After the tragedy of last week in Oregon, the initial reports stated that Asperger Syndrome was in play. This led me to, on my Facebook author page, reshare my "Open Letter To the Media" post from 2012 and I've got to say, in my limited listening and reading of this tragedy, the media hasn't sensationalized or even mentioned Asperger's the way they did three years ago. However, a much more dangerous entity has popped up and that is a true hate page on social media.
I will not name the page as I do not want to give them attention directly. I filed a complaint and was chided saying, "it's not hate speech" but any page that clumps every single person with any given condition, disease, syndrome, or what have you and warns the world about them is, in my opinion, not just hateful but dangerous. I go back to the pseudo-psychology web page that I landed on when I first got diagnosed that said, "people with Aspergers will never have a job, will never have friends, and will never be happy." That was nothing compared to the things this page is sharing, and people are resharing in droves.
What is going on? I can't comprehend this. This page, perhaps, is being manned by someone who just wants some minor infamy and attention, but with each share and each like the damage effect this can cause ripples onward and that can be beyond damaging for a person on the autism spectrum and furthers the ignorance of the general population that doesn't know a thing about autism. Because of all this, I don't know if I have ever been angrier than I am now and I've pondered what I would say if I met this anonymous person running this page. Would I scream? Shout? Curse so loudly the heavens could hear me? No, because that's what this person would want. This person trying to create a hysteria wants nothing more than confrontation, and he/she would get none of it. Instead I'd be calm and I'd say something like this:
You must be one sad person to try and prop yourself up at the destruction of an entire segment of the population. You want attention, you want likes, you want shares all while driving the ignorance and proving your own. You are the opposite of me and in a way my archenemy. Maybe you fear what you don't understand but no, I don't believe this because you just want attention. You prod on people's fears and want to rile people up but lost in your game is the souls it will impact. The powers that be say you aren't spreading hate but when you push for the isolation and almost destruction of a segment of the population, one that I'm a part of, you are and your words may not physically harm a person but it has the power to destroy a life. Is that what you're after? Is this your goal? Do you want to destroy the hopes and dreams of a teenager who just found out they have Asperger's? Or what about an adult with ASD that has been working and working and just got their first job and are on cloud nine only to have your message of hateful filth intervene? Is this what you're after? If so, how, and furthermore why?
That's what I would say and I'd leave it at that. I wouldn't say a word more because I doubt any words would change a single thing this person is doing. I urge all of you, though, if you see anything of this nature on any form of social media to report it. I call it hateful, they don't, but the dangers this pose to families, and those on the spectrum, have the potential to be catastrophic. It seems many people will believe anything that has a picture and text and if this ignorance spreads then all the work that has been done the past 30 years will almost be for naught. We are faced, with what I believe to be, our greatest challenge yet and if this message of ignorance and hate spreads, well, this just isn't a battle against ignorance but rather it is for our future and to have the chance to live our lives the way any person wants to; to better ourselves, to contribute to society, to make the world a better place and most of all find our way in life and be happy.