[nabs-l] Comments on Saturday Night Live Segment

T. Joseph Carter carter.tjoseph at gmail.com
Wed Dec 24 06:23:31 UTC 2008


So then, for you it is the appearance of not needing extra help that is the 
important factor?  I used to have a similar outlook with regards to 
intellectual matters.  To put it bluntly, sighted people tended to assume 
that I was stupid because I was blind when I was younger.  The way I 
established myself was by being clearly smarter than others around me.  I 
sincerely hope that you cannot actually imagine what high school was like 
for me, with that sort of personality.

As I continued in my education, I maintained an attitude basically of 
contempt for the silly hoops I was being expected to jump through to 
demonstrate that I knew what I obviously did.  I had few friends.  One day, 
one who has become one of my most trusted friends said to me, "Joseph, we 
all know you're smart.  You're absolutely brilliant.  So who are you trying 
to prove it to?"

I couldn't answer her then.  Today, I know the answer:  I was trying to 
prove it to myself.  I needed to convince myself that I was smart enough, 
that I was good enough.  I needed legitimacy somehow, because I had been 
considered somehow inferior for so long.  Far too many people I would class 
as complete morons acted like they should be pitying me because I was so 
deprived by not being able to see.  If anything, they were the ones who 
needed pity for not being able to think!  Did I mention I carried a lot of 
anger and resentment as well?

You know what the problem was?  They were right, I was inferior, and I knew 
it.  For all of my intellect, I had never had the opportunity to learn the 
skills of blindness.  I had never really learned how to be unafraid 
crossing a busy street I couldn't see the other side of.  I never learned 
to read Braille.  I never even learned how to cook without fear that I 
would give myself salmonella or something.

I accepted these things eventually.  I got the training.  I accepted that 
my success as a graduate student--particularly given the discrimination I 
have faced in the program--says all that ever need be said about my own 
cognitive ability.  It also speaks volumes as to my newly acquired skills 
of blindness.

Put simply, my skills are phenomenal, and growing more so.  I am among the 
best travel students to come out of the Colorado Center for the Blind, and 
I am getting better.  I can get anywhere I need to, however I need to get 
there, and I know it intuitively.  I no longer care about appearances that 
I do so because anyone who does not look closely enough will never see 
anything but some blind guy.  Anyone who looks more closely than that will 
see me, a blind guy who can and does go anywhere and do anything he sets 
his mind to.

It's true Governor Patterson does not use a cane, and rightly he should.  
It is also true that he depends too much on audio recordings because he 
did not learn Braille.  Yet parents of blind children have been forced to 
admit that the cane would make Governor Patterson look less confident and 
probably impede his job.  We say that to be blind is respectable and that 
the cane is a symbol of that respect, but the sighted world doesn't agree.  

I've had this discussion with sighted friends, and the overall agreement we 
have reached is that I appear confident with my cane only because I appear 
to be extremely confident without it.  The cane subtracts from apparent 
confidence in the eyes of the sighted public, and Governor Patterson 
doesn't have what it takes to pull it off in his line of work.  So he uses 
a lot of sighted guide with a somewhat unorthodox technique that is 
basically effective and looks good on camera.  Good adaptation on his part.

As to Braille, there are a lot of people who don't know Braille who are 
blind.  It would be enough to me for Governor Patterson to say that Braille 
is important, literacy is important, and that it would probably would've 
been better for him in the long run if he had learned it.  He can't take 
the time to do so now.

These are the two things that people have cited on these lists most often.  
Others were cited, but have been explained as things an executive would be 
expected to pay someone else to do anyway.  I'll forgive his rejection of a 
cane since it truly would impede his career (whether I think that's just or 
not), and I understand the challenge of learning Braille as an adult 
because I learned it as one.

Hopefully my ramblings have helped explain my thinking at least a bit.

Joseph

On Tue, Dec 23, 2008 at 03:03:51PM -0500, Robert Spangler wrote:
> Hello Mr. Carter,
>
> I do understand that there is a line that must be drawn regarding when  
> one may need assistance.  As Brice said in a previous message, we can't  
> get anywhere without at least some dependence on others and I agree with  
> this.  even people without disabilities need a hand sometimes.  I am OK  
> with using public transportation and maybe accepting the occasional ride  
> from a sighted counterpart; however, that is with the understanding that  
> I do not do it all the time, I am not inconveniencing that person, and I  
> have the skills to get from point A to point B if that driver weren't  
> present.  Public transit doesn't count to me because sighted people use  
> that as well.  I simply try not to seem as though I need more help than  
> the average sighted person.  sure, I need help with things due to my  
> vision impairment, but I try my hardest to keep that to a minimum.  I  
> have heard many times, and it is a contraversial subject on here, that  
> Mr. Paterson is assisted more than he should be and that he is unable to  
> perform many tasks that you and I do ourselves independently on a daily  
> basis.  Yes, you are right in that many politicians pay people to do  
> things for them simply because they can afford it and why not if they  
> can pay someone to do it?  sure I agree with that, but only if I am able  
> to perform those chores by myself first would I invest in someone to do  
> them for me.
>
> Thanks,
> Robby
> T. Joseph Carter 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."
>>>>>>>>>>>>> ###
>>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>>>>>>>>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/listinfo/nabs-l_nfbnet.org
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>>>>>>>>>>>>> http://www.nfbnet.org/mailman/options/nabs-l_nfbnet.org/thebluesis 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>> l
>>>>>>>>>>>>> oose%40gmail.com
>>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>> %
>>>>>>>>>>>> 40gmail.com
>>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
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>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>> m
>>>>>>>>>>> ail.com
>>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>>>>>>> nabs-l mailing list
>>>>>>>>>> nabs-l at nfbnet.org
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>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>
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>>>>>>>>>> 40gmail.com
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> ronto.ca
>>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>>>>>>>
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