Combating Hate with Hate? My thoughts on the Infamous Pink Letter

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.

Pink Letter

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Kim Williams Straw

Whatever sent this pink letter is a ignorant,cold blooded worthless waste of space.

Jennifer Beach Smith

Great post. Seriously. I feel the same way. Whoever wrote it needs help.

Elizabeth Allred

As a mom with three kids on the spectrum, the letter broke my heart… but I definitely don’t feel hate for her. Shock. Pity. Sadness. Hate gets us nowhere and it’s an ugly feeling I want nothing to do with. I’ve been lucky in life and I haven’t received comments as terrible as this (or what you received). I’m not quite sure how I’d handle them. I guess it depends on what mood I’m in when they arrive—because we all know the roller coaster of moods an autism parent experiences every day. I do know that this letter hit me during the wrong moment on the wrong day and I sent the universe ill feelings for the author… but since took them back and begged the world to just TEACH her. The autism community is about love and understanding and we’ve demonstrated none of that during this. Myself included, for awhile. The words are awful. The pain they cause all of us is heartbreaking. But what on earth are we accomplishing by bashing her besides joining together to bash a basher? Nothing. I’m glad to see a post with some real thought behind it. Thanks.

Aero Kat

that is a mean letter 🙁

Rich Gregg

Someone should euthanize that bitch

Lynne Brooke Sutton

Pretty sure my tongue is bleeding from biting it considering how this letter makes me want to respond. Restraint and being the bigger person is hard and those of us with special needs kiddos have to do it so much!

Angela McDonough

This kind of thing has happend many times to us Cody has been called Retard in our favorite family resturant To which he replyed I am not retarded i am Autistic what the hell is your problem . He gave an awarness speech at his school last yr to which the next day he was told he could no longer sit at his regular lunch table because he was weird and if he tried they would punch him in the face The school dealt with this child and my son has even been slapped in the back of the head in church during mass Where it took everything i had not to slap the old woman back but instead asked if she always went around slapping disabled children But i think this person is a threat to the boy in question and should be found because he or she could decide to take matters into there own hands at some point

Gail-Anne Bobik

I realize my response is disappointing but it is honest.

Gail-Anne Bobik

OMG. I admire your restraint I would have a serious need to line up neighbors one by one until I found the cretin who was responsible and the I frankly don’t even know what I would’ve done. That is a repulsive pink letter

Julie Fuller

I’m enraged just reading this, not knowing who any of these people are. All I can say is they all need to be prayed for!!!

Suzanne Flesser

That’s awful!!

Lost and Tired

I agree

Michael Henshaw

Wow… I agree that we need to demonstrate restraint when confronted by ignorance. We also must provide a safe environment for our children. The person behind “the pink letter” appears to be bullying, intimidating, and solely offensive. If I had received the letter it would affect my mood and thus the environment of my kids. I would like to say I would attempt educating those in the vicinity, but it would be a delicate path I would need to tread to keep my personal emotions in check.

JeroldAdamDavis

Kudos to you on your initial attempt to not address it at all.  I have tried to take a similar approach when it has popped up by simply saying that as a father in the Autism community, this letter is not even worth addressing on a FB level.  If one were to ask my opinion, it’s a disgusting letter full of hate and anger, but beyond that, I don’t see how it does anything for anyone to pay one iota of attention to it.  What does make a difference is to continue to support other Autism parents, and most importantly, continue supporting my son the best way I know how.

drheave

i dont know what the writter was going through maybe a hang over or realy bad migrain or simply a bad day…Maybe a simple knock on the door and a request to have child in for some time to help ease the headache? I dont know…i know that when my children are sick or my husband has migrains I ask my neighbors as nicely as i can to keep the noise levels down as much as possible, they usually understand… I agree with you rob we dont know whats going on with the writter, and there is no point in trying to understand why.

lostandtired

jacquiecklinton BrandenSimbeck Thanks.  I agree with what you said.  If fact, I think you hit the nail on the head.  This woman, if it even was a woman, is very clearly an angry person and this was going to happen and unfortunately, this family made a convenient target.  Sad but I would love to see everyone move past this and stop giving this person the attention.  🙂

jacquiecklinton

I agree with what you say. In my own case, reading the hate letter, my first reaction was rage followed by deep despair.  However as the day wore on and lengthy discussions followed, it gradually moved toward  an awareness of how good and decent people really do greatly outnumber the bad.  The neighbourhood rallied around the family and their child when this all came to light, as did the entire country.  If the letter had not been directed at a family living  with autism, it would have been written about something else, because this woman’s over the top rage would have had to boil over eventually. To keep that much hatred inside may well have provided her with the unplanned opportunity of becoming a shocking  statistic of spontaneous human combustion.  I believe she hates her world and most of all she  probably hates herself  There really are some bad people lurking around the dance and this time evil came to the ball, disguised as a regular neighbourhood mom who waltzed right up to the heart of the most innocent of all to deliver her poisonous message.  It is enraging, it is sad, it is unquestionably hideous and hurtful behaviour, but, thankfully…it is NOT the norm.

jacquiecklinton

I agree with what you say. In my own case, reading the hate letter, my first reaction was rage followed by deep despair.  However as the day wore on and lengthy discussions followed, it gradually moved toward  an awareness of how good and decent people really do greatly outnumber the bad.  The neighbourhood rallied around the family and their child when this all came to light, as did the entire country.  If the letter had not been directed at a family living  with autism, it would have been written about something else, because this woman’s over the top rage would have had to boil over eventually. To keep that much hatred inside may well have provided her with the unplanned opportunity of becoming a
shocking  statistic of spontaneous human combustion.  I believe she hates her world and most of all she  probably hates herself  There really are some bad people lurking around the dance and this time evil came to the ball, disguised as a regular neighbourhood mom who waltzed right up to the heart of the most innocent of all to deliver her poisonous message.  It is enraging, it is sad, it is unquestionably hideous and hurtful behaviour, but, thankfully…it is NOT the norm.

jacquiecklinton

I agree with what you say. In my own case, reading the hate letter, my first reaction was rage followed by deep despair.  However as the day wore on and lengthy discussions followed, it gradually moved toward  an awareness of how good and decent people really do greatly outnumber the bad.  The neighbourhood rallied around the family and their child when this all came to light, as did the entire country.  If the letter had not been directed at a family living  with autism, it would have been written about something else, because this woman’s over the top rage would have had to boil over eventually. To keep that much hatred inside may well have provided her with the unintentional opportunity to become a statistic of spontaneous human combustion.  I believe she hates her world and most of all she  probably hates herself  There really are some bad people lurking around the dance and this time evil came to the ball, disguised as a regular neighbourhood mom who walked right up to the door of the most innocent of all to deliver her poisonous message.  It is enraging, it is sad, it is unquestionably hideous and hurtful behaviour, but, thankfully…it is NOT the norm.

BrandenSimbeck

I think this is the most thoughtful response to this letter I have seen so far.

BrandenSimbeck

I think this is the most thoughtful response to this letter I have seen so far.

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