Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's time to accept that they hate you

Update: This poem has become one of my most reshared posts over the years. I'd like readers to know that it is now available in a collection as part of The US Book, available at Autonomous Press, Amazon, and everywhere else that Ingram books are sold.

I'm not saying this to any one of us, but this is what comes to us,
being expected to be educating everyone in the way they find most comfortable
while they say we have deficits, we aren't eloquent, or we're dangerous,
it's the "acceptable" way of letting others know they hate us.

Most of us know this rhetoric and don't get tricked,
but somehow get outslicked by the sick twits with social wits
who bend their words to fit phrases like "calling ABA abuse is hate speech"
and we fall for it, argue with it and run from its reach.

This is costing us resources and territory, marginalizing
every adult body still dealing with the effects of PTSD,
yes, the fuckers know their words are triggering, start realizing
that this shit is to trip your scripts, its Kansas City Shuffling.

We win only by not engaging, but still responding
using Schopenhauers stratagems to move outside their reach
by labeling in plain language why it's hate speech,
calling attention to their knowledge of it, proving they know its triggering,
being bigger than education by utilizing their hatred,
and calling for a moral shaming of all repeat offenders,
because if they know how to offend us then they must not be beginners.

Let's push their protestations like we attack anti-vaxxers
let them educate themselves, we already got our publications out there.
We say we want them to presume competence? Let's do it then,
and assume they meant to hurt and call it out as bullying.

But once, and bluntly, with no hyperbole.
And if it has already been covered then leave that one be.
In this way we can provide one another conversational support,
Strafing in formation and shooting down derailments.

We can only do this if we come together to use their hatred,
coordinating conversational movements to steal their momentum.
This is what they already do to us, triggering our scripts,
but we're metatheoretical tactical thinkers, we can out-organize them.

Let them say we only reason using scripts
and let them think we don't have social relationships,
it will just set them up for coordinated maneuvers
they will experience without understanding until they're over
the trick to it is we all commit to this:
I will not respond to social media when triggered,
because I have a community of other autistics and I trust them.

This only works when we catch each other falling,
but I have already done it for a year, and it works when you remember
that the ones you trust are the ones already doing,
not the ones who want your spoons for educating or you doing for them.

And these properties are transitive, so if your relationship
involves them shushing you around others, then
the stuff you have seen them doing is for them exclusively,
and they will see your structure as their community.

It's not enough to criticize boards with no autistic members,
we can only trust autistic organizations with autistic chief executives,
and only if they have full spectrum representation,
and only if they have diversity at all the other major intersections.

Anything else is not for us, it's for them,
and they will find "common ground" on an intersection
and we will like them, but they will be doing it for another axis,
and we will be excluded as soon as we refuse to pivot to prioritizing it.

If you look around and don't see this, then
you must realize that someone is born into the generation of building
and these structures might not be on your shoulders,
but your voices streamlining social media will provide the room to build it.

What we need is that community,
to move past civil rights and into triage,
looking for lessons in Queer communities
who are already supporting generations of refugees with PTSD.

That is what's coming, and it will come while we are arguing,
or we can coordinate and start building shelters and rescue funds,
discussion groups and conversation lines, food kitchens and legal resources.
It's too much for one of us, but what about with coordination?
We already have a PACLA run by us who are parents,
let's keep expanding, and keep the eye on the full range of issues--
we can't pull everyone forward if we ignore other oppressions.

We must commit to do this to racism, and we must
commit to do this around gender, and we must commit to do this
around class issues, to center access at all levels,
and to resist the politics of hierarchies like means testing.

It's time for you to accept that they hate you,
and that showing your triggers to them is exposing yourself to torture,
but it's not your fault and there's a bunch of us here for you,
just trust fall and let us organize around you. We will signal boost.

And we want your voice too. We are going before you
because we already know you enough to want to get you employed,
to publish your stories and make sure you see yourself in the movies too
so when you're ready don't be shy--we aren't unapproachable and we're waiting for you.
For those of us who immediately read this: I repeat:
It's time to accept that they hate us, so what we need is contingency funds
and grant money; academic theories are only as good as the programs they breed.

Be brilliant but always be building, and your reward will be mass citation
because you will be the role models you documented not having.
Don't give in to derailment, and do look down on the ones who do it,
this is the next level of undoing compliance training.

Here's the secret to what they're doing: provoking your reactions
is a way of gaining the satisfaction of examples to support assertions,
which allows them to bend what happened through rationalization.
Don't give it to them. Let us strafe them into nonexistence while you keep a level head.

Round one will shut them down bluntly, then round two
will go in after they've blown their lids and point out their aggressive tactics,
raising concerns about their children based on their own violent rhetoric
and then let them get defensive until other parents wonder about their children.

This is what they do to you, so use it to be warriors 
turning back their own tactics and coordinating against them,
but be committed to only doing it to assert truth.
Groupthink destroyed every other generation before you, and othering 
has caused been the cause of everything,
watch Battlestar Galactica, get educated, and represent for other intersections of oppression,
remembering that their existence affects our neurodivergent siblings.

This is the next move in elevating the rhetoric,
and we need to have a conversation around it.
This verse isn't orders, it's an example of the consciousness,
I will commit to furthering it, citing my sources, and expanding its prevalence

but I don't want anyone thinking I invented this.
Between Clay Dillon and my other poems, you will know
where I first found my ideas and my flow. Until then, go
get organized along negotiated access lines.

We haven't had a move like this since the person-first argument,
but it's time we did, because we're losing our structures.
We built them, but let others own the domains, run the e-boards
and ultimately, they steered our ships off course.

This is the fight a lot of us are already having,
be ready when you graduate into it to know what has been done
and where you can go with it, so you can grow with it,
and then you can grow into owning it. We're committed to tradition,
but a tradition of building, of handing the means down democratically,
and that means we'll abandon communities that don't meet our needs,
because we'd rather have all our voices than have our voices be the loudest.

Feel free to cosign this.