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In: English and Literature

Submitted By rbovard41
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Today, Americans tend to believe that the term disability has a broad meaning. Even a subtle difference in one feature of any individual may classify that person as someone with disabilities. In the passage, “Disability and the Justification of Inequality in American History”, author Douglas C. Baynton argues that allegations of disability are at the heart of discrimination against a wide range of people including women, people of color, and immigrants. Although some may disagree, there is convincing evidence supporting Baynton’s argument. “While disabled people can be considered one of the minority groups historically assigned inferior status and subjected to discrimination,” explains the author, “disability has functioned for all such groups as a sign of and justification for inferiority” (Baynton 34). He describes that people of all inferior status are considered to have disabilities. Throughout the text, Baynton restates others’ ideas about what they think about certain groups of people that have “disabilities.” It may be said that any individual that strives away from the normal white and able-bodied male is considered disabled. People against equality of women found that their physical, intellectual, and psychological disabilities left them in that category. Racial inequality supporters and immigration restriction invoked the supposed disabilities of particular racial groups. Therefore, disabled people are one of the minority groups historically assigned inferior status. Categorizing women as people with disabilities was seen as the ‘normal’ idea before women’s suffrage. During these debates, women were seen as individuals with physical, intellectual and psychological defects. They were perceived to have the incapability to think straight and decide on political figures to lead the country. In an essay about this passage, the author explains,…...

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