to lay the barricades aside


And it seems so hard
To keep it all together
When the walls are fallin’ down
On every side
Yeah but I’ll be damned
If I’ll give up on it easy
I’ve worked too hard
To lay the barricades aside

~ Pat Green

Taunting Boo Radley became passe.

~ To Kill a Mockingbird


If by any chance you missed the story yesterday in which Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe jumped to the terribly reckless and dangerous and damaging (not to mention downright ignorant) conclusion that James Holmes, the man responsible for the deadliest mass murder in recent history, must be ‘on the autism scale’, I’d encourage you to read this post and the links within it.

This community has fought for years against fear as a response to difference. We have worked – and continue to work every day – to lift the veil of misunderstanding so that society will get to know the people behind the labels and the attendant disastrous misconceptions that so often accompany them. Reckless speculation like Mr Scarborough’s set those efforts back immeasurably.

Personally, I refuse to give up the ground that we’ve gained. We’ve worked too hard to get where we are and by God, we’re still nowhere near where we need to be.

Please, read and share yesterday’s post. Sign the petition. Tweet the following –

Please READ and SHARE – #Autism is not dangerous but words can be – @joenbc @Morning_Joe #ColoradoTragedy @diaryofamom

Above all, TALK to the people that you know. Tell them that speculation like this is as ignorant as it is damaging. That careless words hurt real people. That they affect perception. That they validate fear. That they fortify the walls that we’ve been working so hard to tear down.

That they hurt our children.

That they hurt autistic adults.

That they hurt us all.

Please, join the conversation. Tell your story. Online, at church, at school, at the supermarket. Talk to your neighbors. Talk to your friends. Talk to your families. Please, help us fight this kind of ignorance. We can’t go back to where we started.



13 thoughts on “to lay the barricades aside

  1. You’re absolutely right, Jess! This story must be told. This kind of ignorance
    is horribly damaging and shocking.

    Love you,

  2. My son is three and one of the most gentle souls I know.

    Joe Scarborough, like many other talking heads, is no better than a tabloid: spouting assertions without any shred of evidence. It truly is a dangerous form of journalism.

  3. What’s so surprising is that Joe has a son with Asbergers Syndrome. I’ve seen him at a few Job Path events and just don’t get why he would ever say anything as cruel and just plain wrong like this. Wonder if he thinks that because he’s part of the community he knows everything there is to know. Really sad.

  4. When I heard the reckless comments from Mornin’ Joe, I was angry… horrified. I didn’t know what to do. And then you put together this perfect, simple message. The autism community disagrees on a lot of things, but I think we can all stand behind this message. Thank you so much for helping us to find our direction!

  5. I’m trying to decide if James Holmes was on the spectrum and if so where. My best friend of 60 years was an aspie and recently passed away. In light of his passing, I’ve been thinking a lot about Asperger’s Syndrome hence the interest.

    • i’m very sorry for your loss.

      as for whether or not james holmes is on the spectrum, i’d ask you to read the following –

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