I recently posted a short article on the late Howard Zinn's amazing book, A Real People's History of the United States. It's a large book and I'm a slow reader when trying to seriously digest what I read. I had to reread this passage several times out of sheer astonishment (along with many others), and decided it was well worth posting on Oped--and if I could, for the whole world to see. It is in regard to that young girl who overcame her blindness and deafness, Helen Keller, which is all I ever knew about her. Yes, I learned from the same history books that you probably did! But my best response is step aside and let Helen and Howard speak for themselves:
Helen Keller, while not an anarchist also believed in continuous struggle outside the ballot box... the Brooklyn Eagle, which had previously treated her as a heroine, wrote that "her mistakes spring out of the manifest limitations of her development." The editor had previously complimented her lavishly. "But now that I have come out for socialism he reminds me and the public that I am blind and deaf and especially liable to error"" She added: "Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! What an ungallant bird it is! Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent". The Eagle and I are at war. I hate the system which it represents".. When it fights back, let it fight fair". It is not fair fighting or good argument to remind me and others that I cannot see or hear. I can read. I can read all the socialist books I have time for in English, German and French. If the editor of the Brooklyn Eagle should read some of them, he might be a wiser man, and make a better newspaper. If I ever contribute to the Socialist movement the book that I sometimes dream of, I know what I shall name it: Industrial Blindness and Social Deafness."
The light of this astounding, courageous, and inspiring soul shall burn brightly in my mind for as long as I have one.