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...

3 comments:

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.