Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eradicate Autism Speaks

Apparently in today's America, you can be hailed as a philanthropist if you are seeking to "eradicate" a minority group. Of course, it helps if your husband recently was the CEO of the media entity responsible for publishing this Goebbels-esque propaganda. Many of us already knew what a genocidal loon Suzanne Wright is, but just in case anyone needs more proof, here it is:

Philanthropist wages fight to eradicate autism

(Update: After I wrote this post, the title of the article was altered to read "Philanthropist wages fight to cure autism.")

In the interview, this was her response to a question about how long Autism Speaks plans to host celebrity fundraising events: "Hopefully until we eradicate autism. Once we finish autism, then we’re not doing this anymore."

Well, you know what, Suzanne, if decent people eradicate your repulsive organization first, you won't be doing this anymore either. And it may not be long before that happens. On Tuesday, ASAN will have protesters at a much publicized Autism Speaks celebrity event in New York City. I've reposted the ASAN announcement below.

By Ari Ne'eman, ASAN President.

We'll be gathering at Seventh Avenue and 57th Street, 154 West 57th Street in New York City from 6 PM to 8 PM this coming Tuesday, November 17th, to hold up signs and hand out flyers to Autism Speaks sponsors going in to their New York City concert with Bruce Springsteen and Jerry Seinfeld. Come join us! Please RSVP to aneeman@autisticadvocacy.org or go to the facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?invites&eid=205191180125

Please distribute to your friends, contacts and listservs!


1. Autism Speaks talks about us without us. Not a single Autistic person is on Autism Speaks' Board of Directors or in their leadership. Autism Speaks is one of an increasingly few number of major disability advocacy organizations that refuse to include any individual with the disability they purport to serve on their board of directors or at any point in their leadership and decision-making processes. In large part this is due to Autism Speaks' public relations strategy of presenting Autistic people as silent burdens on society rather than human beings with thoughts, feelings and opinions.

2. They use fear and stigma to try and raise money off the backs of our people. Autism Speaks uses damaging and offensive fundraising tactics which rely on fear, stereotypes and devaluing the lives of people on the autism spectrum. Autism Speaks' advertising claims that Autistic people are stolen from our own bodies. Its television Public Service Announcements compare having a child on the autism spectrum to having a child caught in a fatal car accident or struck by lightning. In fact, the idea of autism as a fate worse than death is a frequent theme in their fundraising and awareness efforts, going back to their "Autism Every Day" film in 2005. Indeed, throughout Autism Speaks' fundraising is a consistent and unfortunate theme of fear, pity and prejudice, presenting Autistic adults and children not as full human beings but as burdens on society that must be eliminated as soon as possible.

3. Very little money donated to Autism Speaks goes toward helping Autistic people and families: According to their 2008 annual report, only 4% of Autism Speaks' budget goes towards the "Family Service" grants that are the organization's means of funding services. Given the huge sums of money Autism Speaks raises from local communities as compared to the miniscule sums it gives back, it is not an exaggeration to say that Autism Speaks is a tremendous drain on the ability of communities to fund autism service-provision and education initiatives. Furthermore, while the bulk of Autism Speaks' budget (65%) goes toward genetic and biomedical research, only a small minority of Autism Speaks' research budget goes towards research oriented around improving services, supports, treatments and educational methodologies, with most funding going towards basic research oriented around causation and genetic research, including the prospect of prenatal testing. Although Autism Speaks has not prioritized services with a practical impact for families and individuals in its budget, its rates of executive pay are the highest in the autism world, with annual salaries as high as $600,000 a year.

Link to our Joint Letter Against Autism Speaks, signed by over 60 Disability Rights Groups: http://www.autisticadvocacy.org/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=61

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  • ABFH, I would be spreading that first link far and wide.

    By Blogger Timelord, at 5:22 PM  

  • "Well, you know what, Suzanne, if decent people eradicate your repulsive organization first, you won't be doing this anymore either.

    And it may not be long before that happens."

    How many people showed up at the last protest compared to those for Autism Speaks? ~17 vs. ~6,000

    And from what I've seen it won't be much different this time. What, having ~20 protesters is any better when Autism Speaks will have ~7,000+?

    I see that there are now 6 confirmed people attending the protest and 17 MIGHT be attending.

    You're fighting a losing battle with Autism Speaks.

    I don't support Autism Speaks, just a smarter way to for you to get your message across.

    Maybe you should do that first, get more followers and become more powerful, and then, maybe, Autism Speaks. They are not going anywhere and a cure is not going to be found anytime soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:54 PM  

  • Timelord: Yes, please do.

    Anon: You don't seriously think that the only people attending will be those in the Facebook group, do you? Get a clue. Besides, civil rights activism is not, and never was, about having equal numbers. It's about getting the message across effectively. Rosa Parks was just one woman on a bus...

    By Blogger abfh, at 6:45 PM  

  • I suspect more will show up but I still doubt your effectiveness; you haven't done anything so far. Why don't you take a look at the Judge Rotenberg Center and protest that? Wouldn't this be a better way to truly help autistic people in the present rather than more of your silly protests?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:56 PM  

  • Kent, I've consistently had blog posts about JRC's abuses in the top ten Google results for "Judge Rotenberg Center" for more than three years now. If you have something specific in mind that you think would be more effective, then by all means go ahead and do it, and I'll be happy to report on your success.

    By Blogger abfh, at 7:25 PM  

  • I wish I could go - I'd make a sign that said, "ERADICATE SUZANNE WRIGHT". Maybe have a picture of her on it.

    By Blogger Clay, at 2:05 AM  

  • Clay, although I know that was a sarcastic comment and you didn't mean that anyone should physically attack her, I wouldn't advise protesters to make signs like that because they might be misinterpreted as advocating violence.

    By Blogger abfh, at 10:32 AM  

  • Y'know, that didn't even occur to me, (should have, I guess). I meant it in the same sense that she uses the term about US.

    By Blogger Clay, at 12:09 PM  

  • She has no qualms about saying such hateful things, she really seems to think that eradicating a type of person from the face of the earth is an honourable thing? Unbelievable!

    I've been Twittering about how crap AS is, but was put in my place and no mistake by some man who reckons it's just my ego, anger and politics that are making me "tear up the community." sheesh.

    By Blogger Sharon, at 1:17 PM  

  • Sharon, who was that know-nothing little idiot who did that to you? Sounds like HE is the one with an ego problem - and a great example of the hate we are fighting for the Autistic Spectrum. Hate like that gets nothing done (except line the pockets of the Autism Speaks Board!!).

    By Blogger Timelord, at 6:10 AM  

  • Finally, a productive advocacy group, NOEWAIT.

    I recommend everyone go visit the site, print out the documents and mail them to your congress people. I am definitely doing this. Today. I'm on the waiting list.

    Do something productive.

    By Blogger Stephanie Lynn Keil, at 12:53 PM  

  • Thanks Stephanie. I was going to write a post about NOEWAIT some time ago, but got distracted and did not get around to doing it. I appreciate your reminder; NOEWAIT is a group well worth supporting, and I'll give them a plug in my next post.

    By Blogger abfh, at 1:12 PM  

  • Eradicate a desease, a disability, has nothing to do with the children, they just want the kids to have a better life. Definately you are from another planet, because this blog is completely in another language.

    Someone that claims to be happy about how his child is, spends his/her time complaining about what others do like a bitter old woman.

    What is your problem???????????

    By Blogger Aleksis, at 3:54 PM  

  • Perhaps, Aleksis, her problem is that she doesn't spend enough time making snotty and irrelevant comments on other people's blogs.

    By OpenID conuly, at 7:40 PM  

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