"I seek a reconceptualization of cognitive difference, to the end that those who bear now-stigmatizing labels of "deviance," "disorder" and "syndrome," may live and manifest their individuality, distinctive interests, gifts and capacities with integrity, in a manner that comes naturally to them, free of pressure to become people they are not, free of the automatic assignation of inferior status; and that they may enjoy the respect of their fellow citizens, rather than disdain and exclusion."----Kathleen Seidel
A dialogue at the end of this last week with one of the staunchest adversaries of ND in the online autism community had me thinking, reflecting, cogitating on how we engage those who disagree with us, as well as how we view those we have differences with. There was one sentence in particular that really disturbed me; it was written by this person to an individual who is generally considered by almost all individuals in the online autism community to be a friend to neither the advocates of inclusion, assistance, and acceptance or to those who believe their children are vaccine-damaged goods who must be recovered at all costs. In it, the individual notes that he too views NDs with contempt.
Think on that, what that means, to hold another person with such disdain, such venom, that you render them less than human. The ladies of RFID and Mamma H wrote on relationships for Countering and EDHF and contempt was one of the things we discussed; that there are neurotypical spouses who view their autistic partners with contempt. Our recommendation was that this was not a good relationship.
I don't view anyone I disagree with with contempt. I don't look at them as less than. As inferior. As less than human. As someone to be despised.
When you view someone who's saying that all people are of value and deserve equal access, equal participation, equal protection with contempt what does that say about your humanity, your soul if you believe in such a thing?
When you view others with contempt, you can excuse any behavior, any act, towards them. You can self-justify anything you do if you do it to someone you have decided is not your equal, someone you despise.
It is the very thing that we are fighting against here.
You cannot have a dialogue with someone who has already dismissed you as less than. There's nothing to be said to someone so filled with hate, with vitriol, that his contempt is worn proudly as a badge of honor.
**In this case I am defining contempt as such:
"1.the feeling with which a person regards anything considered mean, vile, or worthless; disdain; scorn. "
Obviously, I hold in this post that someone who feels contempt for others uses this to view them as less than and inferior.