So far my offer has not turned up POM! and she has not yet found the courage to step up and face her responsibilities. My offer still stands, I still feel that our community needs to see her be responsible for her words in order to heal from the harm she has caused.
I’m just going to refer to the author of the anonymous hate letter as POM! (Pissed Of Mother!!!) It’s just too awkward and confusing to try to refer to her as “the author of…” and “the person who wrote…”. Also I’ve seen a lot of speculation that POM is neither a woman or a mother, I agree that elements of the letter may have been a deliberate attempt to misdirect. I will keep referring to POM in the female sense, it’s only intended to avoid confusion, I’m not trying to perpetuate the assumption that it is a woman.
In the last two days I have received messages from dozens of people seeking to contribute and increase the amount that I am offering. Right now I don’t want to increase my offer over the $100 mark. There are too many issues that are inherent,and inseparable
when making a cash offer to identify someone. That person may be harassed, threatened or even harmed. I don’t condone or seek for any of these things to happen to POM! but if they do I don’t want to spread that responsibility. I made the offer, if there are negative consequences I do not want anyone else to feel responsible for them.
I still want to see POM! come forward on her own. The things that she said are damaging to an entire community of people that already struggle with hate and intolerance every day. Taking responsibility for what she has said is the first step toward repairing that damage. So far I haven’t seen anything indicating that the Ontario Police are planning on bringing charges. If they announce an intent to charge POM! with a crime, and they offer a reward for her identity, I will add my offer to that reward and direct everyone that has contacted me on how to contribute to it also.
To the Begley family:
I have huge sympathy and respect for you. I apologize that my offer has detracted attention from your issue. I would be glad to hear any thoughts you have towards this all.
To Brenda Millson:
Helping to care for Max is a huge responsibility and I applaud you for taking it on. Every parent raising a disabled child needs as many people as possible who love and support their children and are willing to help with their care. Unfortunately many of us don’t have people like you. The tremendous benefit that you are to your family, and to the community, is not lost on me. I’m so sorry that you had to be the first person to see that letter and that you had to share it with your family. I have been in the position of having to deliver terrible news to people I love and I know how hard that is. When POM! wrote that letter she thought that you were Max’s mother, the things that she said were directed toward you and you don’t deserve any of that. Hopefully Max will continue to be safe in your care and he will be able to enjoy his time with you uninterrupted.
If your paying attention to any of the fervor that you have caused than your going to end up reading this. The things that you have said in your letter have caused damage to an international community of people that face hardships everyday that you can’t even begin to appreciate. Now you need to take part in repairing that damage. You need to take responsibility for what you have said. Continuing to hide isn’t going to solve this problem for you. Someone knows who you are, it is only a matter of time before they come forward. If you want to gain any respect, and eventually forgiveness for what you have said you have to step up and take responsibility. My offer is still open for you to contact me directly.
To the Media:
At this time I am declining requests for interviews. If you have questions that you want answered please write them down and submit them to me. I will publish both the questions and the answers here.
My offer has received a lot of attention in the last two days. The Cape Brenton Post has even written an article about it which can be found here:
I feel a responsibility to explain my intent in making this offer:
I believe in seeking the best possible outcome for all parties whenever there is a dispute. As I read the news articles, I could not help but think of how the author of that letter could exit the situation with the best resolution possible. The only solution I could discern would be for her to come forward herself, apologize publicly and profusely, recognize and take responsibility for her mistakes, perform a grand act of kindness (perhaps a new trampoline for Max!) and show tolerance in her future actions. This isn’t going to generate a positive outcome for her, but it would be the least negative and it will create the opportunity for these neighbors to build a better relationship and seek an amicable solution.
There is an enormous amount of hate out there for this person right now. As I read through comments I saw practically every hateful thing she said redirected back at her. All of this hate is directed at a faceless figure unfocused and unabashed, I’m not seeking this persons head or calling for her condemnation. I hope that in identifying her it will humanize her, causing everyone to reel in their vitriol a little and consider the situation with an eye toward positive resolution, but that only works if she comes forward on her own. Unfortunately, as she has not done it yet, the fear that someone else will disclose her identity may be the only way to encourage that.I am not advocating for the author of that letter in any way, I just think that there is a way to turn this into something positive for the community.
The intent of my offer is for this woman to come forward on her own, whether it be out of desire to right her wrongs, or out of fear that she will be outed by someone else. That being said my offer stands although I would like to expand a couple of points.
1.If I am able to determine the identity of the author of the letter I will contact her and give her first opportunity to come forward. If she chooses not to, and I am able to positively determine her identity, I will come out with it myself. I will still provide the $100(USD) to whoever supplies me her identity regardless of how it becomes public.
2.If somebody knows who this person is and they choose to encourage her to come forward on her own I will give the money to them.
3.If the author of that letter realizes on her own that it’s her only hope for a resolution and decides to come forward I will donate the money to any charity as directed by Max’s parents.
To me, it is a great affront that this person has used anonymity to perpetuate hate and cause harm. There are appropriate circumstances for anonymous speech. That letter, the hate it contains, and the hurt it causes, to the family and to the community, is not an appropriate form of anonymous speech.
While I don’t usually divert subjects from my work with DCFS I just read about a family in Oshawa Canada that has received a very hateful letter directed toward their autistic son. The letter is so hateful and hurtful that I cannot avoid addressing it.
For those that haven’t read it here is a link:
I’m making an open offer of $100 to anyone that can positively identify the author of that letter.
I have written an open statement to that person:
The statements that you have made are insensitive, hurtful and demonstrate a juvenile mentality. People with Autism, and any other disorder or disability, are still people. Though not always apparent they have feelings just like you.
I understand your frustration with your neighbor’s behavior. Dealing with children with disabilities can be frustrating, and exhausting. I say this from experience; I am raising a son with autism myself. It is difficult but having him in my life has given me a greater sense of humanity that I otherwise would not have. You should open yourself up to acceptance of his diversity; clearly you could benefit from a greater sense of humanity yourself.
Take a moment and try to understand the frustration that this boy experiences every day. Like any child, like your children, he has needs, but he does not have the ability to express them, at least not in a way that most people can understand. The voice inside his head is screaming for someone to help him, understand him, accept him; but when he tries to speak all he can produce is the “noise” that you complain about. He hears it too; it is not the sound he wants to make. If he had the ability to articulate his needs verbally, like your “normal” children he would.
You are a coward. Everyone has the right to speak their minds. If you had taken ownership of your statements I would not hesitate to defend that right, but you have not. You have chosen to hide behind anonymity. If you lack shame for the hurtful things you have said you should at least be ashamed that you are not taking responsibility for them.
I will not hide my identity; I take full responsibility for everything that I say. My name is Wade Huntley, I live in West Jordan Utah, I operate a website: http://www.avoiceformyson.com where my contact information can be found. You are welcome to contact me yourself if you would like to respond. Be warned that I may post any communications that I receive from you and if you reveal your identity to me I will disclose it publicly.
Finally, I am making an open offer of $100 dollars to anyone that can positively identify you as the author of that letter. It isn’t much but it is all that I can afford. Given the hurtful things that you have said I doubt it will require any reward for someone to reveal who you are. If I am able to confirm your identity I will post it publicly on my site and I will provide it to your local news stations.
Proud father of an autistic child
To anyone that can and would like to identify the author of that hateful letter please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will do everything I can to positively confirm the identity of the author before posting it.
I will not reveal the identity of anyone that contacts me.
If you are this persons friend, parent, sibling or child I will not reveal who you are.