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Reply #17: To me [View All]

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Ayesha Donating Member (587 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-06-07 05:14 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. To me
saying "You don't want to be pitied for being a cripple in a wheelchair? Stay in your house!" is at least as offensive, if not more so, than being called a fag (or in my case, dyke.) Not to mention his references to people with disabilities being "half a person," saying wheelchair sports are inferior, and calling a woman in a wheelchair a "living waterbed." He talks about his "kids" - that right there is offensive as many people with forms of MD are adults. The language he and others on the telethon use - crippled, afflicted, confined to a wheelchair, imprisoned - is the stuff of 40 years ago, and highly offensive. I don't care if it brings in the $, the ends do not justify the means. When I wheel into a job interview, those are not the images I want in my potential employer's head. Would you hire a wheelchair-bound cripple afflicted with cerebral palsy (my disability)? Doesn't exactly put forth an image of confidence and capability, does it. People with disabilities have a 70% unemployment rate, and ol' Jerry helps perpetuate the attitudes that keep it that way.

You can't pity someone and also respect them. You can have COMPASSION for someone you respect, but not pity. Pity means seeing a person as less than you, as helpless, as incapable. Pity is condescending, it is offensive, and I and many other people with disabilities fight it tooth and nail.

Another column that illustrates my larger point regarding the telethon very well:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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