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ShamelessGit
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14 Aug 2012, 8:09 pm

I've seen several (but not a lot) of posts on the autism community in the past couple years that talk about autism/aspergers as if it were a new/superior sort of human. This is just racist and ignorant (listing those two things together seems like a redundancy). The fact that it's racist might not be as apparent as things like white supremacy because aspergians are (and have been historically) impotent as a group, and because autism as a "race" is different for different reasons than other races. These are my thoughts on the matter.

Talking about actual differences in race (for instance, black people tend to have fat lips) is not racist. Coming up with crack-pot reasons for why your "race" is superior to others is.

People in general are born bigots and need to be taught to be tolerant. This is because people have an instinct for demonizing the "out-group," which is useful in tribal warfare and seen most commonly in nations during war and during spectator sports; and also because people form "connections" by sharing common interests, or in other words, by showing that you're similar to another person. So every person is born with a tendency to make friends more easily with similar people and to demonize strange people. Aspies may do this less frequently because they have fewer/different social instincts. So it seems apparent to me that social indignation against racism is a cultural thing that needs to be developed, rather than racism, which is why the list of groups you aren't supposed to demonize has become larger as society has developed rather than smaller.

If there were some sort of catastrophe and people were put back in the stone ages or something like that, I think it's highly unlikely that aspies would be very well off. Being nerdy, anti-social, and having sensory issues don't seem like positive traits in a world where you have to go romping around in the wilderness after animals and berries with your little tribal group in a short and brutal life. Our sensory issues would make the rigors of outdoor living and hunting excruciating, our lack of social skills would make it hard to organize and reproduce, and the lack of available education would make it impossible to compensate for these things. Aspies are only seen around today more than in the past because we live in a kinder world than before. Maybe Aspie traits are better suited for the modern world, but that has yet to be seen and can't be forced.

In general "race" does not exist. It only takes about 50 generations for every living person who manages to reproduce to become the ancestor of every human 50 generations later. With the exception of a few small islanders, every single person on earth has genetic markers from every "race" on earth.

There is no such thing as a "superior" or "more modern" species. The fitness of a species is relative to its environment. As I already said, I'm pretty sure that we'd be pretty f****d if society collapsed. And it is not true that humans are more modern than chimpanzees. Both lines have spent the exact same amount of time evolving. All that could be said is that humans are more successful than chimps.

NT and aspies are the same species botanically. We share the same ancestors and we can reproduce. There aren't even any ambiguities like with ring species, so this is not an open question. Aspies = homo sapiens



sedods
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14 Aug 2012, 8:47 pm

Actually, people that have ASD are not of a different race. ASD is something that can affect any person, in any part of the world, regardless of ethnicity and receiving a professional diagnosis does not suddenly alter your genetic makeup.

At the very least you could really only say, if you felt that you needed to, that a select few people who have received the diagnosis may THINK they are better than NTs in some areas. In this instance, you would use the term 'discrimination', but 'racism' is inacurate.



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14 Aug 2012, 8:53 pm

Also, the word 'botanically' is incorrect when describing humans, as the very definition of the word is of or relating to plant life or the study and/or science of plants.



Verdandi
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14 Aug 2012, 8:55 pm

You're not talking about "racism" at all here.



arithmancer
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14 Aug 2012, 9:04 pm

I would disagree with your characterization of this sort of opinion about AS as "racism". If I were to compare it with something, I would compare it not with racist opinions, but with the efforts of historically oppressed racial/ethnic/other groups to find aspects of their past, their culture, their history, famous people of their group, etc. which they can celebrate and take pride in. It is potentially a corrective to the stereotypes and prejudice they may have encountered in their lives. Growing up with AS can likewise be difficult, and celebrating the strengths of people with AS is a way to focus on the positive in the face of these difficulties.



starkid
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14 Aug 2012, 9:06 pm

ShamelessGit wrote:
Talking about actual differences in race (for instance, black people tend to have fat lips) is not racist.


Yes it is racist, if they frame it like you are framing it. One person's lips are only "fat" if another person or group of people is considered the norm that they are being compared to. The not racist way to say what you said is that the lips are different, or tend to be larger in comparison to whatever group (meaning you name them explicitly, instead of just taking it for granted that they are to be considered the default human beings).

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People in general are born bigots and need to be taught to be tolerant.


That is obviously false. Babies and small children are not bigoted towards people who are different from them. Curious maybe, but hardly bigoted. It is only people who are old enough to have learned prejudice who display it. I've noticed that it is often bigots who seem to think that human beings are naturally bigoted.



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14 Aug 2012, 9:08 pm

Aspie "racism" (I think "racism" can be replaced with "factionalism" or else, my English fails here) is of course silly and unfavorable, but it is expected. Aspies-auties are despised/bullied most of the time in society. Communities with a broken pride can easily get out of control and seek revenge. Those feelings are usually directed to a so-called *opposition*. The society gets seperated by defining "we" and "they". A superiority idea is used to heal the broken pride.

Thus, it is impossible to eliminate factionalism by saying "Seeking superiority in a group is bad". The factors that creating these kind of thoughts should be eliminated. In our case, they are bullying and exclusion of aspies from society.

Also, the best way to deal with any kind of discrimination is not to talk about it. If you start a sentence with "Black people are...", then it becomes racist naturally, because you would be talking about a race.


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starkid
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14 Aug 2012, 9:47 pm

Somberlain wrote:
Also, the best way to deal with any kind of discrimination is not to talk about it.

I'm not sure what you mean by "discrimination."
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If you start a sentence with "Black people are...", then it becomes racist naturally, because you would be talking about a race.


"Racism" does not include just any sort of "talking about a race" whatsoever. If I say "black people are having a hard time finding jobs in this country," that is not racist. I think you are mixing it up with "racial."



Verdandi
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14 Aug 2012, 11:31 pm

In fact there are a whole lot of racist things someone can say that involve not explicitly mentioning race at all, or by saying that talking about race is bad. That latter one is generally pretty racist because pretending that race and racism don't exist just allows the racism to go on unchallenged.



2wheels4ever
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14 Aug 2012, 11:43 pm

All black people have red blood in them, the same as everybody else. I didn't need to sit through hours of classes to know that

But there is a certain militant element of various races that have a definite agendum to be the top alpha dog, some have historically clothed their mission in a lobby for diversity, Not defending or bashing OP but I suspect they might be considering that WP's mission statement is promoting neurodiversity and some members fail to be content with that, using the notion of future payback to help get them through their day, I myself can get a little hot-headed after a bad day and spout off about wanting to live out the rest of my life never having to see a NT ever again, but in the end 'they' need 'us' and 'we' need 'them' . It's analagous to the 'body of Christ' the apostle Paul wrote about; a body can't be comprised of all fingers or toes


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CyborgUprising
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15 Aug 2012, 9:34 am

2wheels4ever wrote:
...a body can't be comprised of all fingers or toes

What about Handbanana?
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kx250rider
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15 Aug 2012, 11:54 am

Saying that Aspies are of some kind of advantage; maybe in perception of details or in early childhood memory, or the ability to remember fine details (or have anything perceived as a superiority), over non-Aspies, is no more "racist" than to say that average Black men have an advantage over average men of other races in basketball. The fact is that they do, as their leg tendons and joints are genetically and physically superior to others for the purpose of jumping and running. Some things are based on genetics, including both of my examples above. Other things that some people might call "racism", would be perhaps the idea that if you need to hire someone to work outside in the sun, you might want to hire a Mexican or South American worker over a Nordic European, as the dark skin is less likely to be sunburnt. Then there are cultural racist theories which suggest that we pick people to do business with based on race or ethnicity, such as people wanting to hire the "best Jewish accountant", or eat Asian food which has been prepared by an "Asian chef".

What in my opinion makes something "racist" or not, is the attitude behind the observation. If it's for negative or hurtful purposes, it doesn't matter what the words or issue is; it's not nice. If it's for positive or constructive purposes, such as when a doctor picks certain tests or immunizations for you to have, based on medical facts about one race vs. another, it's perfectly OK. In fact, to be "colorblind" as a doctor, would be stupid, foolish, and dangerous (not to mention wasteful in that many tests and immunizations would be given to people of races not affected by whatever the issue is).

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15 Aug 2012, 12:15 pm

arithmancer wrote:
If I were to compare it with something, I would compare it not with racist opinions, but with the efforts of historically oppressed racial/ethnic/other groups to find aspects of their past, their culture, their history, famous people of their group, etc. which they can celebrate and take pride in. It is potentially a corrective to the stereotypes and prejudice they may have encountered in their lives. Growing up with AS can likewise be difficult, and celebrating the strengths of people with AS is a way to focus on the positive in the face of these difficulties.


Exactly.



antifeministfrills
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15 Aug 2012, 12:59 pm

kx250rider wrote:
Saying that Aspies are of some kind of advantage; maybe in perception of details or in early childhood memory, or the ability to remember fine details (or have anything perceived as a superiority), over non-Aspies, is no more "racist" than to say that average Black men have an advantage over average men of other races in basketball. The fact is that they do, as their leg tendons and joints are genetically and physically superior to others for the purpose of jumping and running. Some things are based on genetics, including both of my examples above. Other things that some people might call "racism", would be perhaps the idea that if you need to hire someone to work outside in the sun, you might want to hire a Mexican or South American worker over a Nordic European, as the dark skin is less likely to be sunburnt. Then there are cultural racist theories which suggest that we pick people to do business with based on race or ethnicity, such as people wanting to hire the "best Jewish accountant", or eat Asian food which has been prepared by an "Asian chef".

What in my opinion makes something "racist" or not, is the attitude behind the observation. If it's for negative or hurtful purposes, it doesn't matter what the words or issue is; it's not nice. If it's for positive or constructive purposes, such as when a doctor picks certain tests or immunizations for you to have, based on medical facts about one race vs. another, it's perfectly OK. In fact, to be "colorblind" as a doctor, would be stupid, foolish, and dangerous (not to mention wasteful in that many tests and immunizations would be given to people of races not affected by whatever the issue is).

Charles


I think doctors, scientists, etc need not only to not be colorblind when it comes to things like black skin being more resistant to UV rays, but also the sociological factors that impact upon the differences in health between racial groups. For example, 'In Chicago in 1980, black and white women died of breast cancer at the same rate. Today, the white women are half as likely to die from it.' The inherent biology of whites and blacks can't have changed that much in a 30 year period. See more here: http://www.bostonreview.net/BR37.3/anne ... y_race.php



faerie_queene87
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15 Aug 2012, 1:13 pm

I remember reading somewhere that Aspies like making sense of people by categorizing them. I don't know if this is true or not.

I honestly don't think it's racist to categorize people. Each person is different but groups of people share common characteristics - whether biological or cultural. IMO, people ought to be treated differently (= discrimination, in literal terms) when appropriate, as kx250rider said. It is racist, though, to discriminate on the basis of something which doesn't truly differentiate the people belonging to each category, and it's just a pretext to favor one group over the other.

Aspie supremacy sounds racist to me in these terms, although I know the feeling of frustration that comes from being surrounded by people who seem dumb and pointless. I had to learn tolerance and I admit to have a hard time being tolerant myself sometimes. One could assume that, because of compulsive honesty, an Aspie might skip being "politically correct" and thus appear racist - especially in a "closed" environment like this forum.

As a side note, to me the level of political correctedness (?) in English-speaking countries is beyond absurd. It's like one shouldn't see differences anymore. But that doesn't make sense. Differences are there and people should be allowed and encouraged to make the best out of them.


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chris5000
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15 Aug 2012, 2:01 pm

every race has its group of s**theads.