EPHPHATHA is essentially unfinished and incomplete, but it begun from the premise that Deaf people suffer from a deep-seated Audism and need to recognize American Sign Language (ASL) be respected for more just a diversity than one we now celebrate. However, Gallaudet University had been a training ground for language belittlement and bigotry, language hegemony and humiliation, even language alienation and atrocity—and it keeps bringing out the misery out of Deaf people for many generations since and to come.
Dealing with the issues of language and cultural oppression dealing with ASL and Deaf people is possibly the most complicated problem of all on the face of earth, and we need to start an activism to challenge the materialism that hinders ASL by making the Deaf hear. We need to build more vehicles for social change and get rid of EPHPHATHA off Gallaudet property.
EPHPHATHA is the term of language bigotry that is much more than an unfortunate chapter in our Deaf history. It is part of many mechanisms of oppression and aversion in Deaf community. Gallaudet should be about cultural and social life of Deaf people. Why not? Deaf people are always in a danger of being defined in another language, that is, a spoken/written language and by attempting to unlock their ears. EPHPHATHA itself is part of biblical literature–both the mythical and historical literature and personal observations and it is important to know this.
Every society has enslaved people. As Karl Marx (1818-1883) pointed out, without slavery, we would all still be living in caves. Now, Audism at Gallaudet created surplus value, created journals and gave Deaf people progress. If Gallaudet kept the EPHPHATHA term, why are Deaf people paying their education? Gallaudet should provide free education to all Deaf people. Administration knows that it is illegal to have the term glued to the seal and their gnashing of teeth, wringing of their hands only cares about million of dollars and untold political power in Gallaudet community. This is about battle of Audism and we need to drive audistic wedges out of the term. It is at best, none of civil equality recognizes at Gallaudet.
Gallaudet University’s culture with the hidden term, EPHPHATHA actually colonizes Deaf minds and instructs them how to act, live, and behave like hearing-minded people. There is no way that Deaf people should be treated as uneducated, underemployed, and underestimated if they do not follow the term to open their ears. Why does Gallaudet silence Deaf people for what purpose? We have to get ready to fight this hidden term and begin heal from the wounds of Audism. It is definitely a threat to Deaf body and mind. It is like an expensive “cocktail therapy” that is not readily or cheaply available. The purpose of not providing all the facts to Deaf people that has drawn attention away from inequality and equalization between Deaf people and Gallaudet.
“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence”-Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier
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