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.

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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

Why Constitution Day Is Important: We the Deaf People

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‘We the Deaf People’ was founded by Matthew Moore.

As today is Constitution Day (September 17, 2016), it is very important to be aware about this, I can think of no words to describe the great honor to have inherited the United States Constitution with flame that has been burning since 1787–the Founding Fathers signed the most important documents in American history—-the United States Constitution.

Today, Deaf community has been dealing with very difficult social and economic changes and I need to address an aura of optimism among ourselves who see the possibility of making American Sign Language (ASL) a more dynamic force in communication and instruction for all Deaf people.

In 1880, for example, educators of the Deaf from all over the world convened in Milano, Italy and drew up a resolution, hence the 1880 Milan Resolution, to ban the use of sign language in communication and instruction of the Deaf people. There have been numerous barriers to language access and development occur. It is important to know that being Deaf is a biological condition that calls for a different channel, that is, sight, through which information, knowledge, and communication are conveyed.

ASL is the lifeblood of Deaf community and culture, too. It can be easily agreed! The United States Constitution need to be aware that ASL is a form of expression protected by the First Amendment. Of course, by denying or doubting ASL is anything but deficit to incite the mind to language bigotry and prejudice.

Or, whether it finds some people unaware, in idle and false security, it captures their mind with secret contrivances of Audism. Deficit thinking is, therefore, far from pure “tabula rasa”—we do not live in the vaccum. ASL should not be missed as a sense of language, as a living subject—as part of human life. ASL can lift us up and take us anywhere on Mother Earth. Nothing can hold us back from ASL.

Now, this message is as a tough read as the English statement by Jean-Paul Sartre in his book, Being and Nothingness:

“The being by which nothingness arrives in the world must nihilate nothingness in its being, and even so it still runs the risk of establishing nothingness as a transcendent in the very heart if immanence unless it nihilates nothingness in its being in connection with its own being. The being by which nothingness arrives in the world is a being such that in its being the nothingness of its being is in question.”

I know it is difficult to follow it because it can be confusing as nihilating our state of being Deaf—many of the issues in language of ASL are really issues in sociological of being Deaf.

But it is each person’s right to know what being Deaf means. We also need to know where it comes from as well as the activities and attitudes which it describes. If we do not know, with confidence, our part in the whole and our place in a history, we can become frustrated by what we have to do. If we know what being Deaf means, our self-esteem and self-determination would be much more sure. It is important to understand how much importance of United States Constitution means for us to preserve our language and culture. Really! It is a good way to celebrate Constitution Day!

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Oralism Survivors: Strength is Great!

 

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The heat of the night burns so vividly that Oralism survivors feel their strength and their destroyer fighting for the soul like the Deaf people later in life, they are the divided sea, they are the freed people. They are the middle ground watching, waiting, painting, loving, and dying. They are here to live. They are here for death. Today, September 11th—136 years ago in 1880, Milano, Italy began to ban signed languages around the world for the sake of Oralism.

The death of signed language tormented by the serpent and his leeches that leech upon their insides like a heart in love with another that loves it. Deaf people are the life of a whole that they will never fully comprehend until they live no more. They are the cold of the dawn. They are the skin from a disgusting scar, picked off by a sharp infected nail. They are the nails. They are the eye that sees you and feel strength. They are the mind that the greatest have questioned and tested for years. They are the great that questions and tests.

Are Deaf people or even American Sign Language the question? That is a test. They are the wind that blows so fiercely now and is completely absent!

Now they are the last beat of your heart. Your heat is the only filth keeping Deaf community alive. Your heart is the key to the strength. The strength has been here before. They have been here before. Nothing new is under the sun. They are above and beyond the sun, in the brightness of the Deaf community and the darkness of the cosmos.

Waiting for the real Big Bang. The collide of Deaf community so immense that they all could never explain, so small that they will never truly feel it. They know that it is there; they know that it is coming. Are they coming?

They are coming! They are the climax of a passionate protector amongst the AGBell beasts the society created from dirt, water, and soul. They are the rib from that reason. They are the day, night, water, and air that the reason Deaf community was created days before something created them. They are a flame. They shine a light whose worth is only appreciated in the darkness. Own it up, AGBell! Remember your STRENGTH!

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

Dear Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC): Please Understand The Threat in Deaf Community

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Hello Fellows! The United States Constitution in First Amendment where Deaf community have the right to free speech also known as receiving subtitles because it is part of free speech and we need to stop suffering language hegemony. We are tired of being under-minded.

Earlier this Noon, I received a magazine from Intelligence Report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC]. The magazine is published two times a year by the Intelligence Report Project.

I am a staunch believer and a donor for SPLC, with few reasons: stop hate crime in Deaf community, and with the approval of the board and Deaf community, classifying Alexander Graham Bell Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing a hate group.

The magazine offered a Special DVD enclosed, Understanding the Threat: AntiGovernment Extremists and hoped they would offer subtitles for Deaf people, I am disheartened to see that they choose not to subtitle again. The first one I got from a special event Hate in America last May, where I got invited to give my support for SPLC. The event gave away special DVD as well, Hate in America, again, no subtitles.

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For the whole time, I learned about SPLC back in 2007, I was taught that SPLC was the innovation of higher learning to promote United States Constitution for humanity, compassion and stop hate. I was surprised, in 2016, that SPLC ignore its own compassion, by not putting subtitles for Deaf people. They have all the fundamental rights to know what is going on.

In the same magazine, in page 14, Hate in the Race with the image of Donald Trump, I have to agree with that! In the second paragraph of the opening article, June 2015: “Members of the White Genocide Project, which promotes the myth that white people worldwide are being subjected to mass murder, started a petition to honor Trump for opposing white genocide.” exactly what we need to bring up an academic challenge that Alexander Graham Bell (AGBell) was the head of the Deaf Genocide Project when he did his infamous speech in 1883.

With the words he presented, did the hate begin right there in the room? Did he support genocide, no?  If so, in an American room, on the very same land to allow colonization, how can AGBell recognized as a hate group in America?

Memoir Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Race.

Perfect ending just like Trump, Hate in the Race! It would be even cooler if it has titled, “Memoir Upon the Hate of Deaf Genocide Project in Human Race” because with the ‘upon’ the hate in Deaf community where they have been targeted ever since has become a hate memoir from Alexander Graham Bell. He was the threat. Please understand the threat about AGBell.

Please with consideration, the Deaf community needs SPLC’s help to put subtitles in DVDs and it is about educating ALL AMERICANS, no matter what and makes our lives safer. SPLC would be surprised to see how much AGBell has actually done collateral damage in the human race. Please listen to us, Deaf community. Really….Donald Trump is like Alexander Graham Bell. Race….Race. Thank you!

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

My First Linocut Art!

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I am a great believer in numbers, my first love in education was math. So, I developed my first linocut art to show that the numbers are critical to us, recollection and validation of their lives in Deaf community how much American sign Language and Signed Languages around the world–that the effect of 1880 has shown Oralism a validity of lies.

MDCXX= 1620 and that was the year where a ‘proclamation compelled Juan Pablo de Bonet to create and publish the first book on sign language in 1620’ (Butterworth & Flodin, 1995)

CCLX= 260 years later…….

MDCCCLXXX= 1880: All in the mirrors Deaf community wake up in the morning on second Saturday of September to experience the mother of language hegemony: bigotry destroyed their sign languages for political gain. Soon, I will present another linocut art (Deaf theme) that will present in a math sequence. Hopefully I will make it more interesting! I love art therapy! Even a year later today would tell a lot.

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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