Shedding light on blindness
While reading Dana Milbank’s May 13 Thursday Opinion column, “The cancel-culture Republicans just canceled Liz Cheney,” I was saddened to read another routine example of how blind people are stereotyped, in part, by the misuse of the word “blind.” Such examples are in articles and on the opinion pages of The Post nearly every week; sometimes several times a week!
Milbank wrote of the GOP: “Now, it has canceled a stalwart conservative and daughter of a former vice president. The Republican irony blindness doesn’t stop there.” Equating the actions of the Republican House members with blindness is an inappropriate and harmful use of the word “blindness.” The House members may be making a poor or ill-informed decision, maybe even a harmful and cowardly decision, but their eyesight has nothing to do with their decision or ironic actions.
Such a poor use of the word helps perpetuate the notion that being blind is a condition that leaves one out of touch, unaware, and unable to obtain and properly analyze information. The actions of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and his colleagues may demonstrate a refusal to face the facts, but they do not demonstrate blindness.
I am blind but have not been blind all my life. I noticed as I became blind, gradually, because of an inherited condition, that people began treating me as being unaware, ignorant, etc. I’m proud of the many skills I developed to continue to work and, among other activities, “read” newspapers, which I listen to every day.
The Post’s stylebook should be changed so that the paper sticks to using the word “blind” as meaning a condition when eyes do not work well enough for someone to see. Such eyeballs do not prohibit one from being informed, learning or being aware.
Paul D’Addario, Arlington