Emotional Appeals, Corresponding Anguish

Labor Day is upon us and this means that it is time for the annual MD “telethon” and as many already know, corresponding anguish will be felt by people with disabilities in perfect accord with the emotional appeals that are used by the telethon industry.

I don’t want to persuade people to give up on charity—especially where real cures can be found for illnesses that can alter lives.  I do wish that the fund raisers in all areas of disability related work would wean themselves of the old fashioned Victorian language which is dependent on words like “courage” and “inspiring” and “heroic” and the like.

As a person with a disability all I want today is to be a regular citizen.  I don’t want to be any more inspiring than the person next door.

Can’t we have medical advancements and good rehabilitative services without patronizing lingo?

The problem is that the treacle of “old charity” really gets folks to open their wallets.  Rational discourse doesn’t seem to “do it” and isn’t that kind of interesting?

But we can cure muscular dystrophy and champion the dignity of people who have MD.  We really can do both of these things.  Why are charitable organizations so afraid to try new and dignifying approaches?  Ah, we’re back to the wallet.

Here’s an idea: the donors can bid for a chance to be on a reality TV show in which they must survive by living with the challenges of people with disabilities.

This scenario would provide both charity and comedy.

You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…


Read Connie’s thoughts in her post on the [with]tv blog: Same Old, same old

Author: skuusisto

Poet, Essayist, Blogger, Journalist, Memoirist, Disability Rights Advocate, Public Speaker, Professor, Syracuse University

0 thoughts on “Emotional Appeals, Corresponding Anguish”

  1. Hi — I wanted to make sure you knew about the latest that is happening with Jerry and his, yes, humanitarian award:
    Jerry Lewis, the man who runs the annual Telethon to raise money for people with muscular dystrophy in the US is about to receive a humanitarian award. Many people in the disability community is protesting this award because they feel that Jerry perpetuates and entrenches negative, harmful stereotypes toward people with disabilities. More about the petition campaign at: http://www.petitiononline.com/jlno2009/petition.html
    There is also a Facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=40538392681


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