This was me wearing Darth Vader shirt. Christmas 1981.
Meet Alexander Graham Bell, the only and one Rogue. The definition of ‘Rogue’ in dictionary means “dishonest man”—and Mr. Bell was also the scoundrel behind Sound Wars story. Alexander Graham Bell first advocated Oralism and speech training and the removal of ASL (American Sign Language) from curriculum. By 1927, sign languages had been banned from most schools as a result of his lobbying (Maher, 1996). This promotes the ignorance of Deaf culture, especially when the following definition of culture is used:
A culture is a set of learned behaviors of a group of people who have their own language, values, rules for behavior, and traditions. A person may be born into a culture; he is brought up according to the values of the culture and his personality and behavior are shaped by his cultural values. Or, a person may grow up in a culture and later learn the languages, values, and practices of a different culture and become “encultured” into that culture.
The Deaf are outsiders in the hearing American world. (Mow, 1989) says that each person has experienced “mental isolation”, which he describes in detail: “while everyone is talking or laughing, you are as far away as a lone Arab on a desert that stretches along every horizon Everyone and everything are a mirage; you see them but you cannot touch or become a part of them. You thirst for connection.” The Deaf are further alienated from American society because they are not always as normal healthy people (Rutherford, 1992) Also, consider the “hearing impaired”—although used to refer to the Deaf, and hard of hearing, this label is considered highly offensive to the Deaf. It ignores cultural identity and its use among hearing is a sign of ignorance (Roach, 2002).
With the lack of ASL education in early education resulting from AGBell reforms, the majority of Deaf people show a profound pain in their lives. It seems that the hate crimes against Deaf citizens have dwindled since the time of AGBell. Bell’s action equaled “hate crime” of denying the linguistic minority (Deaf signers) such privileges and societal rights to the use of “natural language.”
Hate crime was a logical term to describe AGBell’s eugenics movement for imposing linguistic and cultural superiority and eradication upon Deaf signers of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. More appropriate terms are linguistic imperialism or attempt to “linguicide” the sociocultural minority, for example, Deaf signers of the post-1880 Milan Conference period from conveying and expressing their own thoughts in practical and efficient language usage.
“Linguicism” could also be an acceptable term to describe AGBell’s misguided ideology of assimilating or centralizing the sociolinguistic minority into the society at large on so-called equal basis. Deaf people everywhere, could enact the strategic multilingualism polices to ensure the protection and preservation of our beloved and precious signed languages from possibly linguistic extinction and loss and sociocultural genocide or undermine the existence of minority language usage. Deaf people everywhere ought to call for the non-intervention policy to make our natural language of the Deaf to the protected statues to the listing of endangered language usage in the United States.
Beginning the work of AGBell in late 19th century, Deaf people have been frequent and prominent targets of the eugenics movement. It is not widely known by the general public that, in addition to his work as an inventor of the phone was later found fraud, Bell was also a leading figure in the education of the Deaf in the late 19th and early 20th century. In order to put his issue into context, it is important to consider Bell and the educational and social programs he promoted.
The Only and One Rogue with the most famous quote ever, “We should try ourselves to forget that they are deaf. We should try to teach them to forget that they are deaf”—AGBell, 1884. The quote goes under the instant microscope of cameras and social media. Every detail is investigated, and the Deaf community has demanded community accountability. First one: Bigotry. Second: Language Belittlement. Third: Hate Crime. Bigotry is the first tier supporting a language belittlement, second tier to push for the systematic change adding hate crime, a third and final tier.
Deaf people today and tomorrow struggle even more when they attempt to tell their stories that they have been severely oppressed, yet, forgotten and ignored. 1) Framing the problem evaluates and subsequently rejects the applications of the Deaf people. 2) Framing the problem routinely reduces the number of incidents allocated to Deaf people by paid government officials. Many of the Deaf people are unable to defend themselves and lose the help they desperately need. 3) Framing the problem forces the Deaf people to prove that they are Deaf over and over again every day to qualify for Deaf people’s own safety. 4) The provisions for limiting and framing the problem for Deaf people to qualify are so high that do quality are unable to meet the federal hate crimes to engage into the licensed statistics. AGBell’s career is littered with catastrophes.
That is why AGBell, the Only and One Rogue loved being Darth Vader……and all the sound wars stories from Deaf survivors—zip. Lost. Forever. I hold him responsible even in the picture above I made sure that
AGBell’s beliefs and structural biases commanded Deaf people to be changed because of his deep-seated hatred codes. Then his beliefs have to be changed, too. AGBell will be always ROGUE ONE forever.
Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier
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