Friday, May 20, 2011

Political Correctness, Autism and Bullshit in General


This was one of those weeks where several events that are totally not connected actually came together to form the perfect storm. In truth these events started me thinking, yes I know a dangerous activity (ha ha), but thinking nonetheless. Yes it has to do with that esoteric political reality called political correctness. I found it in the autism community, the education community and of course the international community.

We are surrounded within society with the concept that somethings are not politically correct and that we are to adhere to these rules and regulations.  In the realm of the world of autism, it is to say that we would want a cure for our children. Would we give them that little pill that could take away their disability? Anyone who reads my blog knows that for me the answer is a resounding yes. For many in the self-advocacy world that is tantamount to treason and a reason to hold a parent up to ridicule. You don’t understand they say. Autism is not suffering they say. No, autism is not suffering perhaps for them, but there are untold numbers out there for whom autism is suffering, whether it is emotional or physical. There is such a huge spectrum of issues associated with autism that to decry how one person feels about autism and/or their children’s autism, is to take from them the right to decide their life’s choices. Here is an earlier post on this topic.

I am tired of being told to embrace my child’s autism. I don’t embrace it. It is what it is and is something that they have to learn to deal with, just like the fact that they cannot play major league baseball or become a concert pianist. Somethings in life are what they are. However, it does not mean you do not wish for something different; that things would not be a little easier for them. You know damn well that your child got a raw deal through no fault of their own. It does not mean you do not love your child because you want to do the nonpolitically correct thing and give them the damn pill.

Yes I know that to embrace their autism means for a lot of people to finally understand, after a lifetime of not knowing what was going on inside of them, who they truly happen to be. Why they react in ways that is nonconformist. Why they see things in a different light or analyze situations differently. I understand that. I get it. I really do.

But sometimes I think the idea that to embrace their autism people think that it is an excuse. Recently on the show Parenthood, Max used his aspergers as an excuse for inappropriate behavior when his cousin was hospitalized. Needless to say I did not like that episode. While the parents tried to teach Max about empathy,  as if our children lack empathy, he would not listen. The show made it seem that autistics are not capable of empathy and that it is just fine and dandy for the aspergers to be used as an excuse. While relatives on the show may understand about a child’s autism and the aunt on the show was very gracious indeed, autism should never be used to forgo reality. I know those who read this blog agree with me on this issue. It just had to be said again.

I also do not let my children use their aspergers as an excuse for anything. If they do not get a social situation they learn. If they cannot speak to someone appropriately they learn. If they need to be taught how to function within the parameters that society has laid out then they learn. While accommodations are necessary throughout their education lives, extended time, alternate location and use of a computer, life does not give anyone such accommodations. We are learning that now with the LSATs. What it means is that sometimes in life you really need to suck it up and get on with it and deal with what is and is not. Does it mean the world is unfair? You betcha. But guess what, life is unfair to a whole lot of people, whether its those in poverty, those living under oppressive governments, and those who quite frankly are dying of diseases that society has chosen to ignore. Life is not fair. Get over it and deal with what is. Fight the fight you have to fight, but stop bellyaching. Stop “woe is meing.” Fight the damn good fight. Just do it already.

I am also tired of those who have decided what you can and cannot believe and what you can and cannot say. I am tired of the people who have decided that if you do not follow their mantra of political reality then you are somehow evil and beyond contempt. Oh and I am not just talking about lefties, I am also talking about those on the right as well. Listen I have never called for the death of someone no matter who they happen to be, but I will assert my right to say what I please politically. I will also tell the truth as I see it, even if there are people in the world who look to shut me up because I tell the truth (I also don’t believe in cultural relativism (here, here, here, here,here, here) and that causes a lot of people real angst). I have never outwardly or even recognizably said anything racist, homophobic, misogynistic or quite frankly anti-anything, I am also not perfect. If someone calls me out on something I said or wrote I will discuss it. But you had better be prepared to discuss the issue appropriately and without diatribe or your opinion is worthless.

That pisses some people off. I find it interesting that I am even told by the politically correct crowd how and when I as a Jewish parent are entitled to think someone is an anti-Semite and how I am allowed to assert my children’s right of self-defense.I love it when I am called a hater because I call out those who propose hate.That somehow I cannot call out those on the left or the right who think my children have no right to stand up for what they believe. To you I say screw you. We are a proud family; proud of our American heritage and proud of our Jewish heritage, which includes being pro-Israel. If I see someone denying my children the right to life, liberty and happiness I will call you out. You don’t like it then you are the sadder and more ignorant for it. You can’t handle that fact that you have aligned yourself with morons of hate colored in political correct thought then that is your problem. (Educators, artists and scientists, can call for genocide against a sovereign nation, but if you stand up to them you are a McCarthyite and you, not they, need to be expelled from society. Some educators can espouse racist, antisemite political thought but they are immune from attack due to academic freedom and freedom of speech. But if you stand up to them you are assaulted, attacked and they attempt to destroy you denying you the same rights they espouse for themselves.)

I suppose my biggest problem with political correct thought is that when you think you are above everyone else in thought and deed you do not have to listen to anyone else’s ideas. You can go along your merry way and decide that you are a gift to humanity and no one but those that think like you are allowed to exist or have a say in government, education, science and the arts. You think that your way is the only way and that no other person in the world has an opinion of merit. We called that the Dark Ages of mankind here in the western world. We disposed of that type of thought with the era of enlightenment and with the concepts of a new democratic republic. Unfortunately I think in many respects we have returned to the dark ages of man. If you are on the right side of an issue as far as the politically correct are concerned, then you have merit. The other ideas are given short shrift and ignored, pilloried or worse your right to exist is even called into question.


So as I said there were many things that came together this past week. All having to do with the unpolitical correct answer to some politically correct questions.  Perhaps in some respect they all have something to do with each other. I think it’s the right to think, act and feel as you want and believe. I do believe that we are all good people of conscience (at least those who don’t think its just fine and dandy to send rockets into school buses, blow up pizza parlors, trains, or fly airplanes into buildings) who only want the best for our children and ourselves. We are people like all people on the face of the earth who just want a fair shake and to be honored and respected for the sole issue of being human beings. That’s all. That’s it in a nutshell.

Until next time,
Forever without a politically correct bone in my body,


Elise