Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bigotry on Parade

If anyone still doubts that Autism Speaks' ultimate goal is eugenic extermination of the world's entire autistic population, more proof can be found in a Parade Magazine article written by Suzanne Wright, straight from the proverbial horse's mouth—or, perhaps, from another part of the horse's anatomy:


In a span of less than two years, Suzanne Wright's bigoted diatribes against autistic people have included promises to put us in the history books and exhortations to kick us to the curb. Oh, and she also claims that autistic children are "just not there" and can't be taken out to restaurants and movies. So I didn't find it at all surprising to see this unequivocal declaration of Autism Speaks' eugenic intentions in the Parade article:

"We’re now playing catch-up as we try to stem the tide and ultimately eradicate autism for the sake of future generations. If we continue our current trajectory, we’ll get there in my lifetime."

What really needs to be eradicated for the sake of future generations, of course, is genocidal bigotry like this. Notwithstanding her egotistical claims, Suzanne Wright does not control history's trajectory; to the contrary, she has demonstrated quite clearly that she is on the wrong side of history. As other civil rights movements have shown, it's not going to take a lifetime for us to change our society's backward attitudes toward neurological minority groups and people with disabilities—and to kick Autism Speaks to the curb.

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  • Damn straight!

    By Blogger VAB, at 1:27 PM  

  • For S.W. (the nasty subject of the post)

    I laugh in your face, Over My Dead Body, and In your dreams.

    I am worth much more alive, and breathing, working somewhere in the applied healthcare industry. Otherwise my uncle sam (no, not he who shall not be named) would have already given in and put me out to pasture, so to speak.

    In the untimely event of my premature demise, it will surely not be your arrogant agency that tolls the bell for me.

    By Blogger Patrick, at 2:30 PM  

  • i'm going to put on the tin foil hat for a minute and explain a somewhat crazy theory. i sometimes think that autism speaks main goal is to make more money by increasing the autistic population and controlling that population. the cure thing i sometimes think is a front to get people to donate and give power to the 'charity'. what they probably want to do is to make more money by getting the autistic population up so that they can start passing oppressive laws restricting their movement. they will probably push for laws that make all autistics minors by default, make it illegal for autistics not to get ABA or some other money making 'treatment', make sure that autistics cannot speak out against them or become independent, thus more money and power for them. they will say afterwards that autistics are a bigger plaque than ever to get more cash and make more oppressive laws, but the ideal is that all autistics will be little drones that do everything they say and incapable of speaking out in real life. that's it for the tin foil idea, but either way, autism speaks is a incredibly dangerous group for autistics and the people who see them as human beings.

    on a side note, with the eli stone show running on thursday being anti-vax, does anyone think that abc/disney is anti-autism? because i remember abc running a few anti-aspie shows like the infamous 'boston legal' episode before.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:34 AM  

  • Hi, found your blog via "The Joy of Autism".

    I'm sickened by "Autism Speaks." Their video "Autism Every Day" is really annoying and makes autism out to be something awful, and does not represent my feelings in any way, as the parent of an autistic child.

    I just came across some other blogs that were posting a video that was on whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com I watched a few of the videos about autism but stopped because my watching them was supposedly benefitting "Autism Speaks" It was sad, some of these were parents of really young children and they had that typical dramatic "tragic" view of autism that "Autism Speaks" likes to stir up. They ought to be ashamed of themselves!

    By Blogger LAA and Family, at 11:09 PM  

  • (I apologize for the hyperlong comment in advance, but . . .)

    AS's "goals" as listed on their website -- what they use in lieu of a "mission statement", I suppose:

    "We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals.

    Autism Speaks aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle."

    Autism community meaning anyone who agrees with them, I suppose. Note there's nothing there about education, support systems, respite, etc. People looking for answers -- mainly parents, I presume -- can find, with some searching, a page that provides vague information on "how to cope", but it's evident that the organization's main objective is cure. They pat themselves on the back in a press release about how they *allocated* funds -- a little over $500,000 -- to family support services, but that's really just a drop in the bucket considering the gobs and gobs of cash they're raking in. As far as a mission statement goes, though, they make it pretty clear that the "hope" they want to give to families is hope for a cure.

    In essence, then, as far as they're concerned, autistic advocates protesting their mission would be about the equivalent of someone with breast cancer approaching the Susan Komen pink ribbon campaign and saying "Hey, screw you guys; I've got breast cancer and I'm fine with that!". She'd be treated like a nut job and swept under the rug as quickly as possible. Organizations of that sort *have* listened, however, to protests along the lines of how they *refer* to their target audience -- i.e. most will say "person with breast cancer" as opposed to "breast cancer patient", and that's generally regarded as more respectful and therefore better received. AS may believe it's been gracious enough by saying "person with autism" instead of the dreaded -- *gasp* -- "autistic". Since they *do* believe autism is a horrible disease to be feared more than cancer, that's all they're going to concede if their "goals" remain as they are.

    A page in their annual report, btw, includes a quote from a parent along the lines of "I just can't accept that we have to throw away an entire generation of children."

    Have to. Don'tcha love it? At least "Defeat Autism Now" makes no bones about it. It certainly beats the glossy, muddy, passive-aggressive approach.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:34 AM  

  • My son has grandparents who accept him. It was non-trivial to get to that point, though.

    I wonder what it would be like to be an autistic person whose grandparents founded of a huge organization aimed at preventing autistics, *after* they found out their grandchild is autistic.

    BTW, for us, movies are difficult, but restaurants are not. Though I'm sure this can't be generalized by any means.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:00 AM  

  • Joseph, about movis being 'difficult'...use torrents ;)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 PM  

  • Xavier, the only thing about your English I could see that was different from that of most American speakers of English, was that it was better than what I often see!!!lol
    Rylee in NC

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:22 PM  

  • I am certain I am going to get flamed, but here goes. My best friend from college had quadruplets who now are young teenagers-3 of whom are autistic. One of the girls is so angry and controlling-she screams, she hits, cannot stand noise-forces all the household members to be silent, no TV or music in the house is allowed or this child has a screaming tantrum. The child runs away, goes into neighbors homes, is anti social and unfriendly. She makes scenes in public, is barred from the local bookstore for misbehavior. My friend has done everything for this girl and the child is tearing the family apart. My friend's health is failing because of the endless work involved in cleaning up this childs bathroom messes and personal messes. Don't be so hard on parents who are going crazy caring for an autistic child. I don't know how my friend has avoided putting this girl in an institution. It is a very hard life being at the beck and call of a disturbed child like this. Her other autistic daughters are very gentle and get along well within the family. A difficult, angry and demanding autistic child is a terrible burden and I would not wish her situation upon anyone. She is burdened with this unruly person for life--she will have very little peace and her health will probably fail her because of the stress.

    By Blogger MissPinky, at 10:12 PM  

  • I am not crazy about some of the tactics that Autism speaks uses however, I do think it is important to spread Autism Awareness and in NYC they are the only ones to do so. The walk that they hold here is huge and is aimed at awareness. I am a teacher in a school for children who have autism and from my side of things it would be wonderful if awareness was raised and support given to nonprofit schools like the one I work in so that we could afford better materials to provide better services and experiences.

    Xavier, not every person with Aspergers or Autsim feels the way that you do. I see the frustration in my students when they can't verbalize their emotions so they act out behaviorally. I see a single mother struggling with triplets who have severe autism. A little boy with a low threshold for autitory stimuli and extreme anxiety who attacks other children when they cry, flips desks, and headbutts the staff. ACS has been called to his house because when planes fly over his apartment building he screams. And yes he does have headphones to muffle the sounds. The doctors have prescribed different medications, all which cause facial ticks. His mother is torn because she is not comfortable with the medication, but she is also afraid that he will really hurt himself or someone else badly.

    Please don't try to tell me that everyone with autism and aspergers is all happy go lucky. While I believe it is important for parents and society to accept these children, I also believe that it is important to learn what causes autism in an attempt to reduce the prevalence.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:37 PM  

  • They can declare war on us if they want, but a seriously pissed off aspie with a computer can do a lot more damage than a whole battalion of armed soldiers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:01 PM  

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