Climate activist Greta Thunberg took to Instagram to share her response to critics who made fun of her Asperger’s syndrome after she lost her words in a recent interview.
Despite the fact that she’s a 16-year-old single-handedly transforming the way we think and speak about climate change, there are still people who seem to have nothing better to do but try and bring down Greta Thunberg.
After her two-week voyage across the Atlantic in order to attend the UN climate summit in America, the Swedish teenager finally set her feet on dry land on Wednesday (28 August).
Barely a few hours after she’d set sail from Plymouth at the beginning of the journey, Thunberg had already received hate from users across Twitter including Brexiteer Aaron Banks, who made a violent “joke” about freak yachting accidents in reference to the climate activist’s voyage.
And now, Thunberg has become the target of hate once more, simply because she stumbled over her words in an interview after her yacht had anchored in America.
Besides the fact that during the interview Thunberg was able to deliver a powerful message to Donald Trump, speak passionately about her decision to sail across the Atlantic rather than fly AND address the devastating fires currently raging in the Amazon, her critics picked on the activist for losing her words at one point in the interview.
The hate spewed at the young activist included ableist insults about her Asperger’s syndrome, with Twitter users referencing previous comments which called the teenager “deeply disturbed”.
But Greta Thunberg was not having any of it.
Taking to Instagram on Sunday (1 September), Thunberg hit back at critics who used her diagnosis against her, posting a picture of her smiling above a caption which addressed her haters.
“When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!” she began.
“I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm,” she continued, “and – given the right circumstances – being different is a superpower.”
The activist then went on to respond to critics who see her diagnosis as something negative or to be ashamed of, saying that while her diagnosis may have “limited her before,” she now finds herself in a completely different situation.
“I’m not public about my diagnosis to ‘hide’ behind it, but because I know many ignorant people still see it as an ‘illness’ or something negative,” she explained.
“Before I started school striking I had no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone,” she continued. “I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder.
“All of that is gone now, since I have found a meaning in a world that sometimes seems meaningless to so many people.”
Thunberg has, of course, received praise and support from people across the internet in response to her strong and powerful statement.
“If the only way to build up your position is to attack someone’s appearance or diagnosis, you have lost. Period,” read one response. “Thank you for reminding the world how powerful the voices of youth can be. Keep doing you and keep doing your good work.”
“What a wonderful, brilliant, extraordinary person,” read another. “Greta Thunberg is Power.”