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Re: WA - background-image in CSS

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 19:28:51 -0800
Message-ID: <3C48E7F3.7040207@munat.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
RUST Randal wrote:

> 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'm sorry that you are taking this as a personal attack. It was not 
meant as anything of the sort. In fact, if I thought that you were a 
racist, I wouldn't have bothered to reply. I replied because I believe 
that you do *not* wish to discriminate, and my analogy was intended to 
indicate that you may be discriminating unintentionally.

That, really, is the whole point of analogies, isn't it?

No-one called you a racist, and no-one accused you of intentionally 
promoting discrimination. Not in any post I read, anyway. This 
discussion is not about you, it is about whether a web site owner has a 
right to segregate audiences on the basis of disability, and to serve 
different content to those audiences. Note the subject: 
"background-image in CSS." Not "Is Randal Rust a racist?"

But if you are getting the feeling that you are being tarred as a bigot, 
it might be worth looking at what you said and trying to figure out why 
several people misunderstood you (and all in the same manner). And you 
may want to ask yourself if you do have an unconscious bias or a control 
issue. It took me two years of hard work to rid myself of the desire for 
complete control over my sites. That was one attitude that died hard.

When I joined this list four years ago, I believed that I was an 
open-minded and fair person. And I was. Nevertheless, over the years I 
have uncovered one misconception after another regarding the needs, 
desires, and rights of people with disabilities. My understanding is not 
nearly complete (and will probably never reach completion), but I know 
far more today than I did then, and I've changed my views considerably.

People like David Poehlman, Charles McCathieNeville, Bruce Bailey, Al 
Gilman, Len Kasday, William Loughborough, David Woolley, and even -- 
gasp -- Kynn Bartlett, as well as others too numerous to mention, have 
all contributed greatly to my knowledge of web site accessibility and 
accessibility in general.

And that is the real benefit of these sorts of discussions: people *do* 
learn from them -- even those who seem to be experts already.

Even when a huge discussion erupts from what may have been nothing more 
than a misunderstanding, real progress can come of it.

Charles F. Munat
Seattle, Washington
Received on Friday, 18 January 2002 22:27:33 UTC

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