ACLU: Hate Crime Exist in Deaf Community

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As a Deaf person who had supported American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for years had walked through ACLU’s conference 2018 in Washington, D.C. with thousands and thousands of people, after I walked through and met some coolest ACLU state chapters, and national members you’ve ever seen.

This is what it feels like when you understand your rights feel worth every minute, when the conference starts, when there is an opportunity right there. This is what it feels like when you feel empowered. In the last 22 years of being a Deaf returnee, has been shackling to a cruel and unusual punishment in the eye of United States Constitution, Eighth Amendment.

I was a Gallaudet University graduate student with full scholarship. I was expelled from Gallaudet University for my 32 years ago wrongdoing and mistake. That is when I was 12 years old kid. Just a fucking kid. 32 years ago. I was wrong what I did. Come on! How can it be in the name of truth by figuring out the solution, second-chances upon a potentially far more healthy discourse for Deaf community?

How come the cruel punishment continue to fail to meet the lowest acceptable standards of human fairness, why Deaf community in America spent decades in defending and speaking out against injustice, Audism—when is a hate crime a hate crime? When it is a crime of hate, or when the media say it is not?

And if the society are to be the arbiters of what is, or not, a hate crime, who will judge Deaf people without bias? Is Deaf community the last hope resort?

When society took the dominance over Deaf people’s turfism, the screaming pain in the early days of cruel punishment, Deaf people became the target for the society that could not escape the hate. Whether Deaf people’s traumas can ever truly overcome. The answers offer is in denial, deeply rooted in lies and empty my heart out. The name of truth will ever be seen.

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There are two important amendments to the United States Constitution that help to explain the rights of Deaf community.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Here is the breakdown: freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom to petition.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; or shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal when accused of wrongdoing. Due process means the Gallaudet University cannot give you a serious punishment, like suspension or expulsion, without first having followed fair procedures to determine if you are guilty.

If you are found guilty of something, the punishment cannot be more serious than the misconduct was. If Gallaudet chooses to punish you, it must punish all others the same. I continue to “speak up, speak out!” Gallaudet needs change now. Be bold, be changed, and be heard!

In Gallaudet University, most of the people around are totally unaware that there is any problem at Gallaudet University. Talk about it more! Get other interested and concerned for the Deaf in their struggle for social justice. One day to complete my dream to give lecture for ACLU about hate crimes in Deaf community.

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Consequences of Restaurant Audism

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By now, we know that Audism is a serious issue. What about restaurant Audism? A “hostile” environment is responsible for the people who ignited Audism has often overlooked. Restaurants knew the potential consequence of violating Deaf people’s human rights and took the chance to do so nonetheless.

As do all American restaurants, they have responsibilities to respect Deaf community which they are also part of American life. One of the responsibilities is to educate in workers and business owners, and for the democracy by which restaurant business makes those policies. When restaurant business claims to adopt anti-Audism policies, they do the opposite. The teaching of violating human right is inhumane. And they teach that hate speech is an acceptable way to continue Audism.

How will this help minimize restaurant Audism into responsible workers and business owners and appreciate Deaf people in the eye of an American life? Most recently as of June 1st, 2018, in Mississippi, a Deaf couple were mocked at a fast food restaurant (KFC) by workers who were making fun of them for being Deaf, and restaurant Audism have a strong effect on hearing attitudes toward Deaf Americans, business had a stronger incentive not to discriminate, but hearing workers resented having to deal with and complete with Deaf people.

http://www.wapt.com/article/woman-claims-restaurant-workers-mistreated-her-deaf-parents/21053795

In my most recent blog, Righting a Wrong: Racism, Audism, Starbucks, and Us: This seems like an extreme example of what Deaf people deal with daily. We all have “restaurant horror stories.” Just as Blacks recognize that “restaurant Racism” is still part of our reality, we recognize that “restaurant Audism” still exists.”

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2018/05/30/righting-a-wrong-racism-audism-starbucks-and-us/

It is a negative effect of restaurant Audism. The golden thread that weaves itself through each case is that impoverished society is so removed from the status quo of hearing privileges socially that discriminating Deaf people before realizing other oppressive attacks is not as viewed as entirely negative because it is so commonplace.

Therefore, it is not deemed as risky in restaurants. It does, in a lot of forgotten cases, cause the Deaf community continue to suffer and suck it up, recognizing their surroundings are not healthy. Deaf community begins to strive for a better life for themselves. It is at this point that they begin to want the American dream that upper echelons of society also want and they begin to strive for them in the same order, but with Audism last.

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Deaf people put their Deaf journey before human oppression because society lacks the social education to know that dealing with Audism in restaurants to be successful citizens takes more hard work than they are exposed to in their immediate environment and they postpone knowledge about Audism almost indefinitely after Deaf community as they attempt to play “catch up” in order to realize the community accountability.

-JT

 

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

‘Stop and Frisk’ Deaf Blacks in DC: Invisible Racism?

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This morning, as an ally for people of color, I was reading a local article about stop and frisk by D.C. police. I learned that from 2010 to 2016, the number of stop and frisks were almost 23,000 times. The majority of them are Black, eight out of ten people. Math: 80%. That’s almost taking over the whole city. A lot of them were innocent! Is this even an American democracy? Wait when you read the article below and click the link. Look deep below and you will see the SCRIBD document–193 pages. A lot of papers were wasted. 193.

It’s like when you buy a book, the pages you read are most likely to be invisible Racism. A book hanging on your bookshelf, is about to get bigger with next few years. How would we able to challenge the most complex status quo: Racism?

Oxford Dictionary writes: “The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

An excellent article by Washington Greater Greater published a story called, “DC’s black population is growing, but there’s more to the story than that” writes:

As of 2015, DC was, for the first time in decades, no longer a majority-black city. The District has had a long divide between affluent white residents in the western part of the city and less affluent black residents in the east. As the city grows, there is increasing concern that the prosperity of revitalization is not benefiting the black community well enough.’

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The question, how many Deaf Black people were profiled in nation’s capital? Any of them as Gallaudet students or employees? What if it is higher statistics than previously thought? If Racism did not impair in Deaf community, it would impair the awareness of profiling. Thus, the society continues to oppress Deaf community–who writes us off in other tongues. We continue to commit ourselves to challenge Racism. Do not give up. We can build a strong allyship.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://www.wusa9.com/article/news/local/dc-police-stopping-frisking-innocent-people-necessary-to-fight-crime/65-518657856

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/racism

https://ggwash.org/view/62108/dcs-black-population-is-growing-but-this-doesn-tell-the-whole-story

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-where-blacks-are-no-longer-a-majority-has-a-new-african-american-affairs-director/2015/02/04/e8bd65a0-ac8e-11e4-ad71-7b9eba0f87d6_story.html?utm_term=.35c6a803be24

 

How To Be a Better American

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America’s neighbor, Canada—someone from there left me a comment to tell me that I need to be a better American and leave Donald Trump alone. I’ve been bred and buttered in America since 1974. I’ve walked through school halls being constantly bullied by hearing peers everyday. I’ve been suspended several times just because I was standing up and protect myself from bullies. I was taught to follow American values—I’ve been breathing through thick air for 365 days a year for next 42 years.

Oh, I also remember growing up in schools telling me to respect American flag and yet I was mocked for being Deaf. That tells a lot, right? Oddly, I feel compelled to explain what an American flag is all about—today in current political climate under Trump, the flag is now seen as a taboo. When a person from Canada tells me that I need to be a ‘better American’.

What the person does not know that in 1970s, Trump and his father was constantly bully and discriminate Black people in several American cities when they were looking for a place to rent out for their human necessities as we all do to have a roof over our heads. They were profiled. The Department of Justice (DOJ) took them to the court for racial discrimination and the violation of Fair Housing Act. Was the person from Canada aware of this?

Oh, Trump has a huge list of history mocking Native Americans. In 1993, he was called out to testify front of congressional testimony and the true colors came out of Trump’s mouth when he said, “They don’t look like Indians to me and they don’t look like Indians to Indians.” Damn! That is a hate speech, folks! I’m part of Cherokee and I did not really appreciate what Trump said. Where did he learn that? His father. Hate is a learned behavior. You ever notice that Trump never talks about his mother? Tsk tsk. Wait, do not forget what Trump lied to the media that he was not aware of protestors at Standing Rock. That’s one damn lying sack of shit!

Back in 2013, I attended a conference at National Museum of the American Indian, Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports to fight against systematic racism. Is that not a better American?

For the last few days has been difficult for America to deal with Trump’s lies and he was the one who incited political violence. He is a rampant xenophobic, racist, misogynist and a very bad actor to cover up his lies. Now, that person from Canada tells me to be a better American. Guess what? I am—because I am fighting against all forms of hate, systematic racism, and we are witnessing increasing violence by angry racists who are targeting Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ people, minority communities and Deaf community as well. We are witnessing…invisible consequences. Seriously!

As a better American, it is my civic responsibility to inform Deaf community that we need to get Trump impeached, jailed, and out of the office for the highest treason and incite political violence. It is also all of our duties to put hate groups out of business, and of course, seeking justice for survivors of discrimination. As for the American flag we see everyday, old America was not built on faith, it was built on hate and violence and we do not need history repeating again. Trump is bringing old America back.

Hence, “America First”—that’s bullshit. My maternal and paternal great grandfathers were immigrants who fled from Ireland, Scotland, and Germany for safety and opportunity. They were granted immigration, and seek for better life for themselves and their families. My own families. Do not forget my Cherokee families, too.

I will not let Trump’s “politics” to corrupt my own American flag I was taught to follow American values. Back in 2007, as an undergraduate student signing up for Hate Crime and Bias course, that changed my life forever. A year later, I voted for Obama and was very proud to know that Obama was my president. The next day after Obama won the election, I remember showing up for a class, it was practically empty because everyone was partying so hard and cried for a change.

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That was the real America we are talking about because we were sick of systemic racism everyday and believed that it is change to erase hate because we have no place for hate anymore. When the white supremacists causing major violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, they wanted to “take America back”—OK, the real question, maybe make it a sociological question—take it back for what? From whom? Why? For what kind of purpose? I do not really understand this at all.  Trump does not represent American flag. No way!

By telling me that I need to be a better American and leave Trump alone does not sit well with me.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Lack of Jury Duty for Deaf People

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On Friday, July 21st hot afternoon–I decided to meet a friend and gave a tour at Library of Congress. Great times! However, when we walked into a room, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations.” and I saw something that caught my attention and share this with you fellows. It makes me wonder if Library of Congress, the mother of all libraries, is known for research skills, the leadership of literacy, and a complex web of  higher knowledge, makes me think if this message is filled with mixed thoughts, when you notice the picture I took below:

to the rights of the deaf to sit on juries; from a courtroom filled with people wearing masks fearing….”

How do you feel about that when you saw this? Were Library of Congress aware of very little stats about Deaf people to sit on juries? Did they research that, too? Truth: How many Deaf people sitting on juries? Come on, really. Why cannot they tell the truth? Number will make all the headlines. That’s Mask of Benevolence, folks! Europe: Number? Australia: Number? New Zealand: Number? South America: Number? Africa: Number? Asia: Number? America: Number? Right, after the passage of 1990 ADA law, again, how many Deaf people serve on juries? Yes, there were few Deaf people who were selected. Most recently, a friend of mine who was selected to be on jury few months ago in DC. It was very interesting experience for her.

Why did Library of Congress do that? To make them look good for enrollment purpose? Selfish acts? Were Deaf people aware about Library of Congress planing to use them in public eyes? I am sure that there are many questions behind that. Some may not able to answer and avoid the reality. Deaf people were banned from serving on juries for years and many centuries, there is a good article to read:

http://theconversation.com/deaf-or-blind-people-cant-serve-on-juries-heres-why-law-needs-to-change-67418

No courtroom should be wearing masks fearing Deaf people. There are thousands of stories around the world that Deaf people would end up in courtroom with no interpreter at all and struggle for information. They often end up pleading guilty by threatening them or found guilty even without evidence, they fail to recognize Deaf discourses in the courtrooms. For example, recent Thursday evening, I attended an event at Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C; to watch a private screening of Change of Signs, an powerful 35 minutes film. Discovering Deaf Worlds, Inc; (DDW) did an excellent service to help out Deaf community in Philippines and support the stories of ten members of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. Extraordinary work!

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See that hand waving with the watch on on right side? That was me.

The film talked about the lack of Deaf people have the rights to have an interpreter in courtrooms, struggle to be recognized as a human being, and have the human right to sit on the jury as all other people do. I learned that it was 121,000 Deaf people living there and only few interpreters available. That’s major crisis. A lot more to that film that I hope it will show to the public one day.

Before wrapping up for this post, how do you feel when you see, “to the rights of the deaf”? Why lower “d”? Why not “Deaf people have the constitutional right to sit on the juries” Or, “From a courtroom filled with Deaf people’s rights to serve on juries” that would help the visitors from all over the world visiting Library of Congress for the first time and see the truth what Deaf people are really going through a lot. What do you think?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-022/drawing-justice-the-art-of-courtroom-illustrations-opens-april-27/2017-03-07/

 

 

 

ASL: The Meaning of ‘Justice for All’

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There are millions of visitors who visit District of Columbia, the nation’s capital. What I did not realize that today on this date, July 16, 1790 when DC was picked as nation’s capital while the first American president, George Washington signed The Residence Act that made a city.

There are indeed still consequences in today’s Deaf community. The fracturing of the social media takes a larger scope and understands that it is not OK to attack Deaf community.

District of Columbia’s motto: Justia Omnibus, which means Justice for All. When President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill to create higher education for Deaf people: National Deaf Mute College (Now Gallaudet University) in Washington, DC; Deaf people have the right to carry rightful justice that they have every aspect of human right to use sign language for communication, knowledge, and information. That was the main topic. Simple.

The creation of the university was built by many stories you cannot imagine how much it meant to them. DC was only 74 years old city when Gallaudet University founded. As Alexander Graham Bell was 17 years old living in Scotland that time, did you ever think what would AGBell think about that day, 8th April, 1864? Did his father or grandfather tell him the news? Did AGBell have a plan to destroy “all for justice” policy and erase sign language in favor for oralism? Was it the plan to preserve Bell family’s name and legacy to destroy an American motto at what highest cost possibly be?

Exactly 100 years after the founding of nation’s capital, AGBell had the nerve to set up American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf now known as Volta Bureau, AGBell’s headquarters in the same city. AGBell challenged Edward Miner Gallaudet on the sacred ground of Gallaudet University that can be found in a book, Never the Twain Shall Meet by Richard Winefield. Help ourselves understand. The American democracy is not easily misunderstood.

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Justia Omnibus, is an American motto, which means NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM DEAF PEOPLE in 1880 and the next 100 years today. AGBell do not have the authority to prioritize and revoke all for justice in Deaf community’s favor of ASL.

The District of Columbia gave Deaf people a life to grow and teaches that justice for all to overcome Audism at Gallaudet University. Why cannot the Board of Trustees [BoTs] flesh out all the connections between AGBell’s headquarters and the university for dirty money? Make it ASL/Deaf-centered, ASL/Deaf-controlled, and ASL/Deaf-oriented. What’s wrong with that? Today, we will stand by human rights to use ASL—Justice for All! Justia Omnibus! ASL wins!

Happy birthday, DC! ASL JUSTICE FOR ALL.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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