An Anniversary I will not be celebrating, Nov. 27, 2015

One year ago, November 27, 2015, the now President-elect ridiculed a disabled reporter named Serge Kovaleski.  Kovaleski disputed Trump’s claims that hundreds, if not thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9-11 attacks.  While Kovaleski spoke, Trump waved his arms around and held his hand in front of his chest in the position of a claw.  Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that affects joint movement.

I’ve written before of the pass that’s given to disabled people re: malevolent treatment.  Certainly disabled kids get teased and bullied.  But that ceases in adulthood.  Instead those of us with disability face benevolent discrimination—well-meaning able-bodied adults often react as if they know better what we should do and think.   Now I’m the first to admit to being “out of it” at times.  My blindness alone makes me goof, as when I asked a nun (in habit) if she were dating anyone.

But generally I can think for myself.  And most of the disabled people I know earn respect for the difficult challenges they face.  Insulting any of them, any of us, breaks a societal rule, if not a moral one.  It’s pretty pathetic.  But it seems that our future president is an equal opportunity derider.

Now there are many graver problems with our future President than his taking on the disabled  for humiliation.  And even if we had started our lives with $200 million from our fathers, our lives would still be harder than most.  But they are richer than Mr. Trump will ever know or understand.


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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