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RE: WA - background-image in CSS

From: Harry Woodrow <harrry@email.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2002 03:31:13 +0800
To: "RUST Randal" <RRust@COVANSYS.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <LDEMKFBKJGCANBEJGEOIIEJBCCAA.harrry@email.com>
I am pretty sure you are not a racist or one who deliberately discriminates
and I have in no way tried to say that. In fact I am pretty sure you aren't
or you wouldnt be here.
The issue of who decides what is presented is one which is of concern to
people with disabilities in general as so many choices of what is the right
thing for them are made by others,often with the best of intentions..

The fact remains that to treat people diferently as a result of their
disability is discrimination and as some people have pointed out everything
on a site has some meaning.

I think possibly we got a bit sidetracked earlier by your use of "ALL
elements" which implied placing all as you called them "non esential images
etc" in the bacground and thus avoiding the requirent for ALT tags.  You may
have meant this in a less general way than it may have been taken.

Whether you are in business or not is really not material, the web is a
public place and there is a form of behavior expected there which would
limit to some extent the assertions you made that it was up to the designer
to decide what he decided was essential.

I think these are all important issues and well worth raising and discussing
however  if you have felt that I was personally acusing you of being either
a racist or a person who deliberately discriminated I would like to assure
you again that I never intended any such thing.



Harry Woodrow

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of RUST Randal
Sent: Saturday, 19 January 2002 3:11 AM
To: 'Charles F. Munat'; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: WA - background-image in CSS


You know, I'm really disappointed that people keep referring to me as, or
asking me if I am:

a:  a racist
b:  someone who promotes discrimination

I find it very disturbing that on a list that is worldwide in nature, people
would make such accusations and generalizations.  Discussion is meant to
further knowledge, not inhibit it.  Rather than having an intelligent
discussion on this petty subject of a background image, people are being
vicious and downright nasty.

I NEVER said my site was doing business. I NEVER said my site was art.  I
NEVER said I wanted to keep people from viewing the content.  I NEVER said
that I wanted to exclude anyone from my site.

I merely said that if an image wasn't necessary, then I could stick it in a
CSS and use the background properties.

And this is what it leads to?


-----Original Message-----
From: Charles F. Munat [mailto:chas@munat.com]
Sent: Friday, January 18, 2002 1:53 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: WA - background-image in CSS



RUST Randal wrote:

> as a journalist, i find the point of view that the user has control over
> what i determine is essential is simply ludicrous.

Yes, and back in the 1960s, many store owners thought that they had a
right to decide who they would serve and how. If blacks were served at
all, they had to enter through the back door. And when confronted with
the discriminatory aspect of this practice, the store owners loudy
protested their right to discriminate.

How does your attitude differ? Why do you deserve control, but they don't?

Remember, please, that you are operating in a public place.

If you are *not* doing business on the web (i.e., it is a personal
site), then your right to free expression takes precedence, and you can
make your page as inaccessible as you like.

But if you are engaging in some form of commerce (even if it is
operating a club or providing a free service), then you have no right to
do so in a discriminatory manner. The right of the people to equal
access to your site overrides your right to free expression (just as the
public's right to safety overrides your right to shout "fire!" in a
crowded theater).

Believe me, the idea that people could tell them how to run their
businesses struck those 1960's businessmen as just as ludicrous. (Sadly,
some of these attitudes can still be found, though they've mostly gone
undercover now.)

Accessibility is a civil rights issue, and civil rights issues are human
rights issues.

Charles F. Munat
Seattle, Washington
Received on Friday, 18 January 2002 14:31:46 GMT

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