May 24

No Pity : People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement

Posted by Soliloquy in Adults with disabilities | Advocates

People with disabilities forging the newest and last human rights movement of the century…. More >>

No Pity : People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement

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5 Responses

  • In regards to the review by Cindy Heilman below, it is apparent that you missed a major point of this book. When you state that “Neither the disabled, homosexuals, nor adoptees are the target of lynching, Jim Crow laws, fire engine hosing, or vicious police dogs.”

    You must have missed the disability history about Nazi death camps, false imprisonments in institutions, forced sterilization, abuse by caregivers, death by neglect, murder of those with mental disabilities thought to be under demonic controls, murder of disabled children in underdeveloped countries, the list goes on and on. I’m not an expert on the experiences of gays and adoptees, but as far as gays…it seems they face some of the most violent crimes that helped institute hate crime statutes. The history of African-Americans has been tragic and an embarrassment for our country, but they are certainly not alone in facing hatred and violent discrimination.

    As for your statement regarding the difference in abilities justifies unequal treatment, you are missing the point that we all have differing abilities and must find ways to use our assets to contribute to society and accommodate our weaknesses. This holds true for any college student who has picked a major that accommodates their strengths while downplaying their weaknesses or any member of any sports team who picks the position that will give the team the best advantage. Disabled people are not asking for unfair advantages, they are asking for equal access. A level playing field. The same opportunities to build on their strengths and contribute to the society that has blocked them out. Even under horrendous Jim Crow Laws, African-Americans were sometimes allowed to go into the back of a restuarant and be served. People with disabilities aren’t even allowed to the resturant door sometimes. Although their is a uniqueness to some of the issues surrounding disability, the civil rights aspect of amicus and access are exactly the same.

    Read “Make them go away” by Mary Johnson for a more straightforward, updated essay on this situation if you still don’t understand.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  • As a deaf person and an educator, I find myself very involved whether I like it or not in being an activist. I was taking a law class on disability law, and the second footnote in the required text was on this book. That intrigued me, and when I read the reviews about the book, I was even more intrigued. This book is a must-read for anyone who might or does work with the disabled. We no longer want the pity, the institutions, and the exclusion from society. We want to be viewed as normal except with one part or a few parts that may not function as some would consider normal. We want an equal education, equal opportunity to jobs, equal opportunities to participate in society. And everyone will be the better for it. Mr Shapiro as a non-disabled person, wrote a book that was compassionate but strived hard to see things from our point of view. This ability probably stands him in good stead as a journalist. He even taught me things I didn’t know about other disabilities. Educators, lawyers, politicians, parents, social workers, and health care professionals need to get off their duff and read this book. They can no longer turn a blind eye or claim ignorance as an excuse to not allowing those of us with differences our rights under the law.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • Four years ago this book was part of a class taught by James McLeskey that changed my life. Because this book is so well written, and because it time after time moved me into zones of cognitive dissonance about what I knew and about what I believed, it had the effect of making me incredibly uncomfortable about my own unrecognized prejuidaces concerning folks with disabilities. As Shapiro says, it is the only minority group which we can join at any time, and the older we live, the more likely we are to acquire disabilities. I currently teach classes about inclusion of students with special needs in general education classrooms, and this book has received rave reviews from many students and made many others angry. As a teacher hoping to open space for questioning, that’s exactly what I want in a book.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • My perception has changed in ways immeasurable in regards to people with disabilities. Now, every single day I am aware of the small and large ways in which those with disabilities are discrimated against by temporarily able-bodied individuals. I am buying several copies to lend and give out, I hope others do the same.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  • This book is written in an easy-to-read style by a journalist who has covered disability issues for many years. It explains how he came to see that disability is a civil rights issue, just like racial or sexual discrimination. And it provides a very interesting history of the American disability movement in particular.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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