More than one person evaluating ideas with the goal of establishing a unified purpose can only happen within an agreed upon set of standards. When policy makers create standards to promote peaceful solutions this effort should have everyone's interest included but people in those positions are often not that responsible.
So many of the concepts which have been declared officially true in our culture came to be that way pursuant to agendas created for controlling people rather than empowering them. This means that the more this is used as the foundation for new ideas the more chaos is the result.
The damaging effects of the chaos are not as readily seen in respected aspects of society but the price is no less felt by those with the least resources to expose them.
An example of how the political system in the US affects how people think is shown in how guilt or innocence is decided in a court room. Justice is disguised by the court issuing a public defender to people without the resources to pay for legal representation. Since the position tends to pay much less than that of an independent lawyer the public defender is usually someone with less experience. Since the judges are only allowed to decide based on the evidence that is presented to them, the person with the resources to purchase the services of someone who can best find and present that evidence is the one most likely to be found innocent or receive fewer punishments for their crime.
Since there is so much that discourages if not prevents people with the least resources from having an influence on public policies and yet the political arena is disguised as being democratic, politics operate in a very similar way as it does in the courtroom.
Adding to this deception is the popular belief that the education that someone receives as a lawyer or political representative is based on information that is fairly evaluated. Since commercial interest has more influence on that information it includes stereotypes, the marginalization of particular minorities, and traditional misrepresentation of unwanted misfits for protecting the elite and respected public from the crimes it is presumed they are likely to commit.
The fact that this misinformation is taught in schools and that other social policies and traditions keep these unwanted misfits from acquiring an education is conveniently ignored by the voting public. In places such as courtrooms and political discussions where decisions are made that affect peoples lives, there is a standard language centered around the rules of traditional debate and official "truth". I have often found many educated people (and I consider high school as educated) are not even aware that this is not practiced outside academic environments but people are punished for not understanding these rules they have not had the opportunity to learn.
All that I have described leads to the misunderstanding and oppression of diverse abilities and diverse cultures.The southern part of the United States is not just continuing to lack sophistication for much of the population due to less industry, but it is also due to the traditions of how the evaluation of humans and the unrealistic hierarchy of who is valuable due to what skills they are seen to possess. This tradition was greatly encouraged in the South when the slave trade was responsible for the economic prosperity of the nation.
The founders who created the rules and regulations felt that in order to preserve the morale of the voting public it was important to show that the enslaved population they depended on for their comforts were less evolved, less intelligent, humans with skills (the only ones they were allowed to learn) that were less valuable and worthy of respect.
Disability in the United States is evaluated based on these traditional principles. Psychology along with the promotion of learning disability labels is used to oppress those who are seen as having a less valuable place in our society and as people who are more likely to commit crimes against the more respected voting public.
The history of how autistics have been mistreated is mainly due to how we have been denied employment and denied a voice for influencing public policy that determines our fate.
While most disability advocacy groups have compromised the agency of those they claim to serve those with psychological, psychiatric and learning-disabled labels have been denied being seen as competent and rational more than with other disabilities. I would hope that a group like the Autistics Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) would be more considerate of the harmful effects of these traditions when deciding how they will represent us. Unfortunately, so far I haven't seen evidence that they are. Equally unfortunate to me is how I have been shown the consequences of being more specific about why I feel that way.
It is important that people's reputations are not sacrificed for political expediency. That goes as much for those who are treated badly by the political group for questioning them in an effort to preserve the positive way they are seen as well as for the leaders of the political group itself. In the same way that there is no honor among thieves politicians who may choose convenience over ethics ultimately won't trust others who do the same. Even more importantly those who are represented by the group will not continue to trust in their leadership.
It is not impossible to be given the confidence of the people you represent in the political arena who is not respected members of society (which most autistics aren't) as well as negotiate with other politicians who are. In order to do that what is needed is to show that there are enough voters among the people you represent so that you will be heard by the other politicians. The way to achieve that is to empower the people you represent and respect their concerns rather than treat them as convenient resources for political expediency in the same way they have grown accustomed to.
Anytime that the number of people who represent specific needs can influence the public policies the representatives will ultimately have the most success if their decisions are based on principles of empowerment rather than the popularity of mainstream notions that already exist. Adding your name to the rank-and-file political puppets not only compromises yourself and your own integrity but also everyone's you claim to represent.
More people will be shown to have a valid place in society when they are shown to have reasonable requests of accommodations so that they will have more equal opportunities. If the validity of human worth continues to depend on the royal expectations that only maintain the official power that has traditionally been oppressive, the situations of the oppressed will not only stay the same but will get worse.
I would hope that a group such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) who advertises how they support an ideal so noble as that of neurodiversity would be especially careful of the deceitful political traps which are described here. Ultimately, I would hope that anyone claiming to be championing the cause of rights for the disabled would focus on changing royal expectations and official hierarchies that determine human worth rather than showing how they personally can meet those established standards and catering to the mainstream public who is doing nothing more than promoting those traditions for isolated personal reasons.
To see where other bloggers have been bolder in their questioning the practices of ASAN and more direct in their descriptions of specific practices see: