>Usually when a story about autism is featured in the media, it will rarely talk about the challenges faced by adult and teen-aged autistics, and they certainly won’t talk about how disablism against people with autism intersects with other prejudices, like sexism, transphobia, homophobia, or racism.
But today, we find ourselves with a story on our hands of a teenager with autism facing horrific treatment at the hands of the police, for the “crime” of sitting around while black and autistic.
Like “Neli”, I am autistic, and I enjoy walking, and will often leave the house in the early mornings to go for a stroll without leaving a note. The only difference is that I am in possession of white privilege, which means that I’m unlikely to be reported as “suspicious… possibly with a gun” to the police. Neli did nothing wrong, he is simply an unfortunate victim of racism, disablism, and the brutality of police officers who not only have no clue as to how to work with people with disabilities, they often openly embrace thuggish tactics.
Thus far, most of America’s mainstream media has been silent. Because this story doesn’t concern parading autistic children out in dunce caps to showcase what a tragedy they are, they seem to see no reason to pay attention to Neil’s plight. But as a fellow autie, I see every reason to do so. Sign this petition here:
To Neli and his family, I say that I’m throwing all my support behind you and hope you know how many people are fighting for justice and your side of the story.