Light a Candle Against Hate

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Lit a candle has a good reason. Light a candle against hate. 
 
It’s the day (September 7th) that changed the world of the Deaf in 1880, much dismay and disgusted with Oralism practice in Alexander Graham Bell’s America insulting ASL and Deaf people’s intelligence, too numerous to document each unbearable pain. The question, are we equally hurt in the making of cultural disrespect? If not, then are we at very best, in terms of reality, a hypocrite? Today is 2019. 
While on a subject what hate is, this kind of hate incidents—Deaf people that do not rise to the level of punishable crime, the worst part that they had been dealing with a life-time psychological impact that is the greatest invisible hurt in Deaf community. 
 
Is the stage of grief also invisible? We should focus on hate crimes, the outlook is hardly more difficult to fathom. 
 
Deaf community, it is time to reclaim our pursuit of happiness. 
 
That means rejecting the practice of hate that has been characterized by Deaf people too long. ASL and the Deaf community is rightly proud of its identity of a healthy human, a reputation that has been bullied by Alexander Graham Bell to destroy the stage of Deaf minds. The goal is to weaken the morale of the Deaf, and self-reflective of their own self-hate, such as the state of being Deaf, insulting cultural norms and values. 
 
We start out with the hearing privilege is powerful in this underlying Audism Deaf people suffer from. One of my favorite books to read, George Orwell’s classic 1949 novel, 1984. In my 44 years on Mother Earth, the book is the greatest superpower left on the planet we live, breathe, and appreciate by protecting the principles of ASL and state of being Deaf, it is a superpower. 
 
Hate is a slanderous and vicious personal attack that has damaged Deaf people’s personal reputation as a breach of human growth and negligence. Where are the rights of the Deaf to be protected from the society’s malicious images that are contributed to mental health injuries, and the greatest loss of repetitional damage? 
 
Hate is a real mental health issue. 
 
-JT
Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message. 

 

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The Long Silence of Forgotten Audism

Since Tom Humphries coined “Audism” in late ‘70s for his Ph.D., his vision of seeing a lot of Deaf people being oppressed so frightening that as Tom did not give any professional lectures about it. Almost four decades later, Humphries does not believe in it to pretend that Audism exist. Is Audism controversial? I remember reading a book, The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community that was published in 1992 while I was a sophomore in high school, I did not read the book until 1999.

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Harlan Lane, Carl Schroeder and I had a private meeting in 2010. He signed the very same book I read in 1999. 

There are millions of poor Deaf people, any kind of color in America that are suffering from pain and exploitation they all had in common, as a lover of freedom and liberty for all Deaf people to enjoy, I believe that efforts to build a law that recognizes Audism through stories, hard facts, and professional opinion, basic elements that are commonly missing when discussing “Audism” in the society.

If I coined a term whatever it is, I would make sure I educate the country, no matter what how long it is because it is my social responsibility and civil duty to continue educates Deaf people.

Let’s face up to it, Mr. Tom Humphries, there are millions of Deaf people who might look up on you, in a sphere of heavily steeped emotionalism, political struggle, power struggle, and human struggle that are completely ignored and continue to ignore Audism that exists today and tomorrow. I was one of them who look up to you. I own a painting of your face done by Nancy Rourke along with 12 faces in my personal space that was supposed to make all difference.

Is Tom Humphries still a scholar today? As in a book chapter called Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression by hearing chair of ASL and Deaf Studies department at Gallaudet University, H-Dirksen L. Bauman writes:

However, it is was not until 1975 when a Deaf scholar, Tom Humphries, decided it was time to name the discrimination against Deaf persons and to coin a term that would be part of the currency of discussions on human rights, deaf education, and employment.”

Audism did not discuss until 1992. Why long silence? Funny thing that I was struggling in schools, home life, and personal life because of long-silenced treatment that Audism exists. Talking about Audism has often occurred in the context of angry words, hostility, accusations, and divisiveness.

This coming Friday and Saturday, April 14th and April 15th, there will be rally sponsored by Audism Free America (AFA) celebrating 200 years of American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf Education and their stories through the power, freedom, and justice to fight against Audism to let the society know that it is a permanent movement.

Where is your empowerment, Humphries? That was 42 years ago—and Deaf people would be empowered by now instead of being in silence about it. Since 1880 Milan Resolution, Deaf people have been survivors of the longest hate crime in American history. We refuse to live in hearing superiority. They need to respect Deaf people—the more respect, less Audism. In Humphries’s words:

The notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. It is the bias and prejudice of hearing people against deaf people, it is the bias and prejudice of some deaf people against other deaf people.”

Although, the society that I envision is one that maximizes freedom and liberties for ALL Deaf people coming from walk of life—the concept of ignorance is what completes the loop of full justice even at Gallaudet University.

Yet, Bauman writes, “The term now appears at all levels of the Deaf Studies curriculum at Gallaudet University, from Introduction to Deaf Studies to Deaf Cultural Studies.”

I was asked to give a lecture at Gallaudet University a month ago and found that Deaf students who comes from mainstreaming schools, some of them are juniors and sophomores at Gallaudet has no idea what Audism stands for or do not know who George Veditz is, or Alexander Graham Bell, even the story about Milan. It’s very serious problem. I call it “Social Problem 101”.

Gallaudet University needs to bring stronger ethics and require ALL Deaf students to take at least 12 credits in Deaf Studies and Deafhood courses even though if they are not ASL/Deaf Studies majors.

Perhaps we should re-frame the question: How can Audism protect Deaf people from future social problems? In this case, the answer probably lies in higher learning and lectures. How would you answer this, Tom Humphries? Deaf people who are survivors of Audism do not need to be forgotten even in long silence.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Humphries, T. (1975). Audism: The Making of a Word. Unpublished essay. 

Lane, H. (1992). The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community.

Bauman, H-Dirksen L. (2004). Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression.

Powerful Diversion in Deaf Community

 

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Deaf against Deaf that causes diversion in our combustible present, we all need to reframe the conversation about pain we must continue to have, chronicling the powerful forces that have long oppressed progress in Deaf community.

The problem is that the majority of Deaf people do not know what 8th Amendment in the United States Constitution stands for. At the same time, the 8th Amendment was, in important ways, lacks greatly in Deaf community to hold the truth to be self-evident that exposed Deaf to Deaf to be extralegal violence and widespread violence.

Deaf against Deaf as the enemy makes for a failure of humanity. In May 2015, I wrote a post, For Your Eyes Only: HATE is Real

I am talking to you. DEAF to DEAF. You and I have the same identity: DEAF.

HATE—we have been led to believe that it does not exist in our life. Hate produces ignorance, discrimination, and prejudice. We know some Deaf who rejects being DEAF, deny American Sign Language and their signed languages as languages and culture….

Is it time to support DEAF community and stop hate speech? We all know what Audism means. Is it also time to advance our knowledge that hate speech actually exists in our life?

Is America Surdophobia? Gary van Gils, a social worker who lives in Holland and is highly respected as Deaf Studies lecturer, coined it. The term is well defined academically and it makes sense to me. In the meaning of Surdophobia, “a hostility, intolerance, or fear against Deaf people, Deaf culture, and the Deaf community and that resistance toward the sign languages used. It can consist of a range of negative attitudes toward Deafhood, the idea of Deafpositive and Deaf rights.”

It was 1880. The infamous Milan Conference—the world’s original sin in the midst of global language war to make Deaf community suffer in its horrors. Alexander Graham Bell, the original sinner is the story of America to begin hate. It is foundational.

AGBell dominated lives of Deaf people in America from his hate speech in 1883 and 1884 well into the 20th century. From hatred to coffin, there was no nook of a Deaf person’s life that it did not touch.

Today, Deaf people suffered the most: Employment, higher education, and the rights to the pursuit of happiness for ALMOST 10 decades—10 decades! Both of your hands in FIVE. The same states had constantly failed to provide good jobs and treat Deaf people “equal”—where is the Achilles heel that National Association of the Deaf (NAD) stand up and sign out? It is not enough. NAD is the oldest Civil Rights organization in the United States of America.

For example, how come Gallaudet University did not equalize enough educational opportunities and did not finance, create, and maintain law degrees and doctoral programs in Sociology?

Today, Gallaudet University is still not Deaf-centered, Deaf-controlled, and Deaf-oriented campus. The Deaf President Now (DPN) in 1988 was so much more than everything. The biggest mistake is to allow hearing students at Gallaudet in early 1990’s. That is why it is also much diversion in Deaf community.

DPN was a series of hard-fought, locally and nationally organized campaigns, shining the lights of the media to challenge hearing privileges and employment that hearing people took away from Deaf people who are highly qualified for the jobs.

Also, DPN skillfully used the media to expose the horrors of overt discrimination, Audism, and hatred they experienced from hearing people to the world. That was the soul of America. It saddens me to see that Deaf against Deaf. How can we make it feel like 1988?

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Why Not AGBell in the List of Hate Groups?

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[https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch]

There are now reported 21 hate groups in District of Columbia released by Southern Poverty Law Center’s HATEWATCH. The only missing group is Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. How come SPLC did not list AGBell in this group? Well, there are few reasons that I will do my best to write and explain why AGBell should be classified as a hate group. Perhaps SPLC would learn from this for a start and go from there.

First of all, it is a sound-oriented world and SPLC does not really understand what Deaf people had suffered in their lifetime experiencing hate. Bell’s action equaled “Audism” of denying the linguistic minority such as Deaf signers such privileges and societal rights to the use of “natural language” Audism should really a logical term to describe AGBell’s eugenics movement for imposing linguistic and cultural superiority and eradication upon Deaf American signers of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

More appropriate terms are linguistic imperialism or attempt to “linguicide” the sociocultural minority, ex. Deaf signers of the post-Milan Conference period from conveying and expressing their own thoughts in practical and efficient language usage. “Linguicism” could be also an acceptable term to describe AGBell’s misguided ideology of assimilating or centralizing the sociolinguistic minority into the society at large on so-called equal basis.

Deaf Americans and other Deaf people everywhere, could enact the strategic multilingualism policies to ensure the protection and preservation of our beloved and precious language (ASL, LSF, BSL, and many others) from possibility of linguistic extinction/loss and sociocultural genocide or undermine the existence of minority language usage. Deaf people everywhere ought to call for the non-intervention policy to make our natural language of the Deaf to the protected status to the listing of endangered language usage in the United States and other countries.

Beginning with the work of AGBell in the late 19th century, Deaf people have been frequent and prominent targets of the eugenics movement. It is not widely known by the general public that, in addition to his work as an inventor, Bell was also a leading figure in the education of the Deaf in the late 19th and 20th centuries. In order to put this issue into context, it is important to consider AGBell and the educational and social programs he promoted.

As it was indicated, the primary characteristic identifying a member of the Deaf community, as opposed to a hearing-impaired person, is the use of ASL. It is a matter of great importance to members of the Deaf community that AGBell was a leader of the movement to “all-oral” education of the Deaf, in which ASL was banned from the educational process and discouraged in ordinary social intercourse.

AGBell and other oralists seem to have been motivated by two major beliefs. First was a belief in the “progressive” idea that American should have a single “official” language, spoken English, and that everyone should acquire in the same way. Signing was thought to result in the failure to have an adequate command of English, which would condemn the Deaf person to a life of poverty and impaired intellect. The use of ASL in the educational process was felt to impede the development not only of speaking and lip-reading but also reading and writing.

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The second motivation for the oralists was eugenic in nature and had to do with the supposed genetic bases of the state of being Deaf. The reasoning went like this: AGBell, in an influential monograph titled Memoir Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Raceasserted that sign language and those residential schools where it was used led to the formation of a separate Deaf community.

He noted, further, that the state of being Deaf is primarily heredity and that if Deaf people congregate and intermarry, the state of being Deaf, seen as a severe disability, will increase in the general population. Both of these lines of reasoning are know known to the without foundation-sign language has never been shown to interfere with the acquisition of spoken English skills, and, as is known to all of you, the state of being Deaf has many causes, generic and nongerietic.

In fact, most Deaf couple have hearing children (Lane, 1999) this can be attributed to a wider social awareness of other cultures in general in the United States. Even though awareness of Deaf culture has been perpetuated, the knowledge of the condition is not wholly agreed on by individuals in the hearing community, as evidenced by the results of the true or false portion of community how they view of Deaf people.

That is one of many reasons why SPLC did not really understand how much pain Deaf community has gone through the series of hatred. One day, AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will be recognized as a hate group. Time will come.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Lane, Harlan (1992). The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community. Dawn Sign Press. 1999.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-formation-variety-human-race/dp/B000J0OV24

Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Please Apologize to the Deaf Community

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It is just disheartening to see that once in a while that Deaf people would be mocked for their own language choice: American Sign Language (ASL). When Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former governor for the state of California has mocked ASL front of the audience promoting them to laugh. I was shocked to see what he has done. I had respect for him.

I’ve seen all of Arnold’s movies, of course, The Terminator, but one movie gave me a lot of laughter, Twins with Danny DeVito. Memories were good! Arnold was the one who vetoed AB 2072 in 2010, he saved Deaf community. But…. after what he did couple of days ago, he did not save the Deaf community instead of mocking them. No compassion.

So, I went ahead and find out when the Twins were produced and surprised that it was made in 1988, the same year Deaf President Now won the hearts of American people to pick its first Deaf president in history. Respect!

Where is the compassion?  Is it a right word? A compassion is a moment of sudden clarity on a dank day whether it was morning, neither afternoon nor evening.

We all are the same. We are all Deaf. We are all the same. Though, our stories are not the same. We live in a very oppressed world dominated by hearing people. The hearing world has forgotten that Deaf people have been contributed to the society.  Did Arnold even know that the mirror said to him?

Each day, Deaf people face challenges–discrimination in all spheres of public spaces wherever they go to. The nation that has named United States of America was supposed to live in a peaceful space. When Laurent Clerc arrived on the soil of America in 1816, we all need to remember the old mantra of Deaf progress. It makes Clerc as an immigrant just like all of us. Arnold was an immigrant, too. America was built with immigrants.

Clerc’s America was supposed to be seen as “grandfather clause” meant to protect Deaf people. After infamous 1880 Milan Resolution, thousands of Deaf people even today–I meant, a countless number the last two centuries were targeted for bullying.

Soon, few weeks away from the month of March–the National Deaf History Month. Never mind Alexander Graham Bell’s birthday on March 3rd or Sleep Awareness Month that Deaf people were supposed to sleep peaceful without being bullied. We will not forget what AGBell or Arnold has done to us. Deaf History Month is filled of Deaf people pushing us for future and build stronger foundation at every forward step.

Have Deaf people suffered enough hate from cruel people? The scourge of hate speech about ASL has been built enough reputation. ASL might be seen as homeless to hearing people who laughed just like what Arnold did. ASL, arguably the most marginalized and forgotten group in the United States promoted by AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, is constantly either ignored or encouraged by its laughter.

How in the name of ignorance can it be misunderstood if one does not hear or know it? If you were in the same room, talking on the same objectives, then why was the laughter not very much part of us? Laughing is contagious if it shared and understood.

It is about the moan of pain. Will hearing people accept Deaf people in America today? We will need to continue to stand up against hate speech. ASL and the intellectual life of the Deaf have become quite pronounced as the result of the contact between two educators: Laurent Clerc, and the Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. That is why it is important to celebrate 200 years anniversary with the arrival of Clerc.

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Before closing this post, Deaf people have given plenty of contribution to the society and recognize them as human beings with inherent rights. Arnold needs to apologize for mocking ASL. We do not need a Terminator to mock us. If Arnold refuses to apologize then he’s terminated! Where is California Association of the Deaf’s action and tell Arnold not to do that?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Only and One Rogue: A Sound Wars Story

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This was me wearing Darth Vader shirt. Christmas 1981.

Meet Alexander Graham Bell, the only and one Rogue. The definition of ‘Rogue’ in dictionary means “dishonest man”—and Mr. Bell was also the scoundrel behind Sound Wars story. Alexander Graham Bell first advocated Oralism and speech training and the removal of ASL (American Sign Language) from curriculum. By 1927, sign languages had been banned from most schools as a result of his lobbying (Maher, 1996). This promotes the ignorance of Deaf culture, especially when the following definition of culture is used:

A culture is a set of learned behaviors of a group of people who have their own language, values, rules for behavior, and traditions. A person may be born into a culture; he is brought up according to the values of the culture and his personality and behavior are shaped by his cultural values. Or, a person may grow up in a culture and later learn the languages, values, and practices of a different culture and become “encultured” into that culture. 

The Deaf are outsiders in the hearing American world. (Mow, 1989) says that each person has experienced “mental isolation”, which he describes in detail: “while everyone is talking or laughing, you are as far away as a lone Arab on a desert that stretches along every horizon Everyone and everything are a mirage; you see them but you cannot touch or become a part of them. You thirst for connection.” The Deaf are further alienated from American society because they are not always as normal healthy people (Rutherford, 1992) Also, consider the “hearing impaired”—although used to refer to the Deaf, and hard of hearing, this label is considered highly offensive to the Deaf. It ignores cultural identity and its use among hearing is a sign of ignorance (Roach, 2002).

With the lack of ASL education in early education resulting from AGBell reforms, the majority of Deaf people show a profound pain in their lives. It seems that the hate crimes against Deaf citizens have dwindled since the time of AGBell. Bell’s action equaled “hate crime” of denying the linguistic minority (Deaf signers) such privileges and societal rights to the use of “natural language.”

Hate crime was a logical term to describe AGBell’s eugenics movement for imposing linguistic and cultural superiority and eradication upon Deaf signers of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. More appropriate terms are linguistic imperialism or attempt to “linguicide” the sociocultural minority, for example, Deaf signers of the post-1880 Milan Conference period from conveying and expressing their own thoughts in practical and efficient language usage.

“Linguicism” could also be an acceptable term to describe AGBell’s misguided ideology of assimilating or centralizing the sociolinguistic minority into the society at large on so-called equal basis. Deaf people everywhere, could enact the strategic multilingualism polices to ensure the protection and preservation of our beloved and precious signed languages from possibly linguistic extinction and loss and sociocultural genocide or undermine the existence of minority language usage. Deaf people everywhere ought to call for the non-intervention policy to make our natural language of the Deaf to the protected statues to the listing of endangered language usage in the United States.

Beginning the work of AGBell in late 19th century, Deaf people have been frequent and prominent targets of the eugenics movement. It is not widely known by the general public that, in addition to his work as an inventor of the phone was later found fraud, Bell was also a leading figure in the education of the Deaf in the late 19th and early 20th century. In order to put his issue into context, it is important to consider Bell and the educational and social programs he promoted.

The Only and One Rogue with the most famous quote ever, “We should try ourselves to forget that they are deaf. We should try to teach them to forget that they are deaf”—AGBell, 1884. The quote goes under the instant microscope of cameras and social media. Every detail is investigated, and the Deaf community has demanded community accountability. First one: Bigotry. Second: Language Belittlement. Third: Hate Crime. Bigotry is the first tier supporting a language belittlement, second tier to push for the systematic change adding hate crime, a third and final tier.

Deaf people today and tomorrow struggle even more when they attempt to tell their stories that they have been severely oppressed, yet, forgotten and ignored. 1) Framing the problem evaluates and subsequently rejects the applications of the Deaf people. 2) Framing the problem routinely reduces the number of incidents allocated to Deaf people by paid government officials. Many of the Deaf people are unable to defend themselves and lose the help they desperately need. 3) Framing the problem forces the Deaf people to prove that they are Deaf over and over again every day to qualify for Deaf people’s own safety. 4) The provisions for limiting and framing the problem for Deaf people to qualify are so high that do quality are unable to meet the federal hate crimes to engage into the licensed statistics. AGBell’s career is littered with catastrophes.

That is why AGBell, the Only and One Rogue loved being Darth Vader……and all the sound wars stories from Deaf survivors—zip. Lost. Forever. I hold him responsible even in the picture above I made sure that

AGBell’s beliefs and structural biases commanded Deaf people to be changed because of his deep-seated hatred codes. Then his beliefs have to be changed, too. AGBell will be always ROGUE ONE forever.

Additional links:

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2015/12/20/if-gallaudet-wrote-star-wars-jedi-bell-return/

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2015/12/22/sound-wars-the-force-awakens/

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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