MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING FOR RACISM, ABLEISM: Murder of Black autistic teenager
There is a lot that Stephon Watts’ murder tells us about how young, autistic men of color are (not) valued by the people who are supposed to be protecting us. But this point probably won’t be emphasized nearly enough in most discussions.
There is no good reason why parents are encouraged by supposed autism “experts” to contact the police during difficult moments. This is a really, really bad idea. And it is especially awful for “experts” to give this advice to parents of young autistic men of color, whose lives clearly are not valued by law enforcement officers the way they should be.
This is a controversial statement in some quarters. I’ve been at autism events where calling the police to “deal with” an autistic person is treated as an ordinary, unproblematic occurrence. And that is fucked up, and it contributes to tragedies such as Stephon’s death.
This should not happen. Period.
I have a history of “difficult behaviors” myself. And I know that calling the police during those moments would have made things worse.
Why can’t people realize this?