What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.”-Alexander Graham Bell
This election season has been very strange, if not, the strangest of all election seasons I can remember. Last April, Meredith Sugar, Alexander Graham Bell’s outgoing president has fueled a tidal wave of Audism, Bigotry, Hatred, and Xenophobia to destroy American Sign Language (ASL) and run the most un-hinged association in American history. I often wondered if Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is also “Left” like Republican Party face critical challenges—advocated sweeping changes in Deaf community to make sure ASL is wiped out. Same thing what Donald Trump has done: racism, sexism, and xenophobia.
With the Election Day coming in within eight days, it is the most consequential in history, should Deaf people unite behind Donald Trump’s candidacy, Alexander Graham Bell is the same force as Donald Trump is doing, while aware that AGBell represents the status quo of corporate influence on politics? Or should AGBell support hate ideology, understanding the profound limits to the ability of Democrats to meaningfully impact Deaf community? And what will the election mean for the terrain in which activists campaign once a new president is inaugurated, for the movement for Deaf lives, the struggle for social justice, the movement for constitutional rights, and more?
As we need to remind ourselves that Abraham Lincoln, a Republican president, had a big heart for Deaf people. We also need to remind that during that time in 1864 when Lincoln signed the charter bill to support higher education for Deaf people, Republicans were way better than Republicans today. If Lincoln sees AGBell as an association, he would argue that the ghosts of AGBell, the one which embodied noble virtues of a powerful organization that breeds oppression towards Deaf people and became subjugated by AGBell, the ghosts embraces the “virtues” (more like sentiments) of an oppressed, resentful Deaf people until it became something entirely alien to what it formerly had been.
Three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Freidman wrote, “Freedom is the ability, desire, and aspiration to live in a context where I can realize my full potential as a human being.” Lincoln would give AGBell a lesson: AGBell is all about limiting themselves as the untruth and therefore the unthinkable. Lincoln also would think that it is true that AGBell is strong supporter of Trump’s hate ideology. This is just an essential choice, by the way.
Everything AGBell is doing is absolutely dismissive, because Deaf people’s freedom does not consist in assenting to what they do ASL, and then they are responsible for being what they adversely avoid the truth of ASL. Donald Trump does not have big heart for Deaf people—never had been. The Republican candidate is struggling that he most likely loses. Trump had no choice but to face the final election results whether or not to accept the result, whatever it might be. I’m saddened to see that there are some Deaf people who are actually vote for Trump. Thank you, President Lincoln for teaching AGBell a lesson that he never shall forget. Trump wanted to make America great again—the greatest white ideology same as AGBell—the hearing ideology making Deaf community suffer again, again, and again.
It makes sense that when Trump said in one of presidential debates, I believe in second debate “the late, great Abraham Lincoln”—it was quite different in 1864 than in 2016, Donald wanted to be like Honest Abe whom he professes to admire in a strange way. We do not need a president who is a racist, sexist, phobic, audist, practicing hatred and the laundry list goes on forever.
Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier
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