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(Boing Boing)   Obama uses ASL to communicate with a deaf man. GOP immediately attacks him for not speaking English   (boingboing.net) divider line 208
    More: Cool, American Sign Language, obama, the deaf man, Boing Boing  
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5734 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 Mar 2012 at 8:17 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-22 02:13:00 AM

brap: Much better than I would have done in that situation the only ASL I've retained are the signs for "Jesus died" and "asshole" which in any combination wouldn't have gone over well with the deaf voting base.

I will never be a politician.



The only ones i remember are "shy," "whore," and "bullshiat." Oh, and the sign for Saturn.
 
2012-03-22 03:06:17 AM
Tomorrow, Romney is going to shout at a blind person.
 
2012-03-22 04:20:24 AM

Quasar: Liberal as I am, I can't help but feel a cynical curiosity that it was planned somehow.


I know. I read the headline and thought, 'isn't this a repeat from 2008?'
 
2012-03-22 05:12:29 AM

Gyrfalcon: /Pres. Obama is still the coolest president we've ever had.


Yeah, that was pretty cool. I know a few signs but want to learn more. My sister works with deaf kids and teaches ASL and she also likes to combine scuba diving with underwater photography. She often tells stories of going out with groups comprised of half deaf folks and half regular folks. Once they go underwater the deaf people have the communication advantage over the others which I always thought was kinda cool.

/KCS,B

planned

I bloody well hope so. The Dems only real weakness against the GOP is their ability to get their message out and to control the narrative. Any improvements the Dems make is this regard are welcome.
 
2012-03-22 06:52:27 AM
I don't know any sign language at all. Never learned it in school, I have no friends/associates/acquaintances who are hearing impaired, I don't have any family that are hearing impaired.

I take that back, I know "I Love You" in ASL, but that's it. It's something I've always wanted to learn, but seeing as I have no one in my life, even casually, that would necessitate me having to learn it, it's always been on the back burner. So even if this isn't impressive to people who know ASL, and can sign more than just "thank you", it's hella impressive to me, because I couldn't do it. I'd probably just wave and smile at the guy or something lame like that.
 
2012-03-22 07:27:42 AM
Big deal... when a blind guy asked Bush a similar question ,he replied in ASL too.
 
2012-03-22 08:22:21 AM

vygramul: It is, and it's the smart way to attack this feel-good story. Which means it's not how Fox and the GOP are going to attack it. Part of the irritating thing about politics is that there are better ways to attack something, most people just choose the retarded way.


The smart thing would be to not attack it all. That way they don't draw more attention to what is a completely insignificat incident, and as a bonus they avoid the risk of looking like petty, paranoid jerks.
Attacking it will only create a Streisand effect.
 
2012-03-22 08:22:47 AM
I was really expecting to read about the Republicans having a problem with it....which is sad that things have gone so far as to believe a FARK headline to be true.
 
2012-03-22 08:23:37 AM

vygramul: It is, and it's the smart way to attack this feel-good story. Which means it's not how Fox and the GOP are going to attack it. Part of the irritating thing about politics is that there are better ways to attack something, most people just choose the retarded way.


The really smart thing would be to not attack it at all. That way they don't draw more attention to what is a completely insignificat incident, and as a bonus they avoid the risk of looking like petty, paranoid jerks.
Attacking it will only create a Streisand effect.
 
2012-03-22 08:24:34 AM
Oops.
 
2012-03-22 08:26:47 AM
Speaking as a certified interpreter in ASL and a student of Deaf Culture ( yes the caps are intentional) this is a huge thing to a Deaf individual. The fact that the president accepts their language as valid is big thing. I suspect that this was a real answer from the way he responded he took time to try and make sure he got the right response. You could see him trying to remember how to sign it correctly. I think it was genuine. The fact that he may not know much more ASL really doesnt matter that he tried at all is a big thing to Deaf people.

//soapbox off
 
2012-03-22 08:44:18 AM

Feindevil: The fact that the president accepts their language as valid is big thing.


I don't understand... Why would anyone not accept their language as valid?
 
2012-03-22 08:58:48 AM

mahuika: GWLush: I am also curious on what the Right Wingers say about this. I know everything Obama does is part of some nefarious evil plot but I am curious on how they will spin it. Will they go after this kid and call him a deaf slut? Will they claim he isn't really deaf? Muslim?

I've got a pretty good idea.

1. The kid was planted and the story is fake, obviously Zer0 is revving up his campaign. (75%)

2. What, we're supposed to be falling over ourselves with adoration that the idiot in chief learned a single phrase in sign language? (15%)

3. Someone should go up to him and sign something horribly insulting in sign language, because bets are he'll say Thank You. (6%)

4. I'm no Obama fan, but I'm glad that the deaf student got to have that experience. If it had been President Bush, though, the MSM wouldn't even report it. (4%)


Girl, be careful. Don't go native.
 
2012-03-22 09:07:11 AM

Grables'Daughter: Feindevil: The fact that the president accepts their language as valid is big thing.

I don't understand... Why would anyone not accept their language as valid?


Talk to language people some time - a lot of them reject sign langauges as not real, akin to "created" languages like Klingon. They accept it as communication, but they don't treat it as having a natural syntax because it was sat down and developed (rejecting over 100 years of real-world development on the language, regional variation, and personal development). Also, it's just the Deaf Community is very insular and generally, they like to be acknowledged as not just a group of disabled people but as a culture all their own. I promise you: this tiny gesture bought Obama a ton of good will in the community.

/use to date a deaf girl
//wouldn't again, but I got rudimentary ASL down - for a time at least.
 
2012-03-22 09:17:43 AM

saintstryfe: Grables'Daughter: Feindevil: The fact that the president accepts their language as valid is big thing.

I don't understand... Why would anyone not accept their language as valid?

Talk to language people some time - a lot of them reject sign langauges as not real, akin to "created" languages like Klingon. They accept it as communication, but they don't treat it as having a natural syntax because it was sat down and developed (rejecting over 100 years of real-world development on the language, regional variation, and personal development). Also, it's just the Deaf Community is very insular and generally, they like to be acknowledged as not just a group of disabled people but as a culture all their own. I promise you: this tiny gesture bought Obama a ton of good will in the community.

/use to date a deaf girl
//wouldn't again, but I got rudimentary ASL down - for a time at least.


Thank you for the education.
 
2012-03-22 09:21:00 AM
Why should we be surprised that he speaks ASL? Or any other language?

The right already believes he speaks Kenyan and Arabic.
 
2012-03-22 09:33:45 AM

Lenny_da_Hog: FloydA: I'm betting Fox and Friends will go with "flashing gang signs."

[i262.photobucket.com image 491x397]


Is that a real thing? If Obama likes Bob Dylan I will vote for him 3x.
 
2012-03-22 09:37:28 AM

Grables'Daughter: Feindevil: The fact that the president accepts their language as valid is big thing.

I don't understand... Why would anyone not accept their language as valid?


saintstryfe: Grables'Daughter: Feindevil: The fact that the president accepts their language as valid is big thing.

I don't understand... Why would anyone not accept their language as valid?

Talk to language people some time - a lot of them reject sign langauges as not real, akin to "created" languages like Klingon. They accept it as communication, but they don't treat it as having a natural syntax because it was sat down and developed (rejecting over 100 years of real-world development on the language, regional variation, and personal development). Also, it's just the Deaf Community is very insular and generally, they like to be acknowledged as not just a group of disabled people but as a culture all their own. I promise you: this tiny gesture bought Obama a ton of good will in the community.

/use to date a deaf girl
//wouldn't again, but I got rudimentary ASL down - for a time at least.


I completely agree. Another aspect to this is that for many years hearing people have tried to teach deaf people that english was the only language they should use, many times more forcefully than it should have been. Deaf people have a bit of resentment and inferiority complex when it come to their language. They want the world to understand that there language and culture is just as valid as the hearing worlds.
 
2012-03-22 09:38:38 AM

Quasar: Liberal as I am, I can't help but feel a cynical curiosity that it was planned somehow.


I'm not that cynical. Obama visited Ottawa once and he is farking amazing in a crowd interacting with people. If he would have signed something more complex than a simple thank-you perhaps. Even I know how to sign thank you and I'm an idiot compared to Obama.
 
2012-03-22 09:42:17 AM

MrBallou: FloydA: Fox and Friends will go with "flashing gang signs."

That's just funny, right there.


brap: Much better than I would have done in that situation the only ASL I've retained are the signs for "Jesus died" and "asshole" which in any combination wouldn't have gone over well with the deaf voting base.

I will never be a politician.


Your posts rock/always make me laugh heartily.
 
2012-03-22 09:45:17 AM

downpaymentblues: Hearing my conservative (Evangelical Christian) family find multiple excuses for why this is bad just confirms even further that I have done the right thing moving away from the church and right wing politics.

Is it really that difficult to say "well, that was a nice touch" or something similar, rather than denigrating comments?


How could this possibly be cast as a bad thing?

Actually, I take that back, I remember people on the other side of the political fence denigrating Bush for reading to schoolchildren in his spare time, so I think I actually have some idea of the kind of reasoning used.

//Bush seemed to actually catch flak on par with Obama or Clinton's second term, which leads me to suspect that the quantity of biatching is relatively constant regardless of the number of really legitimate complaints to be made.
 
2012-03-22 09:47:31 AM
www.upl.co
 
2012-03-22 09:48:48 AM

Theaetetus: Jim_Callahan: Earpj: There's also video of Michelle signing. I'm sure they both know know, at least, rudimentary sign.
Pretty cool.

Eh, if you don't know "thanks" in ASL then you're probably borderline illiterate. Most people get at least a few lessons in elementary school, and that's the one that most often sticks, and is the best all-purpose response in social situations.

Though, that said, I wouldn't be terribly surprised to learn that Obama has at least basic working knowledge of ASL, he did teach for some years and spent a good deal of time as a community organizer. You need some working Spanish and ASL for both.

Here's the Michelle video. (new window)
She seems pretty damn fluent, so I wouldn't be surprised if Barack has a working knowledge.


Michelle Obama 2016 (seriously)
 
2012-03-22 09:52:18 AM
Give him teh deaf penalty!
 
2012-03-22 09:53:34 AM

Feindevil: Grables'Daughter: Feindevil: The fact that the president accepts their language as valid is big thing.

I don't understand... Why would anyone not accept their language as valid?

saintstryfe: Grables'Daughter: Feindevil: The fact that the president accepts their language as valid is big thing.

I don't understand... Why would anyone not accept their language as valid?

Talk to language people some time - a lot of them reject sign langauges as not real, akin to "created" languages like Klingon. They accept it as communication, but they don't treat it as having a natural syntax because it was sat down and developed (rejecting over 100 years of real-world development on the language, regional variation, and personal development). Also, it's just the Deaf Community is very insular and generally, they like to be acknowledged as not just a group of disabled people but as a culture all their own. I promise you: this tiny gesture bought Obama a ton of good will in the community.

/use to date a deaf girl
//wouldn't again, but I got rudimentary ASL down - for a time at least.

I completely agree. Another aspect to this is that for many years hearing people have tried to teach deaf people that english was the only language they should use, many times more forcefully than it should have been. Deaf people have a bit of resentment and inferiority complex when it come to their language. They want the world to understand that there language and culture is just as valid as the hearing worlds.


I am learning a lot.

Thank you guys for the insight.
 
2012-03-22 09:54:06 AM
Too bad the regular press reported it as being American Sign Language. Fox News would have gone to ***Breaking News*** that the President was communicating with odd, "never seen by this reporter- black people signals" "Could be a signal to start the revolution"
 
2012-03-22 10:00:07 AM
Interestingly, when I took ASL in university, the prof recommended the Canadian Dictionary of American sign language as the best book available for learners.

/barely relevant, I know.
 
2012-03-22 10:00:20 AM
saintstryfe:

Feindevil:


Thank you. It's rare that I encounter a topic I have no knowledge of. I hope I have an opportunity to share your insights with others and learn more on the subject.
 
2012-03-22 10:02:32 AM

THX 1138: Interestingly, when I took ASL in university, the prof recommended the Canadian Dictionary of American sign language as the best book available for learners.

/barely relevant, I know.


Not really since ASL has a strong French root structure Laurent Clerc who held develop what we now know as ASL was French , there are alot of signs that have French roots, Canada has a very strong French contingent so it makes logical sense. I have never encounterd that but I dont know everyhing
 
2012-03-22 10:03:51 AM

sweetmelissa31: Lenny_da_Hog: FloydA: I'm betting Fox and Friends will go with "flashing gang signs."

[i262.photobucket.com image 491x397]

Is that a real thing? If Obama likes Bob Dylan I will vote for him 3x.


Wait you didn't already vote for him 3x? Have you been not reading your biweekly Smug, Sneering Lib Newsletter?
 
2012-03-22 10:04:58 AM

PanicMan: saintstryfe:

Feindevil:

Thank you. It's rare that I encounter a topic I have no knowledge of. I hope I have an opportunity to share your insights with others and learn more on the subject.


No problem its good to find people who want to learn about it as well as a topic im passionate about.
 
2012-03-22 10:06:00 AM
Big deal. Bush knew sign language
doctorbulldog.files.wordpress.com
www.cleavelin.net
 
2012-03-22 10:06:45 AM

Jackson Herring: Wait you didn't already vote for him 3x? Have you been not reading your biweekly Smug, Sneering Lib Newsletter?


I voted for Obama once, and then on the other two ballots that I got at the secret Lib meeting I voted for Fartbama and Fartbongo, respectively.
 
2012-03-22 10:08:01 AM

sweetmelissa31: Jackson Herring: Wait you didn't already vote for him 3x? Have you been not reading your biweekly Smug, Sneering Lib Newsletter?

I voted for Obama once, and then on the other two ballots that I got at the secret Lib meeting I voted for Fartbama and Fartbongo, respectively.


And yet again Fartnambla gets ignored by the liberal establishment.
 
2012-03-22 10:10:12 AM
Hitler was nice to his dogs, that does not mean he was not a complete failure as a politician. I see the media doing their left wing jobs and finding anything to make the Kenyan look good somehow, no matter how stupid it might be.
 
2012-03-22 10:13:34 AM

mrshowrules: Michelle Obama 2016 (seriously)


I like the woman, but honestly, I'm tired of the concept of family dynasties in the US... Had Hillary won, we'd of had two familes running the country for at least 24 years back to back.

I'd honestly like to see some kind of rule that if you was related to a former President, your family can't run for that office again for 50 years.
 
2012-03-22 10:14:37 AM

Gyrfalcon: skullkrusher: I bet he's reading from a braille teleprompter tomorrow

Almost as good as Marcus Aurelius's dumb person comment.+1, would lol again.


aww, his was much better but I appreciate the positive reinforcement :)
 
2012-03-22 10:15:50 AM
Jackson Herring: And yet again Fartnambla gets ignored by the liberal establishment.

Fartnambla is the Ron Paul of the Left.

FARTNAMBLA
 
2012-03-22 10:22:29 AM

Quasar: Liberal as I am, I can't help but feel a cynical curiosity that it was planned somehow.


Heh, the liberal cynic in me thinks Obama has no idea what the guy said and that thank you is the only thing he knows how to sign.

Not that it matters.
 
2012-03-22 10:41:43 AM

Feindevil: No problem its good to find people who want to learn about it as well as a topic im passionate about.


Any information is good information. Plus my little brother is half deaf. When he was a baby he made up his own sign for "marshmallow". We went through a lot of marshmallows.
 
2012-03-22 10:43:10 AM

KellyX: mrshowrules: Michelle Obama 2016 (seriously)

I like the woman, but honestly, I'm tired of the concept of family dynasties in the US... Had Hillary won, we'd of had two familes running the country for at least 24 years back to back.

I'd honestly like to see some kind of rule that if you was related to a former President, your family can't run for that office again for 50 years.


A two-term break would be reasonable. You can call it the "you need to get your shiat out of the Whitehouse bill". Your family needs to leave the house for at least 8 years after you are done presidenting.

/my spell checker is broken. It tells me "presidenting" is not a word.
 
2012-03-22 10:50:04 AM

mrshowrules: /my spell checker is broken. It tells me "presidenting" is not a word.


never verb nouns.
 
2012-03-22 10:50:17 AM

mrshowrules: KellyX: mrshowrules: Michelle Obama 2016 (seriously)

I like the woman, but honestly, I'm tired of the concept of family dynasties in the US... Had Hillary won, we'd of had two familes running the country for at least 24 years back to back.

I'd honestly like to see some kind of rule that if you was related to a former President, your family can't run for that office again for 50 years.

A two-term break would be reasonable. You can call it the "you need to get your shiat out of the Whitehouse bill". Your family needs to leave the house for at least 8 years after you are done presidenting.

/my spell checker is broken. It tells me "presidenting" is not a word.


That doesn't solve the issue, Bush Sr. was in 4 years, then Bill Clinton for 8, then Bush Jr. for 8... that's the exact issue I'm complaining about, same families running things over and over.
 
2012-03-22 10:52:32 AM

sweetmelissa31: FARTNAMBLA


domain name is up for grabs
 
2012-03-22 10:55:37 AM

KellyX: That doesn't solve the issue, Bush Sr. was in 4 years, then Bill Clinton for 8, then Bush Jr. for 8... that's the exact issue I'm complaining about, same families running things over and over.


Exactly, and don't get me started on that Adams family disaster.
 
2012-03-22 11:06:05 AM
In other news, Scuba diving is a sport from which you get full enjoyment if the people diving know ASL. I can use retarded scuba-speak, but ASL is the bomb when underwater.
 
2012-03-22 11:30:34 AM

vygramul: In other news, Scuba diving is a sport from which you get full enjoyment if the people diving know ASL. I can use retarded scuba-speak, but ASL is the bomb when underwater.


Yes. Thank heavens there is an non-verbal language available for sub-surface americans.
 
2012-03-22 11:37:36 AM
What I'd really like to know is if Obama really knows sign language, or if he just knows the sign for "thank you". If he doesn't, then he just assumed the guy was saying something nice about him.

What would have been really funny is if he said something completely offensive instead.

"I farked your wife last night."

"Thank you."
 
2012-03-22 11:40:32 AM

vygramul: In other news, Scuba diving is a sport from which you get full enjoyment if the people diving know ASL. I can use retarded scuba-speak, but ASL is the bomb when underwater.


My sister and I always use ASL while diving. But I've had other people on dives assume one of us must be deaf -- it'd just never occurred to them to do anything other than attempt to talk through a regulator.

\Real easy to pick up the basics, too.
\\Not surprised that a former community organizer might know a few signs.
 
2012-03-22 11:44:30 AM
Its actually a facsinating language. It has alot of the same linguisitic principals as some asian languages in that in asian langauges ( if my understanding is correct) if you change the "tone" you have possibly changed the meaning. The same principal is true of ASL except with movement rather than tone.

/knowing is half the battle kids
 
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