Blind to the cause

I must belong to the wrong minority group.

I’ve never been one to demand anything special just because I’m blind. The way I look at it, I have to live in the real world.

I have to learn how to get from place to place, on my own. I have to learn how to negotiate staircases when an elevator is not available. I have to learn how to cross a busy street, even though there is no traffic signal.

You get the idea.

When the Americans With Disabilities Act was adopted into law, part of it said businesses must make reasonable accommodations for the disabled.

The key word is “reasonable.”

If a two-story hotel is forced to build an elevator so maybe one guest can get up to the second floor, that’s not a reasonable expense to force that small hotel to incur. And I agree.

If I want to get up to that second floor, it’s up to me to figure out a way to get there.

As I said, I usually don’t demand anything special from the world. Occasionally, however, I will make what I feel is a reasonable request.

Such was the case recently with The Spectator.

Monday was White Cane Awareness Day. As a courtesy to the students here at UW-Eau Claire, I obtained a press release about the event from the Wisconsin Council of the Blind, and forwarded it to The Spectator, expecting that they would run a little something on that day. After all, they run stories about awareness of other minority groups.

Something to make the student population just a bit more aware about blindness should fit right in.

Apparently not.

Oh, sure, the front page carried a big story about Coming Out Day, not only on Thursday Oct. 11, but again, in a front page follow-up the next Monday, too. Yet not one single word was printed about the White Cane Day.

Now, normally, the omission of my information wouldn’t upset me. I do submit quite a few items, and the paper only has so much space to fill with ink. All those “please advertise in this paper” columns take up so much room.

I could understand if my special interest piece was cut. But to do two stories – front page items, no less – in back-to-back issues about Coming Out Day?

I’ve heard a lot about “diversity” and “equality” here on this campus this year.

That equality is a funny thing. It used to mean all were equal no one treated any differently from anyone else just because of your race gender, religion or whatever.

Equality – no more, no less.

But it seems some groups, or at least their self-appointed leaders, simply are not happy with equality

They want more to compensate for an historic under representation in the past. And all too often, they can find a sympathetic ear in media editorial offices.

No matter what your cause, reverse discrimination, affirmative action, it’s still discrimination.

It’s just now redirected toward the majority, rather than toward a minority group.

The forced acceptance of views not shared by the majority only leads to further resentment and hatred.

For a college newspaper, supposedly open to diversity, omitting all information about White Cane Awareness Day was a mistake.

The only thing I can think of is that someone in the editorial office must have thought “They’re blind. They’ll never miss it.”