What’s becoming of the world today? Is it good? Is it bad? Or is it just us? America. The land of the free, home of the brave, and birthplace of crazy lawsuits, and double-standards. The 21st century is off to a crazy start. How much more of this can we take?
Just in the past few years: Republicans spend more than Democrats ever did and started their own war. Apple Computer has a product that’s created a near monopoly and Microsoft is nowhere to be seen.
That’s just the headlines I pay attention to. It’s much worse. Comedian Chris Rock has his own take on the 21st century.
“You know the world is different when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America’s Cup, France is accusing the US of arrogance, Germany doesn’t want to go to war, and the 3 most powerful men in America are named ‘Bush’, ‘Dick’, and ‘Colin’!”
That says it all, right? Wait. There’s more.
Last week, Apple was sued by a customer who said his iPod was too loud, defective, and could cause a listener to go deaf.
This week, retailing giant Target is being sued by a blind person because Target’s web site won’t let him purchase online.
You can’t make this stuff up. It has to be real.
In the Target case, a 24-year old college sudent, and a blind advocacy group have filed a class action lawsuit, alleging that the Target web site is inaccessible to the blind.
Duh. No offense is intended, and I don’t want to be insensitive, but, so what?
The suit says Target’s web site violates a California law that incorporates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Target will settle because they don’t want the resulting bad publicity. No retailer needs TV news shots of screaming, sign-waving, blind people standing in front of their stores.Target supposedly violates the California Disabled Persons Act, which guarantees full and equal access for people with disabilities to all public places.
At issue, too, is the charge that Target is violating the California Unruh Civil Rights Act because blind people are denied full access to Target’s web site, and are provided with services inferior to non-disabled patrons.
And what does the lawsuit propose to gain from this public display of ridiculousness?
“The lawsuit seeks changes to the Web site, an admission of the alleged violations by the company, and an undesignated amount of damages to plaintiffs as well as attorneys’ fees.”
Money. Why? Because they can. I would share more sympathy if there were no money involved as spoils for the plaintiff.
Let me say it again. I don’t want to be insensitive to blind people. They’re entitled to basic rights. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Neither do most people. Until it becomes ridiculous. We’re there.
The blind, regardless of political correctness, are not entitled to fly airplanes. Or drive automobiles. Or perform surgery. Or do my nails. Period.
Regardless, in this case and others of similar ilk, the blind know how to carve a fish. Start with the soft underbelly, slide in a sharp knife, and cut left or right, as required. Until you get what you want.
I’m not a legal scholar, but Target could win the suit on a variety of grounds. There’s a limit to the “rights” of disabled, just as there are limits to the right of freedom of speech.
Target will settle because they don’t want the resulting bad publicity. No retailer needs TV news shots of screaming, sign-waving, blind people standing in front of their stores.
Back to basic rights. Where does it end? As long as there’s even relative free speech, it won’t. As long as the courts double as entertainment fodder for the media, it won’t.
Where is the lawsuit against the producers of Lost and Desperate Housewives to provide a Braille version of each episode? Why are music CDs not required to have printed lyrics for the deaf? Or Braille lyrics for the blind?
We’ve entered a new era in mankind. A Danish cartoon pokes fun at the prophet Mohammed, and the entire Muslim world is in uproar and freedom of speech takes a beating.
Escalating the argument, an Iranian newspaper announced a competition to find the best cartoons about the Jewish holocaust in WW II Germany (government officials in Iran say the “holocaust” is a fraud).
Will we ever see such cartoons? Will Jewish leaders and media magnates decry the blasphemy of such exercised freedoms?