Reign of Terror: History Repeats…

What does Washington, DC in 1926 and 2021 have in common? In 1926, The Washington Post article: “Whether these fellows are coming to provoke a riot or just to advertise their hate-breeding organization” in reference to the Ku Klux Klan.

Nation’s Capital: Gentrification and Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD)

Will Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) ever acknowledge the problem about gentrification in Washington, D.C.? English transcript below:

Showing IMAGE of a book, “Black Reconstruction in America” written by W.E.B. Du Bois.

Du Bois wrote this book in 1935, I would like to share a quote from the book [IMAGE] with you all, “The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery.” W.E.B. Du Bois

The statement is powerful. Nothing can deny that. He wrote many, many articles, thousands of them, publishing academics, magazines, presentations, workshops, conferences, many others. Priceless. Including 24 books published.

One book, would be mind-blowing to read, [IMAGE] The Souls of Black Folk, provides a critical examination about gentrification whether it would affect the Black community identifying the most brutal suffering a human being can deal with.

Du Bois was right. I’ve studied many of his works, published books, articles, newspapers for years, also visiting Philadelphia, the spots where he lived, taught, studied, wrote many intellectual columns, the energy was amazing. The experience I would never forget. Du Bois wrote this book in 1939, [IMAGE] Black Folk Then and Now; Try to analyze both books to read and see the difference between the lines.

Yesterday, I watched a movie on Netflix, Residue, released last September 2020. It is an hour and 30 minutes long. It’s based on a true story filming in Washington, D.C., discussing gentrification at the center of the social problem. It is worth watching this reel. If you want to be a better person unpacking your own soul, and understand their struggling souls by watching this movie, read both books, I’d suggest reading this book first: The Souls of Black Folk.

If you want to continue reading more of Du Bois’ works, go ahead, and learn more. That’s why I continue to study Du Bois today and the future. There are thousands of his published articles I have not yet read. Du Bois had influenced my thinking very much.

The movie above would be a wake up call to learn. Gentrification is part of the problem. For example, Racism, white privileges, class, wealth, oppression, and it is happening in Washington, D.C; I have been living in DC for nine years, I am from Portland, the whitest city in America, years ago, researching gentrification in Portland was my focus of topic for research methods class.

Originally thought there would be about two or three neighborhoods in Portland would be hit by gentrification, but after doing research, there were a lot more than I thought and gave me a lot of experience to understand the warnings.

I moved to Washington, D.C. in October 2012, after visiting H Street NE plus Trinidad area where I lived for two years, seeing the houses being bid for sale, it would be sold incredibly fast bidding by white people who can afford between $600,000 to $900,000.00, some were $1 million, 1.5 million and brought some concern.

I was chatting with few Deaf people (I never met them until that day) on H Street, it was in December 2012, being a DC newly citizen for two months, asking them how long they have been residents in DC, some between two to four years, asking them if they ever notice the gentrification problem in this area, they would ask me what does “gentrification” mean, and had to explain what it meant, then calling me “pea-brained”. There was none critical thinking being shown. One person was laughing at me that it does not exist. Who’s pea-brained?

Currently, it is growing very fast, condos, business buildings, I live in my area, there are three condos now building, and one condo development, have not even been built yet, just shoveling a lot of dirt on the ground, 50% already signed up to live there once it is done. That tells a lot. Gentrification, eh?

H Street. 2012. I remember seeing some familiar restaurants, later between 2013 and 2015, it was very fast marketing there, so fast before we blink, remembering a long-time Black owned business, barber shop where I would go there while living in Trinidad, now is out of business forever which was disappointing to know.

It has hit several Black-owned businesses in the area eventually. Restaurants, bars, clothing, etc. Again, I asked some Deaf people if it is still gentrification or not. The answer is still no.

Last time I visited H Street NE was last October-November 2020 where I have not visited since last March 2020 because of a Coronavirus pandemic. You know, COVID-19 has hit the world hard.

For example, the restaurant industry is extremely hard in America, in DC alone, 50% of restaurants have been out of business already. After visiting H Street, it felt like a ghost town, remembering one Black-owned business no longer serving the proud citizens of DC, seeing several LEASE signs on windows.

Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) owns a restaurant, Mozzeria on H Street, picking DC because of the large Deaf community for one. Did CSD ever care at all? Did they ever do extensive research whether H Street would be part of the gentrification problem? Because there are many Black owned businesses that cannot afford because of racial barriers.

Communication Service for the Deaf has a lot of money. Like, the Social Venture Fund (SFV), can afford through the age of Coronavirus pandemic, and that tells a lot. Again, did Communication Service for the Deaf ever invest by supporting the Black Deaf community?

Struggling stories, but not only that Communication Service for the Deaf owns Mozzeria, but also Gallaudet University is being controlled by CSD. It means CSD is monopolizing the Deaf community. Ever recognize that? CSD being part of gentrification, too? You decide.

Why? Black-owned businesses for years, years, and years, being neglected and forced to close their businesses, and that is not a good sign. Speaking of “not good sign”, about 2015 or 2016, I would go to Metro every day and pick up Washington Post Express newspaper, [it’s a free newspaper. Now it is no longer serving anymore] and would read one column I remembered well, seeing that the first time since 1970, the majority of voters would be white over black, which is not a good sign. That’s gentrification in the broadest sense of term.

I know that Frederick Douglass would be extremely disappointed by now. There was a story where Douglass would move to Anacostia, it is in Southeast DC and live in a house where he would live and died of a heart attack in 1895. Before Douglass moved to Anacostia, there would be a majority of white people living there, once Douglass moved in, the white population would disappear, and Black citizens moving in the area to live and honor Douglass in any way, and that tells a lot.

DC is now being gentrified, for example, after showing you the IMAGE of the movie, why they decide to film in Washington, DC: Showing IMAGES:
“DC HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST GENTRIFICATION RATES IN THE COUNTRY. STUDIES SHOW THAT BLACK AND LOW-INCOME FAMILIES HAVE BEEN PUSHED OUT OF DC NEIGHBORHOODS FOR DECADES.”

That is the reason. Not only DC, but it has impacted America. Why DC? Large Black population. For example, Black Deaf community does suffer much more than we understand, I cannot imagine the unbearable pain. Did Communication Service for the Deaf ever care about gentrification doing to the Black population? Now, do you see the problem?

Would Communication Service for the Deaf ever acknowledge the problem, for example, gentrification is part of racism and white privileges? The stronghold of Communication Service for the Deaf ownership, like CEOs and others are white. Think about that.

-JT

Copyright © 2021 Jason Tozier

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

Mavrick Fisher: What Will He Return to?

Once Mavrick Fisher returns to the society, what would he face with? English transcript below.

DEAF LIFE. DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE: VOLUME XXII.

“DEAF RETURNEES: WHAT DO THEY RETURN TO?”

December is National Human Rights Month. In the Deaf community, we continue to work to eliminate hatred and bigotry, to strengthen relationships, and to foster greater understanding, inclusion, and justice for Deaf returnees–men and women who have served their prison sentences and are now returning to society and freedom. In doing so, the Deaf community should be supported by the principles embodied by human rights.

Ignoring their fate is not an option for anyone who believes Deaf returnees should be guaranteed basic human and civil rights. There are plenty of discriminatory policies against Deaf returnees that have persisted for years and years while going largely unreported as hate crimes.

With the support of Deaf people like us, we have documented and exposed multiple hate crimes and widespread violations of human rights in communication, knowledge, and information. We continue to expose incidents of hatred in the Deaf community that have all the hallmarks of language bigotry, to intensify pressure against discriminatory policies, and compel the Deaf community to impose sanction on perpetrators if the hatred continues.

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?

The U.S. leads the world in the proportion of prisoners to the free population. We comprise 5% of the world’s population, yet fully 25% of the world’s prison population. In other words, our nation has the highest prison population anywhere on the globe.

Prisons are huge, profitable industries, generating 80 billion dollars a year. The systematic denial of providing resources and opportunities to help Deaf returnees after years of incarceration and brutal oppression is the issue here.

Denying Deaf returnees a chance to rejoin the Deaf community as contributing citizens is a crime. Many of them are barely surviving as second-class citizens. Many struggle with poor literacy, as they may not have been able to take advantage of educational programs offered to hearing prisoners, counseling, mental-health services, or job training.

There are innovative halfway program that teach soon-to-be-released inmates vital skills. But many Deaf inmates do not have access to these. They may have tremendous difficulty finding places to live. Some have no families; others have been banished from their families. And some returnees can’t be released unless they have a definite place to go.

As if all this were not enough, we know that they often have difficulty finding jobs. Once released into society, they are all too often subjected to harassment and discrimination in the job market. Unemployment among Deaf returnees is approximately three times as wide-spread as among hearing returnees.

There’s a “Ban the Box” campaign–removing the box as in background check–to give them a better chance of finding employment, a vital part of rebuilding their lives.

Our society should be motivated to reduce recidivism. But we know that many Deaf returnees cannot easily adjust to being free once again; they have a hard time turning their lives around and finding healing. Many have struggled to find Deaf-centric counseling because of lack of health or medical insurance.

Every day, returnees’ human rights are being violated. They are denied access to higher education, they’re shunned by society because they can’t be “cured”. They’re kept invisible. The stigma they experience is deeply rooted in the sense of struggle, a fear of being silenced.

How would it be if Deaf returnees were no longer a marginalized group–and will never be forsaken–due to our relentless resistance, reporting, and advocacy? I’d say we’d have a much better, more peaceful, more productive society.

What can we do to increase awareness about the rights that Deaf returnees share with free people?

-JT

Copyright © 2020 Jason Tozier

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