[nobe-l] The Power of words--is this the image we want for ourchildren with visual impairment?
jfetter at nd.edu
Thu Apr 7 02:18:22 UTC 2011
Thank you, Albert, for the detailed description of the video. This is a
country that permits almost unrestricted freedom of speech. However,
freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism or other social
and commercial consequences of speech that is offensive, degrading, and
damaging to others. It seems clear to me that this public relations firm
should be held accountable for releasing such a tactless and demeaning
video. And the sad part is that the producers of this video, and, as far
as I can tell from the comments, many of its viewers thought it was so
wonderfully heartwarming. this reminds me of the problem with the book
and later the movie Blindness, albeit on a much smaller scale, and a
similar reaction seems to be in order. However, the goal should not be
to promote censorship or to chill the freedom of artistic expression.
Instead, we should use this as, to quote President Obama, a teachable
moment and demonstrate that we have an intelligent, thoughtful
understanding of blindness in comparison to which this sort of gross
misrepresentation of the abilities of the blind is worthy of ridicule
On 4/6/2011 8:47 PM, Albert J Rizzi wrote:
> My partner described it to me as follows. a blind man sets himself up in
> what appears to be a train station. He writes feebly on a sign which reads
> help me I am blind. here and there people toss change and or throw change at
> him often not even making it into the can he set up for himself. This woman
> then walks over and rewrites something on his sign. She writes it is a
> beautiful day and I cannot see it. with that the coins fly out of peoples
> pockets and much to the amazement on the blind man. the lady comes back he
> asks what did you write and she tells him the same thing with different
> words. she walks away and of course as the video would have you believe he
> is saved, for that day anyway.
> Albert J. Rizzi, M.Ed.
> My Blind Spot, Inc.
> 90 Broad Street - 18th Fl.
> New York, New York 10004
> PH: 917-553-0347
> Fax: 212-858-5759
> "The person who says it cannot be done, shouldn't interrupt the one who is
> doing it."
> Visit us on Facebook LinkedIn
> -----Original Message-----
> From: nobe-l-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nobe-l-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
> Of Marc Workman
> Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 8:22 PM
> To: National Organization of Blind Educators Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [nobe-l] The Power of words--is this the image we want for
> ourchildren with visual impairment?
> Hi Anne,
> I might share your disgust, but I really can't tell what is going on in the
> video. Based on your comments below, and the sounds of the video, I'm
> assuming it portrays a blind person begging. Then I guess someone changes
> the words on his sign, and it leads to him getting more money, which is
> supposed to demonstrate the power of words.
> However, this is all guess work, I'd appreciate it if you or someone else
> could describe the video. If I'm going to be disgusted, I'd like to know
> what it is that's making me disgusted.
> On 2011-04-06, at 5:44 PM, Anne Ward wrote:
>> This disgusting video is actually an ad for a public relations firm, but
> it is a terrible portrayal of a blind person. Possibly we can all protest
> to this firm, at the very least.
>> I have to say YUK and Double YUK to this video. The pity button is not a
> desirable thing. Blind folks have been fighting for years to overcome the
> stereotype of "blind beggars" and pity for them not being able to see. The
> only thing missing in the video is that the guy was not selling pencils,
> lightbulbs or brooms door to door.
>> The image of the blind as pathetic beggars keeps public perception of the
> blind right back in the 19th century and the unemployment rate of capable
> blind people sky high.
>> I understand the point of the message but for those of us involved in the
> struggles for equal civil rights and opportunities for people with
> disabilities things like this video disgust and sadden us. It undoes so
> much of the work that we are doing.
>> This video really illustrates how well-meaning people can do great harm
> while trying to do good.
>> Anne Ward
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