Were you offended by this Morning Joe comment?

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Registered: 06-14-1999
Were you offended by this Morning Joe comment?
6
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 10:33am

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/autistic-journalist-demands-joe-scarborough-retract-comments-linking-autism-to-aurora-shooting/

On the show Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough suggested that the Aurora shooter may be on the autism spectrum.  He has a son with Asperger's himself.  Many people took offense.  I just saw it as a parent pointing out the need for services for these children.  I don't think he was suggesting that all or most people on the autism spectrum could grow up to be violent.  But if they all get the services they need, the few that have the potential for violence will also be helped.  I have a son who loves science and would become a recluse it I allowed it also.  Just like this shooter (and Bill Gates, for that matter), he's growing up in a pretty good neighborhood, with a good school, and church on Sundays.  I think I'd be sticking my head in the sand to say that his life couldn't go either way.  All I can do is give him a strong moral foundation, and fight for all of the services that he needs to grow up to be a functional adult.

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Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 8:54pm

I did not see the original show, bu after seeing this thread, I found Scarborough's follow-up written statement:

During a debate regarding the recent Colorado shootings, I suggested that the Aurora tragedy should make Americans focus more on mental health in this country. I also stated that my own experiences raising a son with Aspergers made me keenly aware of how important strong support systems are to those who might otherwise be isolated.

The growing Autism epidemic is a tremendous burden for children, parents and loved ones to endure. My call for increased funding and awareness for Autism and other mental health conditions was meant to support the efforts of those who work every day to improve the lives of Americans impacted. Those suggesting that I was linking all violent behavior to Autism missed my larger point and overlooked the fact that I have a wonderful, loving son with Aspergers. Perhaps I could have made my point more eloquently.

I look forward to continuing my work with wonderful organizations like Autism Speaks to provide badly needed support to millions of Americans who struggle with Autism every day.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/07/scarborough-holmes-on-autism-scale-129779.html

 

Avatar for skystrider
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Registered: 06-14-1999
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 7:46am

I also had the same thought myself when I saw it.  So it didn't bother me that he said it.  But I do see what people are saying about the way he presented it maybe unintentionally stereotyped autism spectrum in a negative way.   Before I had children on the spectrum, I had a very narrow understanding about what autism is.  So I can see how making this stereotype to the general, uninformed public could lead to a misunderstanding of what autism is.  

I guess it struck a little close to home for me because, like I mentioned, I have little boys a lot like that.  They've memorized the periodic table and know more about the difference between fission and fusion than I do.  Yesterday when we were walking to the pool they were talking about wanting to drop a nuclear bomb on their school.  I told them Jesus would never do such a thing.  But they insisted that is only because the technology wasn't invented yet back when he was alive.  I figure I've got about another decade to mold them into a Bill Gates or a James Eagan.  I'm not sure what I can do that Mr. and Mrs. Eagan didn't do for their child.  

I guess I'd be offended if other people stereotyped my kids that way, but it's okay for me to worry about it.

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Registered: 09-30-2011
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 11:41am
It did offend me, but I can see what you are saying. The problem is that most people unfamiliar with autism just immediately conclude that he is an expert on this subject. I think this part of the article sums it up:

The inherent absurdity and irresponsibility of Scarborough’s statements are aggravated by the fact that he is the father of an adult child with an autism disorder, which might lead viewers to believe that he knows what the hell he’s talking about. This is the main reason I hesitate to disclose that I am the father of two children with autism spectrum disorders, because I don’t want to derive unearned authority, moral or otherwise, from that fact.

People aren't going to make that connection that autistic kids need support and services, they are just going to take away that autism can cause you to be anti-social. He mentioned the Virginia Tech shooting, was it determined that that shooter was on the spectrum?
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Registered: 08-13-2007
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 11:39am
I saw this clip a few days ago and honestly, yes I was offended. I ended up turning it off before it was done because it rubbed me the wrong way. I think it was the way in which he said it: something along the lines of- as soon as I heard about this shooting I knew who it was. Then he goes on to state that he is probably on the autism spectrum. While I'm sure we'll find out one way or another in the coming months (years?), I think it is the generalization that offended many. Saying that a mass murderer likely has autism before you have any details to back up that claim really did irritate me.

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