The book, Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood is the best bookseller in the Deaf community without question. The book has offered many positive contributions. This book is significant as it highlights the process of naming Deafhood as it shapes an identity of a Deaf individual. In this book, Paddy Ladd, in his own thoughts and ideas, tries to convince the Deaf world that he is already embracing the name for us, Deaf people.
Each of us, Deaf people, is the owner of Deafhood. We must insistent upon yet another name change. The book highlights depths of subjugation which has faced Ladd and other Deaf people. Ladd has an ability to carry his culturally based birth name with him throughout his Deafhood journey. The history has been attempting to erase the language and culture of the Deaf. Ladd simply wishes to continue his Deafhood journey to which he has grown accustomed and preferred. Ladd prefers to be called by his birth name, which would have restored individual autonomy to him. The process of renaming personhood by calling it Deafhood in his Master’s thesis, reinforcing his ownership of the Deafhood by postulating it with the sphere of personhood. Renaming the Deafhood is sinful and it functions to further degrade Ladd from a person to a chattel status. Renaming in this book can be seen as a counterpart of the strategy of colonialism by hearing people. Justifications for hearing colonialism have demanded a suspicious vantage point of Deaf people as heathen and immoral, and imparting this consciousness into the minds of the enslaved. This reliance upon their captors more firmely entrenched them in subjugation.
Renaming attempted to erase Ladd’s past, for example, his cultural roots. In essence, renaming ultimately a function of rejecting Deaf culture, a fundamental crux of personal agency. Ladd’s initial resistance to hearing colonialism is a paramount testament to the level of forced assimilation as a subtle byproduct of colonial slavery. The author wants to see Deaf people get successful moving forward to create an positive environment where everyone in the trenches of Deaf community are all looking at the big picture to stand up against the problems and obstacles.
There is no better time than the present–right now. The Deafhood book is the international largest provider of truth for Deaf people, but it is being gutted by lawmakers who dismiss the value of Deaf people’s lives under the dogma of prohibition. Again, the book is delightful to read, many of readings in there has spanned life-changing thoughts.
It will strike you and turn your life around. One of my favorite comedians, Conan O’Brien said: “Let me leave you with the one last thought: If you can laugh at yourself and hard every time you fall, people will think you are drunk.”
Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier
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