Lucy Berrington, Psychology Today - November 14, 2013
This is a very good primer on the Autism Speaks controversy. I like the way it is structured around the kinds of questions people unfamiliar with the issue are likely to ask. This is the kind of issue outline that should be prepared for all sorts of disability issues that get mainstream media attention. It’s right to complain about journalists’ ignorance of disability issues, but it’s also probably up to us to educate them.
I honestly thought when I started reading this article that the disabled man was going to turn out to have been killed, maimed, or tortured. I’ll bet he was scared to death, and probably felt extra humiliated because he was targeted for his disability. But, I can’t help feeling that Bob Greene’s tone in the article just doesn’t match the actual severity of what happened. The man was robbed, but he wasn’t injured. I know that’s not saying much, but it’s not nothing. Maybe I’m just naturally contrary about these stories, but I see evidence of a story about a significantly disabled man who lives independently, has full mobility in society, and who is taking a rare but not unheard-of misfortune of city life … a mugging … in stride. Yes, he was targeted because of his disability, but there’s nothing in the article that suggests it was anything like a “hate crime”. I feel bad for the man, and I do think it’s pretty low to target a person in a wheelchair this way, but sorry, I don’t get the “revulsion”.
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