What autism has to do with racism

Without a Voice – http://wp.me/p60N4d-xB

This story touched me so deeply. Reading the parts about his son’s migraines was nice knowing that his dad loves him so much despite his disabilities, but I have no ties to autism so that’s kind of just a nice story about good people to me. But the comparison to the violence going on in Charlotte put everything in perspective for me. Of course I know that people are hurting and frustrated and that’s why they’re vandalizing their city, but it still never quite made sense to me. Why destroy the place where you live? As for kmelerine’s son Cade it’s the same kind of situation. He destroyed his parents house so often they got tired of fixing it. I know he knows how much his family does for him and loves him so why would he make their life harder?

They both have the same answer.

As human beings we have thoughts and feelings. When these are not expressed whether through physical inability or oppression we get frustrated. The stronger the feelings the more upset we are that we cannot express them. This anger soon turns into rage. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, so it must go somewhere. That somewhere happens to be destruction of property. How much pain do we expect an autistic boy to hold inside of him before he needs to release it somewhere? How much pain do we expect a grown man to hold in who is recently unable to speak and is unable to express to the love of his life how much he appreciates her making his dietary restrictions not just bearable but enjoyable? How much pain do we expect an entire race to bear after 500 years of not being treated like human beings in the country we built and are still building.

Yes it’s gotten better, yes we elected a Black president but that doesn’t change the fact that people’s first instinct is to label us as violent criminals. That’s why the police kill us so much. Not because they’re evil but because they’re legitimately scared of us. They’re not lying when they say they feared for their life. (Most aren’t anyway, there’s some who are pure racist/evil) But that’s a huge problem. We are seen as a danger before we’re seen as human beings. Combine that with the fact that we have no voice in this country. Nobody wants to hear what we have to say. We try to say our lives matter but guess what the response is? No, you’re wrong, all lives matter. Seems pretty innocent because all lives should matter right? But why are you silencing our voices? Why are we not allowed to ask for changes so we can know that people in this country actually believe our lives matter?

As we see in Cade’s situation, and as we see in his father’s situation, leaving humans with pain and no voice you will see violent reactions. That’s a lesson to us all. If we can understand why certain people do certain things, we have more of a desire to help them.

If the man’s wife understood that his frustration was from not being able to express his gratitude she could have created a way for him to share his thoughts without using words. If Cade’s father can understand that his son destroys when he has things he’s unable to say then his father can think of a way to give him an outlet for his pain. If America understood that the violence in Charlotte, Ferguson, etc was from Black people not being able to express our frustration with the way we’re mistreated in this country, still in 2016 then we can fix the problem of injustice and not having a voice rather than judging people for their behavior.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.
-Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird


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