[Nfbc-info] Hating the NFB

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Sun Feb 8 19:30:57 UTC 2009


I'm a "grizzled veteran" so what I say may be viewed with a jaundiced eye by those under 30. Nevertheless, I am moved to observe that there are some people whom we will never convince either that the Federation is not the unreasoning, unreasonable group that we are made out to be or that we have constructive programs. Why? Because just by our very striving for competence, even without trying to proselytize, we remind those who are insecure and who do not have the skills and attitudes to succeed that there is a better way and that they aren't on it. Put another way, just by virtue of our philosophy and our attempts to live it, we are an unflattering mirror held up to individuals who, while they may be insecure, cling to the notion that they are doing about as well as can be expected.

So keep on trying to explain the Federation. But don't get too disturbed when some people don't "get it". The nice thing is that many do get our message and end up leading more fulfilled, productive lives.

Mike Freeman

----- Original Message -----
From: "Angela fowler" <fowlers at syix.com>
To: "'Ationfb of California List'" <nfbc-info at nfbnet.org>
Date: Sunday, Feb 8, 2009 9:46:21
Subject: Re: [Nfbc-info] Hating the NFB

> 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
> magnification!
> 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:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2KbTBRC3UY
> Part 2:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFEYGASy-Xg
> 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.
> Thanks,
> Serena
> 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-comI 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:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2KbTBRC3UY
> Part 2:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFEYGASy-Xg
> Thanks!
> --
> Serena Olsen, MAIPS
> NFBC Monterey, president
> Find me on Facebook!
> http://www.myspace.com/starbellyserena
> http://www.myspace.com/nfbcmonterey
> http://www.myspace.com/tabithacambodia
> ininininDemocracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but
> it's something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy
> crumbles. -comAbbie Hoffman
> The death of a child is a tragedy.  The preventable death of a child is
> unjust.
> Support the UN Millennium Development Goals!
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