Sonntag, 16. Dezember 2012

The Autistic Other

I should be working on an essay right now but this whole thing about the Newtown shooter being autistic makes me want to write and angry blog post, especially this one article by Der Spiegel. (Not linked. Bullshit won't get traffic from me.) What is the point for all those newspapers to speculate that he had Asperger's syndrome? I honestly don't understand how that information (if it is actually true) would be relevant to anybody. Except that now people can have uninformed conversations about how aspis are just so different from "us" and don't have empathy and doesn't that sound exactly like psychopaths? Or maybe the devil (via Sabine Kiefner (de)).

All this made one thought pop up in my mind: Autistic people are the new Other. Exotic, fundamentally different from the rest, impossible for NTs to understand, hyped as savants or degraded as non-empathic and hence not fully human. And this is just so fucking wrong and disgusting. A lot of people, especially journalists, should think very hard whether the headline is really worth the harm of pointless and stupid speculations which make a disability into a sensation.

Here are some more statements from aspis (sorry, they are all in German, couldn't find anything in English yet.)

Note: I am aware that it might be problematic for a non-autistic person to write this. So if anybody with autism reads this and finds any bullshit, please let me know.

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