They did it. They actually did it.
I was in the process of writing a sad, timid little post about the offensiveness of The NYU's Ransom Notes
campaign, questioning how such a campaign could be compatible with their stated mission to "eliminate the stigma of being or having a child with a psychiatric disorder", or how they intend to promote 'awareness' by conflating the effects of disorders with the effects of ostracization and stigma (not to mention conflating psychiatric disorders and developmental/neurological disabilities), by presenting exaggerated worst-case scenarios without even the slightest mention of how to recognize
the conditions that they were painting such bleak pictures of.
The post was going to be entitled "A Letter I'll Never Send", because I saw no point in sending it. I was nervous and frightened of taking even these first tiny baby steps towards public self-advocacy because I'd already seen others try and fail. When a corporation's only response to criticism and outrage is to take it as "evidence that [their] approach is working"
, what good can one more outraged voice do? When eloquent speakers, concerned parents, and even entire disability rights organizations all seem to be falling on closed ears
, what use is one more person? I felt more small and insignificant than I ever had before I'd become aware of the disability rights movement. If the best we can do is still not good enough, is there any point to even trying?
Except that it worked. Whether it was the media coverage of the criticism or the online petition or the deluge of blogs and emails and phonecalls or the fact that someone noticed
Koplewicz's affiliations with Pfizer and his participation in the infamous Paxil Study 329... it worked. As of today, the ads appear to be gone
, hopefully for good.
Thank you, Ari Ne'eman, Kristina Chew, Mike Stanton, Bob Kafka, Jim Ward, Autism Hub, Not Dead Yet, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, ADAPT, TAAP, Alliance for Disabled in Action, and every blogger, advocate, parent, psychologist or other person of any creed or kind who spoke out against this. Thank you not allowing yourselves to be silenced, for fighting even when it seemed to be in vain. Thank you for making it a bit easier for people like me to add our voices to your chorus next time.
Thank you for hope.