[nabs-l] Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment

Jamie Principato blackbyrdfly at gmail.com
Tue Dec 23 07:17:04 UTC 2008


Well said, Joseph.

On Tue, Dec 23, 2008 at 1:42 AM, T. Joseph Carter
<carter.tjoseph at gmail.com>wrote:

> Brice,
>
> It never ceases to amaze me how quickly you see through to the heart of the
> matter.  That's a fine talent and gift you've got, and I am always glad to
> see the use to which you put it.
>
> Let us consider a hypothetical situation:  I am in Monmouth, Oregon and I
> wish to attend a conference in Portland, Oregon.  For a sighted person, it
> is an eighty minute drive, but I am blind and have an "Oregon license to not
> drive.  Ever."  (That is a story for another email.)
>
> How shall I get there?  I can hire a driver.  I can take travel using three
> interconnected public transit systems.  I can ask someone for a ride.  Or,
> someone may offer me a ride.
>
> Robert seems to suggest that I am not independent unless I can get there
> without reliance on others.  That takes away hiring a driver (i.e., letting
> an employee provide transportation), and public transit (i.e., letting four
> different people drive different legs of the trip).
>
> That's not a bad definition of independence, but it points out the truth
> rather clearly: None of us, sighted, blind, or otherwise, is independent.
>  Those sighted people who are driving depend on people to manufacture and
> maintain the cars they drive, after all.
>
> Yet Robert is right that I should be able to make the decision to attend
> without first asking someone else if they're willing or able to provide me
> with the means to do it.  This is self-determination, and I do not believe a
> healthy level of independence exists in the absence of it.
>
> That said, a healthy level of independence seems to also require that once
> I have reached self-determination, I am comfortable enough with my own
> ability to find a way to get there that I can give an appropriate answer
> when a colleague says, "Hey, I'm going to the same conference, and I live
> just a few blocks away from you.  Can I offer you a ride?"  That answer
> might be, "Thanks for offering, but no, I have a couple of errands to run
> along the way."  Or it might be, "Hey, thanks!  I appreciate it!"
>
> Could I get there otherwise, absolutely I can.  Do I need to prove it?  To
> whom, exactly?  And why?
>
> Governor Patterson has many aides who do things for him that the rest of us
> do for ourselves because he pays them to.  In that he's like any other
> politician.  Politicians frequently pay people to drive for them, do their
> laundry, clean up their houses, read their mail, and the list goes on.  They
> could do these things, but that would mean less time for being a politician.
>  Some of the things Governor Patterson's aides do are different than what
> other governors' aides do, but they're no more and no less than the things
> others have done for them.
>
> Could Governor Patterson do these things for himself if he were no longer
> in office with aides to help him with everything?  Possibly he'd have to
> learn how to do some of them--remember that President Clinton had to learn
> how to use an ATM after he left office.  Maybe the ATMs are more complex for
> politicians, though.  I mean, I use one and it asks me Checking or Savings..
>  He probably gets asked to choose Hard Money, Soft Money, etc.  *grin*
>
> If the governor wants to make a decision, do you think he's got to go
> around and ask people if they can do it for him?  I suspect he just makes
> it, and calls someone to ask them to arrange the details, just as any other
> executive would.
>
> Joseph
>
> On Mon, Dec 22, 2008 at 11:27:17PM -0500, Brice Smith wrote:
>
>> Robert,
>>
>> So a person can only achieve success and your respect If they do
>> something on their own without help from anyone? If I understand you,
>> If he's not doing it himself without assistance, it doesn't make a
>> difference and is worthless.
>>
>> I'm certainly not in the mood to open up another long and drawn-out
>> philosophy debate on the NFB's student list again, but you and I are
>> going to completely and totally disagree on this. I'm hoping this
>> doesn't start another roar, but I can't help but say a couple of
>> things:
>>
>> If you held a position of high authority as Governor Paterson, or any
>> other governor or elected official such as the president does, you're
>> going to be surrounded by people. chances are, they're going to be
>> sighted; and chances are, they're going to be absolutely crucial to
>> your success. President-elect Obama will be surrounded by a host of
>> helpers and staff members, and will experience very little freedom for
>> the next few years. He will certainly do "nothing alone;" and even If
>> he were blind, the level of assistance and contribution he receives
>> from the people around him might not change. The same goes for
>> Governor Paterson, as he too cannot act alone. He, like any other
>> governor, has a network of staff and cabinet members who constantly
>> assist him. If you were elected governor, regardless of your desires
>> to act alone, you would still work and be surrounded by people who
>> would be extremely important to your success. You would constantly
>> have people "breathing down your neck," perhaps more than you would
>> want to handle. And you might only rarely go down the street without
>> being followed, watched, guided, or surrounded.
>>
>> But what difference does it make?
>>
>> -Brice
>>
>> On 12/22/08, Robert Spangler <spangler.robert at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> While I agree that he's accomplished quite a feat becoming governor and
>>> all, I critique people very strictly.  I do not respect someone solely
>>> based on their accomplishments.  sure, he has made this success, but if
>>> someone is always helping him and he's not doing things himself, what
>>> difference does it make?  Frankly, I'm taking care of myself and doing
>>> my work without intervention if I get such a position.  I'd be proud of
>>> myself so much that I would want to do it.  I don't want some sighted
>>> person breathing down my neck every second and taking my hand to guide
>>> me down the street.
>>>
>>>
>>> Brice Smith wrote:
>>>
>>>> Robert,
>>>>
>>>> ":
>>>> He's the kind of person who makes blind people look bad if anyone."
>>>>
>>>> If anything, I find this blatantly disrespectful. Governor Paterson is
>>>> the first legally blind governor of any U.S. State; the first
>>>> African-American governor of New York; and a graduate of Columbia and
>>>> Hofstra University School of Law.
>>>>
>>>> Paterson might not have amazing "blindness skills," but assuming the
>>>> statistic concerning the unemployment rate of blind people in America
>>>> is true, Paterson -- NFB or not, super independence skills or not --
>>>> has certainly made a name for himself and has my respect. Frankly, I'm
>>>> not so sure the NFB can offer Paterson much; while his methods of
>>>> personal independence might not be in line with the NFB's philosophy,
>>>> at the end of the day he's managed to do his job regardless of the
>>>> methods used and to be successful. And you advocate making fun of him?
>>>>
>>>> -Brice
>>>> On 12/20/08, Robert Spangler <spangler.robert at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Exactly.  If anything, the NFB should be pointing out and making fun of
>>>>> Governor Paterson for not wan ting to act blind and be independent.
>>>>> He's the kind of person who makes blind people look bad if anyone.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> bookwormahb at earthlink.net wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Hi Carrie,
>>>>>>
>>>>>> I have seen the logical arguments put forth by you and Joe.  I will
>>>>>> not
>>>>>> write as much. I just wanted to say that personal experience shows
>>>>>> that
>>>>>> you are right on.  Determination plays a role but so does the
>>>>>> opportunities you are given.  We are not dealt equal opportunity and
>>>>>> life
>>>>>> presents things beyond your control.   For instance we do not choose
>>>>>> our
>>>>>> parents.  We did not know nfb until high school.  My parents lacked
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> patience or knowledge to teach me some things.  A rehab teacher showed
>>>>>> me
>>>>>> as a teen some kitchen stuff like cutting and spreading.  My parents
>>>>>> did
>>>>>> support my academic growth and went to IEPS, read to me and with me,
>>>>>> etc.
>>>>>> Also we do not usually choose our teachers.  I was fortunate to learn
>>>>>> Braille by a nationally known teacher who wrote books.  A young child
>>>>>> will
>>>>>> read more proficiently than a teen or adult learning.  So yes we do
>>>>>> create
>>>>>> reality but reality is somewhat determined for us.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> As to the skit I have not seen it.  Can someone provide a link to see
>>>>>> it?
>>>>>> I think too much is being made of it.  A short skit will be forgotten.
>>>>>> Many public officials are poked fun of.  George Bush's speech is made
>>>>>> fun
>>>>>> of a lot.  I don't know whether I am offended not seeing the clip.
>>>>>>  But
>>>>>> sterotypes are out there.  I guess I feel we can do more to change and
>>>>>> break stereotypes by being out there doing normal things rather than
>>>>>> being
>>>>>> defensive about media clips.
>>>>>> For those who don't watch SNL they won't know what the media is
>>>>>> referencing.  The press release did its job though; it was picked up
>>>>>> by
>>>>>> CNN; my mom saw it and told me.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> Ashley
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> From: Carrie Gilmer <carrie.gilmer at gmail.com>
>>>>>>> Sent: Dec 18, 2008 8:10 AM
>>>>>>> To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'
>>>>>>> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Dear Joe,
>>>>>>> Sometimes email is such a difficult form of communication. I never
>>>>>>> said
>>>>>>> I
>>>>>>> disagree that the NFB views blind people as tough. You said that "
>>>>>>> there
>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>> an unfortunate perception in the NFB that all blind people are tough
>>>>>>> go
>>>>>>> getters" and that with just the right training the world can be
>>>>>>> theirs.
>>>>>>> My
>>>>>>> response was only to indicate that in my experience with a wide
>>>>>>> variety
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> those who have been with the federation either rather newly or for
>>>>>>> decades
>>>>>>> and with a geographic spread--there is no such general simplistic
>>>>>>> over-all
>>>>>>> perception. Meaning that the NFB is well aware that many have had the
>>>>>>> tough-go-get-um-ness broken, some can be inspired to get it back, and
>>>>>>> what
>>>>>>> some need to get it back varies, and some may never get it totally
>>>>>>> back
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> need continued friendship and support as they are coming along as
>>>>>>> best
>>>>>>> they
>>>>>>> can and some because of the variability of humans in general never
>>>>>>> had
>>>>>>> much
>>>>>>> toughness or go-get-um-ness. On the other hand we have a firm deep
>>>>>>> belief
>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>> is true that even those who are very broken or who have not had
>>>>>>> opportunity
>>>>>>> with proper training can (and have over and over)rise up and do
>>>>>>> achieve
>>>>>>> great things for themselves.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> And I basically agree that a person's choices/reactions/pro-activity
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> their choices--what I was saying though is that there is room for
>>>>>>> understanding about where people come from, that not all choices are
>>>>>>> equal
>>>>>>> in difficulty, people do not have the same resources and supports or
>>>>>>> levels
>>>>>>> of things that have come against them or levels of things to come
>>>>>>> back.
>>>>>>> I
>>>>>>> am
>>>>>>> not personally ready to level total blame at anyone and that there
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> more
>>>>>>> than simply two choices in life in my experience as one of your
>>>>>>> earlier
>>>>>>> posts claimed. People have carved success out of huge failures that
>>>>>>> have
>>>>>>> been foisted at them. People have also failed when given every
>>>>>>> opportunity.
>>>>>>> Some people are trapped in a reality not of their own making, and do
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>> have the resources or the knowledge of how to get out, they may not
>>>>>>> even
>>>>>>> be
>>>>>>> aware they can get out. I believe in personal responsibility yet I am
>>>>>>> also
>>>>>>> aware keenly from my life experience that it is the rare person who
>>>>>>> can
>>>>>>> rise
>>>>>>> up and expect high things from themselves when no one else expects
>>>>>>> anything
>>>>>>> at all. I also know that learned fears can not just be overcome by
>>>>>>> intellect, and emotions can take some time and often outside
>>>>>>> intervention.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I don't know that I am wise enough to say why each person seemingly
>>>>>>> can
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>> break out or even as a group why some can or do not. I guess with
>>>>>>> blindness
>>>>>>> it has to do with learned, and accepted on some level dependency, and
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>> lack
>>>>>>> of skills and learned fear. Blind people have challenges that
>>>>>>> generally
>>>>>>> sighted people trying to break free of their families or
>>>>>>> circumstances
>>>>>>> do
>>>>>>> not have--and I say generally and I do not mean that blind people are
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>> capable. I think the vulnerability has more to do with isolation in
>>>>>>> many
>>>>>>> cases than anything else...and isolation can take multiple forms even
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> one
>>>>>>> life. It has to do with an unusual set of not expecting things that
>>>>>>> happens
>>>>>>> uniquely more often to blind people. It is not totally unique, there
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> inner city or other where kids who no one ever expected anything of
>>>>>>> them
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> neither do they often break out and create high expectations for
>>>>>>> themselves.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I do not ignore or dilute a person's personal responsibility overall
>>>>>>> or
>>>>>>> ability to break out if they choose to try. Indeed I have a deep
>>>>>>> faith
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> people's abilities to rise up against all kinds of set-backs and
>>>>>>> challenges
>>>>>>> in life. I was "concentrating" on the environmental side to say it is
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>> so
>>>>>>> simple as people just creating their own realities. Because I see a
>>>>>>> lot
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> grey does not mean I do not see clear lines of right and wrong in
>>>>>>> many
>>>>>>> things. I have not and am not a proponent of the world totally
>>>>>>> changing
>>>>>>> for
>>>>>>> the blind person except where access should reasonably be
>>>>>>> allowed--meaning
>>>>>>> it is right to expect Braille books when you are a student. On the
>>>>>>> other
>>>>>>> hand the world must change in its misunderstandings of what it means
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> be
>>>>>>> blind.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> And how this is to the point for me on the SNL. The myths and
>>>>>>> misconceptions
>>>>>>> perpetuate the unusually difficult environment for the blind--high
>>>>>>> unemployment, discrimination, inequality in education, lack of
>>>>>>> access,
>>>>>>> etc.
>>>>>>> Sometimes it is right to come at a blind person or ourselves as a
>>>>>>> group
>>>>>>> hard
>>>>>>> and raise expectations--this time for me I agree it was right for us
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> come
>>>>>>> at SNL speaking to the misconceptions they expect as true and helped
>>>>>>> give
>>>>>>> advertisement and perpetuation to. We do both, from the inside and to
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> outside--both must be worked at. Talking about or doing one does not
>>>>>>> exclude
>>>>>>> the other.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I think we could go on for quite awhile, it would be fun to be in a
>>>>>>> philosophy class with you.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I would indeed like to hear some of your ideas.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Carrie Gilmer, President
>>>>>>> National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
>>>>>>> A Division of the National Federation of the Blind
>>>>>>> NFB National Center: 410-659-9314
>>>>>>> Home Phone: 763-784-8590
>>>>>>> carrie.gilmer at gmail.com
>>>>>>> www.nfb.org/nopbc
>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>> Behalf
>>>>>>> Of Joe Orozco
>>>>>>> Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 2:07 AM
>>>>>>> To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Carrie,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> People may very well tell a blind person that their dreams are too
>>>>>>> lofty.
>>>>>>>  A
>>>>>>> blind person's own family may very well feel that their blind
>>>>>>> relative's
>>>>>>> abilities are too limited.  The media may very well portray the blind
>>>>>>> character as something less than realistic.  In short, the world may
>>>>>>> very
>>>>>>> well feel like a dismal place for a blind person, so yes, I want
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> know that from us there is no hesitation, no reluctance, about our
>>>>>>> unequivocal belief in that person's capacity to move a mountain if
>>>>>>> they
>>>>>>> should feel so inclined.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The real world is not simple.  A person may find themselves setting a
>>>>>>> goal,
>>>>>>> and then, abruptly, life throws a challenge in their direction.  Yet,
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> goal has not changed, only the person's method of achieving it, and
>>>>>>> if
>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>> person should feel too discouraged to continue pursuing it, the
>>>>>>> person
>>>>>>> should consider the possibility that perhaps they never really meant
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> achieve it in the first place.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> There is no gray matter.  Life is full of failure and
>>>>>>> disappointments,
>>>>>>> but
>>>>>>> strength is found in how well a person overcomes those obstacles.  It
>>>>>>> has
>>>>>>> never been my position that a person's success is built entirely
>>>>>>> alone.
>>>>>>> Just as there are people who will attempt to hinder another person's
>>>>>>> achievements, there will be people whose patient guidance will help
>>>>>>> fuel
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> person's desire, but neither the former nor the latter will guarantee
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> person's accomplishments.  A person may not be responsible for the
>>>>>>> environment where they were raised, but it is mostly certainly their
>>>>>>> own
>>>>>>> prerogative to dictate the environment where they will grow.  By your
>>>>>>> own
>>>>>>> definition a person is capable of creating their own reality, because
>>>>>>> anything greater than the challenges of life, or the views others may
>>>>>>> attempt to impose, is a reality separate from the existence that
>>>>>>> would
>>>>>>> have
>>>>>>> unraveled had the person given into those challenges or pressures.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> As I observed in a different discussion thread, the basis of my
>>>>>>> arguments
>>>>>>> would be flawed if the discussion were being carried out in the
>>>>>>> middle
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>> developing country.  It is not.  Our laws and views in the United
>>>>>>> States
>>>>>>> may
>>>>>>> not always be the most accommodating, but the level of opportunities
>>>>>>> enjoyed
>>>>>>> here far surpass the level of opportunities in most other parts of
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> world.  In this country people with disabilities have come along too
>>>>>>> far
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> their fight for equality to allow their predecessors to enjoy the
>>>>>>> privilege
>>>>>>> of blaming someone else for their shortcomings.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I do not deny the fact that blind people are oppressed and forced to
>>>>>>> work
>>>>>>> under deplorable conditions.  This is no different from sex
>>>>>>> trafficking
>>>>>>> victims who are forced to work under similar circumstances.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I do not deny that blind people are victims of violence simply
>>>>>>> because
>>>>>>> they
>>>>>>> are blind.  How is this different from the homosexual who is the
>>>>>>> victim
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> hate crimes because he is gay?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I fail to see your conclusion here.  It is quite obvious that blind
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>> are just as likely as anyone else  of facing unfair treatment.  Is it
>>>>>>> your
>>>>>>> belief that these victims have no choice but to accept their
>>>>>>> circumstances?
>>>>>>> Your logic concentrates on the person's surroundings and not enough
>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> person, or maybe the problem is that your logic would rather ponder
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> problem rather than the solution.  Hatred is a natural flaw of human
>>>>>>> nature,
>>>>>>> and to suggest that hatred, or discrimination, is to blame for a
>>>>>>> person's
>>>>>>> inability to break out of a mold is like blaming gravity for a plane
>>>>>>> crash.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> You disagree that the NFB views blind people as tough.  What I should
>>>>>>> have
>>>>>>> said is that the organization would like blind people to be tough,
>>>>>>> but
>>>>>>> regardless of the angle you choose, there is still the matter of what
>>>>>>> constitutes proper training.  The hard core Federationist would argue
>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>> the only means of achieving proper training is through the attendance
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> one
>>>>>>> of the three NFB training centers.  With few exceptions, this hard
>>>>>>> core
>>>>>>> Federationist would suggest that anything outside this sphere may be
>>>>>>> good,
>>>>>>> but not good enough.  Do you detect much of a difference between that
>>>>>>> Federationist's strict adherence and my high expectations?  I would
>>>>>>> venture
>>>>>>> to guess the only difference between he and I is the diplomatic means
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> articulating the same point.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Now, you say a blind person's plight is not owed to the "workability
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> their eyeballs."  To clarify, you are saying a person's limitations
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>> owed to their being blind.  You blame other people for these
>>>>>>> limitations.
>>>>>>> You blame their environment.  Then at what point is the blind person
>>>>>>> held
>>>>>>> responsible for their own performance?  Or are you advancing the
>>>>>>> hypothesis
>>>>>>> that for certain blind people there is no such thing as
>>>>>>> responsibility?
>>>>>>> To
>>>>>>> me it seems that blaiming a person's environment expects the
>>>>>>> environment
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> change for the sake of the blind person, and while such a position
>>>>>>> may
>>>>>>> sit
>>>>>>> well in the ACB, it is not welcomed here.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The press release that came on the heels of the show was not so much
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>> mistake for its publication but more for its content.  Unfortunately,
>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>> makes the whole thing a mistake.  The rhetoric was unnecessarily
>>>>>>> defensive
>>>>>>> and overbearing.  Calling the show an "attack" would lead an
>>>>>>> uninformed
>>>>>>> reader to believe that the resolve of the blind community is so
>>>>>>> delicate
>>>>>>> as
>>>>>>> to be crumpled by a fleeting brush of sarcasm.  Acknowledging the
>>>>>>> segment
>>>>>>> at
>>>>>>> all through the distribution of a press release only legitimized the
>>>>>>> show's
>>>>>>> impact.  If anything, I feel the formal attention given to the
>>>>>>> segment
>>>>>>> turned the brief exhibit of humor into a serious question of whether
>>>>>>> or
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>> blind people really do behave the way the actor conducted himself in
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> skit.  I mean, what does the National Center expect of a show using
>>>>>>> this
>>>>>>> format?  A perfect blind person with all the alternative techniques
>>>>>>> would
>>>>>>> not be funny.  Actually, they would be rather boring for SNL, so is
>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>> your
>>>>>>> position that blind people should just not be featured on SNL because
>>>>>>> blind
>>>>>>> people are too sensitive?  Or, a better question, how would you have
>>>>>>> rewritten the skit to meet your approval of a funny and educational
>>>>>>> experience?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Now, as to your final question of what I would suggest as a better
>>>>>>> use
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> our strength as the largest organization of blind people...that could
>>>>>>> take
>>>>>>> another voluminous post I am sure you are not interested in reading.
>>>>>>> If
>>>>>>> push comes to shove I will most definitely share my thoughts, yet for
>>>>>>> now
>>>>>>> let's call that one a to be continued...
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Joe Orozco
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for
>>>>>>> humanity."--James
>>>>>>> M.
>>>>>>> Barrie
>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>> Behalf
>>>>>>> Of Carrie Gilmer
>>>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:48 PM
>>>>>>> To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Well Joe we definitely disagree on a few points. As I have aged I
>>>>>>> have
>>>>>>> found
>>>>>>> the edges not so clear cut. I see much more grey including in my
>>>>>>> hair.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> People are dealt things in life regularly that are beyond total
>>>>>>> personal
>>>>>>> control; meaning sometimes life makes a choice for you and then how
>>>>>>> you
>>>>>>> react is a choice and then what you have in your abilities and flaws
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> opportunities or resources or stumbling blocks affects or limits the
>>>>>>> choices
>>>>>>> or even your ability to make them. Sometimes other people force their
>>>>>>> view
>>>>>>> of how things should be (or their choices) on you. Sometimes
>>>>>>> determination
>>>>>>> is not enough. Dr. tenBroek was determined to get a certain kind of
>>>>>>> job
>>>>>>> early on; he was not able to totally create the "reality" he wished
>>>>>>> despite
>>>>>>> his unrelenting determination because of the reality of the level of
>>>>>>> prejudice about his blindness. That is what I mean when I say in
>>>>>>> reality
>>>>>>> I
>>>>>>> think we do not totally create our own. Often times what people think
>>>>>>> they
>>>>>>> have done for themselves alone was enabled by earlier mentoring,
>>>>>>> inborn
>>>>>>> intelligence, family resources...a whole host of possible supports.
>>>>>>> We
>>>>>>> have
>>>>>>> reality given to us mostly that we must deal with--only those in a
>>>>>>> fantasy
>>>>>>> truly create their own was my point. How we deal with it by choice
>>>>>>> becomes a
>>>>>>> personal reality or environment but the choices are not totally
>>>>>>> always
>>>>>>> free
>>>>>>> or enabled--the choices also are sometimes in reality not of our
>>>>>>> choosing. I
>>>>>>> suppose this could sound like an excuse for not being personally
>>>>>>> responsible
>>>>>>> for a choice, and I don't think that at all. It just isn't black and
>>>>>>> white
>>>>>>> and that people totally create their own realities in a vacuum where
>>>>>>> they
>>>>>>> are all powerful. It also doesn't mean that those who are now
>>>>>>> powerless
>>>>>>> can't be empowered.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Dr. tenBroek was not the only blind person to experience the reality
>>>>>>> he
>>>>>>> did.
>>>>>>> I doubt that the majority of unemployed blind people are without
>>>>>>> determination to work or wouldn't change their reality of
>>>>>>> unemployment
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> employment if they had the power to do so tomorrow.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If I thought it impossible for progress to be made I would not be
>>>>>>> volunteering 50 plus hours a week for this organization. In fact I am
>>>>>>> full
>>>>>>> of hope and optimism about it and think we are farther than ever
>>>>>>> before
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> history.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> On one point I will say I think you are undeniably mistaken, blind
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>> have been prohibited from trying. And are today. Prohibition also
>>>>>>> takes
>>>>>>> many
>>>>>>> forms. If you also think blind people have not been oppressed,
>>>>>>> victims
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> unfair and deplorable and even forced labor conditions you are also
>>>>>>> mistaken; and some blind people are victims of this even today. If
>>>>>>> you
>>>>>>> think
>>>>>>> some have not been victims of violence also and directly because they
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> blind you are mistaken; it too occurs today. There is discrimination
>>>>>>> born
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> pity to be sure, but there are people who have enough of a distaste
>>>>>>> for
>>>>>>> whom
>>>>>>> they consider to be flawed human beings that hatred qualifies. Blind
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>> were not openly sold on the slave block true--and it is not a
>>>>>>> completely
>>>>>>> perfect comparison, but (BTW) what do you think happened to the blind
>>>>>>> black
>>>>>>> people in the day? There is much we do have in common. The comparison
>>>>>>> I
>>>>>>> used
>>>>>>> compared the basis of the humor being false for black people as it is
>>>>>>> for
>>>>>>> blind people.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I also think you are mistaken in generalizing the NFB as having its
>>>>>>> thoughts
>>>>>>> about blind people all being "tough go getters" as you say. That is
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>> my
>>>>>>> experience. We are well aware of the cross section of society, of
>>>>>>> ability,
>>>>>>> of ambition; there is a spectrum. I believe it was Dr. Jernigan who
>>>>>>> said
>>>>>>> we
>>>>>>> have our geniuses and our jerks. I agree we believe quality training
>>>>>>> can
>>>>>>> help a person achieve their own full personal potential if that
>>>>>>> potential
>>>>>>> but we also realize there is serious difficulty amongst those whose
>>>>>>> potential has been too badly damaged. There are also blind people who
>>>>>>> just
>>>>>>> do not have the wherewithal or opportunity or knowledge to rise above
>>>>>>> or
>>>>>>> get
>>>>>>> out of a place they have been prohibited to. Also the quality of
>>>>>>> available
>>>>>>> training to get them "out" is wildly variable across the U.S. They
>>>>>>> need
>>>>>>> our
>>>>>>> rescuing and support--not our condemnation, in my opinion.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Yes there are blind people who could and should but don't and it is
>>>>>>> frustrating. Yes there are those who like many take the perceived
>>>>>>> easy
>>>>>>> way
>>>>>>> out for now and blame their blindness for their troubles or use it
>>>>>>> for
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>> free lunch or let it limit and do not question or have given up or
>>>>>>> seem
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> enjoy the attention they get from being the one amazing blind person
>>>>>>> around.
>>>>>>> Who can say how easy or hard or possible it would be for each of them
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> change as compared to oneself. Then there are those who never learned
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> read at all until adulthood and may never read as well as someone who
>>>>>>> learned in kindergarten no matter the determination. There are some
>>>>>>> things
>>>>>>> that you can not do over or ever get back. Society and some blind
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>> both need to understand that their plight is not due to the
>>>>>>> workability
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> their eyeballs.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If those who have been the recipient of discrimination or
>>>>>>> misunderstanding
>>>>>>> never had raised a protest about it--nothing would ever change. I
>>>>>>> don't
>>>>>>> believe anyone believes one press release will change the world, but
>>>>>>> personally I feel it is possibly beneficial in this case to say
>>>>>>> something
>>>>>>> and I support the fact we did. I feel if we said nothing and laughed
>>>>>>> along
>>>>>>> (if we didn't think it was indeed funny-as many apparently don't)
>>>>>>> then
>>>>>>> we
>>>>>>> are in agreement with those who laugh at the blind rather than with.
>>>>>>> To
>>>>>>> me
>>>>>>> there is a difference. Responding is one of thousands of things and
>>>>>>> ways
>>>>>>> we
>>>>>>> all work for awareness and progress--including within the population
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> blind people-- everyday. We don't know what saying something could
>>>>>>> lead
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> in a positive, we do know that saying nothing teaches nothing and
>>>>>>> gives
>>>>>>> them
>>>>>>> the impression that is was just fine to do--maybe even wonderfully
>>>>>>> creative
>>>>>>> and bright.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I love to laugh at myself. I think it is healthy. But I laugh at
>>>>>>> myself
>>>>>>> about real things. I don't find the skit funny the way it was done,
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> laughs will be at the expense of perpetuating the myths. I don't
>>>>>>> think
>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>> shows an equality of treatment for the blind by poking fun this way.
>>>>>>> I
>>>>>>> think
>>>>>>> they made fun of the easiest thing for them, showed no creativity (it
>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> oldest joke in the world), and probably made themselves believe they
>>>>>>> were
>>>>>>> being cutting edge or something because they dared to make fun of the
>>>>>>> governor's blindness. President Ford had a tendency to fall or trip
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> everyone made fun of that. Bush is often bumbling in speech and the
>>>>>>> whole
>>>>>>> world makes fun of that. I don't think this is the same--I think they
>>>>>>> pulled
>>>>>>> at the stereotypes rather than just at the governor. I don't know how
>>>>>>> bumbling the governor really is--is he more than others, a lot or a
>>>>>>> little?
>>>>>>> I don't know. If he is bumbling and it is due to a lack of skills,
>>>>>>> how
>>>>>>> much
>>>>>>> is due to what I have heard (if even true) of his being raised to
>>>>>>> "not
>>>>>>> look
>>>>>>> blind"? I don't know. I don't think the writer's of SNL know either.
>>>>>>> I
>>>>>>> think
>>>>>>> it was done more to the stereotype than actually specifically to the
>>>>>>> person
>>>>>>> who is governor. I don't know if the governor had been skilled with a
>>>>>>> cane
>>>>>>> and personally had great orientation skills, read Braille at 350
>>>>>>> words
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>> minute, had great skills in all non -visual techniques that they
>>>>>>> would
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>> have still made fun of his blindness in the same way. "Skilled" blind
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>> fumble too and drop and spill and get lost just like sighted people
>>>>>>> do
>>>>>>> sometimes. It is just that when they do the public assumes it is
>>>>>>> because
>>>>>>> they are blind. Or maybe they would have portrayed him as the blind
>>>>>>> justice
>>>>>>> super blind character.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> They pulled at blindness the same way it was done at the end of Shrek
>>>>>>> when
>>>>>>> the three blind mice are performing and do not know enough to face
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> audience. Saturday Night Live was new and really cutting edge and
>>>>>>> creative
>>>>>>> when it first came out when I was young--they seem to have lost a lot
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> their creativity overall in my opinion. I am diverse, my family is,
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> do
>>>>>>> applaud diversity. I do a lot of laughing and find a lot of joy on
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> way
>>>>>>> to progress. The rawness you speak of is nothing new to this
>>>>>>> generation.
>>>>>>> It
>>>>>>> depends on the rawness-some things, as you say, feel raw because the
>>>>>>> truth
>>>>>>> does not wish to be faced. Some things are advertised as raw but are
>>>>>>> really
>>>>>>> just raunchy. I put this one in the raunchy category. I do not
>>>>>>> understand
>>>>>>> why you think that feeling this portrayal is without humor means I or
>>>>>>> others
>>>>>>> who also find the same lack of humor to be depressed as we go along
>>>>>>> or
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>> some kind of denial about the blind people who may exhibit these
>>>>>>> stereotypical behaviors. I don't agree it is about political
>>>>>>> correctness
>>>>>>> at
>>>>>>> all.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I get the impression Joe--maybe wrongly--but it seems that you place
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> majority of "blame" for the fact that blind people are not yet fully
>>>>>>> integrated on terms of equality (or maybe just the continued butt of
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> same old jokes) on the blind people themselves--or on those blind
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>> who
>>>>>>> exhibit stereotypical behaviors themselves or who are not generally
>>>>>>> successful by the general way we define success in America-meaning
>>>>>>> self-supportive and independent. So it seems you think if these blind
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>> would just pull themselves up by their boot straps, if blind children
>>>>>>> would
>>>>>>> just stop poking their eyes and get Braille (like the 90% who don't
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> because they refused it?) and a cane and teach themselves, if young
>>>>>>> blind
>>>>>>> adults who never had the chance would just get their rehab counselors
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> training centers on the ball, if they could just get a little
>>>>>>> gumption
>>>>>>> they
>>>>>>> could prevent employers from discriminating...we wouldn't be having
>>>>>>> such
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>> problem...and would have our respectability. I think it is not so
>>>>>>> simple
>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>> all on the blind as all that.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> You said, "so in the meantime, rather than complain about all the
>>>>>>> terrible
>>>>>>> things being done to mislead the portrayal of blind people, let's use
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>> strength of the largest blindness organization to do something about
>>>>>>> it..."
>>>>>>> Well Joe I really think we are--in every area one can think of and
>>>>>>> imagine...complaining about terrible things done that wrongly portray
>>>>>>> blind
>>>>>>> people are just one. How do you think we can do more about it as you
>>>>>>> say.
>>>>>>> Use our strength how?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Carrie Gilmer, President
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> A Division of the National Federation of the Blind
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> NFB National Center: 410-659-9314
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Home Phone: 763-784-8590
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> carrie.gilmer at gmail.com
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> www.nfb.org/nopbc
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>> Behalf
>>>>>>> Of Joe Orozco
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1:14 PM
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Carrie,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Yes, I suppose people with mental disabilities do in fact create
>>>>>>> their
>>>>>>> own
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> version of reality according to their limited capacities.  Yet,
>>>>>>> unless
>>>>>>> you
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> are equating blindness to mental illness, I do not see how this
>>>>>>> extreme
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> example fits into the context of my position or the discussion in
>>>>>>> general.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> People, blind and sighted, are born into a sphere of societal
>>>>>>> expectation.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The sphere is made up of the family's ethnicity, religion,
>>>>>>> socioeconomic
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> status, political affiliation, and in the specific case of blind
>>>>>>> people,
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> individual's disability.  The individual could grow up choosing to
>>>>>>> follow
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> his generation's traditional path in life, or they could grow up
>>>>>>> looking
>>>>>>> for
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> the means to engineer their success in an area far removed from that
>>>>>>> which
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> society may have projected.  You either fail, or you succeed.  There
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> only two choices in life, and the choice you make is the reality you
>>>>>>> choose
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> to live in.  Would you find it more acceptable if I used
>>>>>>> "environment"
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> rather than "reality?"
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Breaking out of the trap of low expectations is not an easy task, but
>>>>>>> then,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> that was the point of my prior post.  One need not work in rehab to
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> understand that blind people have to muster up a high level of
>>>>>>> determination
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> to make something of themselves.  But is it impossible?  Scores of
>>>>>>> people
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> who built profitable careers long before the advent of technology and
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> protective laws would probably respond with a resounding no.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Your excursion into the comparisons between blindness and slavery are
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> likewise beyond me.  African-Americans, as you point out, were not
>>>>>>> allowed
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> to become independent, productive or self-sufficient.  Blind people
>>>>>>> may
>>>>>>> be
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> discouraged from aiming for those three ambitions, but they have
>>>>>>> never
>>>>>>> been
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> prohibited from trying.  African-Americans were treated as
>>>>>>> commodities.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> They were treated like animals.  Blind people may have faced their
>>>>>>> own
>>>>>>> set
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> of discrimination, but the discrimination was born of pity, not from
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> distaste, so please do not attempt to force a comparison between the
>>>>>>> apple
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> and the orange.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> No, it would not be funny to mock the plight of African-American
>>>>>>> slaves.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> But making fun of a black person does not mean the joke is meant to
>>>>>>> recall
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> memories of those terrible days where black people were treated like
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> commodities.  Minority jokes are more often based on culture.  People
>>>>>>> know
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> you do not invite a Hispanic to a birthday party unless you want
>>>>>>> their
>>>>>>> whole
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> family to come along.  Then again, you would not want to invite a
>>>>>>> Hispanic
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> unless you plan on them not bringing a gift, and if you drive by the
>>>>>>> party
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> and see more adults than children, it's probably a Hispanic hosting
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> party in the first place.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> As a Hispanic, am I offended by these funny jokes based on
>>>>>>> stereotypes?
>>>>>>> Not
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> at all.  The stereotypes are probably true, and even if they're
>>>>>>> generally
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> not, we should remember that where there's smoke, there's fire.
>>>>>>>  Enough
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> people have engaged in a certain behavior to lend truth to the jokes
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> minorities swap amongst each other.  In other words, maybe there are
>>>>>>> enough
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blind people out there stumbling about, clucking like chickens and
>>>>>>> looking
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> generally ridiculous that the general public has no choice but to
>>>>>>> lend
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> comedy to the population's appearance.  If you are a member of a
>>>>>>> targeted
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> population in someone's punch line, it is your choice to surpass that
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> stereotype, proving that the joke is just that, a joke.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Yes, I know there are times when slavery is used to poke fun at black
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> people, just as jokes are made of Hispanics' illegal immigration
>>>>>>> status.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> This is raw humor, but even raw humor is preferable to becoming
>>>>>>> depressed
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> about a status that cannot be changed overnight.  You may as well
>>>>>>> laugh
>>>>>>> as
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> you go about the business of changing perceptions.  Your generation
>>>>>>> may
>>>>>>> be
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> appalled at the audacity of my generation's easy ability to be so
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> politically incorrect, but our generation is a lot more diverse and
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> accepting of this diversity.  Humor, raw or otherwise, is one of the
>>>>>>> ways
>>>>>>> we
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> get along, and I am glad blind people have their place in this
>>>>>>> sarcastic
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> existence.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> If blind people do not want to be made fun of, maybe, just maybe,
>>>>>>> there
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> should be less rocking, less eye poking, less groping, less refusal
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> learn
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Braille, less refusal to use a cane, less desire to talk about
>>>>>>> JAWS...I
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> mean, these are fundamental matters that have nothing to do with
>>>>>>> career
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> aspirations.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> We want to criticize SNL for shedding light on the status quo?  One
>>>>>>> has
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> wonder if people are mad because SNL is right or because we have not
>>>>>>> yet
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> done enough to fix the issue.  I vote for a combination of both.
>>>>>>>  Never
>>>>>>> mind
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> the press releases that prolong what would have been easily forgotten
>>>>>>> had
>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> been left alone.  In the NFB there is an unfortunate perception that
>>>>>>> all
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blind people are tough, go getters, and with the right amount of
>>>>>>> training,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> the world is yours.  I mean, you're preaching to the choir.  The NFB
>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> small beacon of hope amid a much larger and growing population of
>>>>>>> blind
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> people.  In many ways the general public is no more mature than we
>>>>>>> were
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> high school.  The ridiculousness of today will be forgotten in a few
>>>>>>> days,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> so in the meantime, rather than complain about all the terrible
>>>>>>> things
>>>>>>> being
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> done to mislead the portrayal of blind people, let's use the strength
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> largest blindness organization to do something about it.  The world
>>>>>>> will
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> be brought to its knees with the official proclamation of a press
>>>>>>> release.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Protests are as forgettable as the movie that necessitated them.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Joe Orozco
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for
>>>>>>> humanity."--James
>>>>>>> M.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Barrie
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>> Behalf
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Of Carrie Gilmer
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 8:30 AM
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Dear Joe,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Reality is not what one creates for themselves-creating your own
>>>>>>> personal
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> reality is one of the definitions of mental illness. I don't think
>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> exactly what you meant.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> For a blind person raised in dependency and low expectations, yes
>>>>>>> once
>>>>>>> they
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> reach adulthood, life choices are theirs to make, however it is not
>>>>>>> anywhere
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> as simple and cut and dry and you say in reality.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Try working in Rehab for a few years.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I observed that more often than not it was easier for a person who
>>>>>>> grew
>>>>>>> up
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> with 20/20 who suddenly went blind to adjust than for someone who
>>>>>>> grew
>>>>>>> up
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blind and was enabled into dependency--who never was allowed to
>>>>>>> travel
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> alone, or make their own decisions, or received enough Braille (or
>>>>>>> any)
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> become a good reader.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Many of the stereotypes of black people have a basis in old reality.
>>>>>>> Black
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> people were not allowed to learn to read and write. Black people
>>>>>>> often
>>>>>>> cut
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> back on their work, slowed down, broke items, or faked illness in
>>>>>>> order
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> slow production...because if they produced at peak capacity then that
>>>>>>> was
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> expected everyday--it was a form of resistance to slavery but whites
>>>>>>> came
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> say blacks were dumb, lazy, irresponsible...
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Is it funny to parody those behaviors that were a result of surviving
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> temporarily such an evil and inhuman system of treatment of blacks?
>>>>>>> Is
>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> funny to perpetuate the idea those behaviors are a true genetic basis
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blacks?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Blind people have been sent to the attic to live in secrecy, to
>>>>>>> asylums,
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> the sidelines, to the rocking chairs, to the sheltered workshops, and
>>>>>>> today
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> when raised without skills often appear to exhibit the stereotypes
>>>>>>> due
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blindness--that is the portrayal--the results of this treatment, but
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> reality is that eyesight has nothing to do with level of function or
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> competence--it is training and experience and opportunity. Lives are
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> devastated in reality. That is funny?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> As a society we choose what is funny overall and what is
>>>>>>> acceptable--granted
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> some are always on the fringe, but they are a minority. The word f**k
>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> just a word--where is freedom of speech--why do we regulate it, call
>>>>>>> it
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> profane? We do place limits.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> For those blacks who call each other nigger, they do so out of a deep
>>>>>>> sense
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> of inferiority and a warped attempt to reclaim calling themselves by
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>> name
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> they choose and is respectable. Most blacks do not call each other
>>>>>>> nigger.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Blind people who put each other down by calling each other the names
>>>>>>> you
>>>>>>> say
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> are reaching for respectability in the same most pathetic way.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> It can be funny when anyone trips or slips, sighted or blind. When
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> tripping is due to lack of attention. When the tripping is due to
>>>>>>> denial
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> opportunity and is always put out as the standard joke--well c'mon
>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>> joke
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> is monotonous and likely a thousand years old. Can't they come up
>>>>>>> with
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> something new, and is based in reality?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The fact remains that such jokes are perceived by the public as
>>>>>>> stretching
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> the truth and that the bumbling and fumbling are based on
>>>>>>> eyesight--when
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> that is totally false. If you think the perpetuation of that joke
>>>>>>> does
>>>>>>> not
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> perpetuate real discrimination I would say you are naïve at the
>>>>>>> least.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> And as for blind justice being a positive--wasn't the guy able to
>>>>>>> like
>>>>>>> see
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> through walls practically? This is the other age old stereotype--if
>>>>>>> you
>>>>>>> are
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> not bumbling fools then you are mystical and amazing...that one
>>>>>>> doesn't
>>>>>>> do
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> justice either in my opinion.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Carrie Gilmer, President
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> National Organization of Parents of Blind Children A Division of the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> National Federation of the Blind NFB National Center: 410-659-9314
>>>>>>> Home
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Phone: 763-784-8590 carrie.gilmer at gmail.com www.nfb.org/nopbc
>>>>>>> -----Original
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Message-----
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>> Behalf
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Of Joe Orozco
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 8:31 PM
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Carrie,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Reality is what a person creates for himself.  Blind people who are
>>>>>>> told
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> they could be doing more to reach their potential shun such
>>>>>>> encouragement,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> chalking it up to one more militaristic ploy of the NFB.  A vast
>>>>>>> number
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blind people may not have been exposed to adequate levels of
>>>>>>> socialization
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> growing up, but eventually the blind person matures, recognizes the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> achievements of his sighted peers and then makes a choice as to
>>>>>>> whether
>>>>>>> or
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> not they want to receive certain training in alternative techniques
>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> behave like those peers.  If the average blind person, or real blind
>>>>>>> person
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> as you say, were trained in alternative techniques, the David
>>>>>>> Patersons
>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> the world would be far and few between, and our work in the NFB would
>>>>>>> be
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> more about socializing than it would be about advocating.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I think people were offended by the segment because television mocked
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> reality.  We are too defensive to confess that the fumbling blind man
>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> sadly the rule, not the exception.  After all, would you not agree
>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> more difficult aspect of our work is working on blind people
>>>>>>> themselves?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I don't know that SNL has made fun of Obama for being black.  I'll
>>>>>>> bet
>>>>>>> South
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Park beats them to it, and yes, there may very well be an outrage.
>>>>>>>  Yet
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> other peoples' sensitivities should not be our ticket to moan every
>>>>>>> time
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blind are the punch line to a joke.  People of all shapes and colors
>>>>>>> have
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> something to be made fun of, and there is no reason why we, in our
>>>>>>> attempt
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> to be treated equally, should laugh at SNL's skit about Sarah Palin's
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> inability to think or speak but cry fowl when the blind are shown to
>>>>>>> be
>>>>>>> less
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> than perfect.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Unfortunately there are hierarchies among the blind according to
>>>>>>> visual
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> acuity.  Either because this hierarchy exists, or because we are just
>>>>>>> human,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> we poke fun at each other for tripping over this or spilling that.
>>>>>>> Somehow
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I gather from this thread that it is okay for blind people to laugh
>>>>>>> at
>>>>>>> other
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blind people.  Some blind people go around calling each other
>>>>>>> blindies,
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blindos, blinks and whatever other lables are out there, and yet
>>>>>>> somehow
>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> sighted public is not qualified to join in the amusement?
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I just don't get it...
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Joe Orozco
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for
>>>>>>> humanity."--James
>>>>>>> M.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Barrie
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>> Behalf
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Of Carrie Gilmer
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 5:14 PM
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I've been reading your posts with interest. I have not had time to
>>>>>>> look
>>>>>>> at
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> the skit yet, or to think too deeply about it, but plan to over the
>>>>>>> next
>>>>>>> few
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> days.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> The things I am considering are...
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> It is a fairly known thing that Governor Patterson does not use a
>>>>>>> cane
>>>>>>> or
>>>>>>> a
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> dog, yet he is well within the definition of blindness. To a sighted
>>>>>>> person
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> he looks visibly blind--meaning you can tell his eyes don't work. It
>>>>>>> is
>>>>>>> my
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> understanding he also never learned Braille. I have heard that this
>>>>>>> was
>>>>>>> in
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> large part due to his family's feelings that he not be raised
>>>>>>> "looking
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> blind" in order to give him the most opportunities. It seems a bit
>>>>>>> ironic
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> that he now is portrayed "looking blind" in the most stereotypical
>>>>>>> way
>>>>>>> as
>>>>>>> he
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> has risen to a point of political success that few ever attain. It
>>>>>>> also
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> seems ironic that he has been observed as being a bit bumbling and
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> stereotypical as he does not have good skills in non-visual
>>>>>>> techniques.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> So...the thing is if he looked like a real blind person skilled in
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> non-visual techniques he would not be "bumbling" or needing to have
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> everything read to him by readers...
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> I also know that SNL has done no parody of Obama as a stereotypical
>>>>>>> black
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> man. Might there be a skit in the works of a simple, watermelon
>>>>>>> eating
>>>>>>> scene
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>  >from the oval office yet to come? Indeed I think not, and the
>>>>>> public
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> outcry
>>>>>>> would be deafening. A funny parody parodies something based in
>>>>>>> reality--
>>>>>>> The
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> reality of blind people is not that blindness means fumbling and
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> bumbling--lack of proper training does.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> It is also harmful because of our minority status, it is just one
>>>>>>> more
>>>>>>> on
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> the side of perpetuating the myths, lies and legends. Every portrayal
>>>>>>> means
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> so much more to us, in hurtfulness or joy (in the case of a good
>>>>>>> portrayal)
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> and in its impact in the public's mind--for good or for harm...
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Carrie Gilmer, President
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> National Organization of Parents of Blind Children A Division of the
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> National Federation of the Blind NFB National Center: 410-659-9314
>>>>>>> Home
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Phone: 763-784-8590 carrie.gilmer at gmail.com www.nfb.org/nopbc
>>>>>>> -----Original
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Message-----
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>> Behalf
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Of J.J. Meddaugh
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 1:37 PM
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] National Federation of the BlindComments
>>>>>>> onSaturday
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> That's far from the truth. There's been several instances of blind
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> characters on television portrayed in the way you're hoping for.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Personally, I found the skit funny.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> J.J. Meddaugh - ATGuys.com
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> A premier licensed Code Factory distributor
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> From: "Sarah Jevnikar" <sarah.jevnikar at utoronto.ca>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> To: "'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'"
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> <nabs-l at nfbnet.org>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 3:21 AM
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] National Federation of the Blind Comments
>>>>>>> onSaturday
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>  I agree with you Joe but at the same time this whole thing is
>>>>>>>> hurtful
>>>>>>>> too.
>>>>>>>> Why is it that every time a blind person is on TV they're acting
>>>>>>>> stupid or  are incompetent. I'm glad they did this but did they have
>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>> make it look  like he was bumbling around, squinting, and in the way
>>>>>>>> of
>>>>>>>> the camera for  other skits? Surely they can poke fun at him without
>>>>>>>> all of
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> that.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>  -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>>> Behalf Of Joe Orozco
>>>>>>>> Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 11:36 PM
>>>>>>>> To: 'National Association of Blind Students mailing list'
>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] National Federation of the Blind Comments
>>>>>>>> onSaturday Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>> Wait, are we talking about the video clip or the press release?  ...
>>>>>>>> Kidding, Santa will surely drop coal in my stocking for taking it
>>>>>>>> there, but it seems to me that just as the New York governor has a
>>>>>>>> certain amount of political capital, the NFB has an equal amount of
>>>>>>>> publicity quota.  I have never known the organization to feel so
>>>>>>>> sensitive about every little thing that is thrown around about
>>>>>>>> blindness.  We should not make official statements for comical
>>>>>>>> nonsense that will be forgotten in a few days and reserve those for
>>>>>>>> when statements are required to drive real impacts about real
>>>>>>>> issues.
>>>>>>>> I, for one, found it gratifying that SNL informed millions of people
>>>>>>>> out there that a blind person is capable of becoming a governor.
>>>>>>>> As
>>>>>>>> for the humor, I found it gratifying that the producers thought
>>>>>>>> blind
>>>>>>>> people important enough to be swept up in jokes just like any other
>>>>>>>> member of society.  Next time I hope Dr. Maurer is invited on the
>>>>>>>> show.
>>>>>>>> Best,
>>>>>>>> Joe Orozco
>>>>>>>> "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for
>>>>>>>> humanity."--James M.
>>>>>>>> Barrie
>>>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>> From: nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nabs-l-bounces at nfbnet.org]
>>>>>>>> On
>>>>>>>> Behalf Of T. Joseph Carter
>>>>>>>> Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 6:39 PM
>>>>>>>> To: National Association of Blind Students mailing list
>>>>>>>> Subject: Re: [nabs-l] National Federation of the Blind Comments
>>>>>>>> onSaturday Night Live Segment
>>>>>>>> Well that was five minutes of my life I'll never get back.
>>>>>>>> That was supposed to be funny?  It was just stupid.
>>>>>>>> Joseph
>>>>>>>> On Mon, Dec 15, 2008 at 04:43:37PM -0500, pyyhkala at gmail.com wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>>>>> Here are some more articles, and a link to the skit.  I also have
>>>>>>>>> an
>>>>>>>>> article I liked on Facebook, see below.
>>>>>>>>> NY Times:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/15/nyregion/15skit.html?_r=1&ref=todays
>>>>>>>>> p aper (the article has more detail on the controversy)
>>>>>>>>> You can also watch the skit in question at this link:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/update-gov-paterson
>>>>>>>>> /
>>>>>>>>> 881501/
>>>>>>>>> You can read what the public is saying on Twitter at the link below
>>>>>>>>> that does a real time search:
>>>>>>>>> http://search.twitter.com/search?q=snl+blind
>>>>>>>>> If using Jaws on the above Twitter page, if you press the number 2
>>>>>>>>> (for heading level 2) it will take you directly to the comments
>>>>>>>>> that
>>>>>>>>> people post.  Twitter is a micro blogging service.
>>>>>>>>> Best,
>>>>>>>>> Mika
>>>>>>>>> Twitter Micro blog:
>>>>>>>>> http://twitter.com/pyyhkala
>>>>>>>>> Facebook:
>>>>>>>>> http://profile.to/mika
>>>>>>>>> On 12/15/08, Linda Stover <liamskitten at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>> Hello,
>>>>>>>>>> Could someone provide more info or links to more info concerning
>>>>>>>>>> this particular situation?  I think it would be extremely helpful
>>>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>>>> understand if this is a spoof directed specifically at blindness,
>>>>>>>>>> or
>>>>>>>>>> if the spoof is more directed to certain "blindisms" that the
>>>>>>>>>> governor frequently exhibits.  I know that when I was watching
>>>>>>>>>> segments of this nature concerning the election on the show,
>>>>>>>>>> certain
>>>>>>>>>> quirks/phrases/mannerisms were used to excess to perhaps heighten
>>>>>>>>>> humor/absurdity.  Keeping this in mind, I'm wondering as I said
>>>>>>>>>> what
>>>>>>>>>> exactly the comics were paridying.
>>>>>>>>>> Courtney
>>>>>>>>>> On 12/15/08, Beth <thebluesisloose at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> 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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>>>>>>>>>>>> oose%40gmail.com
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>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>
>>>>>> Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
>>>>>>
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