Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Colour blindness

Recently, both in my life and in the press, I have seen a lot of racism. One of the newspapers on Sunday morning said:

"Labour donor was FOREIGN"

Apparently at work on Friday, our Polish supervisor said to Caroline:

"You are blind because you are English"

Now, this I cannot understand. The way I look at the world, I believe, is different from most people. I don't see colours, races, anything. I see people. Just like me. I suppose because my emotions are actually based on what I've seen others do (other than laugher or sadness) I can't really connect with them, but this actually gives me an edge. Because I can't connect with them, or prejudge them, I am forced to base how I feel about them from what I learn about them. There are one or two exceptions to this. One being Albinos. I automatically like Albino people. One comes into my store most weekends and I think he thinks I am odd, but I find him fascinating. All his hair is white. Not just on his head. His eyebrows, his arm hair, all of it. Pure white. I'm not attracted to him, because I don't find men attractive, but I find the hair beautiful. It's like it's...pure. When I hear "white" I see a snowscape. Maybe it has something to do with that.

The other people I find fascinating are people with ginger hair. They are truely remarkable in my eyes. Not only is their hair colour significantly different from normal, but they often have freckles, which I adore. Also, they often have green eyes or deep blue eyes. The whole look takes my breath away. I must admit I am naturally attracted to redheads (despite my fiancee being a brunette!) But then my fiancee also had freckles, which just fascinate me entirely.

But other people, I have no connection with. None at all. Every person I meet I start with a blank slate. If they wrong me, then obviously I form a negative opinion of them. But if they understand me, are nice to me, and don't do anything bad to me, then I form very good opinions of them. Regardless of gender, race, origin, colour, whatever.

One great example of this is a regular in my store. Now, he has tattoos all over him, including one skull tattoo. He is tall, and he has a shaved head. Most people would avoid him, but his skull tattoo fascinated me, so I began talking to him. He is a really nice person. Preconceptions appear a lot, from what I can tell in Neurotypical life, but if this had happened with me, I would never have gotten to know this nice person.

In conclusion, I guess I am saying that maybe, despite the press calling Autism an "epidemic", people could actually maybe benefit from some of the ways we see the world...


Andy said...

"the press calling Autism an "epidemic""

Is this true? I just can't believe it.

Dave said...

It is actually true. It's been referred to by many media outlets as an epidemic. Sad but true.

Susan in St. Paul said...

I see people that way too, but no one seems to believe me when I say that.