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Trump-Climate: Gallaudet University

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My thoughts about Trump fans who showed up for a softball game on Gallaudet University campus few weeks ago, then on August 14, 2017, President of Gallaudet University signs in a video, “…in Charolettesville, Virginia, are a sobering reminder that the values we hold dear at Gallaudet University.”—-“We here at Gallaudet unequivocally condemn hatred, bigotry, and violence.” also signed by the President.

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Last few months ago, after the election of Trump, there has been plenty of cases that were reported at Gallaudet University like the missing important piece of Black Live Matter banner off the wall, taking down signs for transgender to use bathroom doors, and had created climate of hate. An event about Islamophobia last March 2017 has provided plenty of stories, not a single highest-ranking Gallaudet official, for example, responsible for the safety of students, did not show up that event. How did we know there is not a single hate crime committed at Gallaudet University after Trump was elected and sworn in? Hate crime is often, invisible even for Deaf people.

The problem is that the half of Gallaudet’s campus, 50% of staff, faculty, and administers do not sign ASL. If they do not know ASL, how can the safety of Gallaudet University’s responsibility that ensures for communication, knowledge, and information? How can those 50% unequivocally condemn hatred, bigotry and violence? How will they explain to them in ASL?

There are some students that already left Gallaudet campus because they are living in fear within few miles from Trump White House. FEAR is powerful. They do not feel safe anymore. There may be “500 new students” already at Gallaudet, but the reality, the student enrollment is lower than expected that had dropped out, transferred to another higher education institution to get away from Washington, D.C., where the trust is broken, thanks to Trump’s fears. Gallaudet students are supposed to be protected status first. Although no federal law directly addresses bullying, however, bullying and harassment overlap, federally funded university like Gallaudet University has an obligation to resolve the harassment.

When you experience hate crime, you are no longer an individual. You have no freedom of choice. You are targeted, and all decisions have to be made within the society. They have no freedom of choice. No matter what how any of us feel, no one of us make a single decision unless it is within hearing society.

A faculty member writes the day before to gather together today.

Gathering for all—students, faculty, staff, administrators, visitors—Celebrate, acknowledge, and affirm.

Description: Here we go…starting the school year again, or for the first time (welcome new students!) Let’s come together. Let’s engage and look in each others’ eyes. Let’s acknowledge the harm, the fear, and the hate. Let’s celebrate hope, love, accountability, and kindness. Let’s affirm commitment to our community and to one another.

The plan? To be together. To invite each other to pause. Some people will share their thoughts. We can create a message, of support for UVA students, staff, and the faculty. We can create one for ourselves too—words of affirmation, support, kindness, and love.

12:30-1:50. Near the Marketplace in SAC at the bottom of the stairs. Show up when you can, for as long or as short as you can. “

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I regretted that I was not able to attend there, to celebrate, acknowledge, and affirm with students to stand up against hate. At the same time, we need to be aware that Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions do not support Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) because they both think it is not necessary to fund HCSA and a total waste of time.

The truth is that the cases of hate crimes have reported more and more than ever and the growing of hate groups has jumped higher and faster. They laugh and talk with pride about supporting white supremacists and hate groups. The image you see where Trump grabs American flag when he thinks he is the king of the globe that is about to fall on his head. Was that what Trump wanted to create hate in America than ever for what purpose? To destroy the image of the flag?

With the hearing fans chanting for the name of Trump on Gallaudet campus, ignores the fact that the university is a sacred ground for Deaf people that do not need hatred, bigotry, and violence. Also, when hearing fans chant for the name of Trump, it becomes oppression and white hearing privileges that uses spoken English that creates double oppression on ASL. Is that also language bigotry? How can we allow that happen? I recognize any political affiliation is each to their own.

As the meaning of “UNIVERSITY”, the physical plant of an university, the plant is supposed to flourish for hope and peace, instead of allowing hearing bystanders who preaches hate in the sake of Trump’s name, which is the problem on the campus that was supposed to set a safe haven for Deaf people only. How much students and alumni/alumnus should invest their trust in the administration, faculty, and staff?

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Trust that cannot be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on students’ lives, how much Gallaudet University gives energy?

Will they all be trained not to ignore Islamophobia, Homophobic, or Xenophobic in any matter? Community accountability is a cardinal rule. Haters may encourage people to create more hate to upload their attitudes to degrade Deaf people’s personal timelines.

What does it mean to you, “a sobering reminder that the values we hold dear at Gallaudet University?” We are all remind of Gallaudet’s famous motto: There is no other place like this in the world.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

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