[nfbmi-talk] Excerpt From "To Man The Barricades"

David Robinson drob1946 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 27 07:19:23 CST 2012


Dear Larry, 

   Very nicely said. I agree with you totally,and try to live my life in a
way that will make a positive difference for all blind people.  

Dave

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbmi-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org]
On Behalf Of Larry D. Keeler
Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 7:19 AM
To: NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List
Subject: Re: [nfbmi-talk] Excerpt From "To Man The Barricades"

This is great Fred!  I sort of felt that way even though I still don't have 
a job yet.  I do have a college degree and am quite independent. But, I have

seen enough about blind folks iether being treated as second class citizens,

Being denied fair opportunities at job procurment and many other 
abominations percieved by us and abeled people that I just had to decide to 
add what little expertise I have being a educated blind man.I am not by 
nature a complainer or radical individual.  I have come to realize that 
sometimes that's exactly what's needed.  Those who always play nice 
sometimes get trampled in the dust!  They always say, "Nice guyys finish 
last".  Although I don't think this always applies, I think that usually to 
get something done one has to demand fairness over niceness every timejj! 
Also, its been said, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease".  If we stay on the

sidelines and refuse to peep, we'll be assumed to like whatever individuals 
or government wants to pull over our eyes!  Just because those eyes don't 
work, doesn't mean we can't feel the wool being pulled over themj!
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Fred Wurtzel" <f.wurtzel at att.net>
To: "'NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List'" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 11:29 PM
Subject: [nfbmi-talk] Excerpt From "To Man The Barricades"


> Hello,
>
>
>
> As I reread "To Man The Barricades" a speech which I first read in the 
> early
> '70's just after it was delivered, I was put in mind of some of the recent
> traffic on this list.  Dr. Jernigan clearly set the bar for all blind 
> people
> and put our obligations to one another in plain English.  Given the nature
> of our present situation, there is no excuse for staying on the sidelines
> and catcalling every time those of us who actually are trying to make a
> difference do something that is objectionable, even though the catcallers
> did not lift a finger to help.  Here is what Dr. Jernigan has to say about
> that.
>
>
>
>
>
> Next, I want to say something to those blind persons who are aware of our
>
> movement and who have had an opportunity to join it but who have not seen
>
> fit
>
>
>
> to do so. In this category I also place those blind persons who are among 
> us
>
>
> but not really of us, who (technically speaking) hold membership in the
>
> Federation
>
>
>
> but are not really part of the movement. The non-Federation and the
>
> noncommitted blind are a strange phenomenon. Some of them are successful 
> in
>
> business
>
>
>
> or the professions. I have heard them say, "I really don't need the
>
> Federation. Of course, if I could do anything to help you people, I would 
> be
>
>
> glad to
>
>
>
> do it, but I am independent. I have made it on my own." I have heard them
>
> say:
>
>
>
> "You really can't expect me to go down to that local meeting of the blind.
>
> Nobody goes there except a few old people, who sit around and drink coffee
>
> and
>
>
>
> plan Christmas parties. I am a successful lawyer, or businessman, or 
> judge;
>
> and I am busy. Besides, they never get anything done. They just talk and
>
> argue."
>
>
>
> I have heard them say: "I don't know that I necessarily have anything in
>
> common with other blind people just because I'm blind. Almost all my 
> friends
>
>
> are
>
>
>
> sighted. My life is busy with bowling, hiking, reading, or my business or
>
> profession." I have heard them say: "You people in the Federation are too
>
> aggressive.
>
>
>
> You are always in a fight with somebody, or bickering among yourselves. I 
> am
>
>
> an individualist and never was much of a joiner."
>
>
>
> I have heard some of them say: "I am an employee of a governmental or
>
> private agency doing work with the blind, and I think it would destroy my
>
> professional
>
>
>
> relationship with my clients if I were to work actively in the Federation.
>
> Anyway, we all have a common concern, the betterment of blind people; so
>
> I'll
>
>
>
> make my contribution by working as a 'professional' in the field. Besides,
>
> not all blind people agree with you or want to join your organization, and
>
> as
>
>
>
> a 'professional' I have to represent and work with all blind people."
>
>
>
> I have heard them say all of these things, and to such blind persons I say
>
> this: You are patsies! Not only that but you are also deceiving yourselves
>
> and
>
>
>
> failing to act in your own best interest. Further, you are profiting from
>
> the labor and sacrifice, and are riding on the backs, of the blind who 
> have
>
> joined
>
>
>
> the movement and worked to make it possible for you to have what you have.
>
> Some of you feel superior to many of the blind who belong to the 
> Federation
>
>
>
> (especially those who work in the sheltered shops or draw welfare), but 
> your
>
>
> feelings of superiority are misplaced; for collectively these people have
>
>
>
> clothed you and fed you. They have made it possible for you to have such
>
> equality in society and such opportunity as you now enjoy. Resent what I 
> say
>
>
> if
>
>
>
> you will, but it is the truth, whether you like it or not and whether you
>
> admit it or not. It is true for those of you who work in the agencies as
>
> well
>
>
>
> as for those of you who work in private endeavor.
>
>
>
> If you think this movement should be better or that it should be of higher
>
> caliber, then join us and help make it that way. If you think the local
>
> meetings
>
>
>
> or the State conventions are dull or uninspiring, then do your part to 
> make
>
> them different. Even animals in the jungle have sense enough to hunt in
>
> packs.
>
>
>
> The blind ought to be at least as intelligent.
>
>
>
> We need you, and we want you as active participants in the movement; but
>
> until you will join, we must do the best we can without you. We must carry
>
> you
>
>
>
> on our backs and do your work for you, and we will do it. The fact that we
>
> say you are patsies does not mean that we resent you. Far from it. You are
>
> our
>
>
>
> brothers, and we will continue to look upon you as such, regardless of how
>
> irresponsibly you behave. We are trying to get you to think about the
>
> implications
>
>
>
> of your actions. We are trying to get you to join with us to help make
>
> things better for other blind people and for yourselves. We are trying to
>
> get you
>
>
>
> to stop being patsies.
>
>
>
>
>
> Warmest Regards,
>
>
>
> Fred
>
> _______________________________________________
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t 


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