Well, we could go into why blindness has historically been the most feared disability, and why certain subsets of the population, like the Amish for example, still treat their disabled offspring like garbage, but that's not what this topic was created to discuss.
Such history does leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth, even if they're not fully aware of it. Anyone who read about Helen Keller would know. I was in seventh grade, and I did a report on her. The book I happened to find was certainly age appropriate in terms of the reading level and what not, but went into a detailed and gruesome history of what happened to most disabled children in her day, even going so far as to break it down by each individual disability. I'll never forget that.
What kind of message is that trying to send? Sure, it's best not to sugarcoat things, and I'm glad I did learn the truth rather than some watered down version of hero worship, as so often happens when it comes to the way we learn about historical events in school.
A lot of things made sense to me after reading that book, though. Just because we express our animalistic urges differently now doesn't mean they're not still there. I understood why I was bullied, I understood why teachers who had never dealt with a blind person before treated me either as though I were invisible, or as an inconvenience, at least while I was in public school. It was a shield which protected me from some of the bullshit during the remainder of my time there.
So, I'm glad that these things don't bother most people. But keep in mind that on some level, we're all conditioned to fear what we don't understand. Often, this is manifested as pure hatred, or socially acceptable versions of the same. None of us are immune from discrimination. It's what we do with it that counts.
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