Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Week That Could Have Been Versus The Week That Was


This post is really two parts: First what made me angry over the past week, and Second, what should have been the actions taken as a result of Tucson and weren't.

I was wondering what was making me so depressed this past week, well other than the obvious trauma in Tucson. It took some introspection, but I think I have come up with the answer. I for one don’t like being manipulated. Yes, that is exactly what was going on by the media, the political elite and most of the blogosphere. I don’t like being told what to think and how to think and what I am supposed to be angry about. I don’t like someone else setting my priorities for me, and above all I certainly don’t like being used.

Ok, so what am I talking about here? As anyone who knows me from twitter or facebook, they know that I have some very strong political opinions. I stand my ground and believe what I believe. I have no issue with discussing politics, you can read my other blog Liberty’s Spirit  for my perspective if you like, and occasionally I do mention some issues here on my autism discussion website. I do for the most part try to keep the topics on my blogs separate (but not on my  twitter or facebook  accounts). I do not think that one thing should be interrupted by another. I do not think that someone should feel uncomfortable coming to seek answers or support for their special needs child because they think their politics, religion, ethnicity would preclude them from seeking comfort and support. So for the most part I am apolitical on this blog.

But this past week changed all that for me for the moment and that is why I write this post. (Don't worry this too shall pass.) I do not like being used and manipulated by those that truly show no respect for events and how they unfold. I do not like the cynical political pundits who have talked Tucson and only Tucson for the entire week and have yet to actually say anything of import. I do not like how the discussion is of nothing but self-indulgent, self-righteous, holier-than-thou claptrap, with finger pointing and accusations of complicity in murder that is repulsive. As I said in an earlier post, no one is talking about the real issue and that is the treatment and care of those with mental health issues in this nation. By the way, when Congress started talking about a 1000 foot area around themselves when they go out in public for protection from the "people," hubby blithely mentioned, that maybe these morons should be talking about putting 1000 foot corridors around children who live in high crime areas so these children can simply go to school unafraid or maybe just be able to grow up. Hubby does have a way of pushing through the bullshit.

However, what I mostly resent, especially as a Jewish-American is the attack on Sarah Palin and the fictitious bullshit about the term “blood libel.” I don’t give a crap if you like her not. I don’t give a crap what you think about her politics, but to manufacture nonsense because somehow a particular term belongs to one group or another is abhorrent. (I am also not ignorant of Jewish history. I grew up with a father in the Jewish philanthropy field, studied Jewish history, taught it and continue to live it.) I don’t like that the National Jewish Democratic Council (an arm of the Democratic Party)decided to create a "Jewish" issue and that the use of the term "blood libel"  was the one. Condemning the virulent worldwide anti-Semitism which fuels the call for the genocide against the 6 million Jews of Israel, the NJDC has nothing to say, but Palin they chime in. Ignoring media pundits, and international organizations  who routinely delegitimize the Jewish state and hence the Jewish people the NJDC has nothing to say. But Palin and the use of the term “blood libel” this is Earth shattering to them and destructive of American values. Remember however, this was also the same group that demonized Senator Joe Lieberman, a former Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee. The problem was that noone seemed to think for themselves and everyone started to pile on this inanity.

Listen, I am well aware that the job of the Jewish Democratic Committee is to keep the Jewish democrats still democrats. They say that in the last election, Jewish Americans, a rather large voting block in some key Electoral College battle states, either didn’t vote or didn’t vote for democrats.  The Democratic Party is seeing their Jewish constituents flee because of the Obama administration’s treatment of Israel. So they used this Tucson event and Palin to try to stem the flood. If they could make Palin, a huge Israel supporter, out to be some moonbat anti-Semite then perhaps the Jews will not flee to the other side of the political aisle. As I said I don’t like being manipulated or used by anyone for any reason. (By the way, go here [ here, here, here, here] for a discussion on the term “blood libel”, its political ramifications and the sheer audacious insults of  political manipulation.). An interesting political aside, Obama is supposed to meet with a large group of New York donors next week to begin to fund his 2012 political campaign. These same donors/bundlers were instrumental in helping finance him in 2008. Most of them have so far refused to help, fund or join his new campaign for a variety of reasons. I leave it to you to figure out why suddenly conservatives and particularly Palin were more vilified than normal by democratic operatives right after Tucson. PS don’t leave comments about Palin, her politics, intelligence, clothes, hair or whether you like her eyeglasses, I won't print them, that’s not really the gist of this post. This blog post is about cynical media and pundit manipulation of tragic events. This post is also not about whom I support or don't, it's about fairness, propaganda and sheer unadulterated disrespect for the intelligence of the American people. Who by the way, at a margin of 4-1, agree with me, that the pundits are out of control this week and owe Sarah Palin an apology.

Now to the second and real issue that should be being discussed; the cowardice of the mental health community to make noise during this tragic week. All I ever saw was the occasional tweet from NAMI of Massachusetts trying to get out the message about mental illness; other than that nada, nothing, zip, nil. To allow those in the media to usurp this event for political purposes and not call them out to the real reasons why it happened is willful negligence on the part of those who are supposed to be in the forefront of the mental healthcare issue. At no time, have I seen a discussion from any of these national mental health organizations on:
How the shooter needed help and didn’t get it;
What possibly could have been done for him;
The need and support in society for families of those with mental illness;
The lack of compassion and appreciation of the struggles of families with member who have mental illnesses;
What is a mental illness (a basic concept that should have started right away);
The differences in mental illnesses;
The need to differentiate mental health issues;

Furthermore, there is a huge chasm of silence coming from the autism community as well. The shooter was not autistic in any way; however, throughout the blogosphere those who are ignorant and uneducated started pointing to autism as the reason that the shooter did what he did. Nothing, not a word from any organization; they just stuck their heads in the sand and seem to be waiting for this horror to pass them by. Where are they and why are they not out educating the public? Why are they not writing letters and demanding to be heard on national television? What, they can’t discuss the overdone obsessive stupid issue of vaccines? They can’t discuss the concept of “cure” versus “recovery” versus “acceptance.” The national autism organizations actually have a real of the moment issue to discuss and not a one of them knew what to do.

I have news for all those neurodiversity proponents too; this was your damn week and you blew it big time. This was the week to start the national discussion about tolerance, acceptance and understanding. This was your week to point out that differences do not mean you are violent. This was your week to open your mouths and start to get your message out. This was your week to start to teach about what autism is and is not and what this community needs. This was your week to demand to be heard and to not be ignored, shunted aside or belittled. You allowed yourselves to be frightened into silence or manipulated by political machinations. Or where you afraid that the democrats wouldn't allow you back in the White House for another photo-op in support of disability rights if you yelled foul and called them out for their cynicism? 

Interestingly though, so many of you neurodiversity bubbelehs had time to go after Sarah Palin or call me ignorant or some other choice words, because I tweeted that this political crap was bullshit and that the issue was mental health alone. Oh and by the way, next time one of you of the spineless neurodiversity crowd, tells me that I am abusive, ignorant and a terrible parent to my autistic children because I expect them to participate appropriately in society, that society isn't going to presto-changeo for my children and shouldnt' have to or that I write that autism sucks, you can kiss my ass. Totally done with caring about the perspectives of the  "leaders" or "members" of the autism community about anything, especially when it concerns my boys.

So this was the week that something positive could have come out of a horror. Instead the mental health and autism communities blew it big time. You don’t like my perspective don’t come back. I don’t care. Meanwhile, I will continue to give advice if asked, teach parents to advocate for their children and be a virtual shoulder for whomever needs me, no matter politics, religion, ethnicity or even which side of all the autism community issues you happen to be on. But make no mistake I am beyond disappointed in these communities and its so-called representatives. Shame on them all.

If you don't come back, I wish you and your child godseed, no matter what you wish me and mine (which at times was  unprintable). If you do come back, until next time,


Elise

P.S. Because of society's ignorance about autism and mental health we are planning to have a full psychological work up done on HSB, just as we did for collegeman before he entered college, so that no one has the ability to point a finger at him and ruin his future. (The school did not request it, even though they could have, we decided it was best for our child to cover all eventualities). We shouldn't have to do this in order to protect our children's right to a future but no one out there is standing up for them and those like them. So we as their parent have to protect them the best way we know how. As I said above shame on the mental health and autism communities for not demanding a vibrant discussion about mental illness. Meanwhile there was finally a small article in Newsweek with NAMI just yesterday about the state of mental health care in this country. That was it....if you blinked you would have missed it.