1) After I wrote my recent post on The Autistic Label and Identity, a friend commented that she was “all for embracing or claiming our label... as long as it doesn't include us considering ourselves better than non spectrum people... as I would never want to participate in reverse stigma or behaving in an egocentric manner as to presume our way of thinking is better or superior - as I all too often see in non-spectrum people towards us.” She made it plain that she didn’t mean me, that it was rather in reaction to “some Aspie groups internationally who go to an extreme and do articulate Aspie people as being 'better than' non spectrum people, superior etc.”
For the record, I want to state here that I do not, and never will, consider any group or individual better than another, whether it be on the grounds of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, religion, dis/ability, neurology, or anything else. Since I was a child, I have always known that all are equal in their essential humanity, their human spirit, their soul, if that word is acceptable to you. I’ve never spoken of it much, as I lacked the words to explain what I knew, and still can’t really put it into words. Yes, people vary in their abilities, intelligences, education, talents, personalities, strengths, etc. But that doesn’t erase the fact that they are all, at the core, simply human, and equal in that essential ‘human-ness’. Call me a (socially-blind) aspie, but I ‘treat a king and a commoner alike’. Because they are.
I realize that when we’ve constantly been told, and are still being told, that we are ‘inferior’ in some way or another, it’s very tempting to turn the tables and claim “well, humph, actually WE’RE the superior ones, we have these abilities, this outlook, this whatever” – but it simply isn’t true. We have lacks, and strengths. So do NTs. So does everyone. It’s part of being human. That the lacks and strengths are different doesn’t change that.
2) Further to the above, I want to state that my goal has always been, and always will be, the pursuit of truth. If that means uncovering, discovering, discussing or revealing things that are unpalatable, that people (even those on the spectrum) don’t want to hear, then so be it. No-one is served by the suppression of the truth. Suppressing it or turning away from it only corrodes us internally, keeps us small and fearful.
Yes, there are ways and ways to tell the truth, and I’d never want to hurt anyone, or have anyone feel I’ve put them down or told them they are useless, a failure, deficient as a human being, etc, etc – I’ve been told that too often myself. That is not my belief, nor my intention. So call me (once again) a (terminally honest) aspie, nonetheless, I believe we have a duty to ourselves and to those who come after us, to find / reveal / discuss / assimilate / tell ALL the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Because only by facing our truths, can we grow beyond our limitations, develop our strengths, and become all that we are capable of being, both individually and collectively – and that ‘all’ is very much indeed, much, much more than we are now.