16 December, 2013

Who Dropped the ball?

By now you have heard about the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s funeral last week. Here in Rochester, home of the NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf), all of the local reporters went out and found anyone they could stick a microphone in front of to say how offended they were at the nerve of this guy who had the stones to fake his way through the service.

I think that people have a right to be upset and outraged, but not for the reason everyone is getting upset at. First of all.. how do we know that it isn’t a different sign language? It might be that the rest of the world doesn’t use ALS (American Sign Language). Perhaps, he is using a different version of sign language.

The thing that gets me upset at this is how did this guy get that close to our President? This guy has been arrested for burning someone to death, and the courts declined to prosecute because he was mentally unfit to stand trial. Those of you who know me, know that I am among the last to say anything good about Obama, but this is bigger than that.

Someone dropped the ball on this one. Probably several someones. First of all, how did the agency that picks and assigns the interpreter pass this guy? Did he have the right credentials to be in the pool? Also, doesn’t our Secret Service validate the people who are going to be that close to the President? What would have happened if someone got to him and got him to wear a vest? He would have been able to take out several of the world’s leaders in one shot. Then we would be talking about something other than a guy who was faking his way through signing some speeches at a funeral.

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