[nfb-talk] So very proud

David Andrews dandrews at visi.com
Tue Sep 27 18:44:25 UTC 2016


Like you I get this stuff day in and day out -- virtually every time 
I go out in public.  To me, this is the hardest part about being 
blind. There is no right, or perfect answer. Mostly I think it does 
no good to be mean or sarcastic, as most people won't get it. I am 
human though, and have good days and bad days.  Sometimes I do get 
annoyed, and speak sharply.

The guy got mad at you probably because he was embarrassed, realizing 
what he did. but maybe not.

While I am reluctant to generalize, I think you can divide the 
population into two groups, one gets it about blindness, either 
naturally, or with a little prompting, and the other group doesn't 
get it, and most things you could say or do would be lost on them.

On the whole I try to be gracious, but I find myself being more 
impatient as I get older.  My Father was that way, so I guess I am 
following in his footsteps!


At 11:33 AM 9/27/2016, you wrote:
>To be clear, I am almost never rude to people who offer to help me. 
>But I am not entirely sure that's a good thing. Are we ethically 
>obligated to grin and bear this patronizing attitude from the 
>general public? Are we doing society a favor by letting that slide? 
>Maybe the world is an ever so slightly better place for that guy 
>knowing he shouldn't just assume a blind person needs help.  Maybe 
>he'll give it a little more thought next time.
>There is no way to explain to someone that they shouldn't assume a 
>blind person, standing at a bus stop, minding their own business, 
>does not need help -- not without causing offense. I defy anyone to 
>come up with a sentence that would not be taken badly in that 
>situation. You need to tell people that they are assuming you need 
>help entirely because you're blind and that that's just not right. 
>They have to think that through before they'll accept it. A sentence 
>or two won't do it.
>The truth is that I might be more blunt with people who offer 
>unsolicited help if I didn't feel a strong obligation to the blind 
>community as a whole. If it was just me, I'd tell people to mind 
>their own business all the time. Personally, I'd rather people think 
>I was a jerk than think I needed help. Part of the reason I feel 
>that way is that, in fact, I don't need help and they should mind 
>their own business. That's just the truth. But I don't feel that I 
>have the right to decide how to deal with that  on behalf of blind 
>people as a whole.
>On 09/27/2016 11:04 AM, Marianne - Haas via nfb-talk wrote:
>>Good Morning,
>>I definitely understand your frustration about people.  I get mad many
>>times.  However, I am learning to be nice, but firm.  I say things like:
>>Thank you, but I do not need assistance.  I get really angry if people bump
>>into me because they are busy with their electronic gadgets.  I get mad,
>>because I get startled and have gotten hurt.  Not long ago I said: Watch it,
>>A.... H.... Now I graduated to saying: Hey watch it.  If I have the chance I
>>will apologize and tell people that it startles me if people run into me.
>>Many people have apologized.  I am telling you what I am doing and do in no
>>way want  to preach to you.
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: nfb-talk [mailto:nfb-talk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of John Heim
>>via nfb-talk
>>Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 8:41 AM
>>To: NFB Talk Mailing List
>>Cc: John Heim
>>Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] So very proud
>>Well, I wouldn't blame Dining In the Dark for that. But, yeah, it's a
>>problem. I was rude to someone just yesterday evening. I had stopped at the
>>grocery store on the way home from work and was standing at the bus stop
>>when a guy came up to me and asked if I was okay. I knew what he meant right
>>away, of course. But why the f**k would some stranger think a blind guy
>>standing at a bus stop needs help? I wasn't that rude. I just said, "Why
>>would you think I'm not okay?" He gave some vague reply about not knowing
>>what I was doing to wich I responded -- with the incredulity obvious in my
>>voice, "I'm waiting for a bus!"  Then *he* got mad.
>>That is just so irritating.
>>After he left, I was a little angry at myself for not being more polite.
>>But after rethinking it, I almost wish I had kicked his ass. I could see
>>myself in front of a judge saying, "Your honor, you just have no idea what
>>it's like."
>>[This is tongue-in-cheek, of course. I am the most non-violent person in the
>>world. I'd never actually hit anybody. I'm just trying to convey how
>>frustrating this is.]
>>On 09/26/2016 04:42 PM, Peter Donahue via nfb-talk wrote:
>>>Good afternoon John and everyone,
>>>      Then left the event and probably told a blind person needing
>>>occasional hands on deck for reading mail and other tasks that they
>>>had no business living alone, that their neighborhood was unsafe, and
>>>they should live in assistive living facility. That happened to Mary
>>>and I last week. The individual that told us this is a member of one
>>>of the largest churches in San Antonio, 20,000 members including us to
>>>be exact. I thought that these days the goal is to help those able to
>>>live independently stay in their home. This church has more than
>>>enough able-bodied members that could assist us with grocery shopping,
>>>reading mail, etc. We offered to give some of them gas money for rides
>>>too and from church so we could attend services regularly. All they
>>>said was "Don't worry about it." Due to problems with public
>>>transportation we ceased attending church regularly.
>>>      This particular church plans to establish what it calls its
>>>Sanctuary of Hope. One of it's missions is to be an alternative to
>>>Planned Parenthood which will assist unwed mothers with learning to
>>>care for their babies when they're borne, finishing their education,
>>>finding employment, and helping them get on their feet. Given their
>>>attitude towards helping the blind members of their congragation God
>>>help any unwed blind mothers who may seek help from the Sanctuary of
>>>Hope when it begins operation unless this outfit has a serious change
>>>of attitude! Here is a classic case of why the antics of outfits like
>>>the Foundation for Fighting Blindness need to be stopped and
>>>organizations like the NFB avoid engaging in similar activities.
>>>Several Dining-in-the-Dark events were hosted by the Texas Affiliate
>>>until a resolution was passed in 2011 condemning these events and
>>>forbidding NFB affiliates from engaging in them. Mary and I were there
>>>when the resolution was adopted.
>>>Peter Donahue
>>>John Heim via nfb-talk wrote:
>>>>I'm not surprised that the NFB has come out against this.
>>>>It's kind of an odd choice by the FFB. I was once a waiter at an FFB
>>>>Dining In the Dark event. That was a blast, by the way. I had a great
>>>>time. I was going around making fun of the people at my table for not
>>>>even being able to stuff food in their mouths. They took it really
>>>>well and pretty soon they were all actually trying instead of being
>>>>deliberately helpless. I went up to the guy who was most into it and
>>>>pretended to pour him a glass of champaign, making a popping sound
>>>>effect with my mouth. He played right along and the woman on the
>>>>other side of him actually asked for a glass too.   It was hilarious
>>>>and the whole night was just a blast.
>>>>Even so, I'm not sure I'd do it again. A couple of things bothered
>>>>me. First, in the after party, a lot of people seemed to think I
>>>>really was a waitor.  I'm like, "No, I manage the research computers
>>>>for the math department at the University of Wisconsin. I'm just
>>>>doing this to raise money for the FFB." Admittedly, it's a little
>>>>egotistical for that to bother me. I was a little insulted to think
>>>>that people didn't assume I had a real job. The second thing was that
>>>>a hefty percentage of the people, even those at my table, remained
>>>>unconvinced. I pointed out that with a little effort, they had
>>>>figured out how to feed themselves and I had had no problems serving
>>>>as their waitor. You get used to it, right? But they weren't really
>>>>buying it. Maybe a little. I'm not sure I did any good. Hard to say.
>>>>Actually, this is a thing that has puzzled me for years. I have
>>>>friends who still think being blind is absolutely horrible -- except
>>>>for for me. When I point out that I am doing fine, better than they
>>>>are in some cases, they don't think that is proof that being blind
>>>>isn't so bad. They think I'm some kind of special case or something.
>>>>On 09/26/2016 11:53 AM, Devin Prater via nfb-talk wrote:
>>>>>Oh yes, I was nicely surprised when the NFB stood against that.
>>>>>Devin Pratersent from Gmail.
>>>>>On Mon, Sep 26, 2016 at 11:49 AM, beth.wright--- via nfb-talk <
>>>>>nfb-talk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>>>>>>Hi, fellow listers.
>>>>>>Just wanted to say how very proud I am of the NFB for taking a
>>>>>>courageous stand against this misguided blindfold challenge
>>>>>>campaign by the Foundation Fighting Blindness. I've been a
>>>>>>Federationist for over forty years, been on the PAC plan for a long
>>>>>>time, and thus made a donation online. I encourage others to do the
>>>>>>same. Now is the time to stand up and be counted.
>>>>>>Beth Wright

More information about the nFB-Talk mailing list