Alexander Graham Bell often comes with a damaging idea. Bell’s relentless pressure crushed the Deaf community it does with oppression. Indeed, as I was doing some research for just fun, and discovered the real story of AGBell, the story that never gets told, is the story of why the term “oppression” became valid. It is the story of what that oppression does to the Deaf community and to the economy as a while.
Alexander Graham Bell wrote a poem “Many Happy Returns of the Day” on March 1, 1864:
Time, speeding, rules: all things compelled obey.
Oh! May this king ne’er turn your love from me!
May every year’s forced March, a blessing be,
Your love recruiting, driving fears away.
Dear Guide: Nought can thy tender care repay:
Each seeming harsh reproof was, now I see,
An act of love: received—ungratefully,
Recalling conscience forces me to say.
Feel not, amid the greetings of this morn,
A Blank, because from sight my form has gone:
Through I be absent, yet my heart’s at home.
Hailing the Birthday, while my voice is dumb:
Each absence makes me prize my home the more:
Return shall me—worthier than before.
The same year, 1864: One month later, the idea of an higher education for Deaf people now today is known as Gallaudet University. Therefore, all Deaf people—must continue to work for change. Becoming Deaf community of radical movement requires that we, the Deaf community of trust, where the integrity of sign language is preserved and protected.
AGBell’s voice is dumb. The King of Fear. Tearing families apart, destroys lives and relationships, and had caused collateral damage. Many Deaf people suffer as loneliness.
May every year’s forced March, most blessing of all, drove fears away because the month of March is also National Deaf History Month, celebrates Deaf history and promotes awareness of American Deaf culture. It is also the month that changed the face of Deaf community forever at Gallaudet University in 1988.
I was reading a book, A Philosophy of Loneliness by Lars Svendsen the other day, and found this quote that put Deaf community into shame the most by building a culture of fear attacking them for being state of Deaf.
Fear and mistrust also become self-perpetuating. Mistrust fosters more mistrust, because, among other reasons, it isolates individuals from situations where they could have learned to trust others. Lonely people perceive their social surroundings as threatening to a greater extent than do non-lonely people, and this fear hinders the precise thing that could cause it to decrease: human contact.”
Exactly! The decrease of human contact as in Bell’s fear and mistrusting statement in 1884: “We should try ourselves to forget that they are deaf. We should try to teach them to forget what they are deaf.” meets the goal of decreasing human contact with Deaf people in the society. That is hate-motivated statement that would meet the criteria of hate crime.
Bell’s “penalty box” of Deaf people—punished, or even excluded from the society, for using sign language, that makes Bell powerful. The penalty box is normally reserved for Deaf people who do not meet with Oralism performance. It would make Deaf people suffer more. If we look at AGBell as a legal person, which is what the society are seen as, legally. It is easy to see AGBell as a sociopath. Prototypical sociopath—if that is what AGBell is, who bears the moral responsibility of damaging Deaf community?
Try to distinguish between the oppression and oppressor: Oralism is awful, what about the oppressors? Often, what would been seen as a moral decision for Deaf people seen as a cost and benefit analysis for AGBell corporations? Many Happy Returns of the Day? An act of love: received—ungratefully? AGBell, enough of hate crime.
Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier
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