Monday, September 23, 2013

T-shirts and civil rights

Over the last week, news and reaction about the Ethan Saylor case continued to unfold. I want to use my Monday morning blog to highlight an especially important response from http://kimchilatkes.com/. The author is also a parent of a child with Down syndrome and wrote in response to this story from Maryland.

In the story, we are shown a bright yellow t-shirt that says, "I have autism. If I am alone please call 911." I know the creator of the shirt wants to do the right thing here. She is trying to solve a problem.


Never mind the slippery slope argument that leads to institutionalization (a road we've been down before in this country). Never mind issues of agency and representation.

I just want to quote the blog author, Jisun:
It is not an individual’s responsibility to wear or show evidence of his or her diagnosis in order to remain safe and retain their basic civil rights.
Read the whole entry. Share that entry.

I'll weigh in with more thoughts as the week progresses. But that one sentence says enough for me.

The solution is to change the cult of compliance and to build inclusion into our society. Not to label in bright yellow.

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