Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Advocacy: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Here's a brief roundup of a few items I've noticed recently in the news, related to autism and disability advocacy.

The Good: Disability rights organizations are continuing to make themselves heard, through well-orchestrated presentations to Congress and the Obama administration, regarding policy decisions. The National Disability Rights Network presented Congress with a report documenting the abuse of children in the schools by means of restraint and seclusion, and advocating specific policy changes to protect children with disabilities. Also, a coalition of disability rights organizations sent an expansive list of policy recommendations to President-elect Obama. Both of these initiatives were supported by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

The Bad: As blogged by Bev on Asperger Square 8, a British newspaper, the Daily Mail, has printed an article advocating eugenic abortion of autistic children because they supposedly wreck their parents' lives. The Mail is an infamous bigoted rag and not to be taken seriously; however, the article got a large number of disgusting comments from people who agreed with it.

The Ugly: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to give its Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscar Awards ceremony in February to — Jerry Lewis. Yes, that Jerry Lewis, the misogynistic, gay-hating, narcissistic slimeball who has been pissing off disability rights activists for the past four decades with his annual Muscular Dystrophy Pityfest. About two thousand people already have signed an online petition protesting that abominable choice.

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4 Comments:

  • I really don't think a humanitarian award should be given to someone who promotes so much disrespect for others like Jerry "I'll just have to learn to try to be good at being a half a person" Lewis.

    I'm a little worried about the petition, though. I mean, I've seen lots of online petitions... is someone actually going to physically submit this, once it gets a ton of names, to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences?

    Kind of an obvious question, I know, but I've encountered petitions made by people before who seemed to think that just having a petition online would somehow, by itself, do something. And (maybe I missed it) but I didn't see anything on the petition itself about how many signatures they were wanting before sending it to the appropriate people, etc. So I'm a little concerned.

    By Blogger Fleecy, at 7:17 AM  

  • The "bad" has also be blogged about, in a positive way, by a Canadian "advocate". However, it managed, as so many of his posts do, to turn into a swipe at "the neurodiversity movement", (full of the usual lies) and the comments are more supportive of his opinion than the actual story he is supporting.

    The fact that this is all done under the question "Why can't we face the truth?" I find so very sad. My offer to provide cited evidence to someone was met with a closed mind by someone who obviously "can't face the truth".

    Not just "bad" but very sad.

    By Blogger jypsy, at 7:35 AM  

  • Hate and discrimination sometimes come much easier than acceptance does. Especially because acceptance of other people's difference requires people to work and make compromise for others. But just because something comes easier, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do (and the right thing to do might be seriously worth the extra work). I wish more people realised that.

    By Blogger Fleecy, at 5:49 PM  

  • "Especially because acceptance of other people's difference requires people to work and make compromise for others."

    Actually, more than that is required for proper inclusion: not mere compromise, but collaboration.

    By Blogger David N. Andrews MEd (Distinction), at 7:12 AM  

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