[nabs-l] NFB/ACB

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 
even necessary.

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:
>Hi Joseph,
>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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