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I Am a Proud, Black, Nonspeaking Young Man With Autism. My Life Matters.

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I put my heart to words because my voice matters! I am a strong, proud, Black, nonspeaking young man who happens to have autism. I am learning to express myself with words. My words are my solidity! When I learned of the senseless deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, I felt like a part of my innocence was taken.

Breonna Taylor is from my hometown of Louisville, KY. I have seven aunts and Breonna could have been one of them!

I had some growing up to do in retrospect of what’s going on around me. Writing is my protest.

* * *

So are we still waiting with a song in our hearts?!

Hoping we make it back home to loved ones.

Not because I’m a police officer, not because I’m a person in the military. NO!

It’s because my skin is black, my frame is tall and I am considered to be a threat!

They want me to disappear!

So if I don’t leave they’ll do it for me, but I’m here and I’m not leaving! My Black Life Matters!

I move on a different frequency, yes a different rhythm.

Please don’t kill me because I’m different. I deserve a chance at a good life. My Black Life Matters.

Instead, celebrate me!

I’m a descendant of the people who built this country you worship, and the ground you freely walk and that flag you love so much that Betsy Ross stole the credit for.

My Black Life Matters!

How can you be so mad at me because I want to be free?!

Are you loving people and making hate an enemy?!

Let’s begin to heal one another by education and advocation.

Let’s drown out hate and flood this world with love because:

All lives Matter when Black lives Matters!

* * *

From the Autistic Self Advocacy Network: 

The police often use excessive force against people with disabilities. People with disabilities are also more likely to be killed by the police. This pattern is especially pronounced for people with mental health disabilities and people of color with disabilities. When a person with a disability has a fatal or violent encounter with the police, media outlets initially place the blame on the person’s disability rather than on the officer(s) who hurt that person.

Read more about autism, safety and law enforcement here.

Image provided by Justice

Originally published: June 10, 2020
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