I’m the Victim of an Anti-Semitic Hate Crime – Here’s What I Say About Kansas

Published: mic (April 14, 2014)

The shooting yesterday at a Jewish community center in Kansas City was more than tragic. It was un-American.

This crime strikes a deep personal chord with me, not only because I have also been the victim of an anti-Semitic hate crime, but because its motivations fly in the face of our nation’s most important and fundamental ideals. Its perpetrator, Frazier Glenn Miller, was the founder and former leader of branches of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party. His white supremacist ideology held that groups like Jews were inferior to him, that they did not belong in the America he envisioned. read more

If Politicians Were Paid Based on Real Accomplishments, Here’s What They’d Earn

Published: mic (April 10, 2014)

Over the past couple weeks, while President Barack Obama has taken to podiums everywhere to rally support for raising the minimum wage, members of Congress have been rushing to support him.

“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” said retiring Congressman Jim Moran, a Virginia Democrat who has served in the House of Representatives for nearly a quarter-century. Wait … whaaat? “I understand that it’s widely felt that [we] underperform [sic], but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world,” he continued. This isn’t the Onion. read more

These Are The TV Characters Getting Asperger’s Wrong, From Someone Who Has It

Published: mic (April 10, 2014)

When I was first diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of 14, Asperger’s was barely on the public radar. One of my earliest experiences discussing the condition with others was having them make vulgar puns about the name.

To say the least, the last 15 years have seen a remarkable change in public awareness. Not only is Asperger’s syndrome as commonly known as ADHD or OCD, it is the subject of ongoing medical debate (over whether it should be classified as a separate diagnosis or folded into the larger autism spectrum), the source of dangerous conspiracy theories (see Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccination campaign), and a prominent feature of our popular culture. read more

Jenny McCarthy Wants to Save Me From My Autism, But She Just Doesn’t Get It

Published: mic (April 2, 2014)

I have something uniquely in common with several million other Americans: I’m autistic.

At a time when Jenny McCarthy is spearheading a dangerous movement that blames my condition on vaccines — a myth dispelled by WebMD here — I am naturally sensitive to any mention of autism in the news, of which there have been a lot lately, especially when it’s discussed as if something’s “wrong” with me. There’s not.

The lack of awareness and understanding about autism is stunning. It wasn’t too long ago that the Republican primary for Illinois’ 9th Congressional District was won by Susanne Atanus, a radical right-winger best known for statements like this: read more