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To: Senator Barry O'Sullivan
Autism is not an insult! Apologise NOW Barry
Dear Senator O'Sullivan
I was deeply offended and insulted by your comment using autistic as a slur against banks. This offends me personally as well as the hundreds of thousands of Australians who live with, love or who are proud to support people affected by autism in their community. Hundreds of thousands of Australians are affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and each and every one of them deserves to be treated respectfully.
Your attempt to insult the banks by describing them as showing "an almost autistic disregard for prudential regulation and law" demonstrate a lack of understanding of ASD, which often manifests in a compulsive desire to follow rules, but also a disturbing lack of judgement.
Your failure to immediately apologise on Monday when the gaffe was pointed out to you is even more offensive and damaging. The language we use is impactful. Language matters. As a public figure, you have the capacity to influence the direction of your community. It is your responsibility and your job. With that in mind, a full retraction and sincere public apology are in order and we demand you deliver it immediately.
Why is this important?
The language we use is impactful. Language matters. Senator O'Sullivan has implied the 230 000 Australians with Autism are callous, insensitive, and uncaring when he used the term "Austistic disregard" to insult the banks on live radio. Let him know it's not OK and that he needs to apologise.