Jenny’s Reflection: End Racial Bias


Video description- Jenny sitting down with black shirt, brown short hair, and brown skin. White background with half circle window on top of screen on your left. Brown wood window sill on your left.  Light switch on your left as well.

(Screen begins with black and circle appears zooming out to Jenny signing)

Hello everyone! My precious Deaf community! Why am I doing a vlog? Oh, I wanted to share my personal feelings, story, experience and thoughts with you all.  For the past few days, there were several videos out there that were discussing hot issue debating, analyzing and everything about it was wow, healthy. (Screen swap)

Those different issues are Bilingual, Bimodality, Deaf Education, POC (Person of Color), Privilege and so much more. Wow.  Those vlogs had a lot of discussion and comments and I saw several of them that was very intimidating for me. I felt hurt. Mindboggling. Grieving.  For example- That person is Deaf, Woman and POC (White text appears in front of Jenny’s black shirt starting with DEAF, WOMAN, POC and another person is Deaf, Man and POC (White text appears in front of Jenny’s black shirt starting with DEAF, MAN, POC) I want you to understand. When they made comments, this is what they said, I pass for white person. (White text appears at the bottom of screen “…I pass for white.”) Those two people looked at me as the following (wow) “oh yeah, they are white vloggers”, “Oh yeah, they are from Deaf family”, “They don’t have any POC”, “Jenny (pointing at herself) is not POC, no, she’s white”, “Jenny, a POC? No, that’s a mistake, she pass for white person.” (Jenny looks upset) Their comments and views on me really hurts. (Jenny pats her chest where the heart lies with her head jerked back to show pain and looked down briefly) Why? (She frowns) I am a woman, Deaf, Latina and that is part of POC community. (White text at the bottom appears- WOMAN, DEAF, LATINA)  I am not from Deaf family. (She shook her head with puzzling look on her face) (Screen Swap)

My family, namely my parents are from El Salvador (White text appears on the bottom of the video- EL SALVADOR) My parents are hearing (White text appears on the bottom of the video- HEARING). They moved to New York from El Salvador. (Switched to a picture of Earth with white spot on El Salvador and red string moving across the Earth to New York’s red spot) That’s where I was born and started my life there. My parents made effort to learn ASL (White text appears at the bottom of screen- AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (ASL)) and that touched my heart.  My brother’s first language is ASL (White text appears at the bottom of the screen – 1ST LANGUAGE- ASL) He’s hearing (White text- HEARING appears across the bottom of the screen) Wow… Now, you look at me thinking that I came from Deaf family? No (Shaking her hands sideways) I was placed in the right Deaf school (white text appears across the bottom of the screen- RIGHT DEAF SCHOOL PLACEMENT) wow, I was fortunate.  My experiences and journeys through school, graduation, life and work at places such as Deaf school, charter, mainstreaming and myself as a teacher working with hearing world and how they viewed me was challenging. I went through challenges, oh yes.  I have already experienced oppression wow, as a woman, Deaf person and Latina, whoa, I have so many stories to tell you the truth. Oh yeah. I cried, felt conflicted, emotional (White text appears at the bottom of the screen= SUPPORT THROUGH MANY CHALLENGES) my family supports me, whoa. Now, I am giving you one good story example. (White text appears at the bottom of the screen- AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE- MY TRUE PERSONAL STORY and Screen Swap)

I was a first time mom, born my first son. I now have three children. My first is deaf, wow. I was cradling him and he looks white and he’s bald, ahh so cute. He’s white from where? His father who is white himself.  So my son is cute! He was born in Texas. I was excited and getting ready to fly out to California. Me, my husband, my mother and son, all four of us went to the airport. (hands folds together)  You know we have to check in bags, inspections and so on. Then you have to show ids, birth certificate, passport and all that.  We were all in the line waiting for our turn.  I show the person investigating the birth certificate. However, I noticed the security was puzzled at the paper given to him and he was speaking to his radio. My mother quickly informed me that there’s something wrong. I asked her really?  Remember my mother is from El Salvador and does she speak English well? (mouth movement- No)  Her first language is Spanish. She was able to understand the tone of the English that indicate there’s something wrong. I asked really? Oh no. I wasn’t sure what’s going on. I didn’t understand. WHOA, there were several police coming forward to us.  We all had to go to the side because we are not allowed to go through. I asked what’s going on.  We wrote back and forth. They asked me if my son was my baby. I was shocked and said WHAT?  Whoa, I gave birth to him, whoa I was taken aback and was conflicted. What’s going on? The security said it’s fine and they made a call but wasn’t sure who they were calling. My mom said she thinks they are calling the hospital. I was questioning if that was what’s happening. I was shocked. The security was on the phone and others were talking to each other. In result, the police did call the hospital to make sure I am the mother who gave birth to my son and was my son born at that hospital. Then, they said oh I am sorry, go ahead and get on your plane.  I was looking at the color of our skin when comparing to your son. Gasp! You judge a book by its cover, so they judge me and decided no he’s not my son. (White text across the bottom of screen- YOU JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER) So the point of this story, several people have commented saying that I am white, oh, I pass for white person. Whoa, no (Shaking her hands sideways) I have already experienced oppression (White text across the bottom of screen- EXPERIENCE OF OPPRESSION) I am hurt, to let you know. (White text- HURT appears at the bottom of screen).


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s