If we’re going to talk about disabled people & the Holocaust today then let’s talk about Hans Asperger and why nobody should use the term “Aspergers” because he was a Nazi who believed some special autistic people shouldn’t be murdered and that label says you’re one of them.
Saying you’re Aspergers instead of autistic means you want to clarify that you are not like those other autistics, your life has more value. “When you’re considering who to eliminate from the gene pool, don’t eliminate me! I’m too smart to murder.” How nice.
I know that some people were diagnosed with Aspergers and feel a personal connection to the label. Well get over it! Aspergers is not in the DSM anymore. When you’re being more ableist than the DSM... wow. Not good. Asperger was a Nazi. Why do you want that connection?
Aspergers goes hand in hand with functioning labels, which are also ableist and evil. There’s no scientific basis for them, they are used only as tools of erasure and oppression. High functioning? Get back to work. Low functioning? Your personhood is stripped away.
If you claim to be a high functioning autistic, first of all you’re gross & I don’t like you. But anyways, you’re claiming proximity to neurotypicalness by distancing yourself from other autistic people. The classic move - “step on your community on your way up the social ladder”
This will never work. It’s a trick the neurotypicals pulled to enlist your help in oppressing your own community and you agreed to it. Neurotypicals don’t like autistic people, so it doesn’t matter what proximity you get to them, they’re never letting you in the club.
Autistic people will continue to be oppressed as long as some autistic people are attempting to distance themselves from the rest of us on the basis of ableist measurements. That just says those ableist measurements are real and good, but they’re not. You’re oppressing yourself.
Autistic people who call themselves Aspergers or high functioning are attempting to have a better life at the expense of their community but none of us will truly have better lives until our entire community is free. We’re all in this together whether you like it or not.
Why am I not super nice about individual identities? Because my priority is our community. My priority is freedom for all of us. I know that actually means freedom for you, too, and I don’t really care if your self esteem gets bruised. Ableism is a bad foundation for self esteem
It’s important to talk about the Nazi history of autism research because those eugenicist beliefs still underpin autism research today. The way Nazis saw autistic people affects how we’re treated today. Autism research by Jews that was less biased against us was ignored.
How autistic people are treated today has direct ties to what happened in the 1930s and 40s - whose research was ignored & whose research was treated as fact. Autistic kids were murdered in Aktion T4 as a test run for the Holocaust. Our story is eugenics & genocide, then & now
If autistic people are ever going to be free it is going to have to come from throwing out all that old research, all those old beliefs, and starting over. So yeah, everything the Nazis touched has to go. The eugenics-based research from the US has to go, too. All of it.
Hans Asperger didn’t start out a Nazi and his beliefs about us weren’t as bad as some of his contemporaries. Who fucking cares? I’m not interested in giving eugenicist Nazis points for trying. The history of autism research is them demonizing & murdering us. Over and over.
I’m not interested in giving any of the Autism Industrial Complex points for trying. They haven’t tried to stop doing eugenics or not torture autistic kids so they get zero points. If you didn’t know this shit before now and that’s why you used those labels, I get it! No worries
But now you know. So now, you decide to use those labels or not with full knowledge of their implications and the message they send to other people in your community. Stand with us, not on top of us.