Combating Hate with Hate? My thoughts on the Infamous Pink Letter
I wasn’t going to address this originally but I have since had a change of heart.
We’ve all read the infamous pink letter. You can read it down below if you haven’t. A great many people are angry over this letter and rightfully so.
While my thought may not be popular, I feel compelled to share them regardless.
Those of you that have been following me since the beginning, might remember my family being attacked in a similar fashion. Ours was in the form of some very, very hateful comments. Here’s a quote from that hate directed at my family: The post can be found here
“Let me get this straight… you have three retarded kids. That means that not only are you our your wife are making genetic failures, you kept right on breeding afterwards. Maybe you didn’t now about the first one immediately, and possibly didn’t know about the first by the time you had the second, but wtf at the third.
Do you plan on caring for these things their entire lives or do the taxpayers eventually have to baring the load of even more unwanted animals.”
I know first hand the pain these kind of words can cause. I was angry, hurt and ready to fight and defend my family.That said, you never know what’s going on behind the angry words. (See this to see what I learned about our situation.) So when I write the following words, I write them from the heart of a father who’s been there.
I understand everyone’s anger, I truly do. However, I have to say that I’m disappointed to see some of the things being said about the person who wrote this disgusting letter.
This isn’t about Autism Awareness at all.
No amount of Autism Awareness would help the person behind this letter to feel any differently. This is simply a sad, bitter and angry person, word vomiting hate speech in the form of a letter and directing at someone they perceive as weak or unable to defend themselves.
In truth, the family that was targeted by this letter is unbelievably strong, as they are doing things every single day that many others simply couldn’t, including the person behind the letter.
What I find unsettling is how the community is attacking this person and combating the hate with more hate.
Understand that I’m in no way defending the person that wrote this.The things in this letter break my heart and turn my stomach. I am however, concerned about Autism Community maintaining its integrity, during this period of time.
It’s my opinion that we should pity the person that wrote the letter, not hate them. By hating them, we are no longer setting a positive example. We are allowing this person to shift our focus off of what really matters the most. I know that it’s not easy, especially considering how hateful the words in that letter were. I do however, feel that we are better served by taking the higher road in this situation.
I also believe that we should support the family that was targeted and help them know that while hatred exists in this world, we are not defined by the thoughts and feelings of one cowardly person that writes hate speech.
We can all learn something from this experience.
We can’t change the world. No matter what we do or how much Autism Awareness we spread, there will always be ignorant people, always. They will make us angry and cause us heartache but they don’t have to control us. We don’t have to sink to their level of intolerance.
As a community, we need to put this behind us, while carrying the lessons learned with us on our journey.
If feel very strongly that by remaining angry and bitter, we are handing over control to people of intolerance. I for one, don’t want this to happen.
By moving on, we will show these people that their words cannot control us. We love our special children and nothing anyone can say or write in a letter will change that.
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