Things unseen that test our sense of freedom and justice

I’m probably breaking a self-imposed rule here, writing about something other than disability and literature and excusing myself by connecting through a pun on the word “seen.” Often headlines in newspapers running a story about a blind person use titles such as, “Though blind, Harry proves that he really sees” or “Though Sightless, Hank has insight.” Several years ago I spoke at a Person of Vision award event and was the only blind speaker. I began by saying that I felt a little uncomfortable being the only visionless person at the podium, but argued that I claimed to have metaphorical vision.
Still I want to recommend a documentary that was up for an Academy Award in 2014 called “Dirty Wars.” It was based on a book by investigative journalist, Jeremy Scahill who then produced and narrated the film. Scahill takes us to Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond, exploring first a night raid by the US military that had gone wrong. Soon he investigates JSOC, Joint Special Ops command and leads the viewer into covert operations all over the globe. He interviews CIA agents and generals who go on record, as well as survivors of night raids and drone strikes. Since listening to this documentary I’ve been haunted by these operations that are spinning out of control. Unknown and unseen, these covert actions raise so many questions about our democracy and about issues of freedom and justice.


About Sally Hobart Alexander

Blinded at the age of twenty-six, I left California and elementary school teaching for life in Pittsburgh, Pa. There, I met my husband, got a Masters' degree in social work, had two kids, now 35 and 32, and became a writer. Surprisingly, the writing career led me full-circle to teaching, and I teach in Chatham University's M.F.A. program and lead two writing critique groups. Always, since the age of 26, I have traveled, not in the stereotypic darkness attributed to blindness, but a mist. My blog then, "traveling through the mist" will deal with issues in my culturally different life as a blind writer, teacher, speaker, and human being.
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