[Nfbc-info] Hating the NFB

Angela fowler fowlers at syix.com
Sun Feb 8 16:59:13 UTC 2009

The NFB gets a bad rap, it really does. Lots of folks think we're militant,
and certainly we've had to be over the years, but what folks don't realize
is that's not all we are. This girl, and so many others would benefit from
seeing federationists less on the picket line and more doing the every-day
things, working, going to school, having a good time, even (heaven forbid)
raising our children! 
	But that doesn't offer a satisfactory answer as to why this girl,
who my guess would be if she's 20 she just got there, is so angry with the
NFB. Was someone too aggressive in trying to convince her to live the way
they think a blind person should? She has some vision, and though her
attitude about the capabilities of blind people is good she doesn't refer to
herself as "blind," except of course when kidding around with her sister.
She uses a screen magnification program which, by her own admission,
magnifies text 5-fold. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's a lot of
	I'm just as guilty as anyone, more guilty than some. I see someone
like her, flash forward 5 years, and see her living as a competent,
efficient blind person free of headaches and eyestrain. Because I really do
care about her I fall in love with this image and try with every persuasive
technique I know to make it happen. In so doing, I probably scare her off
more than anything.   

	So, the question before the court is this; what is the best way to
teach her that there is a better way of doing things, without her knowing
we're teaching her a better way of doing things? I'd love to get everyone's
thoughts on this, particularly since we are undertaking some major
membership building projects. 

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Serena Olsen
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 9:54 PM
To: Cabs-talk; Nfbc-info
Subject: [Nfbc-info] Hating the NFB

California Federationists and students,

I came across the following videos on You Tube and at the risk of bringing
up something I missed the first time, I thought it important enough to
forward to TABS and the Texas affiliate president, but I post it here too,
as there are undoubtedly many lessons for us to consider in how we interact
with people and how it affects their perceptions about blindness, blind
people, and the NFB.  It is the rant of an angry young college girl
somewhere in Texas, and I hope there is a Federationist nearby that can
connect with her personally and clear up some of her gross misperceptions!

Part 1:
Part 2:

I sent the following email to Jose, Jesse, and Tommy Craig. I hope someone
is able to connect with this girl and that this discussion thread can serve
as a sounding board to throw around ideas about how to approach people like
these, change their misconceptions, and bring them into the organization.


Hi all,

At the risk of bringing up something that I missed the first time, I
happened on these You Tube videos and am disturbed to say the least.
The video is in 2 parts and I've posted the links below. It is nearly a year
old and hundreds of people have watched it. This girl is a college student
somewhere in Texas, so I wanted to bring this to your attention--I think she
could use a little outreach. To start, she's pretty angry, which makes it
hard to take seriously, but she also has many facts about the NFB and people
in general dead wrong and it would be a mistake to dismiss her. She accuses
the NFB of "spewing shit,"
though I doubt she'd admit she was a pot calling a kettle black (It's ok for
her, but not us, right?). Sounds like if she cleared up her misconceptions
and saw the NFB for what it really is, she'd fit right in with the
Federation...she's got some training, uses AT and mobility aids, and reads
some Braille (we all know the cane and Braille can be huge stumbling blocks
for partials...I didn't think I needed them at her age, so she's got a leg
up on where I was at her age). Yes, the public is very ignorant about
blindness and blind people, she simply hasn't embraced the idea that she can
do anything about it, but she has a great "can-do" attitude in terms of her
own needs...if you can't do it the sighted way, find another way. She may
have a fierce hatred for the NFB, but imagine how horrified she'd be to
discover that her beliefs actually fit with the NFB!

But I digress, are any of you familiar with this video or this girl, and if
someone hasn't already, can we find out where she is and where her nearest
Federationist is?!

Part 1:

Part 2:


Serena Olsen, MAIPS
NFBC Monterey, president

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it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy
crumbles. --Abbie Hoffman

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