[nabs-l] National Federation of the Blind Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment

Sarah Jevnikar sarah.jevnikar at utoronto.ca
Tue Dec 16 08:27:44 UTC 2008


I'm sorry to post a second time on the same topic, but here is my issue:
we're not being made fun of on the same level as the sighted people on shows
like this. If stumbling around was something Gov Paterson actually did, then
that makes sense to use that as a trademark to make him instantly
recognizable on comedic shows like SNL. But since he doesn't, why use it? If
he squints, sure, use that too if you want, but surely he wouldn't hold up a
piece of paper upside down unless he's proved himself to be incompetent
enough to do that whether he could see properly or not. So blast blind
people identically as you would the sighted, but don't make their blindness
part of the sketch as something that could detract from their competency,
unless they have clearly demonstrated that it does.
Thank you for reading this.

-----Original Message-----
From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of Linda Stover
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 1:14 AM
To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
Subject: Re: [nabs-l] National Federation of the Blind Comments on
SaturdayNight Live Segment

Jo,

I couldn't agree more with your remarks.  We are constantly demanding
to be treated as equal citizens; in this instance, our demand has been
met.  We are considered equal enough to be paridyed, taking it in the
spirit of gest and humor, not a serious attack on the blind
population.

I also agree with you about the NFB's publicity quota; I think we all
know the fairytale of the little boy who cried wolf.  I'm afraid that
if we as an organization continue to be this sensitive about very
minor things, no one will give our words due consideration when a
serious matter of discrimination does arise.
Courtney

On 12/15/08, Jessica Kostiw <jessicac.kostiw at gmail.com> wrote:
> I first heard of this a few minutes ago when my Mom saw it was coming up
on
> CNN.  It was clearly making fun of blindness and I am very happy that the
> NFB has taken a stand, and so quickly.  Disgusting!
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Beth" <thebluesisloose at gmail.com>
> To: "National Association of Blind Students mailing list"
> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
> Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 2:20 PM
> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] National Federation of the Blind Comments on
> SaturdayNight Live Segment
>
>
> Ijust watched CNN and they said something about this segment of SNL.
> I don't watch SLNL, but I support Paterson, and someday I want to be
> Governor, so there's no excuse for attacking Gov. Paerson for any
> reason.
> Beth
>
> On 12/15/08, Freeh, Jessica <JFreeh at nfb.org> wrote:
>> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>>
>>
>>
>> CONTACT:
>>
>> Chris Danielsen
>>
>> Public Relations Specialist
>>
>> National Federation of the Blind
>>
>> (410) 659-9314, extension 2330
>>
>> (410) 262-1281 (Cell)
>>
>> <mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org
>>
>>
>>
>> National Federation of the Blind
>> Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Largest Organization of the Blind Criticizes Attack on Blind Americans
>>
>>
>>
>> Baltimore, Maryland (December 15, 2008): Chris
>> Danielsen, spokesman for the National Federation
>> of the Blind, said: "The biggest problem faced by
>> blind people is not blindness itself, but the
>> stereotypes held by the general public about
>> blindness and blind people.  The idea that blind
>> people are incapable of the simplest tasks and
>> are perpetually disoriented and befuddled is
>> absolutely wrong.  This misconception contributes
>> to an unemployment rate among blind people that
>> stubbornly remains at 70 percent.  That is why
>> the National Federation of the Blind is
>> disappointed that Saturday Night Live chose to
>> portray Governor Paterson in a comedy routine
>> that focused almost exclusively on his
>> blindness.  Attacking the Governor because he is
>> blind is an attack on all blind Americans-blind
>> children, blind adults, blind seniors, and newly
>> blinded veterans returning from Iraq and
>> Afghanistan.  The National Federation of the
>> Blind urges the producers of Saturday Night Live
>> to consider the serious negative impact that
>> misinformation and stereotypes have on blind
>> people before continuing in this unfortunate vein of humor."
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ###
>>
>>
>>
>>
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