A Holiday Light Show In Waltham Obscures A Devastating History

By Alex Green: For Entire Post, Go Here…

Last month, my city’s Lions Club was looking to do something nice for the holidays, while fundraising along the way, so they decided to set up a drive-through light show on the grounds of a former state institution, the Walter E. Fernald Developmental Center. There, among obscene graffiti and falling bricks, revelers will drive through a landscape where the truth is shaded into the night: a place where thousands of disabled people were locked away, spending lonely holidays, far from their families. A place where eventually, they died.

It’s a super-spreader event too, replete with bus and limo rentals, and that brazenness ties together past and present.

My city, Waltham, isfacing down another massive spike in cases of COVID-19, a virus that has disproportionately killed disabled people. But to the organizers, that is no matter. As their public relations person told a news sitethey picked the site for its easy logistics. Easy for them.

In the battle between basic respect and the most convenient spot to drop an oversized Santa, disabled people lose.

The light show, set to begin Nov. 27signifies something big — something made more acute in the time of the coronavirus pandemic — that many of us already know. Disabled people do not get to have a history, and we are shamed for daring to demand that we deserve one that truly represents our story in this nation.

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