Neurodivergent people live within the shadows of a society that clings to hierarchies determined on an individual’s value and worth to a supremacist society.
The reality for neurodivergent people is the assumption that we are less capable, less worthy, less of a value to society unless we can assimilate into what a society rooted in neurotypical standards demands and expects from birth.
Human, white, cis, male, and of course, neurotypical are some of the labels deemed the most worthy in our current society. While neuroableism is just one form of oppression, through Kimberlée Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality, we can understand that an individual’s struggles become compounded with other intersecting identities that are part of them and interconnect with their neurodivergence. For example, systemic racism means that Black autistic people will be further marginalized and oppressed than someone that is autistic but not Black. In this case, neuroableism intersects with white supremacy, which explains why this is true.
It’s well-documented that Black men are targeted and murdered by police at a higher rate than white men. That rate is 5 times higher – due to racial bias in a society rooted in white supremacy. Latinx and Native Americans are also killed at a higher rate than white counterparts for the same incidents and age. Throw in neurodivergence, and we can understand why the data reveals that neurodivergent Black people are even more in danger of being killed by police in a society that has barely begun to attempt to understand neurodivergence. Unfortunately, in it’s current state, society primarily reacts with violence and bias against those that do not fit the labels of those considered to have the most worth in society.
Otherization and depersonification are tools used by supremacist ideologies in power to keep hold of that power. Currently, neurodivergent people are stereotyped, denied individuality, and treated as broken, problematic, and less-abled. Everyone that is different is othered and outcast. This is not only true for neurodivergent people, despite the differences in oppression, this systemic justification of oppression is also used on Black, Brown, and Indigenous People, LGBTQIA+ communities, and even non-human animals, which have been routinely used as tools themselves to dehumanize People of Color and even neurodivergent people.
Food for Thought on Interconnections: