The maker of a YouTube video suggesting that Barron Trump is autistic has taken the video down and replaced it with a grovelling apology.
The apology is in response to a threat from Melania Trump’s lawyer, who goes around intimidating journalists and bloggers who have incurred the nude model’s wrath.
I watched the video last week, curious about its premise that ten year old Barron is on the autistic spectrum. Clip after clip showed Barron seeming to have difficulty with social cues.
When Mike Pence tries to shake Barron’s hand, the boy keeps his arms rigidly by his side. In other situations, Barron does some mild hand-flapping and makes some weird facial expressions. Most of the time, Barron’s face shows little affect. He is blank but angelic, a description that will strike a chord with most moms of kids on the spectrum.
The video went viral and the Trumps went ballistic, presumably because the mere suggestion that their kid isn’t “perfect” is grounds for a lawsuit. Or maybe because they’re ashamed of having an autistic kid. Maybe they view autism as a defect they need to hide, like John Travolta and his son Jett.
James Hunter, the video’s creator, said in an interview:
I’m honestly kinda scared right now. The only reason I made the video is because I saw how much social media was bullying Barron Trump, and I wanted it to stop. I was just sending it privately to people who were bullying him to explain to them that Barron might be autistic, and that’s it isn’t okay to bully him for it, because I know what it’s like to be bullied for being autistic.
That was before he heard this from the lawyer:
A video was posted at YouTube recently speculating that Barron might be autistic. He is not. The video includes the hashtag ‘StopTheBullying’ but yet the video itself is bullying by making false statements and speculation about a 10-year old boy for the purpose of harassing him and his parents. The online bullying of children, including Barron Trump, should end now.
It’s just a video, for fuck sake, hardly harassment or libel. And the narrative is plainly compassionate, not snide or cruel in any way.
In the US, 1 out of 42 boys is diagnosed with autism. Older fathers are a common characteristic, and Trump was 60 when Barron was born. Many famous fathers of autistic sons are open about the diagnosis, taking pride in their sons’ capabilities and strengths.
But not Donald, and not Melania. No sir.
Personally, I know tons of kids and adults on the spectrum and it’s no big deal. It’s like saying you know people who love to talk or who avoid crowds. It’s like having quirks that most people notice and either enjoy or ignore.
The Trumps want to turn it into a horrifying malady because they’re a couple of cunts. Their reaction and the apology they demanded are insulting and likely to increase uninformed stigma.
Luckily for Barron, his private school offers a special program that offers –
oneonone support to students with learning challenges. Intensive long–term support and remediation is available to a limited number of students in grades K12 for an additional fee.
Maybe that’s why Melania resists taking Barron out of school to move to the White House.
Poor Barron will have to overcome many obstacles as the son of a greedy narcissistic father who has forced him into the public spotlight. It would be nice if he’s allowed to be himself, whoever that turns out to be.