Earlier this week, the White House and autism organizations around the world celebrated the 10th annual World Autism Awareness Day. Actor William Shatner, best known for his role in Star Trek, changed his profile icon and tweeted his support into the related hashtag to draw awareness to the disability. Today, he was inundated with outrage from social justice warriors who likened his support for autism awareness to hate speech. They further expressed their anger towards organizations like Autism Speaks, which sponsored the event.
Autism is formally classified as a disability that happens during pregnancy. Despite that, many people with autism live great lives. Yet it would be a stretch to call it a gift. As with many challenges people face, it’s usually something to overcome.
Autism Speaks is one of several global organizations that supports finding solutions across the spectrum and catering to the needs of individuals who suffer from it and their families. Critics refer to the search for a cure as a form of “eugenics.”
Shatner fielded a host of complaints from critics who demanded he preach “autism acceptance” rather than awareness—some of whom made it a crusade to dedicate themselves against Autism Speaks. He was linked to an article on Forbes decrying awareness for the disability. The hysterical article based most, if not all, of its criticism towards the organization on its founder’s longtime personal friendship with President Trump.