Here’s a storify on a recent internet fight around literature, cultural appropriation, and autism. It ended when Michael Grant, a famous YA author, called another author’s autistic child a “burden.” He later apologized.
Everyone wants to understand why Hillary Clinton lost the campaign and what it means for the future. Usually, it means that whatever pre-determined factor you cared about is more important and factors you care less about are less important, because we humans are flawed analysts about nearly everything.
I’m inclined to give Michael Grant and all the white male journalists eager to cast aside identity as a political force a pass for whatever they did last week, just as I am willing to forget all the ill-considered grieving from people in all my communities, and hope you’ll do the same for me. It was a rough week. If Grant is as bad as he seems, he’ll show it again, and there will be no second chance (not that I’m rushing out to buy his books today or anything).
But for me the future lies not in silencing ourselves on identity, but in linking our struggles. The brilliant scholar Nyasha Junior recently introduced me to this quote from Lilla Watson: “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”