Trigger Warnings: Autism Speaks
Back about a week ago on The Caffeinated Autistic there was a debate in the comments section over whether AS and its negative rhetoric was responsible for discrimination and hate crime against Autistics in on this post (which is a rather excellent post). You can scroll down to read the debate. I typed up a rather satirical reply towards the end of the debate. I decided not to post it at that time though, especially on someone elses blog in the wee hours of the morning. Its a bit rough. At that time it was rougher than it is now even. I pasted it over here and waited until April Fears Day. It sums up what is wrong with this organization.
Humanity 101: Sensationalism sells. I get that. In order to do the charitable and merciful works that AS does they have to raise funds. One raises funds by being sensationalist and controversial. AS should be forgiven for their exploitative fund raising videos because the ends justify the means. Mistakes in marketing strategy happen in a free market economy. AS makes a name for themselves riding the wave of their "autistic tsunami", tugging on the hearts of maligned caregivers and challenged educators looking for answers on how to teach people with a different neurotype from their own, raking in donations with which the take care of themselves (quite comfortably), invest a large part into keeping their machine running with more fundraising campaigns, then funnel the rest into research geared to ending autism. Some of the methods they research may be medically valid, some may not. Some internet bloggers get angry with the ableist portrayal in the videos and raise a stink. It gets bad press so AS pulls the videos. It gets bad press because the internet bloggers make sensationalist complaints. That's humanity 101. Mistakes happen in a free market society. AS is a charitable organization, they mean well therefore they are well. The ends justify the means in a free market society. The videos have been pulled. No penance required in our Nation under God. AS does good. They have smiling little kids lounging on beanie bags on their facebook wall, and 1 million caregivers clicked like. It is a positive place. They are a charitable organization, they do good. They are good, even when they do things that are not good because in a free market society, the ends justify the means. Again, the ends (raising cash to support themselves and their effort to cure the autism epidemic) justify the means (exploiting millions of autistics, spreading life threatening rhetoric and restricting our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness).
Did I pass Humanity 101?