Raising my hackles

Republican presidential hopeful, Scott Walker, called raising the minimum wage a “lame, liberal idea.” Frankly, I favor raising the minimum wage and heard from journalist EJ Dion on NPR that it was raised in 1968 and the US’ growth rate hit 4%. But that wasn’t what raised my hackels. It was the use of the word, “Lame.”
And I didn’t like it one bit better when a democratic organization sent me an e-mail asking it I thought Scott Walker was “lame.” Actually, I don’t think the man is lame, but without sight I often miss important details like that.
I’ve probably blogged before about the use of terms of disability as metaphors for something negative, “deaf” to my argument, blind to his faults, a lame excuse. I object because these metaphors further increase the negative image of those of us with disabilities. Plus they are so overused to be clichés, language choices we should all avoid—which reminds me, too, that “raised my hackles” is also a cliché. My excuse—note: not lame—is that my new guide dog, Dave, is whining to go out, and I’m rushing to post this.

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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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