Earlier today, my esteemed colleague Drew Magary dropped "A Field Guide To American Truthers," in which the Big Daddy flamboyantly summarized some of the most common conspiracies in American culture. Within minutes, of course, readers took to Kinja and Twitter to add conspiracies we left out. One in particular caught Magary's eye.
This is Gawker Media, where occasionally honest-to-God reportering happens, and so we got to work. We dug. This is a bit of what we found.
Stevie Wonder, née Stevland Hardaway Morris, was born on May 13, 1950 in Saginaw, Mich., and rendered blind shortly after his birth. Per Wikipedia:
He was born six weeks premature, which, along with the oxygen-rich atmosphere in the hospital incubator, resulted in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a condition in which the growth of the eyes is aborted and causes the retinas to detach; so he became blind.
The Takeaway: Stevie Wonder has allegedly basically always been blind. By the time he was, like, an actual person with memories and object permanence and whatnot, he couldn't see. By this logic, he shouldn't be able to remember what colors and things look like. This is important.
The Origin Story
The story goes that Stevie Wonder was a vivacious boy, so much so that he would often prank adults. By himself. (This is courtesy Bomani Jones, about whom much more below.)
The Takeaway: Word?
The Other Takeaway: Is it so hard to believe that this isn't the genesis of Stevie Wonder, Pretend-Blind Person?
The Boy George Anecdote
From some Stevie Wonder truther blog:
I watched an interview with Boy George a few months back, and he reckons [Stevie Wonder]'s not completly blind since Stevie Wonder once came over and playfully strangled him at a party once, and Boy George was like; 'how could he know where I was if he's completly blind?'
[The original source of this secondary account of secondary source evidence can be found here, anda we can assure you that we are reporters of the highest caliber, holding standards of source verification to be of utmost importance. Be assured of the accuracy of our three-times removed report as it tells exactly what Holla Back Boy claims to have seen Boy George tell an unknown interviewer about a drunken memory of his in which Wonder definitely was maybe able to use his eyes at that party they were at. The hoax is real.]
It is important to acknowledge that this report not only suggests Wonder continued sightedness, but also his use of vision for violence and bigotry in strangulation of an openly, and some may say flamboyantly, homosexual man. The idea that Wonder is "like not completly blind" has been further corroborated by certified Yahoo! Answers reporter aflkdsj l.
The Takeaway: Stevie Wonder is homophobic, and targeted Boy George, with his eyes.
This is a cut from Stevie Wonder's "Don't Drive Drunk" song/PSA.
The Takeaway: OK, so he doesn't look that conspicuous here. But why is drunk driving his fight?
The Mic-Stand Catch
In 2010, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney performed in the White House East Room. Clumsily, McCartney knocked over a microphone. Watch what happens next:
The Takeaway: Stevie Wonder is not blind.
OK, so apparently Oprah bought Stevie Wonder a car, or something, once? Hm. The money shot here is about 2:40 in, when Stevie Wonder turns to this guy full on before grabbing him in a loving, one-armed hug.
The Takeaway: He looked your boy dead in the face.
Bomani Jones is an ESPN personality and one of the brightest guys in sports media. Bomani Jones is also a reasonable man. This is Bomani Jones breaking down the entire argument over 15 minutes, including some Around the Horn footage. His arguments include (but aren't limited to) Stevie Wonder trying to get on Dancing With The Stars, Bomani Jones's boy selling Stevie Wonder three plasma televisions once, and Stevie Wonder dressing essentially the same since 1972.
Needless to say, it's worth the watch.
The Takeaway: Bomani Jones believes Stevie Wonder ain't blind, and Bomani Jones has never steered us wrong.
Stevie Wonder goes to basketball games. A lot. He also gets courtside seats all the time. He cheers and seems to follow the action.
The Takeaway: Stevie Wonder likes basketball, because basketball is a great sport to watch live and up close.
TMZ is out here in these streets, and has been for a long time. Here's NBA legend Darryl Dawkins talking about the time Stevie Wonder nicknamed him Chocolate Thunder, and declaring in no uncertain terms that Stevie Wonder can see. And here's Stevie Wonder saying himself he wants to be a TMZ cameraman just once.
The Takeaway: I can only think of one reason a man would want to photograph something.
Here's Stevie Wonder taking a photo of Michael Jackson at the Motown Museum.
The Takeaway: Bruh.
No one is saying Stevie Wonder is definitely not blind. No one is saying that. That said, Stevie Wonder might not be blind.