Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stop Killing Us

Content Warning: suicide, murder, ableism

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I don't think I know a single autistic person who hasn't contemplated suicide. Our lives our disparaged and forgotten until we are an ill to society. Every April organizations like the Autism Society of America, Autistica, Autism Speaks, Generation Rescue, Age of Autism, and others tell us we should not exist and we are an "epidemic," "national health crisis," "social and economic burdens," "tsunami that's going to hit the state budgets" and worse. We are deviants. We are unempathetic, soulless husks. Our eyes have no life. We are a wall separating the normal person inside of us from our loved one. Even Senator Tammy Baldwin, someone who is familiar with this rhetoric from her oppressors, calls us a "public health emergency."

I don't know a single autistic person who hasn't contemplated suicide.

Every year in early March, the Autism Self Advocacy Network in coordination with other groups run vigils for disabled people murdered by their parents or caregivers. This is known as the National Day of Mourning. It is a response to the media characterizing our murders as "mercy killings." We are characterized as horrible things not deserving of life and the people who kill us do a favor to society when they do.

I don't know a single autistic person who hasn't contemplated suicide.

Today I learned about a 16 year old in Britain who hung herself because she could not handle the fact she was autistic. In the article, there was a related article called "Autism: how new therapies are beating the condition."Well, seems you found one way. You've found a way for the object of your hatred to do the dirty work for you.

I am heartbroken but I am not surprised by her suicide.

 I don't know a single autistic person who hasn't contemplated suicide.

The message of our inherent worthlessness, the idea that we're better of dead, is killing us.

Stop killing us.
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Content note for the source article: suicide, comments from her family and teachers, a lot of pictures of her smiling. Rest in Peace, Elspeth McKendrick.

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