Editorial: Odds and ends

Originally appeared in Silent News, August 2001.

Well, we’re at it again. We immediately believed every e-mail we got about the fiascoes in Rome at the Deaflympics. The rapes, the runner that died during a race and the delegate that died from a heart attack.

I got 48 – yup, count ‘em – 48 instant messages or e-mails asking me to verify the crazy e-mails that ate up my mailbox. I didn’t even bother counting how many times I got the same e-mail over and over and over and over and over and over and over…. but we know it was at least 48 times, though, right?

I couldn’t verify any of the rumors except for the Ireland delegate that sadly did pass away from a heart attack. So I’m not going to bother with the rumors anymore. I’m sure most of the people involved – if the rumors were true at all – would want some privacy and space. So I’ll leave it at that.

While I didn’t go to Rome (someone has to put together the newspaper!) I had staff there. And they were incredibly frustrated with the disorganized proceedings of the Deaflympics. Transportation was a pain, and so was lodging. Regardless of the confusion and misinformation that seems to exist at every event (whether it be hosted by deaf or hearing people), my staff said they were impressed by the athletes at the games, especially the ones who truly respected each other, respected officials’ decisions, and played for the sport rather than for ego. The facilities were also astounding for the fans and athletes.

I kept a close eye on the Errol Shaw/David Krupinski trial on Court TV. Since it was closed-captioned, I watched several of the commentaries before, after and during the trial. While the proceedings got dreary at times with the dull questionsing and seemingly pointless comments, there was one thing that bugged me: the repeated use of “deaf-mute” by so many experts. And the fact that not one single deaf person was asked to appear on Court TV’s various discussion shows.

Why? There are plenty of deaf lawyers who could have fulfilled this request easily, and certainly plenty of deaf advocates. Many people that I discussed this issue with had the same feeling as I did: Here we go again. Yet many of us were/are too weary to do much about it. We’re almost resigned to this happening for the rest of our lives. I don’t think that’s a good sentiment; we, including me, need to make sure we don’t tire of advocating for equality, even with small issues like terminology.

Some of you have written in asking why we didn’t cover this or that conference, or why we didn’t print a certain article. We are a small staff. We only have a few in-house staff who are available to go to different events, and some remote staff (i.e., our sports editor is in Minnesota, our layout editor is in Washington D.C., our copy editor is in Oregon, and so on). We are not always able to attend various conferences or events, but if you learn of an event and feel it should be covered, please let us know. We can either have you supply us with information, and have one of our writers write the story, or we can have you help us in locating contact people and/or writers.

I hope you enjoy our special coverage of the Deaflympics. Due to the extra pages in the Deaflympics section, we had to hold off many stories until next month. But do take notice the two terrific stories we received on two golden individuals: Bertha Kurz, who just turned 104 (page 9), and Dora Bolen, who has attended 73 straight homecomings in Illinois (page 15). These individuals truly inspire me, and make me look forward to having a long life.

We will resume our regular sports coverage next month, and go back to the normal number of pages.

You may have noticed a little change in the news briefs section on page 3. We normally use that section for tidbits here and there. This month, we decided to try and use that section for the various newspaper articles that appear around the country and world. We’re not able to reprint many of the articles we receive, so we felt this would be a terrific solution. Let us know what you think.

Finally, Silent News would like, again, to extend our congratulations to the astounding athletes who represented us at the Deaflympics.

Copyrighted material. This article can not be copied, reproduced, or redistributed without the written consent of the author.

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