This image by ESPN is a perfect example of hearing-washing. “The gift of hearing” is exactly the reflection of a mirror.
It has nothing wrong being Deaf athlete with the natural ability and that’s greatness. That’s the gift in sports. There were many Deaf athletes that were born with gift in sports. It has nothing to do with the gift of hearing. Did I ever need the gift of hearing to win wrestling matches to win over hearing wrestlers? The deficit thinking words from Greek philosopher Aristotle: “Those who are born deaf all becomes senseless and incapable of reason.”
That kind of reaction is priceless in a way because it is OK for hearing people to hold definitive authority to label Deaf athletes.
How can Deaf people became athletes in the first place? This image shows that any Deaf athletes become incapable of reason until the gift of hearing would cure everything right away. It was a poor taste. Seen by social media giants, and it is a perfect picture shot for manufacturers to profit hundred million of dollars and spread falsehood that it would help industry to exploit Deaf athletes.
Hearing privilege is something they need to acknowledge that the words were poorly used to define Deaf people who they are. Would ESPN show a video of giving a black hearing athlete a soap to wash their black skin off and turn into white skin?
Good example of the original Pears soap image where the Black used the soap to wash and turn into white skin. PURE RACISM. That was in 1884.
Same idea by Alexander Graham Bell as well as in 1884: He was concerned about intermarriage among Deaf and stated that they shall not marry because Deaf people would be isolated from hearing society. That looks like an idea of championing gift of hearing and encouraging prohibition of marriage among the Deaf people and halt the birth of Deaf children. Isn’t that gift of hearing? That is the language bigotry. No?
Just two years ago in 2017, the image run by Dove shows a racist idea. Isn’t the very top image you see above the same way what the hearing community mocks Deaf community as what Dove did to Black community? Why or why not?
It is best way to protest is with our Deaf community that Deaf people should not used to mock for just being Deaf. In fact, being Deaf is a gift. George Veditz said himself in 1913:
“As long as we have deaf people on earth, we will have signs. And as long as we have our films, we can preserve signs in their old purity. It is my hope that we will all love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has give to deaf people”
The gift of hearing using the language of Deaf are seen as the effect of hearing privilege, and how the image people see of Deaf people is typically stigmatized and live in the jars. It is far more complicated than meets the eye.
On the other hand, using Deaf people in social media images is gaining privileged, did that mean with the goal of treating Deaf people as the poorer and the less privileged? If so, the more patronizing attitude towards Deaf people who happen to be human beings. Deaf people shall not be objectified as human doings.
Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier
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