This story has hit the Autism community like wildfire over the past couple of days.
The restaurant chain had planned on donating a portion of its sales on Monday to the National Autism Association.
However, it seems there was a lot of backlash from people who do not agree with the National Autism Associations opinion regarding vaccinations and Autism. So, what does Chili’s do? They back out of supporting the organization altogether.
And many wonder why I stay clear of the topic of vaccinations, here’s a prime example:
Most companies will steer clear of controversial topics as they do not want to alienate a segment of their customer base.
While I neither agree nor disagree with Chili’s decision, or even that of the National Autism Associations perspective regarding vaccines, this situation highlights a major hurdle within the Autism community that needs to be addressed…
… the fact that we should all work together and find our common issues to focus on.
In regards to vaccinations and autism, all I can say is that we just don’t know enough. For every study that proves there is a connection, there’s another study that disproves it. I get this from both sides of this highly debated subject, therefore, I can’t formulate a qualified opinion.
What I do know is that the National Autism Association has been serving the needs of the community in many ways, just like many other Autism organizations.
What I do know is that they have been working hard on a major campain to address elopement, by providing easy tools that parents can use to help people with identification and locating their child who may have a tendency to run away. Much of the fundraising campaign with Chili’s, to my understanding, was to help fund this campaign.
By people ‘boycotting’ chili’s, and this backlash that is being reported – all this did was two things:
- one – keep the debate going regarding vaccines and autism (which really is just putting the focus on vaccines and not autism)
-two- show a significant lack of unifying support from the autism community at large – which has been a challenge to begin with for a long time.
Am I disappointed in Chili’s decision? Of course? But can I blame them? I can’t. Any business will back out of supporting something when there is any type of negative publicity – whether it’s true or not. I keep thinking about when companies would pull their support for Paula Dean or Tiger Woods.
I’m more concerned about the Autism Community in general. We have to support one another, and find and support organizations that help our families and individuals.
Each organization I’ve had the pleasure of working with has it’s strength’s - and we should focus on the Strength’s – and support each other.
Until later, be blessed.