Monday, September 6, 2010
Take Your Pity and Stuff It
"Pity? You don't want to be pitied because you're a cripple in a wheelchair? Stay in your house!"
--Jerry Lewis, CBS Sunday Morning, May 20, 2001
It’s that time of year again when Jerry Lewis goes on television to make money for all the poor disabled children with muscular dystrophy. As Mr. Lewis and his promoters learned a long time ago, pity makes money.
As writer Anne Finger wrote in her memoir “Elegy for a Disease”:
"Jerry Lewis’s MDA Telethon, rather than working for equality and social inclusion of disabled people, portrays us as hopeless, pathetic, eternal children. Lewis has said, “My kids cannot go into the workplace. There’s nothing they can do.” He has said that a disabled individual is “half a person,” and [If] you don’t want to be pitied because you’re a cripple in a wheelchair, stay in your house!” His telethon reinforces the notion that cure and prevention are what disabled people need, not social change."
Needless to say, I will not be watching the telethon, and I urge you to also boycott it. My children do not want pity, and they do not need Jerry Lewis, the supreme panderer of pity.
Oh and Mr. Lewis, my children will NOT stay in their house. They will, along with me, be out in the world fighting people like you.