[nfb-talk] So very proud

Mark Tardif markspark at roadrunner.com
Tue Sep 27 20:16:49 UTC 2016

I suspect most of us blind folks who regularly go out to work, school, to 
the store on our own have to put up with this crap.  It's quite a drag 
because we essentially have to not only take care of our own feelings, but 
in a way watch out for the feelings of others even more than what normal 
polite society would dictate.  It sucks, but unfortunately it is what it is, 
as some would say.  I think we need to keep in mind that this comes from 
ignorance usually not malice.  I think it's important, at least for me, to 
try to be gracious, because I am not going to be in a position to educate 
this person in the future if I am not.  But yes, we're human and some days 
are going to be easier than others, we're going to screw up sometimes.  So 
there it is, in my view.

Mark Tardif
Nuclear arms will not hold you.
-----Original Message----- 
From: David Andrews via nfb-talk
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 2:44 PM
To: NFB Talk Mailing List
Cc: David Andrews
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] So very proud


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 
>>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 
>>A.... H.... Now I graduated to saying: Hey watch it.  If I have the chance 
>>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 
>>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 
>>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 
>>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 
>>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

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