T. Joseph Carter
carter.tjoseph at gmail.com
Tue May 19 21:49:18 UTC 2009
It's pieced together from about four messages, but I did go back and
check them before posting.
There were some intelligent people I respected on acb-l. There were
genuine beefs with the NFB on the part of several individuals. The
NFB is a large organization involving a lot of people. When you have
that, there are "office politics" for lack of a better term. These
sometimes get ugly, and people are mistreated. It's unfortunate, but
it happens everywhere.
The right thing to do in such a situation is to recognize legitimate
beefs and make amends if you can, as a representative of your
organization who believes in doing what is right.
The problem was that the haters were so loud, vicious, and so
completely unopposed, that they drowned out the intelligent and
rational people on the list. If it got like that here on this list,
Dave would step in, even with those stating a position he agreed
with. I've seen him do it.
One of the major philosophical differences between NFB and ACB is
that of hierarchy. In the ACB, the national organization need not
support the state and local organizations' practices, and vice versa.
This results in a lack of cohesiveness that they describe as freedom,
and I describe as disorganization. In the NFB, we get our ducks in a
row first. We disagree within the organization, but outside of it,
we support the collective will of the membership.
I don't always agree with everything the NFB says. Notably, I
supported the ACB's currency lawsuit. When speaking for the NFB,
though, I was clear that the NFB felt the lawsuit was inappropriate,
and I gave the reasons why the NFB felt that way. Speaking for
myself, and agreeing with all of those points that led to the NFB's
decision, I felt the change sought by the ACB was morally correct and
The only time I ever actually came out against the NFB on the issue
(and I did so within the NFB, not out in public) was when I saw an
indication that Dr. Maurer was acting in opposition to a resolution
we passed only months sooner. That was a misunderstanding on my
part, and I have acknowledged the error and have been careful to be
sure that I do not make it again.
Now, some of the same people who were telling me that I was wrong in
that instance have also applauded me for taking a stand to defend the
representative structure of the Federation. We decide in convention
what the policy and stand of the Federation is, and they do what we
tell them to do. In exchange, we support them (or at least don't
interfere with them when we don't agree) in doing it.
I think I like our model better: I know what the Federation's about,
and I basically agree with it. I don't know about the Council, since
they don't have a unified view. I think enough of them agree with
enough of us on enough things that there's room for a dialogue, and
sometimes cooperation. It just seems that the hate and rage keep
getting in the way.
On Tue, May 19, 2009 at 04:52:57PM -0400, Christopher Wright wrote:
>1. If those words were said, I'm displeased with that.
>2. Don't let those few people turn you away from ACB or the lists they run.
>Negative messages are few in number. Speaking specifically about ACB-L, most
>of the dialogue is respectful.
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