xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: Where were you?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Where were you?

If you have any connection to the autism world, by now you have heard about Kelli Stapleton. Last week my friend Kelli tried to kill herself and her daughter Issy. As I write this, Kelli is now in jail and Issy is still unconscious.

I'm not going to talk about how I feel about this because, honestly, I'm not handling it very well. I'm not going to try to explain or make excuses, because I just don't understand. I've been trying to stay away from Facebook where it's all anybody is talking about, but things still manage to make their way to me. I kind of feel like a powder keg ready to blow and even though I was trying to keep out of the "discourse," there are some things I just can't stay quiet about anymore.

These are the few things that have made their way to me: There's a change.org petition out there to have Kelli charged with a hate crime. And there's a hashtag on twitter called #JusticeForIssy. I don't actually know who is behind these things, because going and finding out would probably push me over the edge, although I could write a list of people I suspect are involved, and likely be right. I haven't read any blogs but I'm sure the usual "the mom is a monster" posts are out there, and, of course, all those fucking Facebook posts and comments....

This post is for those people: Those autistic self advocates who are currently running their public information campaign about Kelli and how much of a monster she is, because I have a question for you.

Where were you?

Where were you back in February when Kelli was desperately pleading for help because their funding had been cut off for Issy's residential treatment program? Where were you when the rest of us were writing posts and spreading the word to try to get Issy the help she needed? Did you contribute to the Team Issy fund? Did you lend your support to Kelli in any way? Did you even "like" the fucking Facebook page?

Well, I'll tell you where you were: you were sitting on your fucking high horse, pretending it wasn't happening, because a violent autistic child who regularly sends her mother to the Emergency Room just doesn't fit with your nicely crafted talking points. You were watching it unfold and you were doing nothing but criticize Kelli's parenting, as if you could do better. You were calling her an attention whore. You were making up reasons to make sure that this was all still Kelli's fault (Kelli was criticized for "posting videos of Issy in distress," even though she never did that). You were sitting there quietly, hoping it all just went away.

And now? You don't care about getting fucking "justice" for Issy, you care about yourself, and how much blog traffic you can generate by capitalizing on this tragedy and using it for your own personal, political interests. If you cared about Issy, you would have been there, with us, back in February, trying to get Kelli some help. If you cared about Issy, you would have done something back then. But you did nothing.

And what are you going to do for Issy now, other than trying to make sure her mother is incarcerated for as long as possible? Nothing. You will do nothing. She's just a public information campaign to you, you don't actually care about her well being. Issy is nothing more to you than a step ladder to stand on so you can talk about yourselves.

So, where were you? You were hiding. Now go back into your hole and stay there.