Last week, TIME published an article about highlighting achievements of people with disabilities, titled “Co-Founding the ACLU, Fighting for Labor Rights and Other Helen Keller Accomplishments Students Don’t Learn in School.”
The first seven paragraphs shower praise on the deaf activist who was born in 1880, going on to become the first Deafblind graduate of Radcliffe (now Harvard University) in 1904, before co-founding the ACLU and becoming an early supporter of the NAACP who opposed lynchings.
Then, the article takes a serious wrong turn – citing Black disability rights activist Anita Cameron, a racist who quickly shat all over Keller’s legacy.
“…to some Black disability rights activists, like Anita Cameron, Helen Keller is not radical at all, ‘just another, despite disabilities, privileged white person,’ and yet another example of history telling the story of privileged white Americans. –TIME
Cameron’s racist diatribe against Keller, who died in 1968, drew sharp rebuke.
“As a mother to a child with a disability, this is extremely offensive. Helen Keller dedicated her life to advocating for those with disabilities and illness. To suddenly cancel her now because of her skin color is not only outrageous, it’s racist,” said Mary Vought, executive director of the Senate Conservatives fund in comments to the Washington Examiner.
You’ve got to be kidding me. The woke mob is now going after Helen Keller for being white. 🙄
Nevermind the advancements she worked to achieve for those with disabilities.
— Mary Vought (@MaryVought) December 17, 2020
“Anyone that helps fight for those with ailments is a hero, not a villain,” Vought continued. “It doesn’t matter what color their skin is!”
Others joined her in condemning the comment on Keller, calling it “ridiculous” on Twitter, with one person saying, “We’ve lost our damn minds,” and another saying she can “only sputter in disbelief.”
Perhaps America’s most famous disabled activist, Keller was left deaf and blind as a young child. Despite the disabilities, she went on to learn to communicate and became the first deaf-blind graduate of Radcliffe College. She later became an activist, co-founding the American Civil Liberties Union and supporting the NAACP. –Washington Examiner
How long until American schoolchildren are taught that Keller was just ‘another privileged white person’?