1920: Helen Keller Holding a Magnolia

Helen Keller holding a magnolia ca 1920

When Helen Keller announced that she had become a socialist, “newspaper columnists who had praised her courage and intelligence before…now called attention to her disabilities.” The editor of the Brooklyn Eagle, for example, opined that her “mistakes sprung out of the manifest limitations of her development.” Keller responded, referring to a meeting  between her and the editor before he knew about her politics:

At that time the compliments he paid me were so generous that I blush to remember them. 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. I must have shrunk in intelligence during the years since I met him. … Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle! 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.

Image: Helen Keller holding a magnolia, ca. 1920
(source)

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