From Poster Child to Protester

When you watch t.v. there is always that commercial of a starving child or suffering animal bearing their solemn eyes right into your heart, through your body, and into your wallet as you call to make your donation to a cause you know nothing about. Since I’m broke I do not commit to giving money to the organization closing in on the cure or providing fresh water, but that does not stop me from feeling pity and wanting to help. According Laura Hershey, I would be a typical human being who got sucked into the propaganda and tricks of these organizations like the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon. In her article, Hershey explains the negative and demeaning image the telethon is devising and reinforcing of people with disabilities like herself. I never gave much thought about what a disable person would think about those commercials, but I now see how wrong the companies are. When I see anyone with a disability or illness my automatic setting is pity. I wonder how hard their lives must be and how long they have left and I feel terrible about it. Only a few know that disable people are just as capable of “getting educated, working, and having families” (Hershey 235). However, it would be easier if they were provided access to services and get immediate results, whereas now they have to wait for a cure. With some conditions, a cure will not be found until they are gone and it is keeping them from continuing living their lives as much as they can. I admire Hershey’s writing and use of voice. Her paper does not evoke pain like most papers on this topic is expected to do, but more of determination as she wants to see a change in this industry and the thoughts of the majority of non disabled people – a change she has set in me.



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