Content Warning: The following story quotes an individual using ableist language and slurs.
Jacob Chansley, known as the ‘Q-Anon Shaman,’ is on the autism spectrum and was influenced by Donald Trump’s propaganda, says his attorney, going on to describe the rest of the group involved in the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building with a number of ableist phrases and slurs.
Chansley’s attorney, Albert Watkins, was speaking in defense of the rioters, passing all the blame to Donald Trump, when he responded to a request for comment for a Talking Points Memo piece. However, it’s unlikely Trump supporters will be any more comfortable with his defense than those on the left are with his language.
— Matt Shuham (@mattshuham) May 18, 2021
Watkins describes his own client as having Aspergers — a term that is no longer commonly used, because of the connection to Nazi ideology. (You can read about this here at Molecular Autism but to sum up in a single sentence, it’s named for Hans Asperger, who used his medical expertise to divide students in facilities for the developmentally disabled into those he deemed useful to society, and those he did not, for the purpose of helping the Nazi regime determine which to allow to live, and which to kill.)
Then he goes on to label the mob with a series of ableist terms, including the r-slur, and “short-bus people,” and to use “on the spectrum” as an insult.
At the same time, he labels Trump’s ongoing lies about the election, Democrats, and more, as “four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since f***ing Hitler.”
Watkins has consistently said that his client was only acting at the behest of the then-president, and Chansley and others previously sought a pardon from Trump before he left office.
As the North Platte Telegraph reported back in January, Chansley’s mental state has consistently been brought up in connection with his actions, with a detention motion at the time even describing him as believing that he’s an alien “on Earth to ascend to another reality.”
However, his attorney’s ableist language and attacks on the autistic community aren’t likely to earn any sympathy or endear Chansley or other participants in the attack to the public or the court system.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com