Lecture: Deaf Returning Citizens as Forgotten People. October 2015. CSUN Social Justice Conference.
July 26, 2019:
Dealing with old wounds again. Cycles kept circling around and defining who I am. Pushing me to the brink of human collapse.
Labeling on my forehead–that is very evident in my case, and dealing with that every day, unleashing so much insanity and throwing at me, the hostile dementia, and I had been spending the last 35 years of my life trying to extricate myself from negative drama that was full of deception and been tired of the pain and humiliation anymore. Never mind that I had been raped at age of ten years old with a wood stick up my ass, bleeding, and causing a life-time scar–emotionally. No one wanted to hear my story. Quick enough to jump and judge right away without asking my story.
I was 12 years old when I forced to commit a crime. Now I am 44 years old. The last 35 years of my life has been painful. People do not really know the whole story. It’s amazing how much hate had been infected so fast on social media. I am truly sorry what I had done and there is nothing I can change the past. The system had failed my life. I asked for help at age of 12, and it never happened.
I am not a perfect human being and it is just another in a long line of colossal mistakes. For one thing that I know that I am a good heart and sensitive guy. I care too much. I had been going through a fallow period when I must let the soil rest to prepare for a new growth.
Typical words coming from the paranoid, reactionary, delusional, and fear-mongering crowd that worships hateful labels. If you want to keep your freedom then arm yourself with facts and reject the fear-based, “safety-at-any price” thinking.
I do not need the most hateful label where, like today, results in discrimination, stigmatization, shaming, unemployment, under-employment, homelessness, and general social exile are the norms that must be reversed. Would it be better of killing or murdering me and dispose of my body for its own pleasure? Can in this society, believe in facts before myth, science before faith, and reason before assumption?
I refuse to live down what I am being defined by my character. People had been spreading nasty images about me, powerful biased language was to utilize and draw disgust and fury to the readers. My own face is forever tarnished around Deaf community. It is known as character assassination.
The social media to a point has emotionalized it where people are pushing for destruction of my own life. It is true that it would be better off to end my life instead of living and struggling in the society where hate is spreading my name like a soulless monster. Instead of the usual political careerism that is being built on the society’s collective and cultural of fear.
Can we have at least sensible and detailed reporting where it is not based on a low fruit, emotionalize piece but on the many sides of this issue? There are millions and millions of dollars of waste fraud and abuse in the criminal justice system. I’ve spent $80,000 in four years alone starting at age of 21. All when I was just 12 years old with no guidance, naive, and all that.
Suicide is a big problem in Deaf community.
Mistakes were: the interpreter whom was a CODA where I never met in my life at age of 19 and a senior in high school before going into the interviewing room with detective telling me to get a lawyer and knew that I was 12 years old to protect my life, and I failed. I ignored my own stupidity. I was not educated enough about it. I thought I would get plenty of help and be honest. It was one of biggest mistakes in my life. It ultimately cost my life for good. I destroyed my own life.
Yet, at 44, after paid my debt to society a million times over, I deal with Internet shaming, and do I deserve a second chance? Most likely, no, and telling me to kill myself or disappear off the face of the Earth would solve everything, is it better off? Deaf community thinks so. I completely understand. Because it is not completely self-healing society yet, refuse to repair the problems, turning bad into good, and reintegrate returnees back into society.
If people break the law then they deserve to be held accountable. Otherwise, freedom and liberty should be the shining societal goals. But, I do not think it would ever happen in Deaf community because they prefer Internet shaming, lynching, and sending me death threats I receive all the time. How can the society provide any degree of safety? Shaming and humiliation is best, while rehabilitation and reintegration is not.
As I wrote an article in DEAF LIFE December 2018 Issue: Deaf Returnees: What do they return to?
“The true stories of Deaf returnees have been too often hidden from the American people. They have been shamed and ignored for political reasons. Did the perpetrators encourage bullying tactics that tear Deaf returnees down?
We must take bold action to defend human rights and the core values of democracy in supporting Deaf returnees. We are tired of being attacked, seeing the truth distorted, the media playing mind games, targeting Deaf returnees as scapegoats.
Terms such as ex-convict, felon, offender, and criminal are negative. The terms returning citizen and returnee are positive.
Media images of Deaf returnees are all too often negative, grotesque, suggesting that they can’t survive in society, can’t turn their lives around, are incapable of giving back to the Deaf community. They are seen as unintelligent, sick, lazy, and not to be trusted. How could they succeed if they actually had to earn merit to advance in society? Why bother giving them second chances?”
Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier
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3 thoughts on “Wounded by Labeling”
No words here, because I don’t even imagine what you and others went and still go through all this.
Expressing out of this for someone who has gone through hardships is not what I would ever imagine starting at 19 until now.
*can’t even imagine, not don’t