Autism-Meme as Political Insult


Cross posted at Raising Asperger’s Kids

One of the biggest issues facing punditry is how to get your point across elegantly while excoriating the “other” point of view. Sadly many in this so-called adult world of political discussion, argumentation and  debate, have taken to childhood name-calling, bullying and insult. It is not enough to simply prove your opponent incorrect you need to dispel any notion that their ideas have any merit or perspective of worth. Unfortunately in order to accomplish this goal, many otherwise highly intelligent people use insulting memes to accomplish what they think is an intelligent spin on the opposition. What occurs however is the denigration of those who through no fault of their own have been born with neurological, developmental or mental disabilities. It is highly unseemly that in the greater world these insults to people living with immense challenges goes unchallenged.

Being the parent of two youngmen with aspergers I do not go quietly into that good night when I see that ignorance about whom aspergeans happen to be abounds. The ancienne mode of thinking and understanding disabilities, as well as mental illness, is being challenged and destroyed on a daily basis by science, advocates and civil rights laws. It is time that those in the world of intellectual debate caught up to the notion of respect, understanding and appreciation of those who live life with a different “operating system” and try as hard as they may to fit in and become productive, happy, and accepted members of society.

Shame on those that perpetuate ignorance and hate. No matter who they happen to be they should be called out for their pomposity in thinking they can denigrate other human beings and yet still consider themselves religiously observant, ethical, moral and descent.

Remember we do not fight the fights that are easy, we fight the fights that are worth fighting.

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Everyone who reads this blog knows that I am not afraid to show my political bent. Not a fan of Obama, democrats, political correctness and cultural relativism. I’m also not a conservative or libertarian either. I am a Constitutionalist. I believe in the US Constitution over and above all other forms of government, politics, religion and realities.

That being said I do not hesitate to point out, mention, discuss, or accuse when someone, no matter their political bent, insults those with disabilities to attempt to make any kind of point. I am an equal opportunity tuchas-kicker. I do not shrink away angry. I let them know that their maligning of my sons is not only disingenuous, its stereotyping/bullying at its worse and ignorant at its best.

Earlier today I happened upon one of the more interesting blogs that I read. I do not hesitate to comment when I think he has gone too far politically. As anyone will tell you I am not shy, at least not on-line.

His latest screed was about socialism and its failures, disasters and the incomprehensible blindness of its adherents. Not anything I haven’t read or said at times myself. Absolutes in politics don’t work, no matter which side of the aisle you sit on. It’s why even our most important laws have get-out-of-jail-reasons, even the admonition “Thou shalt not murder.”

Well as I was reading his latest diatribe I came across this paragraph:

The Asperger shortcuts to manipulating people that are such a big part of convincing you to try a new soft drink or selling voters on Obama 2012 worked, but getting people to buy your hairspray or vote for your candidate is fundamentally different than changing how they live. The nudges and the data streams may seem sophisticated, but they rely on a Pavlovian view of human beings reacting to impulses in predictable ways. It’s good enough for making a dog salivate when a bell is rung or a coed’s eyes fill with stars at a Hopey poster, but it doesn’t account for anything deeper than that.
Sultan Knish, The Crash of Socialism 2.0

I left a comment to say the least. I told him that his use of autism spectrum disorders is stereotyping an entire group of people who deal with prejudice on a daily basis. That his job is to teach not vilify. That he was promoting ignorance and bullying. That as a religious person he should be ashamed of himself. I told him to print my comment or don’t print the comment. Respond in condescending tones about political correctness and leftist politics all he wants. But what he should do is rewrite that paragraph and apologize.

Nope haven’t checked back to see what happened. Maybe I will and maybe I won’t. I don’t think I actually care. I have had many of my comments vilified by fools who think its smart to use the “R” word when I’ve pointed out how wrong it is. I have been ignored by authors who think its OK to use the autism-meme to show societal-ambiguousness-towards-humanity.

In all the time I spend on the internet there has only been one incidence where someone actually changed their article and apologized to me for what they had written. That was at Israellycool. I suppose one is still better than none. But it does make you think.

The ultimate  irony here is that the blogger in question continually points out the antisemitic nature of so many articles, persons, political philosophies and organizations around the globe. He rails against antisemitism and the stereotypes promoted by some of the world’s biggest (and smallest) Israel-and Jew-haters. (Yes I do that too.) But was unable to see how his stereotyping of those with aspergers spreads just as much hatred as racial or religious animus. It amazes me to no end, how people are so incapable of seeing what they dislike in others in themselves.

What I take away from this is simply how sad a place is the world at times and the challenges still out there for my sons and others with autism.  I shouldn’t be surprised. Really I shouldn’t. I just wonder where have all the intelligent people gone? I expect autism-stereotyping from the uneducated politically unaware, but not from those who pride themselves on their ability to think, discuss and reason. Did intellects, true intellects, ever exist and am I fooling myself into thinking that the boys may not actually have to fight hatred for the rest of their lives?

Whenever I am confronted by the ignorance of the intelligent I always come back to hubby’s admonishment about keeping the boys information private to the world. Hubby always warns about the nastiness of the working world. While I know that there are always ways to find out who someone truly happens to be, for the majority of people it’s not important to go that extra mile to delve into the bowels of the internet. So I do the best I can with keeping their identities secret. And yes, after today, I am glad I listened to hubby yet again.

Ultimately, bigotry is bigotry. There are no excuses for being uneducated in today’s day and age. Those who do not recognize their own intellectual shallowness while even trying to excuse their equally vicious perspectives only make this a harsher world for our children. Silence in the face of such ignorance is not an option.

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men…Abraham Lincoln.

Here is a video that can help people understand aspergers:

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Update:

No I never checked back to see what was the reaction at Sultan Knish. Quite frankly I do not care. I have gone up against bloggers and their acolytes before and have been sorely disappointed in everyone. No it does not stop me from pointing out the hurtfulness of their ways. If others wish to check back then so be it. But quite frankly if Daniel Greenfield wanted to contact me he had my email address attached to my comment, plus I tweeted him a copy of this post, and we could have discussed the issue of aspergers, what it is in reality, its characteristics,  the false methodology associated with autism, as well as, how it affects those who happen to be born with this developmental disability. But he did not.

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About Elise "Ronan"

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