someone more qualified, and someone with credentials, should take his place.

I know he does give links to the people he interviews social media and all that, and I know he has raised money for people that need wheelchairs, vehicles, transportation, medicine, tools, financial help for living costs, medical costs and procedures and yeah. So I will give this organization that.

I know whenever people speak out against Chris and this SBSK, it seems they get backlash and hate, and you're being judgmental and cruel. Look here, I want to make things very clear, as a gay black autistic/disabled man myself, don't start that. Don't twist my words, or take what I'm saying out of context. If anything, I'm doing the opposite of that, and trying to help these situations, so they are better, and to improve. That's all.

So if anyone wanted to respond or add their opinions to this, I appreciate it. Thank you. :)



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Blue Jay
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08 May 2021, 8:54 pm

Bump. Because the guy I talked about and mentioned second, that specific video now has 11 million views, and I'm still suspect about it. I don't know.



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Blue Jay
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17 May 2021, 4:07 am

Bump again. Because I'm just puzzled by this SBSK network. I don't know.



aquafelix
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18 May 2021, 5:08 am

I've seen many of the SBSK utube videos. I thought they were good generally. He's not the best interviewer, but I think he treats the people he interviews with respect. He just has some assumptions that are a bit irritating. Generally, he listens to the people he interviews and seems interested in what they have to communicate and their experience rather than only pushing his own views.



Mountain Goat
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18 May 2021, 8:49 am

Do you know that my thoughts are that one can have qualifications coming out of ones hat and shoes but this does not mean that one has the maturity to be in the situation that you describe.

Maturity is gained through working a few years doing more lower paid jobs in things like retail which really do wonders in learning how to treat people with respect.



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Blue Jay
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03 Sep 2021, 6:14 am

Another complaint I have with SBSK, is that I feel the content is rather haphazard, and doesn't connect or flow well. One video, he may feature an attractive girl with social anxiety, and I'm not saying this girls condition/situation isn't tough, it is, however, the very next upload will be of someone with a more severe disability/situation/condition, sometimes someone non verbal, and it's really sad and uncomfortable, how Chris is lumping all these individuals under the same category, and it underwhelms and confuses the whole purpose. That reflects the reception as well, as the video with the attractive woman with social anxiety, you'll have people in the comments say, "She's so pretty, she's a lovely girl. She's gonna be okay." etc. Where the comments on the video of someone with a more severe and serious condition it's, "They are so strong," "God bless." "They are in my prayers." "Bless them." "This family needs prayers.", "They are a fighter." "We love them, lovely family.", and don't get me wrong, I feel that's nice, but you can see how things are different. P.S. Chris also did a video with this guy saying he has Antisocial Personality Disorder. The guy is very well spoken, is able to explain his situation and diagnosis well. However people in the comments are saying, "This guy is lying and manipulating." "I don't even know if he's telling the truth, he has ASPD", "I don't believe this guy." etc. So it's just all over the place, and I don't know.

Yet people out of fear of being labeled as a hater or being politically incorrect or whatever, are thinking what I'm saying and pointing out, but are afraid to mention it themselves, and it's okay. In addition to my previous concerns with Chris being a very privileged, handsome, attractive, white guy, not really having the wherewithal, to handle this purpose, or labor or love, or this origination/channel well. etc.

I'm sorry, I just am hesitant on Chris and his SBSK network, and I'm actually centimeters from contacting Chris myself for an interview, to see what happens. I'm very serious, being a black gay man with autism and other mood/personality disorders so yeah. That's the deal with this. lol. Just wanted to add that. Thank you. :)



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04 Sep 2021, 9:36 pm

You didn't link to any specific videos, so I had a quick look at his current featured video: Ruby the Treasure (Stromme Syndrome). The host seemed rather condescending in the way that adults often are to little kids generally. For one thing, he repeatedly called her "Rube" although she specifically asked him, the first time, and rather emphatically, to call her "Ruby" not "Rube."


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CarlM
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05 Sep 2021, 9:04 pm

I am a fan of the SBSK channel. Chris is certainly taking on a role that others have not. Not surprising that he will get criticism for not doing this channel to everyone's liking.


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Mona Pereth
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06 Sep 2021, 3:19 am

CarlM wrote:
I am a fan of the SBSK channel. Chris is certainly taking on a role that others have not. Not surprising that he will get criticism for not doing this channel to everyone's liking.

What do you especially like about SBSK?

Admittedly I've seen only one video, and I did not get much of a feel for the overall purpose of the series.


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Blue Jay
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16 Sep 2021, 12:56 am

CarlM wrote:
I am a fan of the SBSK channel. Chris is certainly taking on a role that others have not. Not surprising that he will get criticism for not doing this channel to everyone's liking.


I think I'm being misunderstood.

I never said that SBSK in itself, isn't a good idea. I'm also trying not to put this onto the individuals/families being featured on the network. Only with one exception Daniel (which was the very handsome auburn haired guy with the beard/goatee/mustache), which I feel this guy is an actor (which there are clips of him online proving this, and he's also done short films/internet videos. His youtube channel also has a huge, substantial amount of subscribers/followers etc.) and I don't know if he's lying/or relishing in the attention from the SBSK viewers.

But I'm trying to see the bigger picture, as Chris has showcased this man several times, and all I see is a well groomed, well dressed, handsome, healthy looking white man, that claims he's schizoaffective, and he can't function day to day, and has PTSD from being a veteran. I'm not doubting he's a veteran, and he was in the service; which I command him for his work. My father was a veteran, so I respect people in the military. But I don't know. Things aren't adding up, and I'm looking at all the shows and skits and films and short films he's been in, and I don't know. I don't think the whole story is being told, and I wouldn't doubt things are being exaggerated. I don't know. Something really fishy about him.

Also, I said earlier, that I didn't want to post videos, as the videos on SBSK are quite long (sometimes twenty minutes or longer etc.) and I didn't want to waste bandwidth on the thread page. I'm kinda saving face, and that was a press or tabloid or fake answer. The real answer, is out of privacy of the people in the videos, and you can go you on the SBSK channel yourself, and it won't be hard to find the particular people I'm talking about, and you can see their videos etc.

But my main thing is, Chris is not qualified for this at all. I think the fact Chris isn't the main focus, is how this isn't a big deal, but he's kinda the face and brand behind it. Supposedly people say Chris has a background of being a Special Education teacher. I am going to put an asterisk, because I have no receipts or evidence of this, but supposing that is true, then Chris should be way more engaging/relatable to the people on his network. Whether they are verbal or non verbal, or whatever the case may be.

It seems his empathy towards the individuals on SBSK, are very unpredictable, and from what I seen, usually if it's a pretty or attractive girl with a "hidden mental illness", like anxiety or whatever, he's kind to her, and he's more talkative/engaging with her. Same with the Daniel guy, Chris for some reason is really close and buddy buddy with him too. However, if it's a more delicate or extreme individual , he's hesitant, and he will be behind the camera asking their mom or dad, "So, do you love your child?" "Why are you so happy?" etc. Like idk man, smh lol.

So my thing is either Chris needs to be replaced with someone more trained/experienced, or if Chris is going to continue to do this, he needs to change his behavior with dealing with these people, and to treat everyone equally, and fairly. etc.

There have been people who called SBSK out on social media, but due to the SBSK fans probably harassing them and sending them hate responses, and possibly violent/uncomfortable hate replies, they deleted their posts/videos exposing SBSK. So that's why I'm kinda on the fence about it, and also why this all might be hot air, but alas. I know I'm not the only person who's thinking this, or else I wouldn't have had people on this exact thread, agreeing with my point.

As someone who is a black gay autistic man, having social and personality and mood issues, I know exactly firsthand what it's like to be different, and being judged and people having privilege over others. So I feel I'm justified on my qualms or gripes about SBSK, being that I go through my own personal trials and tribulations, so yeah.

That was all.



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Blue Jay
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08 Jan 2022, 3:43 am

Okay, I was gonna post about this earlier, but changed my mind. However, I have to talk about this, and put this out, now. This has really irked me as of late and recently. Daniel from SBSK, is really starting to irritate me. Leave it to a good looking, handsome, well spoken/well educated, privileged, well groomed (that beard is looking really dapper for someone in an out of psych intakes smh) White/Caucasian man, to always complain about his circumstances.

Supposing that this story is true, that he was admitted to a psych ward unjustly/for no reason as he claims, and he was locked into a room weeks, and his story of being violated in the cafeteria/lunch room, with security not doing anything to intervene etc. I don't know. His story isn't adding up at all. Now mind you, I've never been at an overnight facility. But I have been a few times to day psych centers, and I was discharged at night after calming down, and being prescribed meds, I've never been to an overnight facility though. So I don't know everything, but as a gay black man, I don't have a boyfriend, or any friends for that matter, no family support. I'm 30 years old. I'm dealing with mental health issues, I have manic depression/bipolar disorder, certain traits of Borderline Personality Disorder, and OCD and social anxiety, and I try not to complain or be a victim, and turn to social media to blast my issues, like anyone would care anyways. As black people having mental illness, and mental illness in the LGBTQ community is taboo and strange to discuss etc.

However, being autistic myself, I do know some stuff. Like something clearly isn't adding up about him. I don't know. Smh. I was trying to refrain from using videos/visual aid, to not take up bandwidth, and I didn't' want to call people out. But this guy, man. Smh.



And it's the views, the followers, the fundraisers, everything, and it doesn't seem like he's doing anything to improve. I also notice the subliminal plugging of his artwork, which was kinda edited in, while he's telling the story. Which is fine. I do writing/journalism, so I'm all for turning to art, music, hobbies, but it seems kinda shady the way he's doing it etc. I don't know. So yeah.



NeoSigrid
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27 Jun 2022, 4:39 pm

It seems like there is a bit too much hate in you. It was obvious from the point where you stated that he is a "very extremely attractive, handsome, privileged, well off, white guy named Chris." What is the relevance of this to what he does? Your interpretation is that he behaves with them like pets, and people wouldn't want to keep talking to him if that were true. If we played the would you rather questions, and you have to choose another figure that does what he does for the community, I bet you'd have a hard time finding someone else.



Djkrljen
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01 Jul 2022, 12:26 am

To answer you quickly. Him being white has no relevance. He is very educated aged with specialized training to work with disabled. So not entitled, just properly educated. He was a special needs teacher for years. He is a huge special needs advocate. Tries to incluciivity and disability
laws changed and passed. The guest like him enough they do follow ups with him. If you wrote to him, he responds, on his various platforms he lists for contacts....I feel sure he would respond.



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02 Jul 2022, 8:53 pm

in my opinion Chris is too positive. He's never really empathetic towards people or willing to acknowledge that they have been through really hard and painful things. He's always just smiling and happy and only asking the people light and fluffy questions.


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07 Jul 2022, 8:06 pm

Just more Inspiration Porn


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28 Sep 2022, 3:47 am

This one is really sad. (Again, I won't be posting hotlinks to videos, out of respect of the people interviewed. But you can find it on the SBSK page. Her story was just uploaded) I feel although no I'm not a Black woman, I felt really connected to her story. I am a flamboyant/weird, autistic, mentally and physically disabled Gay black man. I feel really close to just writing Chris and telling him my story, and maybe kinda being slightly pessimistic on the SBSK community.

But this young Black homeless woman. Abandoned by her mother and family, was born with a rare skin condition, which causes her to have sores on her skin, and also (through fault not of her own) she has a "fried chicken/chocolate" odor to her, (which I don't doubt her skin disorder, maybe causes her to have an unwanted smell sadly. I feel for her. But also, from what I gathered, a lot of racist/bigoted/jackass people tell Black/people of color, they smell, when they don't, and it's our hair products, or cocoa butter/vaseline, we use on dark/melanin skin, that has a smell perhaps too, so I wonder if most of her being told that, is actually bullying etc. Either way, it's not her fault, so yeah. etc.) which causes people not to be around her. It's really sad, and she has dreams of being a singer (and her voice is lovely. She performs an original song at the end of the interview. She has a R&B/jazz voice etc.)

This is just really sad, and Chris, is not being helpful, or empathetic at all, and he is kinda mocking her. She talks about racism, and stigma, within mental health/physical health/disabilities, in the Black community, and Chris doesn't seem to understand her points.

She is currently on disability pay (which I had to apply for, and waiting for my SSI to be approved soon, for similar reasons for my physical/mental disabilities), but I hope her situation improves. I hope she's able to find housing. She can go for her dreams. I really hope she gets a record deal/gets her music out, because she has a nice India Arie, Erykah Badu voice, and her song writing is very catchy and lovely. I also hope she finds a partner too, because she talked about how dating sucks. I can relate, as a single Gay black man. Very unfortunate, and sad story. Shame on Chris for the way he was acting around her. Smh. Lovely girl, hope the best for her.

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