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Our community is really broken. It's a cruel place. I thought if I named this site what I did and reidentified the name, equated it as a synonym of autism, then it would do something to reverse the bullying and unnecessary division. It hasn't. I mean, it's accomplished a lot.
But I thought if people saw that we were this great, inclusive publication, they'd see the merit of the approach and also how much of our community was out there with no safety net and no "community." Autism groups ran by non-autistics can get 100k+ people. Ours rarely get 10k
No matter what I do with the site name, it's going to disappoint a ton of people. But right now, it's meaning that a lot of people are constantly being stressed and pulled into defending us against charges of fascism and white supremacy and a hierarchy of ableism.
Honestly, it should be real damn easy to figure out that we're not those things. But I can't handle being a part of something that hurts so many. I thought naming the nonprofit something else would slow this division down. It's not, though.
But it's hurting people. We hurt each other in this community a lot. We are cut-throat, and that is not okay. We need to think harder about how we think and behave towards each other hurts all of us. I thought this would be a way to bring healing, and it wasn't.
I don't think Hans Asperger was a Nazi sympathizer. I think he was a resistor in a terrible place, and I think that the book accusing him of being a monster was a fraud to divide the neurodiversity movement and discredit NeuroTribes and @stevesilberman. I found evidence of that.
I also think that we should not impose standards of a dead man on living people who have no idea who he was at all and who haven't ever even thought to google him.
I'm not wise enough to know the right thing to do, and I don't think that naming the site what I did was the wrong thing to do. I think it's the wrong thing to do to treat each other like supremacists when we're not.
I think it's wrong to treat people like internalized ableism is their own fault. I think it was wrong of the APA and WHO to not try harder at all to prepare the world for what their changes might do to actual autistic people.
It's wrong to try to take people down for things you know they didn't do. It's wrong to tell people what they are allowed to think without listening to their reasons. It's wrong to to not evaluate how what we do impacts others.
Because our community has a ruling class, and they are not using the word "aspie." That used to be a word of privilege that hurt others. It still is, but not in our online communities. Now in our world it is a word that the most privileged leverage against people who have less.
I'm going to divide up my duties among volunteers on the team for a while and take a break. I will likely return with a rebranding of our site and a different name. Nothing about this feels good or right, though. It feels like we all are losing.
And it's hard to have any clarity or even make much progress when you're constantly defending against allegations of things people know are not true. But it's hurting people, and that's not okay. I can't in good conscious be a part of that.
For now, will get you to our site
So will (heh)
Please be kinder to each other. Please be kinder to our contributors. I named the site with no input from anyone working on it. I take responsibility for everything that has happened as a result. I'm sorry for anyone who has been hurt over infighting.
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