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The Room That Cannot Help Themselves: Lack of Democracy for Deaf People

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The picture in Library of Congress (LOC)-Thomas Jefferson Building sends a message. Gallaudet covers pretty much what literature is all about. Congress had the fundamental source of “community and continuity” that made Gallaudet the most powerful society. It reminds me of a quote, “We Americans like to think of our revolution as not being radical; indeed, most of the time we consider it downright conservative”–Gordon S. Wood. I’ve taken few good friends to visit LOC and see the message and let them think. I love doing that!

This room is dedicated to those who cannot help (procure) themselves. I often wonder if it is part of learning refutes old ways of thinking. It also cancels all wrong concepts. Is there a reason Gallaudet scripted in same room as the quote scripted? That is how Congress educates itself into viewing the Deaf. We cannot procure our own instruction ourselves. See the picture below. Gallaudet represent the body of knowledge. Let’s look at the sign of GALLAUDET to imply an ongoing power struggle for the Deaf. Gallaudet is appropriated by Congress so it is never Deaf-centered.  From Merriam-Webster: Procure appeared into Middle English, from Anglo-French procurer, from Late Latin procurare, from Latin, to take care of, from pro- for + cura care. “To Take Care Of”—is kind of insulting for Deaf people.

ImageHumiliation will always present. It is how you handle it makes all the difference. As far as I could remember, Gallaudet University is federally funded, private university. It is a privilege, not a right. This is what the administration loves to assert: you rock the ship, and they’d best had you removed. There are hidden volumes in the library, for example, Gallaudet Archives protect the most important term on the seal. Why not? There is a vacuum in the university leadership to raise or find funds for them as long as the religious leaders are happy to see the term running on the seal today. Speaking of appropriation (budget), Gallaudet University belongs with Congress, not the Deaf. Thus,  it is a privilege for the Deaf, never the right of the Deaf.

The “those who cannot procure it for themselves” statement you see the photo above from Library of Congress begs for a greater development, a head-on challenge. In the other word, we can branch out our intellectual life by setting up Deaf-centered, Deaf-controlled, and Deaf-oriented University so it becomes necessarily that Deaf people can continue to make new meanings. What is the truth? In the case of “waving our language”, the truth is what we need to be proactive about our condition, namely, DEAF.

The word, “DEAF” belongs to us Deaf people in the same manner that the word “THINK” belongs to IBM, and the phrase “Just Do It” belongs to Nike. I do not understand why GALLAUDET was scripted in the same room, “those who cannot procure it for themselves“. Is it an evocative of oppression the Deaf community could easily and readily identify? Perhaps it could not evolve in the university mission for the matter because of its hidden agenda that defines Gallaudet of so called “new order of Deaf people”–and it is Orwellian utopia where the Big People are watching, isn’t EPHPHATHA part of those who cannot procure it for themselves to hear? (The funny thing is that LOC is one of my favorite places to hang out and study).

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

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