May 24, 2023
In Identity Politics Letters To Finkelstein
Dear Professor Finkelstein,
I’m writing to you to thank you for your moral courage, both in your advocacy for the Palestinians and, in more recent years, for standing up to the lucrative scam of ‘woke’ identity politics. As an autistic self-advocate, I have witnessed my own community subjected in recent years to what I can only describe as a power grab by a woke mob operating under the ostensibly virtuous banner of ‘neurodiversity’.
Neurodiversity proponents posit what I consider to be the utterly fatuous notion of autism being an identity to be celebrated rather than a life-limiting disorder to be subject to serious medical scrutiny. In order to depatholigize the condition, proponents of the paradigm must necessarily accentuate the positives (heightened focus, attention to detail, etc.) and elide the inconvenient realities of self-injury, diaper wearing and premature death that afflict those on the severe end of the autism spectrum. Parents who speak publicly about their autistic children’s pathologies are routinely denounced by the ‘anointed’ class as ‘bigots’, ‘haters’ and ‘ableists’ whereas, I, an autistic critic of neurodiversity, am accused of being a ‘self-hating autistic’ suffering from ‘internalized ableism’ (I wish it were a joke!)
In several articles, including a guest opinion piece I wrote for the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/26/autism-neurodiversity-severe), I argue that neurodiversity is a luxury belief and one which directly disadvantages those on the profound end of the spectrum who, by virtue of their disability, have no voice in any kind of autism advocacy. For expressing my opposition publicly, I’ve received a torrent of vituperation and nastiness from the blue-haired crazies, and, although I haven’t suffered materially for my words in the same way radicals throughout the ages have, I can’t help but feel embittered about how few were willing to stand up for me in public, even despite many, including even some high-profile figures, expressing their agreement with me in private.
Why is it, in your view, that so many people simply go along with whatever ‘progressive’ nostrum is en vogue, even when their conscience disagrees? I have a harder time dealing with the fact that there is such an excess of social timidity among those whose minds have not yet been captured by the woke mind virus than I do with the relentless abuse I receive from the wokies themselves!
Best wishes from England to you in Brooklyn, NY,