Seebs
For my two cents I hated a lot of things about MoR when I read it... basically everything actually, but it satisfied that overwhelming itch that JKR left by never ever even addressing muggle science in the books at all. It's generally awful, but iirc the science is pretty decent.

(Some snipping for length, but if you didn’t already read vegacoyote’s post, do. It’s a really good bit of writing.)

vegacoyote:

It’s not so much knocking down the sandcastle, as wanting to be able to play with it in a different way. Seeing the world be like, “Look, magic!,” some people react by being like “Magic? Wheeeeee! Explosions and poofings and unicorns!” And that’s fine, it’s awesome, but some other people are more like, “Magic? Wait how’s it work?” and part of the “Wheeeeee!” has to involve “DO SCIENCE TO IT! YAY!” or it feels unfulfillng.

And it shouldn’t have to mean destroying the magic or the world or being shitty to the characters, if you want to stop and say, “Wait, where does the rest of her go when she’s being a cat? Is her mind the same?” or “But WHY does the unicorn have silver blood? How does it work?” or “Wait, go back and tell me more about garden gnomes. Are they a kind of primate like us? Are they like weirdly bipedal gophers? Are they actually walking potatoes that bite?” The reward for me wasn’t watching the protagonist get away with being a such massive little shithead. In the case of what I (used to) enjoy about MoR, Harry initially just becomes a vessel for transporting Science to Hogwarts, because we want to play with how and why it works.

I’ll say now, I’m actually pretty much in your camp about it at this point- I tolerated the gross stuff at first because I found enough other to be clever and engaging and fun, but… it started to become clearer and clearer that the schoolfeeding I kept expecting to happen to Harry, the one about respecting other people and not manipulating them and not throwing tantrums every time someone won’t admit that you are obviously RIGHT- was never going to happen.

Because, and I think this is the thing that makes the whole thing so deliciously ironic to me:

The author does not realize that “people should listen to me because I am right” is itself actually totally irrational. Not because it’s not rational for people to listen to true things, but because reality informs us that people are, in general, not capable of being consistently rational. Rationality is cool, but expecting people to be rational all the time, or even to be able to be rational all the time, is disregarding reality. It is irrational! So the more angry someone gets about other people not being rational, the more devoted they are to showing off how awesome rationality is, the more biting the lack of self-awareness is.

This is really hard for me to write. I don’t want to be like, “Owh maw GERDH, he TRIGGERED ME, how DARE!!!1!!” I know he was not responsible for the fact that I read that chapter at a time when I was psychiatrically vulnerable. But it bothered me, and I wanted to discuss it. So I started composing a response. And then realized I couldn’t do it, because, in wanting to explain to him that, no, I actually know what death means- I kept flashing back to her. How she was gone, and she was never coming back, and there was nothing I could do. My dog, not Hermione. I wanted to explain to him that it wasn’t because I didn’t hurt enough that I disagreed to him, and that hurting people more with the simulated death of a character they loved… wasn’t going to change their minds, because contrary to what he knows in his heart, people aren’t actually completely fucking stupid. But I realized I couldn’t get any of it down, because I was crying so hard my eyes were swelling shut and my throat and sides were aching.

He understood that death was bad. You grokked it in fullness. He did not have anything to teach you there.

vastderp:

I pretty much can’t stand people who put so much stock in being right about everything that they gotta knock down some kid’s sand castle and lecture the kid who was building it about how, ACTUALLY, sand castles aren’t structurally sound places to live and would have never passed code on inspection, and furthermore any idiot knows you can’t build a real castle with a shovel, so stop wasting your time and go get a degree in mathematics already!

That’s how I see the MoR series. Some flawed AI bot once read about fun in a children’s story and didn’t like it very much, and took it upon himself to deconstruct that story by writing an insipid cardboard cutout version of himself and sending it around inside the story to sneer at everything that isn’t scientifically accurate and gloat about how it doesn’t measure up to his walls of text about human nature and those rapey brown countries who weren’t descended from the Enlightenment.

And oh my god, the cheesy, shoddily written dialogue! 

STRAWMAN!PROFESSOR: Magic spalz are done liek this ok wach and lurn *does magic, which violates all natural law*

AWESOME!SCIENCE!HARRY: Yes, well, I’m afraid I must disagree with you on your methodology, and in fact your entire worldview, as, in my opinion as an eleven-year-old boy, the very notion of waving a stick of wood around and spontaneously generating observable physical effects therefrom is utterly preposterous. I’ve studied all the spellbooks and none of the Latin used for the basic incantations is correct—although I’m sure someone like you wouldn’t be able to comprehend that, would you? *politely scoffs* And my goodness, I believe I can safely theorize, utilizing Muggle Osmicus Bublbat’s fourth dissertation on the dissipation of particulate odors and my own thorough studies of the olfactory processes of a standard eleven-year-old boy wizard, that you have had an accident within your robes. *politely smirks* This is, naturally, what comes of living an irrational life. Look at yourself, and your choices, aren’t they inferior to the way I live? You know, any God that created a world like this, where magic and “fun” are perceived as something less dangerous than a theist lie to be toppled and overthrown is a flawed God, and probably female, as well. *polite chuckle* I would despise and overthrow such a God on principle, were she to exist, and show her the error of her ways. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t anyone?

STRAWMAN!PROFESSOR: I… never seed it that way! I so confuse! Science… good?

AWESOME!SCIENCE!HARRY: *polite smile* Oh, naturally you would agree with me without having the slightest comprehension of the sentiments I’ve just expressed. It’s human nature for weaker and emotionally permeable lesser intellects to sense the existence of a superior mind and philosophy, even if he is only the tender age of eleven, as I am, and flock to his defense. Yes, friend, yes, science good. *polite chuckle* Do try to embrace it!

STRAWMAN!PROFESSOR: U teech mai class smartboy?

AWESOME!SCIENCE!HARRY: No, sir, I am afraid that’s not possible. I am, after all, merely a eleven-year-old child who knows a few small things and is only too happy to make this school and all the experiences found within more relatable for those of us who are too smart and too rational to foolishly tumble into the pit trap of “fun”. My name is Harry Potter, and I am an atheist. Now go and shower, Professor, and please use soap this time when you wash the feces from your buttocks!

DRACO MALFOY: Rape rape rape.

AWESOME!SCIENCE!HARRY: *sigh* Malfoy, when will you learn that it’s enough to merely humiliate one’s inferiors with words?

it’s like watching someone masturbate.

Also, I realized that it was grounds for anyone with his value set to dismiss pretty much everything I might ever have to say, Because Irrational.

But that, of course, is itself irrational on the part of the people with that mindset. It’s the same determined refusal to acknowledge an unwanted thing about the world. They can be all smug about how other people stupidly don’t think death is as bad as it really is, but their belief about how people can be rational is no better justified, and no more consistent with reality. A decision to believe what you want rather than what seems to be true is not suddenly made rational just because what you want to believe is that you are rational.

I have a really hard time with irrationality in people. It’s easier for me to be rational than it is for most people (yay autism!), I’m less overwhelmed by emotions in general, and frankly I tend to think people are stupid and dislike them. But I’ll tell you this: I’d rather hear you talk about loving your dog and missing her than listen to some half-assed misanthrope whining about how people aren’t rational enough. You may not be totally coldly emotionless, but you are honest. You value the truth even when the truth is not simple or convenient, and I consider this significantly more important as a kind of rationality than sitting around doing moral calculus on the back of a napkin.

I am a great magician.

sptrashcan:

kgschmidt:

Bought router. Set up wireless home network. Set up wireless PRINTER! Out of magic tricks. Food now.

You play god! You go too far!

No! Am IT department!

I am not offended by generalizations about white people or cis people.

mcglubbin:

the-real-seebs:

mcglubbin:

the-real-seebs:

mcglubbin:

the-real-seebs:

fandomsandfeminism:

I’m not. If a PoC blogger gets fed up and types out a post about white people without clarifying that they meant “not all white people”, or a trans person posts about cis people without saying “not all cis people” I am not offended.

Do you want to know why?

Because in that situation, there is only one of three possible realities:

  1. I think about it and understand that I don’t do those things that the blogger is talking about, and the post isn’t about me really, so I move on.
  2. I think about it and realize that “oh shit” I DO sometimes do whatever it is they are talking about, and I fucking realize that I need to fix that behavior because holy hells I don’t want to be enforcing oppressive bullshit.
  3. It’s a joke at the expense of the oppressive majority. Seriously.

That’s it. Those are the only Three possibilities. The post either isn’t about me, or I’m getting called out on shit I need to fix, or it’s a joke (and not a joke at the expense of the marginalized but at the expense of the privileged). That’s it. Not something I’m going to fight about.

Hmm. So, if someone makes a joke about a stereotype, and I think about it and realize I don’t do the things they talk about, I should recognize that they’re not talking about me. So, for instance, say someone makes a joke about how gay guys are so promiscuous and get so many diseases, and I think “gosh, I’ve been married 20 years, haven’t slept around, they aren’t talking about me. I should not be offended.” Is that how it works? Because I don’t think that’s how it works. I think that things that promote harmful stereotypes and us-vs-them thinking are harmful even if they aren’t about me. And in fact, it’s precisely because they are often not really about me that they are harmful — because they are in fact making an assertion about me which is false, and I tend to find that upsetting.

And maybe it’s “at the expense of an oppressive majority”, but you know what? Prejudice still sucks, it still does harm, and I still think I am better off if it’s not as common. I have seen these things go by plenty, both in cases where I’m in the oppressed minority and in cases where I’m in the oppressive non-minority, and you know what? It still bothers me, every time, either way.

The fact is, all the people out there have feelings, and hurting their feelings has the same basic effects whether they’re “oppressive” or not. And thanks to the massive variety of sets out there, the chances are not awful that the “white guy” who’s getting all irritated about being bashed is a disabled gay white guy, and is already getting plenty of crap for being who he is, and does not need more.

The problem is not that the wrong people are being hurt. The problem is that people are being hurt. Saying nasty shit about people does not actually make things better. The closest it comes is that it can help maintain a level of anger which suppresses the natural empathic response we have to other people, and lets us care less about them… But that’s more the problem than the solution.

I tend to think that marginalized groups do have a right to express their anger, it’s just that directing anger at individuals rarely has any productive value and can often serve to bring harm to a person. So overall, yeah. I agree with this.

I think everyone has a right to express their anger, but whether it’s a good idea or not is a little trickier. In general, if I can’t express my anger without insulting random third parties, I figure that’s probably a sign that I am not yet in a place where I should be expressing my anger publically.

Yeah, I agree with you! I just mean to say that there’s a difference between say, someone saying it on their blog and not tagging it, and someone tagging it with people’s names/fandom tags/etc. (And of course, someone going out of their way to attack someone they don’t know for their identity.) If it’s a case of the former I’d say it’s probably easier to ignore it and not be hurt, because they’re obviously not trying to shove it in anyone’s face.

Somewhat, yeah. But sometimes those things end up floating around with 30k notes. I guess the main thing is that if I post something on a blog, the fact that it’s “just venting” doesn’t actually invalidate other people’s objections to it. They can have the right to post that, and it may not make them bad people, but it’s not necessarily bad for other people to express concerns or distress about it. Especially if you have a broader environment (like tumblr) where a lot of that “just venting” is backed up by enough people, who are hostile enough often enough, to create a pervasively stressful environment.

It’s also worth noting, and I think I sort of omitted this in my initial analysis, that attacks-on-friends are also a thing. If I see a bunch of complaining about “cishets”, the fact that it’s directed at Not-Me doesn’t change the fact that it’s directed at a whole lot of people I know and love.

Hmmm mixed feelings there. I think other people turning the post into a broader statement can’t necessarily be blamed on OP - like a few days ago where I reblogged people dogpiling on an artist, cursing and mocking them, all for not doing a good job of drawing a character looking her proper weight. Yes, the artist made a mistake, but it’s everyone else that turned it into a bigger issue. Similarly if someone else makes a vent post like “ugh fuck white people” and other people take it and turn it into some sort of lifestyle statement and spread it around to circles where people who will be hurt by it will see it, I don’t know. I can’t blame that solely on OP.

The latter point, totally agree. I feel the same way.

I tend to view posts like that, publically viewable, as an “attractive nuisance”. They’re a thing which is likely to produce a highly predictable outcome, and that means that even though other people are taking it and running with it, there is some reasonable expectation that people will take that possibility into account when posting in the first place.

I am not offended by generalizations about white people or cis people.

mcglubbin:

the-real-seebs:

mcglubbin:

the-real-seebs:

fandomsandfeminism:

I’m not. If a PoC blogger gets fed up and types out a post about white people without clarifying that they meant “not all white people”, or a trans person posts about cis people without saying “not all cis people” I am not offended.

Do you want to know why?

Because in that situation, there is only one of three possible realities:

  1. I think about it and understand that I don’t do those things that the blogger is talking about, and the post isn’t about me really, so I move on.
  2. I think about it and realize that “oh shit” I DO sometimes do whatever it is they are talking about, and I fucking realize that I need to fix that behavior because holy hells I don’t want to be enforcing oppressive bullshit.
  3. It’s a joke at the expense of the oppressive majority. Seriously.

That’s it. Those are the only Three possibilities. The post either isn’t about me, or I’m getting called out on shit I need to fix, or it’s a joke (and not a joke at the expense of the marginalized but at the expense of the privileged). That’s it. Not something I’m going to fight about.

Hmm. So, if someone makes a joke about a stereotype, and I think about it and realize I don’t do the things they talk about, I should recognize that they’re not talking about me. So, for instance, say someone makes a joke about how gay guys are so promiscuous and get so many diseases, and I think “gosh, I’ve been married 20 years, haven’t slept around, they aren’t talking about me. I should not be offended.” Is that how it works? Because I don’t think that’s how it works. I think that things that promote harmful stereotypes and us-vs-them thinking are harmful even if they aren’t about me. And in fact, it’s precisely because they are often not really about me that they are harmful — because they are in fact making an assertion about me which is false, and I tend to find that upsetting.

And maybe it’s “at the expense of an oppressive majority”, but you know what? Prejudice still sucks, it still does harm, and I still think I am better off if it’s not as common. I have seen these things go by plenty, both in cases where I’m in the oppressed minority and in cases where I’m in the oppressive non-minority, and you know what? It still bothers me, every time, either way.

The fact is, all the people out there have feelings, and hurting their feelings has the same basic effects whether they’re “oppressive” or not. And thanks to the massive variety of sets out there, the chances are not awful that the “white guy” who’s getting all irritated about being bashed is a disabled gay white guy, and is already getting plenty of crap for being who he is, and does not need more.

The problem is not that the wrong people are being hurt. The problem is that people are being hurt. Saying nasty shit about people does not actually make things better. The closest it comes is that it can help maintain a level of anger which suppresses the natural empathic response we have to other people, and lets us care less about them… But that’s more the problem than the solution.

I tend to think that marginalized groups do have a right to express their anger, it’s just that directing anger at individuals rarely has any productive value and can often serve to bring harm to a person. So overall, yeah. I agree with this.

I think everyone has a right to express their anger, but whether it’s a good idea or not is a little trickier. In general, if I can’t express my anger without insulting random third parties, I figure that’s probably a sign that I am not yet in a place where I should be expressing my anger publically.

Yeah, I agree with you! I just mean to say that there’s a difference between say, someone saying it on their blog and not tagging it, and someone tagging it with people’s names/fandom tags/etc. (And of course, someone going out of their way to attack someone they don’t know for their identity.) If it’s a case of the former I’d say it’s probably easier to ignore it and not be hurt, because they’re obviously not trying to shove it in anyone’s face.

Somewhat, yeah. But sometimes those things end up floating around with 30k notes. I guess the main thing is that if I post something on a blog, the fact that it’s “just venting” doesn’t actually invalidate other people’s objections to it. They can have the right to post that, and it may not make them bad people, but it’s not necessarily bad for other people to express concerns or distress about it. Especially if you have a broader environment (like tumblr) where a lot of that “just venting” is backed up by enough people, who are hostile enough often enough, to create a pervasively stressful environment.

It’s also worth noting, and I think I sort of omitted this in my initial analysis, that attacks-on-friends are also a thing. If I see a bunch of complaining about “cishets”, the fact that it’s directed at Not-Me doesn’t change the fact that it’s directed at a whole lot of people I know and love.

I am not offended by generalizations about white people or cis people.

mcglubbin:

the-real-seebs:

fandomsandfeminism:

I’m not. If a PoC blogger gets fed up and types out a post about white people without clarifying that they meant “not all white people”, or a trans person posts about cis people without saying “not all cis people” I am not offended.

Do you want to know why?

Because in that situation, there is only one of three possible realities:

  1. I think about it and understand that I don’t do those things that the blogger is talking about, and the post isn’t about me really, so I move on.
  2. I think about it and realize that “oh shit” I DO sometimes do whatever it is they are talking about, and I fucking realize that I need to fix that behavior because holy hells I don’t want to be enforcing oppressive bullshit.
  3. It’s a joke at the expense of the oppressive majority. Seriously.

That’s it. Those are the only Three possibilities. The post either isn’t about me, or I’m getting called out on shit I need to fix, or it’s a joke (and not a joke at the expense of the marginalized but at the expense of the privileged). That’s it. Not something I’m going to fight about.

Hmm. So, if someone makes a joke about a stereotype, and I think about it and realize I don’t do the things they talk about, I should recognize that they’re not talking about me. So, for instance, say someone makes a joke about how gay guys are so promiscuous and get so many diseases, and I think “gosh, I’ve been married 20 years, haven’t slept around, they aren’t talking about me. I should not be offended.” Is that how it works? Because I don’t think that’s how it works. I think that things that promote harmful stereotypes and us-vs-them thinking are harmful even if they aren’t about me. And in fact, it’s precisely because they are often not really about me that they are harmful — because they are in fact making an assertion about me which is false, and I tend to find that upsetting.

And maybe it’s “at the expense of an oppressive majority”, but you know what? Prejudice still sucks, it still does harm, and I still think I am better off if it’s not as common. I have seen these things go by plenty, both in cases where I’m in the oppressed minority and in cases where I’m in the oppressive non-minority, and you know what? It still bothers me, every time, either way.

The fact is, all the people out there have feelings, and hurting their feelings has the same basic effects whether they’re “oppressive” or not. And thanks to the massive variety of sets out there, the chances are not awful that the “white guy” who’s getting all irritated about being bashed is a disabled gay white guy, and is already getting plenty of crap for being who he is, and does not need more.

The problem is not that the wrong people are being hurt. The problem is that people are being hurt. Saying nasty shit about people does not actually make things better. The closest it comes is that it can help maintain a level of anger which suppresses the natural empathic response we have to other people, and lets us care less about them… But that’s more the problem than the solution.

I tend to think that marginalized groups do have a right to express their anger, it’s just that directing anger at individuals rarely has any productive value and can often serve to bring harm to a person. So overall, yeah. I agree with this.

I think everyone has a right to express their anger, but whether it’s a good idea or not is a little trickier. In general, if I can’t express my anger without insulting random third parties, I figure that’s probably a sign that I am not yet in a place where I should be expressing my anger publically.

juilan:

Friendly reminder: Eating foods that aren’t from your own ethnicity is cultural appropriation so please don’t do it!!
( ◕ ◡ ◕ ) thank u~

I genuinely cannot tell whether this is intended as a joke. I am leaning towards “yes”, because it’s got so many of the markers. Double exclamation marks, cutesy smiley, “thank u~” complete with tilde, and the blog sidebar claims the poster is 19.

EDIT: Went to their home page. The blog title is “that post was a joke”.

I think you've mentioned getting genuinely angry with a guy you were arguing with until you figured out he was probably schizophrenic. Can you describe how it went? I'm having a possibly similar situation here (this dude started out making bad but coherent logic but further conversation seems to paint him as detached from reality) and I'm not sure what to do.
Anonymous

The main problem was that we were talking about mathematical terminology, and he started making word salad of things. So he’d keep taking claims like “f(x) = y”, and and asserting that this means that the function f is y. It was sort of surreal. The main thing I was noticing, I think, is that he simply couldn’t keep qualifiers on certain words or concepts; they developed this sort of surreal quality where a particular word was always the same thing and couldn’t mean anything but that thing, and qualifiers on it were just ignored. I am not sure I can really explain much better; this appears to be some kind of innate recognition my brain does when interacting with people who have any of a couple of specific cognitive abnormalities.

vastderp:

“And I believe to my soul that inside every man there’s the Feminine, And inside every lady there’s a deep manly voice loud and clear. Well, a cowboy may brag about things that he’s done with his women, But the ones who brag loudest are the ones that are most likely queer.”

— Willie Nelson, “Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond Of Each Other”

Not originally Willie Nelson:

Ned Sublette, according to Wikipedia.

"I DON’T USE NOTES FOR MY SERMONS! I LET THE HOLY SPIRIT FLOW!"

everydayimpastoring:

90% of the time, two minutes into the sermon, I’m going
image

I… have been there. Yes. I know this feeling.

Admittedly, this is not evidence that the tactic isn’t working. Perhaps when the Holy Spirit flows through us, we are indeed speaking from the same sensibilities that gave us the duck-billed platypus.

Anonymous asks: How to help autistic cousin?
I’m writing to ask for your help with the following question. An autistic friend has been pointing me at autism resources (like the Loud Hands Project and, erm, you) as she’s been processing the ways she was mistreated as a child. And one of the things that’s come up is the way everyone in her life — distant relatives, parents’ friends, and so on — just went along with it. I’ve now found myself, maybe, in the situation of one of those people — my cousin is autistic, and the last time I visited his family, a couple things happened that I thought might be warning signs. My question is what should those distant relatives actually do to help? I’m asking you because my friend would find this too triggering and can’t deal with that right now, and you’re the closest thing to an autism advice columnist I know of. (Because the world is crazy enough that the best source I have available for this is a random person on tumblr who’s been recommended by someone I trust.) So, warning signs, maybe. I’ve known for a while that my relatives donate to Autism Speaks, but I visited recently and a couple more things they said made me a little worried. His sister, looking for an illustration of how effective therapy had been for him, cited the fact that she could now hug him. And I found out that a few years ago, his mother was involved with advocating against the use of thimerosal in vaccines. I’m not that close to that side of my family — I see them maybe three times a year. Unsurprisingly, that means I don’t really know my cousin personally; he largely ignores me when I visit. So I don’t know much in detail about what his therapy is like or how he actually feels about it. (I know the name of the special ed school he’s enrolled at, but don’t know any way to translate that into useful information.) I guess the detailed version of my question is: 1) Based on that super sketchy summary, how worried should I be? 2) Even if I am worried, what could I do to actually help? All those relatives and friends who didn’t do anything; what should they (we?) have been doing instead?

Well, that’s a nice hard problem. I am ambivalent about “she could now hug him” because that’s not necessarily a bad sign, but I note that she doesn’t say “he now likes hugs”. Which is a very different claim. First thing I’d wonder is, does he have any uncensored/unmonitored communications available? Can he use email? Can he use email other people don’t look at? It might be worth practicing autistic-friendly social skills, and seeing whether you can get an excuse to spend some time with him when visiting.

How about the rest of your more-immediate family? Are they likely to be supportive? Hostile? I know some people are pretty dogmatically opposed to any attempt to intervene in someone else’s child-raising strategies, others are all over that.

I think it’s important to distinguish between various kinds of mistreatment. Some are annoying but pretty survivable, others are pretty much abuse. One thing that may be helpful is just to be that token person he knows won’t give him crap for Being Weird. You can also possibly nudge the family in subtle ways, without saying anything directly confrontational. Things like mentioning your autistic friend in passing, not like “hey look how much I know about autism”, but just because it’s relevant to something else. I don’t know your autistic friend, or how you relate, but for instance, if someone mentioned obsessive focus, I might bring up “one time, Jesse and I decided to just let our nephew talk about bey blades as long as he wanted to find out what happened. He ran down after about two and a half hours. It was really sorta cool just watching him be so very enthusiastic.”

See, the thing there is, I’m not saying anyone else has to do this, or has to do anything like it, I’m just expressing the belief that a stereotypically autistic behavior often regarded as “bad” can be a source of genuinely positive experiences for other people. And it totally can. (I like the phrase “The Obsessive Joy of Autism”.) And something that can be really helpful for autistics in not-very-supportive environments can be to just hear an occasional thing like that, so they know there’s friendlier people out there.

The Autism Speaks thing is harder, because you’re going to have a hard time expressing negative things about them without someone going on the defensive. There, I’d say, definitely don’t bring it up in response to a direct mention from someone who supports it, because that will be taken as confrontational. But if you can find a way to bring it up in some other context, that can be effective. You can also start with slightly different angles; for instance, instead of attacking them for being genocidal slanderers, you could comment on how you’ve seen some things suggesting that they’re really a fundraising organization. Like those things that claim to be benefit charities for local firefighters or police, but really most of their money goes to salaries and promotional budgets, where the promotional budgets tend to get spent on businesses run by people who know the people running it, and the firefighters or police aren’t really beneficiaries in any meaningful way.

If you start with “these people are probably a scam, and are mostly just trying to pull on heartstrings to get money”, that’s less of a direct attack, and more of a hepful warning. And then if they start disliking the organization or being unsure, or saying “but what about their research programs”, you can go to things like “well, a lot of that research is pretty unpopular with autistic people”, and so on.

Good luck!

(And if other people want to chip in advice, suggestions, etc., go right ahead.)