Harming Deaf Community: Hate Crime Laws

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Hate Crime in Portland, Oregon is a serious issue. Portland has been a hot spot for hate crimes even though it is invisible just like that. Raised in greater Portland area for 37 years, and studied under world-class hate crime professor where he taught me how to be knowledge about prejudice, hate crimes and violent crimes. My work was and been focusing on Deaf people who were victimized by the hate crimes.

I was very much proud to play a crucial role in Oregon making sure Deaf people who were survivors or victims of hate crime are included in Oregon bias crime statute in 2011. It is one of my proudest life work ever. Thanks to Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes (OCAHC), I was grateful for its leadership.

Last August 2018, I attended a congressional teach-in on hate crimes and participated in the discussion where I asked the panel experts, including one who was my professor, a question that was critical enough for the society to see a sociological problem, for example, “Since the 1990s, when hate crimes began to be documented, there hasn’t been one documented incident against Deaf people, although they happen.” that can be found on C-SPAN website with closed captions. It was very important time to ask.

That inspired me to write a column called The Reality (and Invisibility) of Deaf-Targeted Hate Crimes in DEAF LIFE October 2018 issue and gave a lecture: Fighting the Fires of Hate: Deaf America in Crisis in the same month as well.

I got invited to be part of training how to combat hate crime sometime this year with well-known and well-respected organizations and hate crime experts which I am very excited and will bring my knowledge how to combat hate crimes against Deaf people. The biggest problem is that the laws lacks the most where they fail to protect Deaf people from hate crime are ultimately enforced by ignorance. Deaf people needs protection at all cost and stop the hearing privileges that the hate crime laws needs to be updated because for number one reason: Deaf people do not deserve hate.

Once the power is taken away from Deaf people, it makes Deaf people’s lives harder if it has not enforced in hate crime laws to protect them at all cost. Often misunderstood that the stigma about Deaf people are one of the greatest damage control. Hate crime laws should not criminalize Deaf people because of the stigma.

How do Deaf people ensure the public trust is enforced? There is no exit. Where is the sympathy for Deaf victims, survivors, and its families? The mainstream society inflicts harm, which, in turn, affects the Deaf community today and tomorrow.

Yet, Deaf people continue to suffer the cruel punishments because of their identity and practice the culture of fear in sound-oriented society. The violence needs to be stopped.

For lectures: please visit this website below.

https://jasontozier.net/

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

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