Plato wrote in Phaedrus (Around 370 B.C.),
SOCRATES: I can tell you what I’ve heard the ancients said, though they alone know the truth. However, if we could discover that ourselves, would we still care about the speculations of other people?
PHAEDRUS: That’s silly question. Still, tell me what you say you’ve heard.
I do not know what to type this right now—yes; I was shocked when Christopher Wagner, National Association of the Deaf (NAD) president represents the heart of Deaf community. There is a reason why I refuse to be part of NAD. When Wagner as candidate for NAD president in 2012, he wrote,
“I am a candidate for the office of President of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). I believe I am qualified to lead the NAD as its next President….I am in no way comparing myself to any of these great advocates, but I do share in their vision for a better Deaf America. I believe strongly in the NAD – its mission, vision, values and commitment to diversity….. do not take the NAD Presidency lightly. You may ask why would I want to take on anything more, especially after six years’ service as Vice President. The answer is simple. There is always more work that needs to be done. The NAD needs a leader…..” The key word is leader.
In light of integrity as in honesty, Deaf community can no longer pretend that inaction is appropriate or acceptable. It is time for NAD president to come forward and be integrity to this great national problem. It is time for Chris Wagner to use the platform and position to begin a long overdue national conversation about integrity.
In 2014, I wrote an e-mail to Chris if he remembers me from Tucker-Maxon Oral School (TMOS) in Portland, Oregon–and he immediately knew what TMOS stands for—as “O” for Oral—funny how it turns out long before he wrote that to me. In 2012, he wrote in NADmag, Fall 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 2 in the section called “Interview with the New President” in page 26, “….. Raised in Portland, Ore; where I attended Tucker Maxon School for the Deaf. ” I mean, it was written in NAD magazine that sends to 7000 members–and that was not very honest of him to write something like this.
Let’s focus on the timeline, shall we? Tucker-Maxon ORAL School was founded in 1947—and it was NEVER been Deaf school. Never. Wagner was a student from 1967-1980. That’s plenty of time to know that it was ORAL school. Wagner knew it was NEVER Deaf school. That’s a difference. Like I said, he replied to my e-mail in 2014, he wrote “TMOS” and he never typed “Tucker Maxon School for the Deaf”–that was only two years “young” when he wrote in 2012, “Tucker-Maxon School for the Deaf”–hmmm.
Now in 2015, after discovering that Wagner wrote that in 2012, he said that it was his error to say something like that. How come Lizzie Sorkin, the editor of NADmag failed to do her homework? That is BIG “F” on her editorship. In recent video under NADVlogs, “Share: NAD President Asks Community to Become Unified” that was published on November 2, 2015, he signs, “This is probably one of the most difficult messages that I have ever had to give…We all know that these schools are the heart of the deaf and hard of hearing community. Though I didn’t go to a deaf school myself”
How come Wagner wrote in NADmag that he went to Deaf school? Not only Tucker-Maxon, but also St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, too. I’m confused. He said that he did not go to a Deaf school—but he wrote that to 7000 NAD members that was supposed to build trust. What’s the catch? This is not just honesty in the presidential slogan, but it is a movement. All across the country, thousands of Deaf students who are in Deaf schools does not deserve a honest leadership from Wagner that they want him to build a political revolution.
Time for Wagner to tell the most difficult message he has ever had to give: Apologize. Do not be like George W. Bush with all his lies in wars for his own political benefit. “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” written by Greg Palast is exactly what is missing with the best democracy money can buy in NAD that reeks of political corruption, corporate fraud, and financial manipulation.
Now I remember when he was running for NAD president candidate, TMOS, Alexander Graham Bell Association, and Hands and Voice of Oregon helped him elected as president that was later removed from Wagner’s webpage after he was in office. Interesting, huh? It was shame of him to support Donald E. Rhoten from Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. Wagner did not follow George Veditz’s mission. What a shame! The same TMOS we attended with the mission that TMOS did not allow anyone to talk about George Veditz. He was bought from AGB’s mission.
Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier
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