[Nfbc-info] Letter to the Bee: Help get the word out on attacksonthe blind/visually impaired

DrV icdx at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 3 15:29:12 CDT 2009


Very nicely put Angela.
As the father of a blind almost-teen & a blind child, I agree with what you 
have so nicely expressed.
Thank you.

Dear Dianne,
Best wishes from our family as well.
Sincerely,
DrV

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Angela fowler" <fowlers at syix.com>
To: "'NFB of California List'" <nfbc-info at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 09:49
Subject: Re: [Nfbc-info] Letter to the Bee: Help get the word out on 
attacksonthe blind/visually impaired


> Dear Eric,
> The vicious attack on Dianne Starin, who is a close friend of mine
> as well as a true federationists, has brought home the very real danger
> which faces all of us who travel independently on the streets of our inner
> cities. It is natural at a time like this that our minds be turned to the
> question, how do we ensure that something like this doesn't happen to
> another of our brothers and sisters, or to ourselves. I can understand the
> feelings which lead you to write to the Sacramento Bee advising your 
> fellow
> blind and visually impaired people on how to protect themselves from 
> violent
> crime. I'm deeply concerned however, that your letter advises an excess of
> caution which is impossible to achieve while reinforcing the negative
> stereotypes about blind people which the NFB has been fighting for 
> decades.
> To summarize a couple of your points, you would have us avoid
> traveling out of doors after 7 PM, and avoid "areas where we might be
> vulnerable" all together. In short, this is impossible. Many of us work or
> take classes later in the day which necessitates traveling home after 7 
> PM.
> Would you have us eliminate these important things from our lives in the
> name of caution? Also, few of us can afford to live in gated communities 
> and
> hire transportation all the time, and these days "areas where we might be
> vulnerable" are virtually impossible to avoid.
> More important than the logistical concerns I have about your advice, it
> sends a message of fear and vulnerability which scares me more than he
> undeniable dangers which are present on the mean streets of the cities. It
> reinforces the idea that blind people are helpless and in need of 
> protection
> by sighted society. Of particular concern to me is the following point 
> from
> your letter:
>
> "Finally, do not go in places where you may be vulnerable.  This includes
> bus stops in gang-related areas.  If you must be there, look for sighted
> assistance from prompt personnel.  Do not attempt to ignore orders, if an
> attack happens."
> Federationists, Dianne Starin prominently among them, have worked 
> tirelessly
> to build within the blindness community the confidence that we can travel
> independently from place to place, and the security within ourselves that 
> we
> can protect ourselves from potential danger so that we are no less
> vulnerable than our sighted counterparts. Federationists have also worked 
> to
> educate society so that they do not see us as victims or potential 
> victims,
> but as people equally capable of competing and succeeding in the world in
> which we live today. I fear your letter counteracts both these efforts. It
> strikes fear into the hearts of blind people, and labels us as "victims" 
> in
> the minds of sighted society. It goes against the very things which Dianne
> Starin has worked all her life to achieve.
> Eric, there's a certain element of danger in all that we do, from
> walking down the street to cooking to breathing the very air. We exercise
> caution where it is feasible, but we can't let it dominate our way of 
> life.
> We can't live our lives in fear, wrapping ourselves within a cocoon to
> insolate ourselves from life's dangers. Though your intentions I know are
> good, and your fear for yourself and others is understandable, I urge you 
> to
> reconsider sending your letter to the Sacramento Bee.
> With deepest sincerity
> Angela Fowler
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org] 
> On
> Behalf Of Eric Calhoun
> Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 5:10 PM
> To: nfbc-info at nfbnet.org; letters at sacbee.com
> Subject: [Nfbc-info] Letter to the Bee: Help get the word out on attacks
> onthe blind/visually impaired
>
> Eric Calhoun
>
> 5341 Brynhurst Ave.,
>
> Los Angeles, CA 90043
>
> 323-295-5750
>
> To The Editor:
>
> My friends from the National Federation of the Blind of California's Board
> of Directors, the Sacramento Chapters of the NFB of California, and 
> everone
> else were very appalled to learn that Diane Starin was attacked by Joseph
> Webb, (Our Region, Saturday.)  I would like to offer a few tips for all
> blind/visually-impaired residents:
>
> 1.  Try and do all your activities before 7 P.M.
>
> 2.  Whenever possible, carry around an alarm, a cellular phone, and a
> whistle.  (Life-Alert will do.)
>
> 3.  If an attack is unprovoked, yell, and attract attention, and notify
> authorities immediately!
>
> Finally, do not go in places where you may be vulnerable.  This includes 
> bus
> stops in gang-related areas.  If you must be there, look for sighted
> assistance from prompt personnel.  Do not attempt to ignore orders, if an
> attack happens.
>
> Eric Calhoun, (Blind), Los Angeles
> --
>
> --
>
> Don't get caught offsides!   Get into the game!  The way it was meant to
> be played!  The game of life: over the limit, under scrutiny!
>
> Eric from Los Angeles
>
>
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