I have written on the subject of using psychological and developmental disabilities as insult before. Usually my disdain for the self-important pundit goes to those who attack individuals with intellectual disabilities. Here, Here, Here Unfortunately there is now a new trend in the writings of those who consider themselves intellectually above all us common-folk, these so-called intellects have decided to use autism as an insult in political discourse. HERE (I have also written about the use of “autistic” as comic fodder HERE) Meanwhile, today I came across a new post found in The Guardian (Read about it HERE). The article is entitled “If we accept Israel is metaphorically autistic we lose all hope of change.” No I didn’t leave a comment as they were already closed.
The Guardian is one of England’s leading newspapers. It is supposed to be a leading indicator of the thought processes of the intellectual, or rather the intellectual left-wing elite. Personally I don’t read it. It wreaks of antisemitism and for that reason alone there are watchdog blogs in the Jewish community that continually monitor their press. If I read anything from Britain its in The Daily Mail or The Telegraph. I don’t have to agree with everything written on these pages, but at least they don’t make me want to lose my lunch or bleach my brain. One caveat: There is a terrific advocate in the autism community Kristina Chew who writes occasionally for The Guardian. I do read anything she writes, even when I disagree with her. Her personal blog Here
The interesting issue concerning this latest anti-autism screed is that these left-wing intellectuals, who champion identity-politics and political correctness in their nations, these hypocrites who call out those they consider Islamaphobes and racists, seem perfectly fine with insulting the entire community of autistics. They think that by asking Simon Baron-Cohen about autism that that somehow insulates them from being labeled a bigot. Guess what, it does not. In fact one of the commenters dismissed the authors talk with Baron-Cohen because Baron-Cohen, himself being Jewish, would not accept the idea that Israel is akin to an autistic person. (Heck if you can’t get a little Jewish conspiracy crap in The Guardian, you can’t get it anywhere. By the way, this is also what passes for acceptable discourse in the progressive world of The Guardian.)
Now don’t get me wrong. I am completely revolted by this latest diatribe against Israel. I am an ardent supporter of the State of Israel. The only more supportive of Israel you can get than me, is those who leave the USA to go live in Israel. But my issue with the above article isn’t about their attitude towards Israel (that is an article for a different day.) My issue is how easy it is for the intellectuals to disenfranchise and demean an entire community of people. Of course I really shouldn’t be surprised by this act of intellectual dishonesty. The Guardian editors tend to dehumanize anyone they think is their political opposite, so to deny the humanity of the autistic community is not really a giant leap for them.
The idea that somehow the autistic community is a monolith and that every autistic person is a clone of “Rainman” is beyond ignorant and outdated. The idea that autistics are without empathy, are violent and are withdrawn has been scientifically proven void. The autistic community itself, particularly the self-advocates, are open, vocal and without par in teaching about the realities of living with autism and what they hope for the future. Autistics are proud of who they are, and quite frankly happily, openly, vociferously and proudly declare their existence and their humanity. (In fact both of my boys are not without their own autism-as-insult bullshit meters. My younger son just took someone to task on twitter for using autism as insult. He proudly proclaims his aspieness in his profile.)
I find it rather interesting that people who are so touchy and thin-skinned, as The Guardian progressives tend to be when it comes to their own selves, have no problem with insulting an entire group of people. Oddly collective-identity-punishment for the politically correct seems to be a new version of the old theory of replacement theology. Moreover, the idea that autistics are now fair game to be maligned bespeaks of eugenics and quite frankly Nazism.
Yes I know people throw the Nazi adjective around very easily into today’s day and age, but remember before the Nazis began the Final Solution to the Jewish Question, they practiced how to efficiently kill on the intellectually and psychologically disabled. No doubt there were many autistics who were marked for murder during those experiments. On another wholly disturbing level, political scientists have noted that there are eight stages of genocide. This Guardian article employs most of them in dehumanizing autistics and Jews.
This is why the autism as political insult is not only intellectually dishonest but it is intellectually dehumanizing and morally repugnant. The purpose of The Guardian article was to say that Jews have no right to self-defense and that Israel has no right to exist. It states that Israel ‘s actions are beyond the pale of decent society and compares her actions to those of autistic persons. The forgone conclusion of the article is that genocide against the 6 million Jews of Israel is a legitimate action. By equating the actions of the State of Israel to members of the autistic community The Guardian newspaper ipso facto says autistics also have no right to exist. The Guardian author promotes the Nazis agenda that Jews, and those with disabilities, need to be expunged from the Earth.
I suppose the question then becomes what to do about this antisemitism and anti-autistic meme that has taken hold of certain levels of society? Is it simply enough to write and castigate those who have so fallen from the tree of human civilization that their politics hearkens back to one of the darkest periods in human history or is there more that we, as a society need to do, to teach, challenge and promote a concept of acceptance, tolerance and the golden rule?
Meanwhile November 9th is the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht. This was the beginning of the Nazis evil march through Europe. It is a good time to remember that these attitudes of disenfranchisement and dehumanization are anything but gone in the world today.
Working definition of antisemitism EU and USA
Angela Merkel on antisemitism and the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht
Oh OK. You know I couldn’t help myself. Here is a blog I wrote about Israel, the Palestinians and the Peace Process. This article is a good answer to the same infantile Guardian article referenced above: