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Make Them Go Away: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve and the Case Against Disability Rights Paperback – January 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0972118903 ISBN-10: 097211890X Edition: 1st

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Make Them Go Away: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Reeve and the Case Against Disability Rights + No Pity: People with Disabilities Forging a New Civil Rights Movement + The Disability Rights Movement: From Charity to Confrontation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: The Advocado Press, Inc.; 1 edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097211890X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972118903
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,006,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Imagine an African American's voting rights withheld until he or she proved 100 percent African American descent, or a woman having to sue her employer to get a women's restroom in the workplace. Outrageous as those scenarios seem, their like is commonplace in the lives of the disabled, Johnson says, because of widespread misinterpretation and misapplication of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She points out numerous flaws in the law, beginning with its title (she prefers that of the British analog, the Disability Discrimination Act) and including the fact that it is enforceable only via lawsuit, putting rights seekers in an adversarial position, and that it contains an escape clause permitting noncompliance if accessibility causes a business "undue hardship." The disabled person's difficulties aren't, however, confined to the law, and the roots of conflict over disability rights reach deep into personal prejudices and national values. Bit-by-bit Johnson deconstructs arguments against disability rights from the likes of Clint Eastwood as well as more ordinary folk, and she constructs powerful reasons why we all benefit from inclusion. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"By exposing the case against disability rights . . . Johnson has improved the odds that we may take disability rights seriously." -- Mainstream magazine online

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mary Johnson, long time editor and co-founder of the Ragged Edge, has been on the forefront of the struggle for disability rights in the United States for over 20 years. Highly respeced and a gifted editor and writer, Johnson has used her considerable skills to hone a book that is sure to be widely read and discussed. Her book will appeal to a wide cross section of people including disabled people seeking to understand their place in society, academics, lawyers, government officials, and health care professionals to mention but a few groups that could benefit greatly from reading Make Them Go Away.
In my estimation, Johnson's book is the most important contribution that has been made in the burgeoning field of disability studies in the last decade. In part this is because she provides not only a history of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) but explains in detail exactly how the court has eviserated the law. Broken into two parts, the first half the case against disabilty rights and the second the case for disability rights, Johnson uses popular and controversial figures such as Clint Eastwood and Christopher Reeve to make her point that there is a long standing bias against the disabled in American society. In fact, she ably demonstrates the legal bias against the disabled begins before they even enter the courthouse. Sadly, Johnson also demonstrates the ADA is widely misunderstood by the general public and more often than not simply not considered to be a part of the civil rights movement. This is sad because many thought the law would lead to the end of the most base forms of discrimation disabled people face on a daily basis. Alienation and the lack of access and the concommitant isolation and disenfranchisement that comes with it has not been eliminated by the ADA.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on September 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
I too personally have experienced what Mary Johnson documents in her well-researched work.

Social antipathy against people with disabilities is so mainstreamed in America that progressive activists who rush to condemn other forms of bigotry, engage in bigotry against people with disabilities. We are time and/or money consuming entities that are still honestly not perceived as contributing anything to society let alone being recognized as social equals.

This inequality then leads people to interpret the ADA as a burden on them as opposed to considering the greater burdens which unjust discrimination places on both the recipient and the nation.

However, I have one minor suggestion to ensure that this book gets to those most needing to read it.

Change the title to more accurately reflect that this book is a critique of how society handles disability instead of something itself which opposes the disability rights movement. Because the disability rights movement is acknowledged as seeking liberation of stereotypical attitudes and laws, it aids Mary Johnson's case.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Art Blaser on February 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mary Johnson's book fills an important gap. We haven't understood the case against disability rights and we need to if we're going to refute it. As Johnson explains, we ignore it (with the claims of Reeve and Eastwood and of the right-wing law and economics approach) at our peril. Johnson's book is a call to take disability rights seriously, full of comment on court cases like Sutton, Williams and Garrett, and a plethora of disability issues including "special" education, accessible transit, employment and adaptive technology.
I've already had the pleasure of using this book in the undergraduate university classroom (at Chapman University) and I'm eager to use it again.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tysyacha Dvukh on November 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Quick! Who made the following comment:

"I think it's important to realize that treating all disabled

people as equal--with equal rights and responsibilities--is absurd.

Many of the patients that come through any rehab hospital are there

because of their own ignorance, negligence, stupidity or criminal activities."

A member of a supremacist group? Nope. It was Dr. Kenneth Lefebre

at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. How about this?

"The legal requirement that 'the handicapped' be 'mainstreamed'

is damaging to 'the normal child'."

That was written by Eileen Gardner, appointee to the Reagan

Education Department, in one of her policy papers.

One more, and this one is the real shocker because the

commentator has a disability herself:

"Deny as we may want to, at the point when a person can not be

totally independent physically from others, one is no longer

equal in body. I do not want to be treated equally. I can still

think, but for the life of me I can't think of a way to get rid

of the wheelchair. Therefore, I am not on the same ground I used

to be on. To me that makes my way not equal...How can we bury our

heads so deep and say we are equal to the able bodies around us?

We are not. That's why it is called a handicap, because it is."

Comments like these only bolster the viewpoint Mary Johnson is

fighting against in her perception-shattering book, "Make Them

Go Away: The Case Against Disability Rights". She argues that

people with disabilities are a minority just as women and people

of color are nowadays.
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