respectissexy:

Video transcript, in case you want to just read through and skip to the part where I dump ice on my head. Which is pretty wimpy, because I don’t have a bucket and thus used a bowl. I would love it if people would share this, tweet it, etc.:

My name is Tracey, and today I’m doing a different kind of ice bucket challenge. I want to talk about violence against Autistic people. I am not Autistic myself; I have a sister with Autism. By now you’ve all heard about the incident in Ohio where an Autistic teenager, who thought he was going to participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge with his classmates, instead had urine and feces dumped over his head.

I’m not going to use the word ‘bullying’ or ‘prank,’ here, because I think it is trivializing to say something like ‘prank’ when we’re talking about genuine cruelty. I think this was an assault meant to degrade and humiliate a person. And I’m not going to link to the video that went viral, because I know the boy tried to hide the video from his mother after his attackers put it on Instagram, because he was embarrassed. And although I don’t believe victims of violence have anything to be ashamed of, I still think he deserved to have a say in whether more people saw that video. And so I think it’s sort of adding insult to injury that instead of being taken down, it went viral, and now everyone is tweeting and sharing this video that was very humiliating and that the victim didn’t want out there. So I didn’t watch it, and I’m not going to share the video or link to any article that does.

A lot of people are using this to raise awareness about Autism and what they’re calling bullying. Drew Carey and some other celebrities have offered thousands of dollars as a reward to find the perpetrators, and if the police find them without a reward, which it looks like they will, he plans on donating that money to Autism Speaks. And I’m making this video to challenge him and everyone else to please donate their money somewhere else.

Autism Speaks doesn’t have any Autistic people in positions of leadership. They actually lobbied against a proposed amendment to the Autism Cares Act that would basically mandate greater representation of Autistic people in the groups making decisions that impact their lives.

Only 4% of Autism Speaks’ budget goes toward improving the lives of people with Autism and their families. Most of their budget goes to research, and most of their research money is spent on trying to prevent and cure Autism, not on learning how to enhance the quality of life for people living with Autism.

Autism Speaks uses language that dehumanizes Autistic people. They compare Autism unfavorably to pediatric AIDS, cancer, and diabetes, and basically speak as though if you have a child with Autism, that kid may as well be already dead.


That is the kind of language that justifies violence. In fact, Autism Speaks once did a TV spot, called Everyday Autism, where one of their board members talked about how she used to want to drive off a cliff with her daughter in the car. She said this right in front of her daughter, and the takeaway was supposed to be that this was understandable because having a child with Autism is so difficult. I haven’t asked my parents, but I have never, ever wanted to kill my sister. But parents often DO kill their disabled and Autistic children, and the rhetoric of Autism Speaks, more often than not, is the rhetoric of parents who kill their children; of hopelessness, of burden, of Autism being a plague that needs to be wiped out.

Autism Speaks has given table space at their fundraisers to the Judge Rotenberg Center a school that is under investigation for using painful electric shocks on students, a practice that has been defined by the U.N. As an act of torture. This kind of institutional abuse of disabled students is very common, and Autism Speaks has never really made this a priority. Institutional violence and caretaker violence represents as great a danger to Autistic people as peer violence does, and they come from the same place – the dehumanizing of disabled people, which Autism Speaks participates in.

So as you can see, the legacy of Autism Speaks has not really been a legacy of fighting violence against people with Autism. It’s been a legacy of normalizing violence, enabling violence, and keeping people with Autism from accessing the sort of power and agency that would let them effectively fight violence. Autistic self-advocates have tried to reform Autism Speaks for years, but Autism Speaks has ignored their critiques while continuing to take credit for their work. When you support Autism Speaks, you support silencing Autistic people, and you support the myth that the existence of Autistic people victimizes those around them. That is the language of violence.

People in Bay Village, Ohio are doing some amazing things rallying around this boy who was attacked, and they’re having some great conversations about respect and acceptance of people with cognitive disabilities. It would be such a waste if that awesome energy and that desire to foster respect and acceptance just wound up funneling money into Autism Speaks because it happens to be the biggest Autism nonprofit, when that money could so such amazing things elsewhere.

I have made a donation of forty dollars – and my boyfriend has matched it – to the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. The Autistic Self-Advocacy Network has a mission of fostering acceptance and creating opportunities for Autistic people. They organize programming at colleges and universities to make campuses more accessible and inclusive. They organize paid internships to give Autistic people job opportunities, they work to give Autistic people more of a role in shaping legislation and policy that impacts them, like the Autism Cares Act that I mentioned earlier, and most importantly, they are active in combating violence and abuse against people with disabilities.

Fighting violence against disabled people and the attitudes that normalize and enable that violence, has always been a priority of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, and it will always be a priority of mine. I challenge Drew Carey, Bay Village Ohio, and anyone who shares that priority to give their money to the Autism Self-Advocacy Network or a number of other organizations, which I have linked below, instead of Autism Speaks. None of these organizations are even half as well-funded as Autism Speaks, and ten thousand dollars would be a huge deal to any of them.

And because I feel so strongly about this, I’m going to dump ice on my head now.

About Autism Speaks:

http://goldenheartedrose.tumblr.com/post/17644810872/so-whats-the-problem-with-autism-speaks

http://www.autistichoya.com/2012/07/georgetown-say-no-to-autism-speaks.html

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/05/19/336513/-An-Autistic-Speaks-About-Autism-Speaks

http://autisticadvocacy.org/2014/01/2013-joint-letter-to-the-sponsors-of-autism-speaks/

Good alternative organizations:

ASAN www.autisticadvocacy.org

Autism Women’s Network http://autismwomensnetwork.org/

Autism National Committee http://www.autcom.org/

ADAPT (disability rights organization) http://www.adapt.org/

ericusrex:

A Dark Pool - Dame Laura Knight

ericusrex:

A Dark Pool - Dame Laura Knight

art-and-things-of-beauty:

Alfred RENAUDIN (1866 - 1944) - Nasturtiums.

art-and-things-of-beauty:

Alfred RENAUDIN (1866 - 1944) - Nasturtiums.

arthistorianmindswirls:

John Collier, The Death of Albine

arthistorianmindswirls:

John Collier, The Death of Albine

3bony:

by Marina Kaysen on Flickr.

3bony:

by Marina Kaysen on Flickr.

(via muralofsolitude)

Georges Lemmen

Georges Lemmen

colourthysoul:

Armand Point

colourthysoul:

Armand Point

Gustave de Smet

Gustave de Smet

catonhottinroof:

Federico Rossano 
Autunno francese con figure

catonhottinroof:

Federico Rossano 

Autunno francese con figure

John White Alexander

John White Alexander

Marcel Krasicky

Marcel Krasicky

Iris Ann

Iris Ann

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Anne Siems

Anne Siems

Tags: Anne Siems

John Atkinson Grimshaw

John Atkinson Grimshaw

Jakub Obrovsky

Jakub Obrovsky