So, I was discussing the urgent need to replace the puzzle piece with one of our own, with an individual who is more inclined toward illustration and related visual art than I am. As has been discussed already, my candidates mostly have a TRON: Legacy theme to them. But the salient point in this writing is that according to the other conversant in the discussion, Autism Speaks has apparently decided that the colour blue is theirs and their campaign colour.
Several points came up shortly thereafter. I consider Autism Speaks to be today’s equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan. The other party in the conversation believes they are more like a branch of the Ku Klux Klan, but that is one area where there is room for interpretation and semantics. The main point in that part of the discussion is that Autism Speaks can be fairly compared to the Ku Klux Klan, and not in a nice way. So not only should their claims of anything symbolising them be openly challenged, they should be treated as if they are automatically invalid. Because as far as I, and thus no doubt a lot of autistic adults, concern myself, anything Autism Speaks in its present form says is automatically invalid. Lydia Brown has written two articles (this one and that one) recently that explain very well the reasons why, although from a very different perspective to mine. And oh, the stream of utter bullshit from the “waah we’re being bullied by the autistic adults who want to speak for themselves!” knobs. They seriously wonder why numerous writings of mine are laden with references to acts of war, or the legalisation of murder. And this is to say nothing of the fact that we will not even be the ones who started it, anyway. “Curing” a person of what makes them what they are, or different to their abusers in many, many cases like mine, is no different from murder as fas as I am concerned. “I want to cure you of what makes you different from people like your male parental unit” and “I am going to kill you painfully” are the same thing to me. So if you want to piss and moan that I, Lydia, or anyone else who wants the whole picture seen, is bullying you, you get what you deserve.
This, in a nutshell, is why Autism Speaks is in my view not allowed to claim anything as theirs. They are a parasite, and not a very well-made one if you look at how parasites work (as I posted a while ago). They are like a tick that has burrowed into the skin of every autistic individual and just keeps leeching from them non-stop, without stopping for break or breath.
An interesting thought that just occurred to me, too, is part of how apt the comparison of Autism Speaks to the Ku Klux Klan is. You see, if the autistic were to simply cease existing tomorrow, or move to another planet, Autism Speaks’ very reason for existence and the incomes of the individuals who comprise its leadership would also disappear. And yes, that includes the income and reason for existence of their token board member, I hasten to add. It is a classic example of the parasite-host relationship. If the host dies, the parasite dies with it, which is why the most successful parasites not only escape detection at all costs, they also do not consume too much for their host to live a full and productive life.
If every last autistic individual were to die tomorrow, as Autism Speaks both openly states and denies is their goal (that is what prevention actually means with autism, Autism Speaks defenders), Autism Speaks would be gone the next day. And I doubt that money-hungry cowards like the Wright family would want that, given that it means one of their token gestures aimed at reducing their tax bills would go away. But this also makes pretty clear why they do not want the autistic to be allowed to say “hey, we do not want to have chemicals to strip metal out of our bodies” (which can lead, and has led, to death) or “we do not want people ‘caring’ for us to pour bleach into our rear ends” (ditto). Or indeed, anything for ourselves. They want to have a complete monopoly not over how we communicate to others, but indeed how we communicate both to and amongst ourselves. Which means that they want to not only have a complete monopoly over how others see us, but also how we are allowed to see, and think of, ourselves. This is how a slave owner regards the slaves that he has been allowed to keep as property. Indeed, as Kruma Steward hinted at very strongly in his treatise on the “Nigga identity”, it is a vital component in how a man can enslave others and brutalise them without an inherent fear of violent rebellion.
In fact, this is sort of related to the post I wrote a few days ago concerning the goals that the autism civil rights movement should have. Another goal that I believe the autism civil rights movement needs to have is to aggressive take the power to define us away from entities like Autism Speaks. Lydia Brown and I are constantly butting heads about goals (and I will cover how this works from my perspective in a future post). I am sorry about that, but I think that one thing she and I can agree on is that allowing Autism Speaks to put words in the mouths of the autistic is just not on. I believe that she is really very lucky in this regard. Whilst our exposure to Autism Speaks trying to force words into our mouths is about equal on a year by year proportion, she did get to enjoy missing out on a childhood of enjoying the abuse of authority figures who are allowed to say we deserve it, lie about us in front of our faces, and tell us we deserve it when others abuse us on the basis of that. Or so I get the idea, in any event.
So you can imagine how much weight it adds to a post about how Autism Speaks needs to change in order to be allowed to continue when, aside from what I feel to be some omissions, I am total agreement. But herein lies the rub: I do not believe that Autism Speaks ever intends to change to serve the needs of the autistic, for reasons I have already outlined above. Other reasons exist, such as a delusional self-entitlement complex, but the nuts and bolts of it is that I do not believe that Autism Speaks can ever be reformed. As Steve Kangas wrote so well about the Central Intelligence Agency (or, as this link shows, Inelegance), “it is institutionally and culturally corrupt”. I believe that Autism Speaks is corrupt at both the institutional and cultural level, and no amount of reform can ever change that. Some of the comments that have angered me to no end in response to Lydia‘s post, in fact, demonstrate this aptly. They complain that Lydia‘s demands (and I think she and all autistic individuals will agree that demanding, not asking, is what is required here) are too stringent. Notwithstanding the fact that, as I have tried to state in commentary, these demands only bring Autism Speaks into line with what is expected of other charitable organisations. As I have also said, if charities purporting to represent the millions of people who are experiencing diminished health outcomes due to diabetes or surgical mutilations and death due to cancer acted in such a contrarian manner to those peoples’ interests, they would be stripped of recognition as charitable organisations.
Lydia Brown has not asked anything that every autistic individual from newborn to elderly to non-verbal to elocuting like they are professional actors feel they want from Autism Speaks. And I repeat: no other “charity” that behaves in a manner so against the interests of those they claim to help is allowed to exist or enjoy legal protection.
So when Autism Speaks claim that blue is their colour, and they want people to only think of them when blue is seen, there are a number of problems. One of these is that they have been thoroughly beaten to the punch by others. For one thing, blue ribbons are used as a symbol of excellence, and this has been the case since long before Suzanne Wright was ever born. First place prizes are frequently adorned with blue ribbons. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been using the blue ribbon in promotion of freedom of online speech since 1996. Which makes Autism Speaks’ who “blue is our colour now” thing laughable. I can think of many words that describe Autism Speaks’ goals. Genocide is a good example. Legalised mental rape is another good term. Glorification of violence against children also springs to mind. But the important point to be understood here is that what Autism Speaks promotes and what most neurotypes, autistic and otherwise, see as being freedom, have no relationship.
Am I advocating of violence against people who support Autism Speaks or participate in Autism Speaks’ activities? I really wish that I could say there is no need for me to do so. But Autism Speaks themselves are creating that need. As I have repeatedly stated, hate is not something that just springs up out of the blue. Although there are some people who hate others for wrong reasons, or misguided reasons (the Ku Klux Klan, to which Autism Speaks can be rightly compared, even exists on that very basis), that diminishes with the intellectual mean of the individual. No less an expert concerning autism than Anthony Attwood believes that I have an IQ in the 130s, and that means that in order to make me hate you, really hate you, you have to do something really bad to me or people I find commonality with. Now, I have doubts about how accurate this assessment of my intellectual capacity really is, based on my failure to learn to really hate my abusive, barriering, stifling male parental unit until recently. But the point here is that hating Autism Speaks to the point of wanting to murder their members is not something that a person just wakes up one day and decides to do without motivation.
This is another reason why I believe that change or reform is not a preferable option to Autism Speaks being dissolved. In The Peculiar Visitor, I even write that the characters we are meant to be sympathetic to will have an autistic son who will make videos of himself torturing people (not naming names) to death. If Autism Speaks is allowed to continue, I truly believe it is only a matter of time before someone (again, not naming names) actually does this. Because when a child is strapped down and chemicals that can burn skin to the third or more degree are poured into a vital and sensitive part of their person, and the government does absolutely nothing (to my knowledge) about it, that sends the autistic adult a clear message.
So as far as I am concerned, Autism Speaks is not allowed to claim ownership of anything, and people who expect us to think that they are entitled to the gold key to the downstairs crapper because they marched for their autistic child (whilst claiming to be bipolar, no less) are only entitled to be looked down upon. The laws of multiple countries, including the one I live in, grant you the right to complain to me or anyone about that. You can whinge to your heart’s content about the big baaad autistic adult who does not want him or children who are in danger of growing up to be like him is bullying you. You can whinge about how Autism Speaks are good guys because they look like good guys to you until the cows come home.
But those of us who live daily with the consequences of idiots like you confusing Autism Speaks’ actions with good, brave, or even anything other than war crimes trials level criminal are under no obligation to listen to or tolerate your support of such people. In fact, all obligations upon us of a biological, natural (as opposed to legal) nature point in the exact opposite direction.