With the Supreme Court entering to ostensibly end (but truly to reignite) the debate over whether vaccine manufacturers can be sued for injuries allegedly caused by the vaccine, I can’t help but think we are in the eye of the storm — a temporary, albeit not-so-pleasant calm in the midst of the storm. As I look I round, I see an autism community divided, collateral damage that, well frankly and mildly crudely, pisses me off to no end. As I have written about the effects of this bifurcation of the community, I won’t digress, but I will talk about the teams.
On one side of the proverbial fence stand the Vaccine-haters, who point to different scientific experiments (what the “pro” vaccine community, which I will creatively call “Pro Lifers” due to their arguments as to the benefits of vaccines, call pseudoscience) to augment their point. They blame thimerosal (a Mercury-based preservative) for its toxic effects, which the “other team” rebuffs with arguments of subthreshold levels that can be eradicated by the body. But wait, the Vaccine-haters retort: But not my Johnny! His body can only do so via chelation, a medical treatment that — you guessed it — the Pro-Lifers find specious at best and liken to ECT at worst. The Vaccine-haters point to behavioral changes following the vaccines. They wave their hospital discharge summaries for intense fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and, ultimately, the report that diagnosed the autism spectrum disorder. Our Pro-Lifers hold that same report, but their attribution theory is “better”; they site some breaking news about living too close to a highway and birthing a child too soon after an NT child.
This is our reality, like a red state-blue state politically drawn map, a rally with picketers on both sides with signs attempting to undercut the other, or a sporting event with fans donning their team’s jersey while holding a sign besmirching the other team’s best player.
But, what if we wore the Red Sox jersey with a Yankees hat? Can God “hate gays” and “love them” too? Can you be pro-life and have an abortion? Can black and white exist harmoniously?
I think so. Isn’t it called gray? Or grey? Either way, isn’t that an option, too?
I recognize that I am not just asking for black and white to play nice. I am asking for them to give just a little of their hue and mix it to produce something entirely new. What would that look like in our world of Vaccine-haters and Pro-Lifers? Vaccin-Lifers? Pro-haters? No, those seem to be synonyms for our previously identified teams.
To be honest, I do not have the answer right now, which frustrates me, again, to no end. But, for now, I’m trying to be grey/gray. For me, that means listening and learning, not spitting, picketing, and yelling.