I’ve written about Autism Speaks twice in the two months I’ve been on WordPress, calling them the Nazi Party of the 21st century and ranting at my favorite magazine, PEOPLE, for secretly betraying me by interviewing Bob and Suzanne Wright for their Heroes Among Us panel in one of their recent issues (you know the one with the Kennedys on the cover?). Today, I’m gonna tell you exactly the reason why I boycott Autism Speaks.
It was my freshman year of college, and I was sitting outside of my campus library waiting for my mom to pick me up after I finished my Algebra tutoring session. It was Thursday, November 14, 2013.
I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when I came across John Elder Robison’s tweet with a link to his blog post regarding his resignation from Autism Speaks’s science board that he wrote the day before. His reason?
Two days earlier, Suzanne Wright published a damning op-ed piece in which she voiced her over-dramatic and hateful views on autism to Washington, D.C., saying that we autistic people are causing so much trouble for our families financially, physically, and emotionally .
After reading Robison’s resignation post, which included a letter to Autism Speaks president Liz Feld, my jaw dropped. Holy shit! No wonder I was verbally bullied constantly in grade school, I thought to myself. I guess I should’ve paid close attention to the sentence ‘Autism spreads faster than cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined’ in their advertisements.
In my purse, I carried two adjusting bracelets bearing the wooden light blue puzzle piece logo from the Autism Speaks walk I attended at Nova University with my stepdad when I was a Sophomore in high school, a walk I now regret attending to this very day. I held both of the bracelets in my hands–I was going to give one to my mom, because she loves me, and the other to my boyfriend (at the time) Jack, because I loved him. Now my view of the light blue puzzle piece shifted from a symbol of hope to a sigil of hatred and discrimination against me and everyone else on the autism spectrum. I had no choice but to throw the bracelets in the trash. I shouldn’t have gone to the Autism Speaks walk had I figured out earlier that the organization’s only goal is to drive me and my people to extinction.
Here’s a playlist of songs that best describes my anger towards Autism Speaks and how much I want them to go out of business for persecuting me and my autistic friends via their Nazi-esque propaganda brainwashing our neurotypical friends, families, and health care providers–not to mention some of our favorite celebrities–into believing that autism is a disease when it actually isn’t.
1. “Call Me When You’re Sober” by Evanescence
2. “The Phoenix” by Fall Out Boy
3. “Haunted” by Disturbed
4. “Oceans” by Evanescence
5. “Black Water” by Nobuo Uematsu [from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children]
6. “Edge Of A Revolution” by Nickelback
7. “Awake and Alive” by Skillet
8. “Colors of the Heart” by UVERworld
9. “Don’t Say Nuthin'” by The Roots
10. “Freak On a Leash (2006 MTV Unplugged version)” by KoRn ft. Amy Lee
11. “The Night” by Disturbed
12. “Headstrong” by Trapt
13. “His World (E3 2006 version)” by Crush 40 [from Sonic the Hedgehog 2006]
14. “This War Is Ours” by Escape the Fate
15. “Breakn’ a Sweat” by Skrillex and The Doors
16. “Numb” by Linkin Park
17. “Meant to Live” by Switchfoot
18. “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence
19. “Shadows” by Red
20. “Shatter Me” by Lindsey Stirling ft. Lzzy Hale)
21. “Scream” by Michael Jackson ft. Janet Jackson
22. “Massacre” by Escape the Fate
23. “All Hail Shadow” by Magna-Fi [from Shadow the Hedgehog]
24. “Simple and Clean (PLANITb Remix)” by Utada Hikaru [from the Kingdom Hearts series]
25. “Going Under” by Evanescence
26. “99 Problems” by Jay-Z
27. “Devil’s Cry (Shall Never Surrender)” by Bentley Jones [cover song from Devil May Cry 4]
28. “Faint” by Linkin Park
29. “Don’t Stay” by Linkin Park
30. “Tony’s Theme” by Giorgio Moroder [from Scarface]
31. “Stronger” by Kanye West
32. “From Yesterday” by 30 Seconds to Mars
33. “Question!” by System of a Down
34. “Vim and Vigor” by Yoko Shimomura [from Kingdom Hearts II]
35. “The Way I Am” by Eminem
These days, every time I think about Autism Speaks I fantasize about grabbing my Keyblade and fighting Suzanne and Bob Wright–especially Suzanne–for broadcasting such propaganda about autism and for researching ways to rid the world of us autistics, who have actually done a much better job at improving society than the Wrights ever did. They have no right to tell us that we’re broken, diseased, and unintelligent because we’re actually very gifted people. Autism Speaks has been spreading fear, hate, and injustice to us for the past decade, and they need to be stopped.
I hope my mom will understand what I’ve been trying to tell her about Autism Speaks’s wrongdoings against my kind when she reads this and other posts about my views on the organization in the foreseeable future. Or, rather, when I read them to her as the circumstance may warrant.