it wasn’t in a movie

A section of Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech from last night. I didn’t watch the show, but this was in my NYT daily email.

There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter, someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.

And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.

For those who question the legitimacy of her statement:

http://www.snopes.com/2016/07/28/donald-trump-criticized-for-mocking-disabled-reporter/

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/11/26/donald-trump-mocks-reporter-with-disability-berman-sot-ac.cnn

And there are plenty of other videos out there of the event.  Google is your fact checking friend.

I know that her statement wasn’t specifically about my next bit, but he’s also on the record making terrifically uninformed statements about Autism . . .

As a parent of an adult with Asperger’s, which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder, I’ve watched the world react to my son:  first as a child, then as a teen, and now as an adult.  I’ve felt the sting of rejection for him.  I’ve attempted to explain people and their prejudice. I’ve worked my butt off so that he can appear confident and high-functioning.

And that’s the thing:  he does appear “normal” to a lot of people.  I’m always hearing, “He seems so normal.”  Well, yes and thank you (I think), but you don’t see the years of practicing, the years of getting it wrong, the years of training, the years of therapy (often for me!). You don’t see the heartbreak when it goes wrong.  You don’t see the months it can take to regain equilibrium.  You probably haven’t wept at night worrying about how the harsh world is going to treat your adult child.

But maybe you have.  Maybe you parent an adult with #ASD.  Maybe you parent an adult who doesn’t fit our binary gender traditions.  Maybe you parent an adult with a mental illness.  Maybe you parent and adult with a chromosomal defect.  Maybe you parent an adult with a physical disability.  Maybe . . .

Donald Trump on Autism:  https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/449525268529815552?lang=en

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/trump-met-prominent-anti-vaccine-activists-during-campaign

http://mediamatters.org/research/2015/10/09/donald-trump-says-america-would-have-common-sen/206066

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What I’m reading:  Clouds of Witness (by D Sayers).  Essentialism (by G McKeown)

What I’m listening to:  Watership Down (By R Adams)

What I’m watching:  Rosemary & Thyme (BBC — and my favorite)

What I’m pondering:  A truly fantastic homily by Don

In my house:  lots of laundry by the wood stove.  lots of dishes waiting by the sink.  lists for  Spring/Summer/Fall yard work including seed lists and material lists for building seriously raised beds this Spring.

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