Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Note on Mourning, by Alec Frazier

I disagree with many autistic self advocates on one key question:

To Mourn or Not to Mourn?

One of the founders of the autistic self-advocacy movement is Jim Sinclair. Jim Sinclair provoked a new way of thinking about autistic people by writing a paper called “Do Not Mourn for Us”. I therefore find it very ironic and even detrimental that mourning is such a large component of this movement. When people of any kind hold vigils or mourn publicly, they are giving their enemies an opportunity to point and say, “Look, they are recognizing our efforts to demean them!” I am going to get a lot of negative feedback from a lot of friends, but I believe that the efforts by some autistic people and organizations to mourn for the deaths of autistic people with vigils, gatherings, and memorial celebrations is out of a feeling of pity for those killed, or self-pity, which may be subconscious. It is my feeling that this pity or self-pity is unnecessary. My grandfather, Arthur Jacob Fuld, was a survivor and liberator of the German Holocaust against the Jews. He believed that there should be a private grieving, but that efforts for public mourning were detrimental to the cause of recognition of his people. Instead, he believed that the best way to recognize groups of people killed out of hatred is not by public grieving, but instead by living a productive life to prove that those groups of people are capable of good things. In fact, I believe this is true for all kinds of people. I am gay, and for the previously mentioned reasons, I refuse to go to vigils for gay people, too.

Not that we have to prove anything, mind you. But it always is good to do positive things! I believe exactly what my grandfather believed. Unfortunately, I recognize that my beliefs on this issue can get a lot of hatred from my own community. They are not extreme views, but rather views that are unpopular among certain people. Those people are free to mourn and practice their own beliefs, but I have the right to my own opinion and my own way of doing things. I have been attacked and accused of supporting murder for pointing out my views on this issue. Unjustifiable attacks upon me will not be tolerated just because I am voicing my opinion. You have a right to your opinion, and I have a right to mine.

Everyone has a right to an opinion! If you disagree with mine, please screencap my post! This blog has nothing to do with my places of employment, and my employers will tell you just that.