Joe Scarborough is a talk show host. One who yesterday made a comment about autism and the type of people who do things like the Aurora Colorado shooting.
In regards to the Aurora Colorado shooting incident, he made the following comment:
“You have these people that are somewhere, I believe, probably on the autism scale, I don’t know if that’s the case here, but it happens more often than not, people that can walk around in society, that can function on college campuses, can even excel in college campuses, but are socially disconnected. I have a son who has Asperger’s who is loved by everyone in his family and who is wonderful, but it is for those that may not have a loving family and a support group and may be a bit further along on the autism spectrum, an extraordinarily frustrating, terrible challenge day in and day out. and so, I do think, again, I don’t know the specifics about this young man, but we see too many shooters in these type of tragedies bearing the same characteristics mentally.”
Which has had quite a backlash from the autism communities. Yes, various and disparate segments of the autism communities are complaining about the statement.
Today he has tried to clarify his position (from a story: Joe Scarborough On Autism Remarks: ‘Perhaps I Could Have Made My Point More Eloquently’)
During a debate regarding the recent Colorado shootings, I suggested that the Aurora tragedy should make Americans focus more on mental health in this country. I also stated that my own experiences raising a son with Aspergers made me keenly aware of how important strong support systems are to those who might otherwise be isolated.
The growing Autism epidemic is a tremendous burden for children, parents and loved ones to endure. My call for increased funding and awareness for Autism and other mental health conditions was meant to support the efforts of those who work every day to improve the lives of Americans impacted. Those suggesting that I was linking all violent behavior to Autism missed my larger point and overlooked the fact that I have a wonderful, loving son with Aspergers. Perhaps I could have made my point more eloquently.
I look forward to continuing my work with wonderful organizations like Autism Speaks to provide badly needed support to millions of Americans who struggle with Autism every day.
Is this in response, at least in part, to the Change.org petition Joe Scarborough, MSNBC: Retract your statements about autism and the Colorado shooting? That petition has gathered nearly 5,000 signatures in a day.
If this is the sort of criticism Mr. Scarborough is trying to deflect, I suggest he may have to work a bit harder to quiet the critics.
By Matt Carey
note: I edited this shortly after posting to finish the incomplete first paragraph.