Wednesday, August 11, 2004

A New Regime Change Is Probably Needed

I think I already made several comments that kinda looked at CSD in a cautious manner. But it does not mean that I favor NAD by any means.

In fact, NAD turned me off a while ago.

I believe in the voting system. I believe in the democratic process. Sometimes, the NAD disregarded the democratic process in favor of convenience.

What do I mean? I went to the 1994 NAD Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. Yes, I had a good time, seeing how the whole conference runs. But I was pretty much left out. That is OK with me, since it was my first time to be at the conference.

At that time, I enjoyed the Council of Representatives Meetings where all delegates get together to debate and vote on different issues. Among the issues is to bid and win the delegates' support in hosting a national conference. It is matter of pride for any organization to lobby hard and win the bid for the next conference. That is the American Way.

In 1994, Norfolk, Virginia won the bid. Then two years later, I saw a group from Little Rock Association of the Deaf (LRAD) who lobbied heavily to host the NAD Conference in Little Rock -- at the same hotel where Bill Clinton was reportedly to have a fling with Gennifer Flowers -- The Exclesior Hotel, now known as The Peabody Hotel of Little Rock.

The LRAD is strong organization with diversity, motivation and goals. I was impressed with its plans to craft the conference in Little Rock. Suffice to say, the LRAD lobbied fiercely and hard -- and they won it handily. The LRAD members were ecstatic (I know because I have friends who are the members of LRAD), the NAD Board of Directors stepped in and overturned the democratic process with a bribe (Yes, they paid the LRAD to shut them down, I have the sources) and moved the conference to Kansas City. Why?

They said that Little Rock is too small to host a national conference. Kansas City is the obvious choice. That is not how it should run. The NAD Board of Directors merely wanted to overturn the bid because it is convenient for them to drive down to Kansas City from Sioux Falls, rathern than to Little Rock. Of course, I'm being sarcastic. Not all members of NAD are from Sioux Falls, but back then, when CSD barked, NAD cowered.

Hearing the rumors that Little Rock was too small indicated that their respect for the delegates' wishes are nil. They demoralized and destroyed the pride and motivation of All-American organization in Little Rock Association of the Deaf. Do you truly think that Little Rock Association of the Deaf would bid if they knew they do not have enough hotel rooms?

Let's compare this.

Knoxville hosted 1994 NAD Conference. Only 173,278 lived in Knoxville. In Little Rock, 184,053. What is the difference?

Not enough hotel rooms? There are several brand-new hotels in downtown Little Rock right next to the brand-new convention center. It has a new national airport which it spent millions of dollars in renovations, only minutes from downtown.

Not enough activities? Please. I still remembered the bar by Arkansas River where on Thursdays, you pay only a nickel for a draft beer all night long. The result is that, there was nearly a mob right after the bar closed. So much drama. Lots of chair toss-ups, really.

Little Rock sits on Arkansas River between the Ozarks Mountains and the flat thing in the east. There is that famous high school in Little Rock called Central High School -- that was the major, historic civil rights flashpoint in the South. About 30 minutes southwest of Little Rock is Hot Springs National Park. There are things to see in Arkansas. Arkansas School for the Deaf is right across from the State Capitol. Texas cannot claim to the idea that it is the only deaf school that is near the state capitol -- so does Arkansas. LRAD has its own building few minutes outside of downtown. It has zoo where Chlms' sister got "defaced" by monkeys who tossed the shit at her. It is a custom of a chimpanzee to toss their shit at someone to mark them theirs. So I guess Stacy was marked as well. ;-)

At that time, apathy was pretty rampant across the nation. LRAD was exceptional. It wanted to host the NAD Conference. It expressed an interest. It lobbied hard. It won the hard way. We should award them the right to host because they worked hard for it. More power to them, right? But the NAD Board of Directors did not like the way the democratic process ran, so they used their powers to silence the LRAD with cash and make up the stories that Little Rock cannot host a conference, so it's better to be in Kansas City.

It is interesting to note that I did not know that there was NAD Conference this year until someone else told me recently. It says a lot. I lost the interests in NAD for what they did to LRAD and the people in Little Rock.

So reading about the anti-NAD comments on Tacticle Mind Weekly were amusing, but it reminded me of NAD's ambiguous stance with regular folks like the LRAD members. To me, it was not ambiguous, it was condescending, using their powers to override the deservedly-won bid for their interests, not for the best interests.


(NAD stands for National Association of the Deaf)

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