Unsettling the Word: Decolonization of Deaf Identity

Nancy Rourke

After watching Paddy Lecture’s lecture: Deafhood, Deaf Culture, and the Wall of Silence, I would like to share my reflections, as a Deaf American, recognizing that the DEAF WORLD has been affected by the past 140 years since Milan Resolution 1880 has seen the vulnerability of freedom in every direction–emotion, financial, social, heading into an official denial of dehumanization.

The brutal statistics are painful to bear, we the Deaf have led lives of struggling within an unforgiving, if not hostile, hearing social hierarchy in the oppressive environment where Deaf people are continually marginalized.

When Paddy Ladd signed this statement in his lecture, quote for a quote:

“Oh, next year, we’re gonna to pass a law and we’re gonna put deaf children where you will never find them,”–head of teacher training college for the oralists, 1980s

See that? That’s RED FLAG! Mean-spirited souls dispatched a hate speech targeting the state of ‘Deaf’—40 years later, the world of the Deaf is at a low point—our Deaf identity becomes toxic. That leads to the greatest paranoia that hearing people have spewed hate against Deaf individuals.

The society forcing the wind to feel differently, the Deaf world relate as family and experience a bond according to Paddy Ladd, writing what Deafhood is really about: “The sum total of all, positive meanings of ‘Deaf’, past, present, and future—what Deaf people have been, are, and can become.”

Are we living in an hourglass? Are we talking about constructive self-criticism? For years and years, many stories about Deaf people by hearing people teaching them. The Deaf Education everywhere in the world is the invasion of the body snatchers practicing oppression in the language and culture in the product of political, social, language and cultural oppressions of many years we know best.

Philosopher Gershom Scholem once said:

“Namely, crucial moments when it is possible to act. If you move then, something happens.”

Every in detail, and at the greatest length of hatred, the historical clock of Alexander Graham Bell whatever it rewinds or not, the victory giving AGBell the rights to decolonize the lives of the Deaf for the political capital, should deny the opportunity and target vulnerability in Deaf space, and the bias is practically neglected, allowing Surdophphobia, a fear of the Deaf people coined by Gardy Van Gils in late 1990s.

What constitutes hegemonic power? Every Deaf member of the Deaf community had been bullied in their lives, there is no denial in that, this hate crime(s) of the Deaf left unchecked, they continue to face cruel and unusual punishment daily, the same principles that define America also failing its understanding of the Deaf community.

Paddy Ladd writes: “We are sleepwalking into eugenics”—indeed, the very idea that drives in our growing scientific community, the dehumanization of the Deaf for the miracles of our genetic fingerprint, Genetic engineering. The cousin of eugenics.

What will genetic engineering be used for in the future? Some in the scientific community are interested in wiping out DEAF patients in need of hegemonic power, aren’t we fearful that this technique would be garnered and abused by government agencies, dehumanization or even worse, terrorists?

Deaf communities cannot escape the victimization of dehumanization, and their past, to finally lie in the present. They cannot form a sense of self and begin making vital connections with others. Deaf communities in the world is a broken link into a dehumanization chain that binds from freedom connections.


Copyright © 2020 Jason Tozier

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

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