Dear Gallaudet Community:
While I also am aware about members of our community are gravely concerned about Rep. Okla.—Mr. Tom Cole as the Commencement speaker. That is the very important line and yet, Gallaudet University chose to ignore and disrespect graduating students’ safety. It is reported that there are plenty of Deaf graduating students who are still hurting either formal and informal settings. The future of Gallaudet depends on graduating students. President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano was in charge.
Deaf graduating students are our number one priority. They had lost faith in Gallaudet’s ability to lead the university, and where is exactly the respect from Deaf graduating students? Where is the leadership change of this magnitude that has been deeply felt across Gallaudet campus? It also affects alumni and alumnus, too because they were once students and understood the governing board to remain committed to the success of Deaf students, to the face of Gallaudet University.
The selection of Mr. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, is a poorly choice. It does not even meet the values of Gallaudet University. Is it losing its ground to understand the magnitude problem of hate crime and hate speech? When Mr. Tom Cole said that he was not very concerned with the appointment of Steve Bannon in the White House, and that was something to be concerned of. The biggest question on the meaning of higher learning—not higher learning, as we know at Gallaudet University, but our own learning.
That raises a concern that Gallaudet University went ahead and put their self-interest ahead of the Deaf graduating students, and engaging in conduct that affects Gallaudet University’s reputation, and had been misled the Deaf graduating students to a false hope.
We need to remind ourselves that Deaf graduating students comes first before the selection of Mr. Tom Cole, had led lives of necessity with an unforgiving, if not hostile, political and hearing social hierarchy in the environment is a big social problem and does not meet the values of Gallaudet University.
Whatever directive it might be, it was wrong of Gallaudet University to ignore Deaf graduating students under any circumstance whatsoever. What is the professionalism with these people, entrusted with private money, that they did not respect their feelings?
“One of the most difficult issues for the victims of hate crimes is wondering how widespread the bigotry is. How many of the other people on the block want them to leave the neighborhood? How many other students on campus resent their presence?”—Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt, Hate Crimes Revisited: America’s War on Those Who are Different
It is clearly showing poor performance and be done with it, in a dizzying tumble of words about Deaf graduating students’ objection that has left the Gallaudet University community uncovered, something such as a leadership is missing—the bottom line is that Deaf graduating students had to listen with a knot with fear in their stomach. Generally the Gallaudet administration was highly hostile toward Deaf soon to be graduates, and pain on the campus is not even funny. It is painful!
While the selection of Mr. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma who failed miserly to stop the white supremacy in the White House, the hate crimes had been highly recorded than ever, and the numbers of hate crime incidents does not lie, and those Deaf graduating students who protested the selection of Mr. Cole was so important to the university it represented academic freedom, and it is now becoming a central theme in the history of Gallaudet University graduation inviting a congressman who did not support the idea and did not vote YES in 2009 for H.R. 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act:
“The passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) would expand the federal hate crimes law to include crimes that are based on sexual orientation, gender, or physical or mental disability.”
No wonder why Gallaudet University fails to be hate-free campus. What if one of those Deaf graduating students end up as a survivor of federal hate crime that is often forgotten, marginalized, under-reported and swept under the rug? It starts with community accountability at Gallaudet University. The stories of invisible hate crimes are once again reverberating throughout Gallaudet campus.
Did Gallaudet University fail to recognize the problem of hate crime and ignore the implementation efforts to support students, stimulate learning and awareness, and promote inclusion and intercultural knowledge and experience about diversity and cultural differences and how to be fully knowledge about the magnitude social problem of hate crime in America?
When Mr. Tom Cole as inviting Commencement speaker failed to acknowledge the painful stories of Deaf people who would feel painful and violated and support the idea not to prosecute attackers for federal hate crime starts with his leadership and that affects Gallaudet University’s reputation:
“Media attention may also have educated a growing number of people about the occurrence and character of hate crimes.”—Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt, Hate Crimes Revisited: America’s War on Those Who are Different
It is necessary for Gallaudet University; It is necessary for Gallaudet community; It is necessary for the quality of Deaf graduating students;
Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier
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One thought on “Concern About Rep. Tom Cole as Gallaudet Commencement Speaker”
Realpolitik… a bit scary.