Missing Richard Widmark: My NEW Taki piece

I’m going to hell…

In 2001, a bunch of Canadian cripples complained to the Ontario Human Rights Commission (of song and story) that one of the city’s last grand old movie palaces wasn’t wheelchair friendly.

(Good thing they didn’t have to take their case to the Quebec HRC—their own building isn’t wheelchair friendly, either.)

While she has trouble getting around in most ways, one of the complainants, Barbara Turnbull, had much earlier managed to maneuver her unfortunate status as paralyzed crime victim into a job as a workmanlike reporter for the country’s largest daily paper.

In a nation where journalism jobs are mostly reserved for genetic lottery winners, I can only kick myself—because, hey, I still can—that I didn’t think of getting shot in the spine m’self.

Conveniently located at the city’s Yonge and Bloor hub, the Imperial movie theater still did dandy business and was one of the Toronto International Film Festival’s principal venues.

But so what? The OHRC awarded the complainants $8,000 in “damages,” and one of them got two grand for “mental anguish.”

On account of what? Not being able to see Terminator 2 on the big screen?

The good news is, I can’t imagine “the Jooz” playing a role in the comments this time.

One of my regular readers writes (with the subject line “Once again Goldwater was right”):

As FFF’s resident crippled correspondent, I have to chime in on the story you posted this morning.  

The distinction  between public and private property that was lost with the passage of the civil rights act will ultimately hurt the disabled. No one disputes that government buildings and other public facilities should be accessible to all citizens. 

There a huge difference between a small private business and a government building, though.

All Scott Johnson will ultimately accomplish is making disabled people impossible to hire.

The nature of “special rights” laws tends to make the category “special’ so broad as to be undefinable.  

Prior to the ADA people with genuine disabilities (like me) were generally treated with solicitude by merchants when we encountered difficulty. Now no sane merchant wants anything to do with a difficult disabled customer for fear of some sort of lawsuit.  

Genuinely disabled people like the blind, Paralyzed, severely retarded etc. are not helped by wasting resources on the faux cripple. In fact the only people helped by our current state of affairs are the tax sucking bureaucrats, lawyers and “service” providers who are merely bilking the system.

Another avenue of harm for these sorts of laws is the unwarranted self esteem it confers on the unworthy. The cold, hard truth is that many disabled people are marginal employees who aren’t really helping the company they work for. If disabled people truly understood what their real value as an employee was, they would be much more likely to make the sorts of decisions that benefited them long term.

Artificially prop someone up long enough, and eventually they think the deserve to be on the top. People used to an unearned position won’t be able to cope  with the inevitable ending of the artificial support. The crash will be much harder than it would have been without the support.

One further point. Disabled employees make their other employees less safe and impose other burdens on many occasions. Disabled employees on higher floors endanger their fellows and firefighters by being unable to rescue themselves, and cause delays in an emergency by taking more time to get themselves down the stairs. In addition to costs imposed on employers like retrofitting bathrooms, installing ramps etc. there is an additional burden imposed on their fellows by the disabled.

Most sane reasonable people,  don’t mind waiting for a disabled person to get off an elevator. People can and should mind when standards of safety, and work expectation are compromised to “include” a disabled person.

Cripples have no business in in the oil industry if hiring disabled people makes it harder to get oil out of the ground.  I’ve worked in dangerous occupations and merely having me me there wasn’t the point. Making money was the point. If hiring a black person, a woman, or a cripple makes doing the job more difficult, you should not be forced to hire a black person a woman or a cripple.  Mandated hiring of a disabled person makes their coworkers work harder, under less safer conditions, and does not improve the business.

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