All posts by Zane Bolonga

Anarchism and neurodiversity

The concept of neurodiversity is largely unknown within the anarchist community, or any community, for that matter. Neurodiversity is the idea that people with neurological differences should be recognized as equals to neurotypicals, or those who are considered neurologically “normal.”

Police brutality is a huge problem facing the neurodiverse. Instances like the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic man who was beaten to death by police in Fullerton, California, sadly aren’t that rare. I personally have faced such discrimination on a (much) smaller scale, having been harassed by police who think my nervous tics and sometimes odd behavior are “suspicious seeming.”

Society’s attitudes towards the neurodiverse are just as badly misinformed and negative. There have been a multitude of incidents of bullying towards the neurodiverse, especially common with schizophrenics. On top of experiencing bullying, many schizophrenics are often homeless due to the lack of services this post-Reagan regime provides. Being both homeless and schizophrenic puts these individuals in double jeopardy; they are seen as wandering goons. The rates of bullying for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders are also very high. Harmless stymieing and narrow interests make this society angry towards the neurodiverse.

Negative attitudes towards the neurodiverse stem from an oppressive mindset. Capitalism has taught us all that those who can’t produce profit have no inherent worth whatsoever. Since capitalism and class society itself is incapable of seeing the forest for the trees, those with a different mindset from Neurotypical people are not a demographic that can be sold to, and sometimes our neuroses make us harder to hire. Instead of getting the help we need from our government, we are instead forced to live on the streets or in an oppressive home where we will be treated like farm animals.

It’s time for the neurodiverse, from the homeless schizophrenic man to the Star Trek loving Aspie Womyn to the suregeon with Tourette’s syndrome, to realize that statism and capitalism produce hierarchies that are inherently operating against them. Its time for the Neurodiverse to get prepared to bash back against bigots and goons. It’s time for all people who don’t fit the upper-class, straight, neurotypical WASP mold (and them too if they want to join us) to rise up and create a better world for us all. We could start by trying to educate the masses about the neurodiverse, and how they are capable of living lives as good as anyone else. The situation with police can only be solved like we’ve always known: direct action! Together we can all make this world a nicer place for everyone.