The Autistic Self Advocacy Network condemns the terror attack which took place this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. We join other civil rights organizations in denouncing the hatred and white supremacy we saw on display, and we recognize that this tragedy is not an isolated incident, but rather the manifestation of centuries of systemic violence, racism, and antisemitism in this country. As members of this democracy, we all have a responsibility to speak out and stand firm against bigotry and injustice. As a disability rights organization, we know that a threat to one of us is a threat to us all, and we stand in solidarity with communities of color, including those who live in the intersections between our communities.
We hold in our hearts those who were injured or killed standing up to bigotry, and their families. To all our community members who are feeling shaken, scared, or unsafe as a result of this violence–as well as the systemic violence that people of color and religious minorities face every day–we say: you are not alone. You belong. You are loved, and we are so grateful to have you here. We are committed to a world where no one lives in fear and there is safety, justice, and acceptance for everyone. We will not stop until we get there.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. ASAN was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community run by and for autistic Americans, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power. Our staff work to educate communities, support self-advocacy in all its forms, and improve public perceptions of autism. ASAN’s members and supporters include autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators, and friends.