Sign Language Scandal at Mandela's Memorial

  • Aired:  12/11/13
  •  | Views: 57,716

The Deaf Federation of South Africa charges that the sign language interpreter at Mandela's memorial was a fake. (2:51)

BUT PERHAPS THE BIGGESTOUTRAGE OF THE DAY HAD

NOTHING TO DO WITH PRESIDENTOBAMA, IT HAD TO DO WITH THE

MAN STANDING A FOOT AWAYFROM PRESIDENT OBAMA.

>> THIS IS INCREDIBLE.

THE SIGN LANGUAGEINTERPRETER USED AT

TUESDAY'S MEMORIAL SERVICEFOR NELSON MANDELA, RIGHT

THERE ON THE STAGE, A FOOTAWAY FROM THE PRESIDENT OF

THE UNITED STATES, BY 9 WAY,IT TURNS OUT IS BEING CALLED

A FAKE BY THE DEAFFEDERATION OF SOUTH AFRICA.

THEY'RE SAYING NOTHING HE ISDOING THERE IS SIGN LANGUAGE.

>> Stephen: COME ON, NONE OFIT WAS SIGN LANGUAGE, FROM

WHERE I'M SITTING IS VERYCLEARLY SAYING-- I DON'T

SPEAK HEBREW BUT MY HEARTGOES OUT TO THOSE WHO DO,

PLEASE HERE, HAVE SOME PIEAND REMEMBER ALWAYS WEAR

YOUR SEAT BELT.

(APPLAUSE)WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

BEATS ME.

I DON'T SPEAK HEBREW EITHER.

NOW IT TURNS OUT THIS GUYHAD PREVIOUSLY WORKED AT

AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESSEVENTS WHERE QUESTIONS HAD

ALSO BEEN RAISED ABOUT HISPROFICIENCY THERE TO WHICH

HE FORMALLY RESPONDED,-- (LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IT IS

AN OUTRAGE TO CRITICIZE THISMAN.

IN YOUR RUSH TO CALL THISGOOD MACHINE A FRAUD DID YOU

EVER STOP TO CONSIDER THATPERHAPS HE WAS TRANSLATING

FOR THE SIGN LANGUAGEIMPAIRED?

ALL THE DEAF PEOPLE OUTTHERE WILL JUST NEVER GOT

AROUND TO USING SIGNLANGUAGE.

BUT STILL WANT TO SEEM LIKETHEY'RE PARTICIPATING.

I MEAN IMAGINE THEIR SENSEOF ISOLATION, THERE ARE DEAD

PEOPLE WHO CAN'T EVENUNDERSTAND OTHER DEAF

PEOPLE.

BUT NOW THERE'S FINALLYSOMEONE WHO SPEAKS THEIR

MADE UP LANGUAGE.

I HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THEBRAVE MEMBERS OF THE SIGN

LANGUAGE IMPAIRED COMMUNITY.

I STEPHEN COLBERT, STANDWITH YOU AT THIS DIFFICULT

TIME.

FOR TWO LONG, FOR TWO LONGYOU HAVE HAD NO VOICE.

THERE HAS BEEN NO ONE TOSPEAK FOR YOU.

BUT FROM GREAT HARDSHIPCOMES GREAT STRENGTH.

DID MANDELA NOT TEACH USRECONCILIATION AND

FORGIVENESS?

SO NOW LET EVERYONE IN THEDEAF COMMUNITY JOIN HANDS IN

THE SPIRIT OF BROTHERHOODAND SAY HEY, THAT'S A PRETTY

GOOD BIRD.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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