Lincoln Memorial. 2013.
May 21 2014. It was 11 AM.
I was asked to come in and meet with Dirksen Bauman—I was walking into ASL/Deaf Studies department looking for Dirksen whom was sitting with Gene Mirus in Gene’s office, I waved to Gene, and he signs with BIG cow eyes looking like he was about to fart any time, “There you are!” with Dirksen sitting who was about to turn his neck around, and sign, “Let’s get together and meet over there” and then we walked into the meeting room who designed for professors and adjunct instructors meet there.
We shook our hands and immediately recognized that their body language was stiff—sending the red flags. You know, Deaf people read body language way better than hearing people even Dirksen, too.
It was quick meeting that Dirksen signs, “The department decided not to have you enrolled in the program for Fall 2014.” and Gene cracked a small smile on his right ear that was showing in his mind that he was glad to see that. I looked back at Dirksen whom rather looking bit skittish did not get the right facts and I could see that he was greatly pressured by the administration. His eyes were not the same. It looks like the billiard game was about to warm up.
I signed back to him, “It is all because I am a returned citizen” Dirksen really fooled me badly when he promised that he would not let Gallaudet University kick me out from the meeting I had with him in the Fall 2013 in his office, “The Dean of the Graduate Program and I had decided to compromise with Gallaudet to make sure you are protected” and I signed back to Dirksen, “So, it was Ted Baran whom really wanted to destroy my reputation badly since day one” and Dirksen’s eyes moved a little more and faster.
Ted Baran, the director for DPS is only a staff that cannot override faculty’s authority, but both are hearing and white privileges, so they make a deal with the devil.
The mind was racing. Then Dirksen has all the privileges he could use, “You need a lot of help” telling a Deaf person from hearing person with powerful privileges was very condescending. What does ignorance cost Gallaudet in dollars? When Deaf children like myself has been no longer of the dangers faced by ignorance in the society and that is where the dollars’ cost incurred by hearing privileges and taxpayers.
Deaf children who had been denied for counseling countless of time due to lack of Deaf certified counselors, the refusal to pay sign language interpreters when they were supposed to help. Deaf children are now speaking now of human suffering and of the ethnical dilemmas that are faced by an oppressive society that looks upon suffering with great concern that the white and hearing privileges would not seemingly demand.
I signed to Dirksen, “I would consider writing a book about it and what you had done to me” and Dirksen replied, “You can write whatever you want. I do not really care” and I took it as a personal insult.
Then Gene Mirus signed, “You do not belong here”. Deaf to Deaf. He must really felt good. That is something truly odious—Scarlet Letter—so powerful that they agree to each other that I needed lot of help and requiring to bear, for the rest of my life, giving me the badge of dishonor, whenever the intelligence struggle had been ignored as a child when seeking for counseling, whose responsible in the society?
On the other hand, I would like to make it perfectly clear that I do not think I deserve Scarlet Letter simply because I am returned citizen and directed my life struggles against violations of hearing and white privileges like Dirksen took my personal dignity and civil rights and the civil rights of the Deaf people for whom I have such deep concern.
Deaf children whom had been faced for lack of Deaf certified counselors, representing one very large damaging source of ignorance. Despite 2016, there are still not enough Deaf certified counselors in America, the quality of Deaf Education is in severe hands, thousands of Deaf children would not able to be fully competent to share what they face with. Even more with 80% of Deaf children around the world, is illiterate with education. The Deaf Education system in its own morass of indefensible hearing superiority, “a deed executed by an illiterate person does not bind him” if the terms have not been applied to Deaf children correctly.
Would counseling save Deaf children? Only highly literature person like Dirksen would ask this question and only the well-educated Dirksen seem to say that it does not.
I sat there frozen for a minute or two, and they stood up and walked outside of the door and I looked around the meeting room that was supposed to hold the professors in high standard when ASL/Deaf Studies department ignore the intellectual discourses where Deaf children were suffering as survivors. There are standards and requisites clearly defined for educational traits. Then I walked out of the meeting room and they were standing there, and I shook their hands and Dirksen smiled and walked away.
Then I was about to walk out of the building, but for the last time, I looked back at the hallways where Deaf Studies were supposed to heal for Deaf students whom thrive to change their lives for better, in the honest opinion of the ASL/Deaf Studies, Dirksen with the white and hearing privileges qualify to steal my life away in accordance with these requisites, then Dirksen was feeling genuinely happy about it.
The day in 2010, I walked into the building for the first time with my mentor Carl Schroeder, and the first person to come out of the same meeting room I was in, immediately walked to Carl and say, “What’s up?!” and I was standing right there looking at the person wondering who he is really about after reading books and the DVD he produced with—and Dirksen had to go for another meeting. Then Carl e-mailed him, “I would like you to meet Jason Tozier. A prospect graduate student whom would like to apply for ASL/Deaf Studies” asking Dirksen to meet up with us for beer.
Dirksen then writes two days later, “I had been very busy lately. I’m sorry that I am unable to meet you guys” and Carl thanked him and told me a little bit about Dirksen. I thanked Carl for believing in me. Dirksen sounded like really cool guy. They even smoked bowls together years ago. Yes, Dirksen is a pothead. Dirksen is so good that he knows how to cover it up with excuses.
The words that haunt my life, “You need a lot of help” that I had been engineered the suffering for equal opportunity—making me a target for particular hate to those sick white privileges along with hearing privileges who had considered intellectual struggle on my life. Again, it was very condescending. My life has been stolen by Dirksen’s oppressive words. The struggles continue.
I came home in one of the biggest shock mode ever I dealt with, sitting in the den all night drinking and cried in great grief. The struggles continue. Then it was time for me to write a book about it. Deafhood becomes my self-serving.
Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.