A disabled man in Silver Spring, Maryland, reportedly parked his car in a handicapped spot and returned to find a cruel, racist note left on his windshield that implied he had lied about having a disability.
D'Anthony White, 30, is legally blind, but says many people don't know it just by looking at him because he doesn't carry a cane or wear glasses, reports Fox 5 (interview video shown below). He says this wasn't the first time he had to deal with a negative reaction after parking in a handicapped spot.
White posted a photo of the note he received when returning to his car at Silver Spring shopping center:
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The note reads: "The only thing hadicap [sic] on you is your brain you lazy N****."
White says the note was left despite the fact that he displayed a parking placard on his car.
"My initial reaction was, 'You don't know if I have a disability or not. All disabilities are not visible,'" White told Fox 5 News. "Just because you can't see my disability, don't make the assumption I don't have one."
In recent times, people with "invisible disabilities" have come forward to raise awareness for the challenges they face as people whose pain, discomfort, and/or need for accommodations isn't always apparent. Some examples of these disabilities include Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, PTSD, and bipolar disease, reports NPR.
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"You know, it's the invisible nature of an illness that people don't understand," said Wayne Connell, founder of the Invisible Disabilities Association. Connell's wife was diagnosed with Lyme and MS and he says he was inspired to start the organization after dealing with people who didn't understand her need for accommodations. "We'd park in disabled parking and she didn't use a wheelchair or a cane , and so people would always give us dirty looks and scream at us."
It is estimated that millions of Americans suffer from invisible diseases.
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