Long overdo update and a recap for newer readers on the Judge Rotenberg Center:
Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, new information has been released by Independent Journalist Evan Anderson. TRIGGER WARNING!
You can check out an overview and the documents HERE: https://medium.com/@tw0headedb0y/abuse-at-the-judge-rotenberg-center-70607f52fbaa#.mt08x1aq4
The FDA is currently proposing a ban and is taking comments for a limited time. The new deadline for comments is 7/25/2016 so make sure to get them in.
The Photo Campaign to Protest the JRC(and promote civil and human rights indirectly): I’ve been to over a dozen comic conventions in the last couple years hoping to find people willing to lend their voices with little to no success save for some very kind-hearted national cosplayers. I wouldn’t approach someone who’s work I haven’t also enjoyed as that would be offensive IMO. Most of the people I tell about it generally feel just as powerless as I do when it comes to spreading the word, which is why I focus on celebrities mostly.
Recently I spoke with Actress Margot Kidder, best known as Lois Lane in the the Superman movies of the 80s. After talking to her for a while(there’s usually not a lot of time to talk) about various issues, she was happy to take a photo with the sign I designed, I posted the photo on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ChrisStargazer/status/730136862313086976
Though I suspect It’s also partly because she is one of the few people in Hollywood who is also Neurodiverse herself. If the term Neurodiversity is unfamiliar, it’s yet another Human and Civil Rights movement seeking inclusion and de-stigmatization that is mostly lead by but not exclusive to Autistic Adults. Hollywood usually casts people who are not Neurodiverse in Neurodiverse roles, same goes for disability. So there aren’t exactly many celebrities who understand from lived experience.
A big thank you to Margot Kidder!
There are definitely people in support of JRC, who believe this is the only way to help. This will give an impression of what the opposition looks like, if the FDA remarks weren’t enough. https://leftbrainrightbrain.co.uk/2010/03/12/the-boston-globe-defends-the-judge-rotenberg-center/
Ultimately, what is allowed to happen to one of us can happen to any of us. This isn’t a simple matter of one facility, it’s a matter of how easily our human and civil rights can be violated legally simply for being Autistic or otherwise disabled(Guardianship gets assigned to the facility via court).
My rights were violated when I was a child, with severe lasting consequences that almost destroyed my life and also affected my family severely because they tried to fight it and lost. There was no accountability because those doing the violating had legal authority to treat me as disposable. The result was growing up with self hatred, suicidal ideation and a suicide attempt later on because I felt it was my moral responsibility to society for being nothing but a “tragic burden”. Going from self hatred to self acceptance was like waking up from a coma only realize half of my time on this Earth was lost. My story pales in comparison to what is still legal and happens today.
Ultimately, whether you support it, are against it or don’t know. The more people that know about it, the more likely something will finally be done for good or bad.
This United Nations statement from last year is still spot on, that Discrimination of Autistic persons is the Rule, rather than the Exception:
I don’t consider myself a very good activist, but I do want to highlight someone who is. Lydia Brown who is Autistic, LGBTQ and a Person of Color. Lydia was hailed as a 2013 Champion of Change on the White House blog here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/08/15/keeping-promise-ada-unequal-justice-disabled-victims-murder
If you want to see how complicated the controversy gets, check out Lydia’s post on their Unholy Alliance(one of them anyways). http://www.autistichoya.com/2013/11/an-unholy-alliance-autism-speaks-and.html
It doesn’t help when the most successful fund-raising research organization that claims to represent us (mostly parents of children in reality) which certainly has the resources and outreach ability to educate celebrities, politicians and the public; yet they continue to be eerily silent and unresponsive to Autistic Adults’ continued protests of torture and boycotts of their organization despite recent hires.
So you can imagine how not shocked I was when I noticed the founder of that group is voting for the same candidate Gillian Anderson said the Cigarette Smoking Man would vote for, the one who has managed to insult or offend every minority in the country, including the greater disability community. Considering they have tremendous Hollywood support already, I realize my efforts are going to be futile most of the time. Most will assume if it was worthy of concern, the most well known fundraising group would be raising hell. There’s no denying many good people support them.
Personally, I’m not happy with any of the choices this election.
I plan to setup a dedicated section for the photos, I’m mostly focused on moving right now, which was supposed to be done last year. Stopping at another convention on the road.
If things like this were not taking place, I would be a complete recluse staying the heck away from people. I wouldn’t be going to conventions, seeing that most of them do not or are unable to provide basic accommodations to minimize exposure to physically painful stimuli.
Peace and Long Life,