ok, i’m gonna make a post about this because i’m tired of the blatant falsehoods being attached to my original post.
as i originally pointed out, helen keller publicly advocated for the murder of an intellectually and developmentally disabled child in 1915. she very much advocated eugenics, spelling out which disabilities were on the ‘acceptable’ side of the spectrum, and those that weren’t.
she defended the doctor who refused to perform life saving surgery to the bollinger baby by saying “we must decide between a fine humanity like dr. heiselden’s and a cowardly sentimentalism…our puny sentimentalism has caused us to forget that a human life is sacred only when it may be of some use to itself and to the world”. as well, she was good friends with margaret sanger and wholeheartedly supported danger’s promotion of eugenics through abortion and sterilization of the poor, disabled, and poc.
there is no evidence that she ever renounced these beliefs or her friendship with sanger, nor is there any evidence that i can see that she ever spoke against nazi eugenics. she did notrectify this atrocity.
perhaps the closest she ever came was to advocate for a child to receive surgery in 1938 that would blind them to prevent an infection spreading to her brain, simply because it was believed physically disabled people could be properly “rehabilitated”, thereby being deemed of value for their ability to “contribute” to society. this is part of the disability hierarchy, and is no different than eugenics in that it allows the “curable” to live, but deems mental disabilities a hazard to society, and those with these disabilities forcibly sterilized, institutionalized, placed in long-term medical comas, and abused medically, mentally, physically, and sexually - often to their death.
she regularly refused to work with organizations or peoples associated with disability, only working with them due to her contractual obligations with the AFB - specifically only for deaf and blind people - and it has been shown that her personal views towards disability often mirrored those of well-known eugenicists and all around disgusting people, with her considering disability “repugnant” caused not by society, but the person, whose duty it was to ‘overcome’: it was a “problem to be conquered…and left behind.”
one such eugenicist was her close friend, alexander graham bell, whose support of oralism - surprise, surprise - was rooted in eugenics. keller then advocated for oralism until her death, which led to innumerable deaf teachers who could not lip read being replaced by hearing teachers, banned students from signing, and is largely considered as “the dark ages for deaf education in america.” this practice lasted well until the 70s and taught children they were “oral failures” for not being able to assimilate.
so, can we stop considering her a great icon in disability history?
Let’s talk a little about the concept of whiteness in white supremacy because that seems to confuse people a lot. Here goes:
When the US was starting to form itself as an independent nation in the 18th and 19th century it had a pretty big problem. There was a bunch of the most diverse white people possible: Irish, German, Dutch, Italian, British, Spanish, French, Swedes, you name it. Literally every European culture was in there and cultural differences between those people were a lot bigger than they are now. There was also a huge diversity of African American people and Native American people there but since white people in this story were about to construct whiteness, we’ll focus on them.
Now these very diverse white people had established their power on the genocide of Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans. And to stay in power as white people they would have to continue that process and they had to fight off all the other white nations that wanted some American territory. So to do all that, white people in the US needed unity. And unity was exactly what they didn’t have since they were all culturally so different.
So they took whiteness as their unifying element. The one thing they could all agree on was that they were better than black people and Native Americans. Racism was the lowest common denominator and thus racism became a basis for white unity. That’s why blackface performances took off in such a big way during the 1800s. Laughing at black people together was a unifying act.
With whiteness being a unifying concept, white ‘purity’ became a big deal. Whiteness was constructed in contrast to a black other and could be poluted only by that other: a person with 1/16th black blood could be considered not-white. But everyone from Europe was considered the same kind of white.
Now in 18th and 19th century Europe whiteness took a completely different role. Here there was no need to form unity and even if someone wanted to unite Europe, whiteness wasn’t a tool by which this could be achieved. There were POC in Europe of course, but no where near enough to form a threatening ‘other’ that you could unify against.
Instead, Europeans spend most of their time fighting each other. White Europeans had war upon war with other white Europeans just like they had been doing for centuries, only with more colonies to fight over now. In this Europe there were larger ethnic minorities like the Roma, Sinti and Jewish people but these were too light skinned to make ‘whiteness’ their dramatic other.
So fighting each other + lightskinned ethnic minorities resulted in not a unifying whiteness but a hierarchy of whiteness. Germans could claim to be whiter than the French, French could claim to be whiter than the Spanish, everybody claimed to be whiter than the Jews. And that hierachy of whiteness was used of course to justify violence. We measured each others legs and skulls and fingers trying to determine who was the most white and thus deserved to rule Europe. All of this led up to a big genocide in the 1940s as you probably know.
In Europe, we don’t really talk about the hierarchy of whiteness anymore because that’s embarrassing after the Nazi’s. But the hierarchy of whiteness is still a very big part of Europe’s racist mindset and the way racist in Europe functions.
This can confuse Americans, be they racists or figthing racism, because they expect to be supporting/fighting a unifying white purity myth and instead they meet this far more layered concept of whiteness: a racism that can target groups Americans would consider white. It’s a layeredness that allows for a sudden revival of racism against Poles in the 21st century because old symbolism about Slavic people can be tapped into. But it’s a racism that has very little to do with our national flags. I could go on naming examples but you get the idea.
So if you’re looking at Europe from US (or the other way round) and don’t understand something really weird racism and white supremacy seems to do, it’s quite likely that it’s because there’s a different construct of whiteness at play.
This is so important!
I never know what to ask and end up looking like a fool cause I don’t have a question prepared.
Don’t be me.
Oooh yes these are good
Asking those questions got me my job!
gotta keep this in mind now
[text: So your friend has a chronic illness or disability…]
- expect them to be able to go out on a whim
- expect them to have lives just like yours
- expect them to always be available
- demand details of their illness that they haven’t volunteered, ask them nicely and don’t badger
- offer help or assistance to make yourself feel like a better person
- act as though the disease is catching, repugnant, or disgusting
- challenge them to do things they have already told you were impossible
- baby them or treat them as though they’re less competent mentally
- tell other people about their illness(es)
- suggest cures/treatments/holistic practices (since, you know, they probably have already tried it)
- Try to relate their problem to your experience - your sprained ankle is nothing like chronic pain, your bout with stomach flu is nothing like IBS, your inability to focus before coffee is nothing like the mental fog that comes with illnesses like fibromyalgia or MS
- ever, ever, ever accuse them of faking. ever.
- understand that some chronic illnesses have good days and bad days, and that there’s no way to predict what’ll happen
- be supportive and understand their limitations
- ask about dietary or physical restrictions if you are making plans with them
- ask about anything that might make things worse for them, and take it into account
- tell them that if they need to tell you they can’t do something that you won’t be angry at them for not being able to, and don’t be passive-aggressive about it
- remember that they are a person, not an illness
- listen to them, ask them questions if you don’t understand something, and remember what they say
I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but this seems like a decent start. Please add your own.
WHY DIDN’T THEY TEACH YOU ABOUT THIS IN HISTORY CLASS?
The Christian Movement for Life, aka, MOVE
- a pro-green, vegan, anti-technology group
- living in a house in West Philadelphia
- BOMBED by the Philly PD, from the air, on May 13, 1985
- YES, 1985!!!
- the city killed 11 people (5 children), burned down 65 homes in a Black, middle-class, West Philly neighborhood, and caused $50,000,000.00 damage - all to “evict” the group and recover two shotguns
- You know of Mumia Abu-Jamal (3rd photo from bottom) but did you know he was affiliated with MOVE?
- Ramona Africa (2nd photo from bottom) and one child survived
- MOVE leader John Africa was murdered that day
This was not the ONLY time an American city was bombed, btw. The first time, it was ALSO whites bombing Black people (Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1921).
And you want to talk about TERRORISM???
And what else don’t you know about your country and it’s treatment of Black people?
Get to Googling… AND Youtubing…
Massively Open Online Courses are the new vogue way to take control of your education and your career, and it’s the best thing. Higher education should be a right, but many of us can’t afford or can’t even access modern college courses. Anyone with conviction and a few extra hours a week can get themselves a college education from some of the best teachers in the world. You can even put finished courses on your resume. Just a few colleges that offer free online courses: MIT, Boston University, Dartmouth, Cornell, University of Tokyo, Harvard, Yale University, and the University of Geneva - and that’s barely scratching the surface.
Those are some of the most funded, most prestigiously staffed universities in the world. The education offered by them, for free, is at your fingers. Just because the world might hold degrees and the brick and mortar institutions of modern universities as a reward for the already privileged or the lucky doesn’t mean you don’t have the resources to learn. Throwing the exposition away, here are my favorite courses for writers available this fall semester:
- English Grammar and Style taught by University of Queensland’s Roslyn Petelin, Gabrielle O’Ryan, and Michael Lefcourt. It’s a basic writing course, taught by professors who understand English like the backs of their hands.
The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours: Epic and Lyrictaught by Harvard’s Professor Gregory Nagy. Course on heroic story structure that walks you through the ancient Greek heroes and stories that set up the future of western literature. Breaks down the Epic and Lyric forms.
The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours: Signs of the Hero in Epic and Iconography Part two of the course above, this time moving to the influence of visual heroic iconography.
Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World taught by Professor Eric Rabkin. Genre course that explores the two major fiction forms as a reflection of human society. Covers a lot of pop culture favorites.
Unbinding Prometheus taught by Eric Alan Weinstein through Open Learning. The class, starting in November, will explore the meaning of Percy Shelley’s work and the impact the man (who believed writing could free mankind from their shackles) has had on the world he left behind.
The Divine Comedy: Dante’s Journey to Freedom taught by many Georgetown professors, including Dante and Derrida: Face to Face author Frank Ambrosio. It looks frankly awesome, talking about the modern reader and Alighieri’s work, and the first sentence of the class description speaks for itself: Students will question for themselves the meaning of human freedom, responsibility and identity by reading and responding to Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy.
Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative taught by Vanderbilt University’s
Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring Her Work & Writing Life taught by Missouri State’s Pamela Smith Hill, an Ingalls Wilder scholar. Wilder’s Little House series has informed our perceptions of her era in North American history, but there’s more than meets the eye in her stories. Just like Shakespeare, there are more than a few controversies around authorship, and a lot to talk about in this course.
How Writers Write Fiction taught by University of Iowa's professor (and author of Things of the Hidden God) Christopher Merrill. The course presents a curated collection of short, intimate talks created by fifty authors of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and plays that you can’t catch anywhere else. Features weekly writing assignments.
Poetry: What It Is, and How to Understand It taught by George Washington University’s Margaret Soltan. A class in modern poetry, the whys and hows, and a cultural learning class we’d recommend for anyone trying to broaden their artistic perspective.
EXTRA CREDIT: Important and interesting classes I would recommended.
Understanding Violence taught by Professors Deb Houry and Pamela Scully. Covers elements of biology, sociology, and psychology. You’ll study the biological and psychological causes of violence, and how violence is reported and portrayed in the media. Seems like an excellent research course for action writers.
Social Entrepeneurship taught by Professors Kai Hockerts, Kristjan Jespersen, Ester Barinaga, Anirudh Agrawal, Sudhanshu Rai, and Robert Austin. Doesn’t just talk about how to use social media for your own benefit — the course is meant to break down how to use social media and community engagement for global change.
- Comic Books and Graphic Novels taught by University of Colorado Boulder’s William Kuskin. Explores the medium at length. Has special class topics on Batman, Neil Gaiman, Pop Culture, Defining Art, and Gender.
— Audrey Erin Redpath (@audreyredpath)
Ever have trouble finding boots in the right color? Tried spray-painting them and ended up with a dry, cracked mess?
A fantastic friend recently advised me to paint leather boots (and any other leather goods) with floral paint. This is a spray paint that is light and flexible enough to use on live flowers. Above are the Poison Ivy boots I painted for a friend, which turned out fantastic.
One thing though: Wear them while you paint them, and maybe stretch your foot around in between coats. I didn’t think of this, and while the paint did not crack at all, it started to split where the boots were stretched from walking. Next time I paint some boots, I’ll let you know if I was able to fix this problem.
The paint I used is called Design Master, and you can find it at Michael’s or Joann Fabrics. In the stores near me, Michael’s had a better selection of colors and a slightly better price, but that may not be true everywhere. This color is “Holiday Green.”
Great alternative to spray rubber and plasti-dip or bootcovers, and cheaper than leather paint! Reminder that Michaels and JoAnns both frequently offer 50% off coupons and will match competitor coupons and offers!!
yooo i used this stuff on my ball gown shoes a while back and it worked perfectly. also if you rub pure acetone on your shoe before you paint it, it will rub off the leather/pleather etc sealant and absorb the paint even better, lessening your chances of the paint splitting in some areas. also spraying it with water proof sealant for shoes will help out a great deal as well!
this stuff is AMAZING it only took one coat to evenly color my boots in the perfect color!! It’s a little expensive for paint but it’s way cheaper than finding shoes or other leatherwear in the “perfect” color, and this way you can choose the preferred style and color as needed!!