Mr. Beast Has Made New Enemies for the Crime of Curing People's Blindness: Some Media is Attacking Him for 'Ableism'
If you don't know who Mr. Beast is, you probably should, given the fact that he's the most popular creator on YouTube, with 134 million subscribers. And this video, in which he provided the medical treatments to return full vision to a thousand people, has been viewed 108 million times in the two weeks since it was released.
Now, you might assume that given the gift of eyesight to your fellow travelers in this harsh life would be seen as a pure good. But as Big Tennessee pointed out, not everybody (pardon the unfortunate pun) saw it that way:
When I read this very good post, it didn't surprise me at all. In fact, it was one of those stories that was just further confirmation of what we already know: The internet is dark and full of terrors. There is literally nothing you can put on there that is so positive, uplifting and life-affirming, that somebody, somewhere, can't hate you for it. Post a video of a sweet granny holding her grandchild for the first time, and someone is going to bitch about that family overpopulating the planet. Show a kitten making friends with a puppy, and you're just begging for a lecture about how we're keeping pets while other people are starving. So accusing the world's most successful YouTuber of being a monster for restoring the sight of a thousand people in need is mere child's play for the internet commentariat class.
What I am surprised by is that these deranged, nihilistic, misanthropic twats who take to their keyboards to rip a guy for doing some good in this world actually have supporters in the press. Actual media outfits are taking the side, not of the guy who's curing the physically disabled, but the mentally ill nobodies who are ripping him.
Most notably, Tech Crunch, who posted this to their 10.2 million followers. A piece so unhinged that Twitter posted it with a "context" warning:
Source - For his part, MrBeast has taken to Twitter to publicly bemoan the fact that so many are so angry at him for putting on what amounts to a publicity stunt under the guise of selfless charity.
The truth is straightforward: The video was more ableist than altruistic. …
In the broadest lens, the biggest problem with wanting to “cure” blindness is that it reinforces a moral superiority of sorts by those without disabilities over those who are disabled. Although not confronted nearly as often as racism and sexism, systemic ableism is pervasive through all parts of society. The fact of the matter is that the majority of abled people view disability as a failure of the human condition; as such, people with disabilities should be mourned and pitied. More pointedly, as MrBeast stated in his video’s thumbnail, disabilities should be eradicated — cured. …
Yet the human body isn’t some soulless, inanimate machine that requires perfection in order to work properly or have value. I’ve been subject to a barrage of harassment on Twitter since tweeting my thoughts on MrBeast’s video. In between calls for me to imbibe a bottle of bleach, most of them have been hurling retorts at me that question why I wouldn’t want to “fix” or “cure” what prevents people from living what ostensibly is a richer, fuller life because blindness would be gone. A blind person, they said, could suddenly see the stars, a rainbow, a child’s smile or whatever other romantic notion one could conjure. …
At a fundamental level, MrBeast’s video is inspiration porn, meant to portray abled people as the selfless heroes waging war against the diabolical villain known as disability. And it’s ultimately not meant for the disabled person. It’s for abled people to feel good about themselves and about disabled people striving to become more like them — more normal. For the disability community, inspiration porn often is met with such derision because the message isn’t about us as human beings; it’s about a group that’s “less than” the masses. This is where structural ableism again rears its ugly head.
For starters, nobody should tell someone who's opinion they disagree with to go drink a bottle of bleach. That is wrong every time it's tried.
Second, there's a name for places where people tell others whom they disagree with to go drink a bottle of bleach: Social media. As a matter of fact, if the worst I hear on a given day is that I should go chug a Vodka and Clorox, I consider that a good day. It's the nature of the beast. Welcome to Thunderdome.
Third, and most importantly,
The thing is, whoever wrote this isn't some lone voice in the wilderness. Here is an actual journo from the Washington Post in total lockstep agreement:
It's hard to imagine now, but there was a time when Jeff Bezos' newspaper was all about speaking truth to power. As the fictional bartender Mr. Dooley put it, "The job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." Now it's job is, what? To afflict the people who are trying to use their power to comfort the afflicted by accusing them of clout-chasing and only doing it so the able-bodied can feel good about themselves? Is that it?
The obvious short reply comes from Mr. Beast himself:
But let me expand on that by focusing on what he said about how these people wanted it and asked for it. We could all feel different is he was running up behind the visually impaired, throwing nets over them, and dragging them off to his hidden lair to force corrective surgery on them against their will.
And hey, if wanting to go through life with less than perfect vision is your thing, more power to you. No one's going to impose their will on you for that. We don't want anyone to end up like the ex-leper in Life of Brian who got cured by Jesus without so much as a "By your leave" and it cost him his livelihood of begging in the street:
This is a free country. Sort of. Everyone has the right to refuse Mr. Breast's generosity. I myself wear progressive lenses rather than go for laser surgery, mainly because I look so dashing and sophisticated in them. My and your right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, cataracts and astigmatisms is right there in the Declaration of Independence. (It's in the fine print, which is hard to read. But take my word for it.) But arguing that it's somehow wrong to act like having sight - one of the only five senses those of us who can't see dead people are given - is a desirable thing because it's discriminatory against the impaired is ludicrous. As well as a really strange hill do die on. That is, if I can use that expression without discriminating against those lacking the mobility to climb their dying hill. If not, I apologize.
These are by far the strangest times to be alive. Acts of kindness are bad. Not helping others when you have the means to is good. Disabilities are desirable. 20/20 vision is "ableist." Journalists are here to promote letting people suffer unnecessarily. People seek credit not for performing merciful acts, but for tearing down those who do; and often get it.
I'd call it Orwellian, but even George never saw this world coming. Someone though, thousands of year before Orwell did:
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." - Isaiah 5:20
Woe to any of us stupid enough to buy into this nonsense. I like to think we've still got these crackpots outnumbered. But at times like this I have my doubts.