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To the editors:
“Dawn’s” depiction of the fine volunteers at Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic as censorious prudes because they declined to describe sexually explicit, gay-themed photographs (“Caught in the Net,” April 19) needs a rebuttal.
Perhaps it hasn’t crossed her mind that other people do have a right to their opinions. What she considers artistically valuable other people can legitimately hold to be offensive. Additionally, volunteers cannot be made to do anything they don’t want to do; in this case, RFBD volunteers cannot be forced to look at and record material they deem objectionable. This situation is not about censorship, i.e., the forcible suppression of ideas or materials by a person or group, but rather a difference of aesthetic judgment and freedom of conscience. By her own admission, RFBD has recorded “a lot of queer books” for her, indicating an overall tolerance of divergent ideas by both the organization and its members.
This difference of opinion between Dawn and RFBD does have an unfortunate though not insurmountable consequence: her frustration of getting a book recorded in a timely manner. Dawn could have simply made known her need for volunteers willing to record such material, but in the process she denigrates the good people who donate their time, expertise, and money to assist visually handicapped students.
Indeed, “this is an odd world we live in” when an ingrate like Dawn is contemptuous towards the very people she relies upon because they are not in total agreement with her.