The British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died on March 14th. Hawking's accomplishments throughout his life were limitless, but obituaries presented by major news corporations wrongly portrayed his disability as something from which he was freed.
According to the Huffington Post, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 21, also known as ALS. He initially had two years to live, but lived until 76. However, his disability should not be portrayed as something abnormal, which would prevent him from achieving it.
After his death, he reports on abelist views that focused on how Hawking "conquered" or "conquered" his disability flooded popular media Fox News reported, "[Hawking was] paralyzed, but [made] constant contributions. "In her obituary to the physicist, NBC said his wheelchair" did not prevent him from leading a full life. "The Los Angeles Times even went so far as to report in an obituary that he" was tied to a wheelchair. This mentality is not only wrong, but also incredibly harmful to society as a whole. Guest author at The Huffington Post Ace Ratcliff reported that this type of thinking plays in "repetitive and inaccurate tropes that describe disability as something that stifles innovation, something that can not exist alongside great intellect, something that disrupts creativity" Insensitive News articles that falsely reported Hawking's death as something that "disempowered" him as a disabled person began appearing on the Internet and showed him how to go away, leaving his wheelchair behind.
Artist Mitchell Toy published a cartoon on Twitter She shows Hawking's silhouette, which stands in front of the cosmos. Another artist, Ia Wun Hsu, drew Hawking as he was "lifted from his chair and swallowed by a black hole," according to Huffington Post.
This type of imagery is disturbing because it negates Hawking's disability, and something that he would no longer have to incarcerate after death. They repeat the misinformed idea that you can not do innovative work if you have a disability.
"Perpetuating a disability as negative, not as a normal or neutral form of variation, means removing, fixing, removing," Ratcliff wrote in the Huffington Post.
Despite Hawkins short life expectancy, he earned his doctorate and became the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, a position held by Isaac Newton 300 years ago, according to The Washington Post .
His discoveries on black holes, entropy and the radiation emitted by black holes were groundbreaking. He published endless popular writings, both fiction and nonfiction, and was able to make physics not only more interesting, but also more understandable to the general public.
Hawking "overcame" his disability, or to attribute his successes to anything other than his pure brainpower is shameful.
Hawking's revolutionary insights into how the universe works were not achieved, despite or through overcoming his disability, but rather as a disabled individual. If you look at the life of Hawking and other disabled people, it is important to remember that humans exist in countless ways.