Trigger Warning: Autism Speaks, ableism, exclusion of autistic people, strong language, various hot-button topics
In light of the latest tactic by the bigoted and hypocritical for-profit hate group known as Autism Speaks, I would like to reiterate why the issue concerning this organization matters to everybody, specifically to the autism community in the Philippines, a growing community to where I am proud of belonging. And also, I would like to educate the Filipino autism community on the fact that they should dissociate themselves from the ableist, discriminatory, and eugenic agenda of this pathetic excuse of a group pretending to be a “charity.”
You heard me right. Beware of scoundrels pretending to be advocates, yet exclude the very group of individuals they claim to advocate for.
And yes, I’m talking about the dreaded and loathed set of bigots and confidence artists known as Autism Speaks.
Ugh. I dread at even having to say their name. For this reason, I shall refer to them throughout this post as TWMNBN (“Them Who Must Not Be Named”), for such is my frustration with this group, I am afraid any mention of their name could make me go “Gordon Ramsay” over this and…
Anyway, I’ve got a huge backlog of tasks that I’m supposed to do, including doing my field-study report and module project as part of school requirements, plus writing Autistic BigBro Adventures (apologies if I hadn’t been updating this blog, for real-life advocacy is really engaging me the past few weeks), but I really have to have my say upon seeing these links by fellow autistic self-advocates:
At this rate, I must say that although there are a lot more, the posts that I have read are enough to tell me that TWMNBN has not changed, and continues to be the bigoted and deceptive scum that they really are.
To newbies, and to parents who don’t know what the hell “Autism Speaks” is, Squidoo happened to publish a compendium of hard facts about what people on the autism spectrum perceive this group to be. Titled Can We Really Trust AUTISM SPEAKS? Why Autism Speaks is No Good for Autistics, this compendium can serve as a primer on the real face of the group that claim to “speak” for people on the spectrum, yet continues to vilify them and seeks the eradication of the condition (and extermination of those with it, while they’re at it). I’d highly recommend you read it first, and see for yourself what nonsense TWMNBN has been doing since its inception.
And it is with huge incredulity for me to know that TWMNBN is hogging up the limelight and claim that they are advocating for what they call “persons with autism.” (Quite frankly, I am only compelled to use “persons with autism” on certain engagements because it is a policy of the group where I belong and I am compelled to comply, but in this case, I loathe person-first speech, especially when it comes from hypocrites like TWMNBN.) And it is a fact that the hate group is appallingly the wealthiest “advocacy” group to date, what with support of corporations and big personalities.
If we’re going to take what the flyer says to the letter, it reveals that only a measly 4% of what TWMNBN have received (or should I say, defrauded) from donors actually goes to supporting families of people on the spectrum. A lot of this money is going to their already bloated pockets, their media whoring (“awareness” and advertising), efforts for extorting more money from gullible indivduals (fundraising), and of course, one thing that has alienated autistics from this vile group: eugenics (research).
ASAN’s flyer, as well as what TWMNBN’s minions will tell you themselves, say that the research that TWMNBN is claiming to do aims at “curing” autism, eradicating autism from the human genome, and exterminating autistics from the face of the earth. Talk about quackery and eugenics at their lowest. As if it won’t turn you off from the bigoted group (though, at this point, I’ll assume it has turned you off from them already), their tactics to suck more money into their bloated coffers denigrates and vilifies people on the spectrum, depicting them as sub-human liabilities that must be destroyed.
Oh, they have a person on the spectrum on their ranks, I can see now. Who? The traitor known as John Elder Robison, who serves as a puppet and poster boy for their group? I can see that they are employing him to confuse other self-advocates. Don’t be fooled, though. (Update, 14 November 2013: Even Elder is now fed up of their bigoted nonsense, and has severed all his ties with TWMNBN. To know his message on his dissociation with the group, see his blog post.)
The pinnacle, the zenith, and the summit of the bigots’ hypocrisy is their bastardization of the United Nations-mandated World Autism Awareness Day (2 April), with the so-called “Light It Up Blue” campaign, where they were calling on everyone to overstimulate every autistic individual and turn all blue lights on — all on attempts to extort more money. In Leah Kelley’s blog post, her son H nailed it when he said, “All those blue lights are bothering me, Mom.” Indeed, H. They really bother me as much as they bother you. It bothers me as well that they continue to belittle autistics like you and me, yet they have the gall to claim that they speak for us.
The battle for genuine advocacy never stops. As long as autistic self-advocates, people who really care about us, and the well-educated exist, the battle against the bogus advocacy of Autism Speaks will continue, until they either disintegrate, or change their policy. At this point, though, the latter is out of the question.
Ciao, everybody. Now I have a life to live, and school work to finish.