Recently, I wrote about my need to get political here. I mentioned that I am not shy about politics on my own personal Facebook feed, and that while courteous discourse is always well received, I tend to “unfollow” friends who post obnoxious, hate-filled memes and stories with less-than-credible sources.
This election, and one candidate in particular gets my blood boiling, for many, many reasons, the most important of which is that he mocked a disabled person on national TV.
How you treat others is very telling of your inner dialogue, your conscience, your humanity (or lack thereof). When “the others” you are dealing with are children, animals, and people with disabilities, it is very telling, indeed.
So when an aunt of mine (who I have already “unfollowed” long ago) decided to send me messages with stories about this particular candidate to apparently show me how he wasn’t really racist, I responded. I told her that, with all due respect, she and I would never agree politically, and that this candidate is a dangerous, selfish, narcissistic xenophobe with a long history of making racist and sexist comments. I told her that if she chose not to see that, it was her choice, but out of respect for her great-nephew with autism, a disorder that this candidate erroneously and dangerously attributes to vaccines, I ask that she not send me these messages.
Her response was the same response you often get when challenging someone who uses the r-word: “I only asked a question – no need to explode over this.”
Those of us who live with a special needs child do not have the luxury to be lax with our opinions. I’m pretty sure I won’t live forever, which means that my son’s future is in the hands of others. And if those others think for one second that it’s not a big deal when someone openly mocks a disabled person or espouses junk science, someone who could have a very direct affect on my son’s future through messing with medicaid coverage or social security disability, or education funding, or mental healthcare, or caregivers wages… It’s my job to help you understand that it is a VERY. BIG. DEAL.
And that fact that I haven’t “exploded” on you already is a testament to my patience and mental fortitude. Check your privilege. I don’t have any more time for your nonsense.