Acceptance and Awareness, Bullying, Dignity & Respect, Education, Equality, Independence, law enforcement

Why Juneteenth is Important to the Autism Community

So, today is Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Liberation Day) is an unofficial American holiday and an official Texas state holiday, celebrated annually on the 19th of June in the United States to commemorate Union army general Gordon Granger announcing federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were now free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier and the American Civil War had largely ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April, Texas was the most remote of the slave states, with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.

We as autistics know of systemic indifferences everywhere we go in public, and at a time of social justice reforms when the conversation needs to be had in our country about systemic racism and many other injustices.

We must also remember our autistics of color, because when signs are prevelent of Autism, sometimes getting a diagnosis can be difficult, as can finding appropriate services for individuals under this quagmire. Much gratitude has to be given to the supporters of these individuals for they sometimes have to give it their all for their individual to get the necessary supports.

While I haven’t spoken recently much on recent events in the mainstream media, I feel like it’s necessary to have these conversations about what’s going on with every autistic. Many autistics don’t have prejudice and can oftentimes be impartial and don’t see difference in a person’s race. Nonetheless, the conversation needs to be had, simply to make the Autistic aware that a person of color may not see things as equally as they do. This should be done not to be as a demeaning way, but simply because autistics may have difficulty in understanding the difficulties that African Americans and other ethnicities face on a consistent basis.

As such, this overflows into relationship with law enforcement officers. Sometimes even with autistics and law enforcement officers can prove to be a struggle. Especially when race is involved this can be overwhelming and could lead in to regretful outcomes. Educate, educate, educate. For one may not know when one would have to interact with law enforcement and it would lead to a less desirable outcome.

With that being said, many locations in the United States will be closed today, specifically government offices and banks. Should something be unexpectedly closed today due to Juneteenth, use this moment as a teaching moment for the autism community so that everyone can have a brighter future.

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