ON SALE NOW: Russell’s NEW book “On the Outside Looking In”
Autism and Police Spoken Word Poem
“Every day that I take a step outside in public is a day that I am taking a chance with my life. A chance that should not go hand-in-hand with being a member of society.
As a white, middle-class male, I have many variable reasons not to fear interactions with the police. However, as a white, middle-class male with autism and many mental health struggles, I have a multitude of validations behind my fears that at certain times far outweigh my societal privileges.
I have trained first responders in the past, from K9 units to firefighters to hostage negotiators, and when I describe to them the worst of my meltdowns, panic attacks, and breakdowns, which can at times conjure an optical illusion where I come across as a menacingly violent individual due to the intense adrenaline and testosterone of being in flight or fight mode, I pose to them this simple question:
“What would be your initial thought if you came upon a person acting in a manner such as this?”
“I would think you were high on drugs.”
“And if you gave me a command and I didn’t listen?”
“I may have to pull my gun.”
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