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Cincinnati Enquirer Article re ADA Web Site Complaint

From: Waddell, Cynthia <cynthia.waddell@ci.sj.ca.us>
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 12:42:38 -0800
To: "'Multiple Recipients of List'" <uaccess-l@trace.wisc.edu>, "'W3C interest group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <3EC0FC2EAE6AD1118D5100AA00DCD88301E67C73@SJ_EXCHANGE>
FYI,
Cynthia D. Waddell
ADA Coordinator
City of San Jose

>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 21:16:29 -0800
>From: Bryan Bashin <bashin@calweb.com>
>Reply-To: nfb-bpj@lothlorien.nfbcal.org
>To: Multiple recipients of list <nfb-bpj@lothlorien.nfbcal.org>
>Subject: Kendrick Column on Raspberry
>
>Hello listers,
>
>For many of you who didn't catch it, here's the column written by Deborah
>Kendrick about the recent Raspberry piece.  It ran in the Cincinnati
>Equirer, among other papers.
>
>--Bryan Bashin
>
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>
>           FAVORITE COLUMNIST FALLS OFF HIS PEDESTAL 
>                       by Deborah Kendrick
>                        November 29, 1998
>                      Cincinnati Enquirer 
>
>     William Raspberry, you blew it.  
>     Come to think of it, my favorite writers are all people who
>basically agree with me.  I may see them as wiser, more
>insightful, zeroing right in on a clear concept I wish I'd seen
>first -- but, generally, my prose heroes look at life with
>similar lenses to my own.  
>     So it was with William Raspberry.  
>     For years, I've been reading his words, cheering him on,
>thanking God for one more guy who gets it.  
>     On November 2, for instance, he wrote in the Washington Post 
>a wonderful piece about intolerance ["What are Gay-Bashers Afraid
>Of?",) in which he poignantly posed the question:  "Can  they 
>[our children] have been listening to the tolerance we preach and
>ignoring the bigotry we try to mask?"
>     He was talking about a little Georgia high school where kids
>opted not to get too riled up over one classmate who dressed and
>acted like a girl.  The kids protested with bows in their hair
>when the student was disciplined.  "What are we afraid of?" Mr.
>Raspberry asks again and again in this thought-provoking column. 
>
>     Then, last week, this prose hero of mine -- this role-model
>thinker for humankind -- took a dive.  He said he was just being
>mean for a day, but what he revealed was just one more bigot in
>tolerant clothing.  
>     "Get a grip," William Raspberry tells readers with
>disabilities in his November 16 column titled "Complaints Against
>Common Sense".  He berates a blind man in California who wants
>equal access to the web site of his local transit authority.  He
>should "Get a grip" Raspberry says, and be satisfied with calling
>on the phone for schedule information.  
>     Never mind that Raspberry didn't do is homework and doesn't
>understand that making a web site accessible to blind people
>doesn't mean taking away the graphic design enjoyed by the
>sighted.  Never mind that he doesn't understand that scheduling
>information on the phone is not available 24 hours a day.
>     He wants this man to be satisfied, to settle for what he can
>get and shut up about it.  
>     Kind of reminds me of those folks in Alabama, back in 1955 -
>- you know, those whiny blacks who wanted to actually *sit* on
>the bus, not stand, and to sit in the seats the whites used. 
>Would Mr. Raspberry have told Rosa Parks to "get a grip"?  
>     He ridicules the deaf man (and doesn't get the terminology
>quite right) who called another columnist using a telephone relay
>service.  (A relay service is a human operator who conveys to the
>hearing person words the deaf person has typed, and to the deaf
>person those words the hearing person has spoken.)  Who did that
>deaf guy think he was taking up the columnist's time anyway?  He,
>too, Raspberry says, should "get a grip"?  
>     Would he, I wonder, have told an elderly black man, voting
>for the first time in 1965, after the march from Selma to
>Montgomery, and needing a bit of instruction to "get a grip" and
>not waste other voters' valuable time?  
>     He scoffs at the wheelchair users who objected to isolated
>seating in Wendy's restaurants, telling them to "get a grip" and
>be grateful for some poor schmuck trying to do them a favor by
>cordoning off those "special" tables.  
>     Well, here we go again, Mr. Raspberry.  Did you think those
>students who resented specified seats at the lunch counter down
>in Greensboro, N.C., should "get a grip" and sit where they were
>told?  
>     What is it about us, people with disabilities, that even
>those who embrace tolerance in every other quarter, want to
>relegate us to the one-down pity brigade and pat us on the head? 
>     You're probably too young to have marched to Washington with
>martin Luther King but I *know* you know what discrimination is. 
>That's why I've loved your columns.  I sensed in them a
>kindredness of spirit, a like-minded understanding of how painful
>it can be to be on the outside looking in.  
>     How can you write of one minority "What are we afraid of?" 
>And of another: "Get a grip"?  
>     Blindness, you wrote, "must be a terrible handicap."  Well,
>I have that characteristic called blindness.  I know what it is
>to be told where to sit on the bus, Mr. Raspberry, and to be
>talked to in loud monosyllables because I am judged by a
>characteristic I cannot change, and I can tell you that no, you
>are wrong:  Blindness is not nearly so terrible a handicap as are
>those paralyzing demons for which it serves as metaphor:
>ignorance, intolerance, and prejudice.  
>     I thought you already knew that.
>     ------
>     Readers can write to Deborah Kendrick at
>
>================================== End Part 2
==================================
>
>
>************************************************************
>* ACB-L is maintained and brought to you as a service      *
>* of the American Council of the Blind.                    *
>************************************************************
> 

---------------------------------
Cynthia D. Waddell   Cynthia.Waddell@ci.sj.ca.us
ADA Coordinator       City of San Jose, CA

801 North First Street, Room 460
San Jose, California 95110-1704
(408)277-4034
(408)971-0134 TTY
(408)277-3885 FAX
Received on Friday, 4 December 1998 15:46:54 GMT

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