Alright – so, Jesse Williams who is an amazing actor and plays a doctor in Grey’s Anatomy gave the best race speech in recent history last night at the BET awards. What does this have to do with autism? Everything. For example, we know that racial disparity exists in accessing services and treatments for minority kids on the spectrum. This does not happen by mistake. Providers like racist A-holes like Lovaas take Caucasian kids while they put minority kids on endless waiting list or discharge them because they are too old at age 5. Subliminally bias ABA providers like MEAP don’t even have one Black autistic child in their program, according to public information for 2013 and 2014. Probably they still don’t to date.
You see racism happens daily in every corner in this state and in this country. And, Jesse spoke eloquently about it last night. The good thing is that we (minorities) have the power to change this with our votes, our voices and our buying power. Sadly, we have not yet figured out a collective and cohesive way to do this so that the oppressor can no more. For example, imagine if we voted out elected officials whose policies have hurt or not made a significant change in the right direction. There are dozens like that in Minnesota. Imagine if we spoke against racist providers, companies, agencies, departments, so on and so forth until they changed. This is an election year folks – vote wisely and hold them accountable for their polices as well as how they allocate resources to various communities and areas.
Governor Dayton approving couple of cents for minority grants and even finally allowing the state agencies to be audited in how they follow federal and state civil rights laws in hiring or in this case how they don’t follow is still not good enough to erase decades of real racial injustices and racial inequalities. Equal policies, equal access, equal rights and equal opportunities are better and needed. Let’s vote wisely this year and vote out the useless politicians that hindered progress in our communities.
Anyway, I was moved by his speech as were millions of others. Below is his full speech and the link to the video.
Read His Speech in Full:
“This award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students, that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.
All right? It’s kind of basic mathematics:, the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize. Now this is also in particular for the black women, in particular, who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.
Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.
Now the thing is though, all of us in here getting money, that alone isn’t going to stop this. All right? Now dedicating our lives to get money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body, when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.
There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done, there’s been no tax they haven’t levied against us, and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would’ve been alive if she hadn’t acted so… “free.”
Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter. But, you know what though? The hereafter is a hustle. We want it now. And let’s get a couple of things straight, just a little side note: The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, all right, stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.
We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind, while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil, black gold. Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is, though, the thing is that just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real.”
Above words do not represent any agency, candidate or committee.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Minority Advocate