So there's this absolute scumbag in North Carolina who hates gay people, and also happens to be blind.
In the last few days I've seen a ton of people mock him for not looking at cameras, or 'the weird way he moves his eyes.' It's a textbook example of why focusing criticism on someone's physical traits is never a good idea.
Most folks I've pointed this out to are suitably chagrined, and I appreciate them <3. A few try to defend themselves. He's a scumbag, so there's no holes barred on insulting him, right? No.
When we mock a bad person for being blind, or fat, or trans, we're telling everyone with those traits that we secretly think they're less than wholly human. Maybe we won't admit it so long they remain "good," but we've admitted that it's there under the surface.
@linkskywalker thank you so much for bringing this up. I was speaking with my wife about this very thing. As a fat person, I felt terrible as many people (liberal types) were posting about this story calling him all sorts of names regarding his size and posting pictures and gifs of ugly villains and the like. What does his size or blindness or smile or any physical feature have to do with his vile opinions? It really bothered me.
@hollyamory As it happens, my day job is actually as a school photographer. I'm always grateful for the good humor of blind kids as they cope with my clumsy attempts to pose them.
Looking at the camera is overrated anyway. Looking genuinely happy is the trick to a good portrait.