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How Oralism Ruined My Christmas Spirit

blind__mute__deaf_by_isadhoraomar.jpg

I really liked that artwork. Unknown Deaf artist.

It was 1983. It was also the year when President Ronald Reagan signs a bill creating Martin Luther King Day to remember the legacy of MLK and end the power dynamics of Racism. I was nine years old that time—a third grader. However, that time, it was one of the most humiliating experience I ever faced in my life.

The school district forced me to learn how to speak well—the truth, I was the worst oralist you can imagine. The painting by Nancy Rourke, the original Mask of Benevolence, hanging on my wall had really made me think of my growing pains. No one should ever steal, ruin, or destroy anyone’s Christmas spirit. Especially Deaf children’s welfare. When I was part of Deafhood Monologues, it really hit me hard with one of the stories that apply my life—Christmas story.

The speech therapist by the name of Sandy, forced me to learn how to ace top-notch speech—it does not work that way. It was illegal child labor that took my human dignity away. Speech therapists were the lowest form of my own humanity. I remember all the hours—taking away my own education instead of focusing on speech so I can be part of choir that I never knew that I would be part of. No one would tell me. No one! Looking back, I did not stand up and fight against Oralism. I was just a kid that they exploited me.

The day before the night, my father took me to do some shopping to find some nice clothes and I became confused why my father would do this. So, the time came—that really ruined my Christmas spirit. Not only me, but my father, too.

I was “blended” into the crowd with my hearing classmates that I never knew that it would be choir. Not even a hint. I was really that naive. Then I was standing the very front row before large audience—all the hearing parents including my father. Fuck that shit. It was no more than 30 minutes of choir—maybe longer, but I remember when Sandy, the cruel speech therapist was looking at me along with the interpreter right there telling me to use my mouth properly—and I remember looking at some of the faces in the audience looking at me like awful….and it was fucking disaster. My father was humiliated, too.

Shaking my head! I really did my best to make my father happy as much as I could. It was also the hardest time, too. When the event was finished for the evening, you know, everyone would greet and cheer each other, but my father just cannot stand this anymore and took me home right away. He did not bother to tell speech therapist or teacher THANK YOU. Nothing like that. That’s where Oralism became a failure. My father was only 29 years old. Poor father. He was lied by Alexander Graham Bell’s ideology.

That’s where my Christmas spirit ruined that year. My father told my now deceased grandparents what happened and they all tried to cover it up and told me to forget what happened that night. While I am writing this post, it made me cry. Literally. Then I realized, Oralism is the reason why the power dynamics of Audism ignored that time. FUCK YOU, Alexander Graham Bell for ruining my Christmas spirit—you owe my father a big apology.

I want you to know that you, Alexander Graham Bell are along my personal heroes…to me, the greatest fraud in Deaf community, a blend of hatred, and true bully, of phobic analysis, and emotional damage, capable of great achievement in the highest spheres of human ignorance. I have placed your life directly my experience, and I now use your image for inspiration and encouragement as I purse my own goals as a writer. This post is already looking into Alexander Graham Bell’s eyes that helped me provide me with great source of knowledge. Thank you for the most stupid work you do—certainly, you are another hate-monger with real passion to destroy Deaf community in pieces.

-JT

Copyright @ 2016 Jason Tozier

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

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