Be proud of who you are…

March 11, 2008

by Bryen

I’m a Deaf man.  I also have Usher Syndrome, thus making me a Deaf-Blind man.  As a person, I’m proud of who I am.  I like who I am, and what I represent in the environment surrounding me.  My Deafness, my Deaf-Blindness later in life are all part of the building blocks that make me Bryen.

When I meet people, people know that I am Deaf.  It’s an undeniable truth, and one that I would never, ever want to deny.  It is what makes me Bryen.

So, I’m greatly puzzled by the reaction of the Obama campaign to statements made by Geraldine Ferraro, the first major female Vice-Presidential candidate in modern political history.  She stated, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman he would not be in this position.”

For some reason, this angered the Obama campaign, instead of pleasing them.

You cannot deny that Obama is African-American.  You cannot deny that Hillary Clinton is Female.  And you cannot deny that each of those qualities helped the respective candidate.

I find part of Obama’s appeal is the fact that he is an inspirational African-American who has overcome the odds of prejudice to become within reach of becoming leader of the Free World.  I find the same is equally true of Clinton, a Female who is within reach of becoming leader of the Free World as well.

I find these to be qualities.  Their experiences as an African-American and as a Female is what helped make them who they are today.  Just as my Deaf Culture is what helps make me who I am today.  I rejoice in who I am.

Ferraro made another statement today responding to David Axelrod’s call to have her ejected from the Clinton Campaign.  “Let me also say in 1984 – and if I have said it once, I have said it 20, 60, 100 times – in 1984, if my name was Gerard Ferraro instead of Geraldine Ferraro, I would never have been the nominee for vice president.”

I couldn’t agree with her more.  I remember the rush and thrill, as a young boy, attending a Ferraro rally in 1984 in Evanston, Illinois.  I was witnessing a defining moment in history.

As each of us evaluates and determines which candidate we cast our vote for, we examine every quality of that candidate.  Every aspect, every life-defining moment, every experience.   There is no way that your race, gender, religion, physical abilities, political affiliation doesn’t define who you are today.

Barack Obama is African-American.  Hillary Clinton is Female.  What a wonderful moment in history we are witnessing here.  Can’t we please rejoice this fact instead of being angry at those who have pointed this out?

Thank you- DEAF DEMOCRATS Editors



  1. I agree with you Bryen. The Obama campaign wants Clinton to denounce and remove Ferraro from her team, as if she made comments equal to that of the pastor of his church. You cannot even compare the two! One comment is fact; the other is a hateful diatribe against an entire religion. It points out a sad thing about our society, that the underlying issues of race and gender are still taboo. I do feel Hillary has been held up to a standard far higher than that of any man and she has held her own. Obama, too, is being held up to a higher standard than usual, but it is still ‘soft’ since we as a society are not comfortable addressing the racial double standard. Perhaps this election ultimately will force us to address this and we will all be better for it?

  2. Clarification: After I sent the previous post, I realized that I meant Louis Farrakhan, not the pastor of Obama’s church. Mea Culpa!

  3. Lewis,

    You might want to take that back! Smile… Today news!

    “Obama wrote that he has looked to Wright for spiritual advice, not political guidance, and he is been pained and angered to learn of some of his pastor’s comments for which he had not been present. Obama told MSNBC that Wright had stepped down from his campaign’s African American Religious Leadership Committee.”

    Here is one of his comments….

    Wright gave a sermon in December comparing Obama to Jesus, promoting his candidacy and criticizing his rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    “Barack knows what it means to be a black man to be living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people,” Wright told a cheering congregation. “Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger.”

  4. We are becoming antithetical to ourselves. Ain’t it sad that we’ve come to this? It ain’t enough to tear at each other while proclaiming ourselves a party of inclusiveness? It ain’t enough that it’s become a “she said, he said” saga? It ain’t enough that a party elder can’t accept a representative from the “younger generation,” or vice versa? It ain’t enough that when one slings mud, the other one does it right back? No wonder peace in the mideast has been elusive.

    No wonder McCain and Bush are laughing their arses off, knowing that a party divided cannot win. No wonder I am sick and sad to see that this is what it has come to. Let peace begin with US. Now.

    Die-hard democrat,

    Ken Breslow

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