Greta Thunberg Says ‘Haters’ Who Attack Her For Her Asperger’s Diagnosis Have ‘Nowhere Left To Go’

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is responding to right-wing criticism of her being on the autism spectrum by reminding those attacking her that they’re the ones who are jealous of what she calls her “superpower.”

The Guardian reports:

“Greta Thunberg has spoken about her Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis after she was criticized over the condition, saying it makes her a ‘different,’ but that she considers it a ‘superpower.’

“Thunberg, the public face of the school climate strike movement said on Twitter that before she started her climate action campaign she had ‘no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder.’

“She said she had not been open about her diagnosis of being on the autism spectrum in order to ‘hide’ behind it, but because she knew’“many ignorant people still see it as an ‘illness,’ or something negative.”

Asperger’s syndrome is named after an Austrian doctor, Hans Asperger, who described some of its characteristics in the 1940s. They include difficulties in social interactions and nonverbal communication, which often includes difficulties reading body language. In 2013, Asperger’s was added to the wider diagnosis of the autism spectrum disorder.

Thunberg’s supporters are also coming to her defense, with British political columnist activist Owen Jones writing:

“The bile thrown at Greta Thunberg is motivated by one thing alone: this incredibly intelligent, eloquent, and compassionate 16-year-old has terrified some of the most hateful and reactionary so-called ‘grown ups’ on earth. She’s achieved more [at age] 16 than they ever will.”

And writer Andrew Mitrovica noted that those attacking Thunberg are little more than “scientifically illiterate bullies,” adding:

“She disdains celebrity. She makes no claim to heroism. She rebuffs efforts to idolize her. She isn’t calculating or preoccupied with fame or ego. There is no artifice about her. She speaks plainly, without affectation or embroidery.
In words and deeds, Thunberg is the embodiment of philosopher Howard Zinn’s admonition: ‘We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world.'”

In an interview she gave to UK’s Channel 4 News, Thunberg said she has “nothing to say” to those who continue to deny climate change, including President Donald Trump.

On a more hopeful note, Thunberg also said the planet can still be saved, but we have to act immediately:

“We still have time. But that time will not last for long so we need to do something now and we need to do it quickly and we need to do it drastically.”

And while she acknowledges that “one person can make a difference,” Thunberg also made sure to remind everyone that there are two student strikes planned for September, on the 20th and 27th:

Stay strong, Greta! You are the voice of a generation and a hero to millions.


Featured Image Via Flickr

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Andrew Bradford

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