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Tag Archives: American Politics

Remember H.G. Wells’s ‘The War of the Worlds’?

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From Rejection of Deaf People in Hollywood Industry

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Ah, people has asking me what are my thoughts about the latest movie, “Wonderstruck” from what I understand that there were hearing people who pretended to be Deaf– has shed light on what hearing privileges really mean when they attack Deaf people and steal the image from them as well as free speech, too. I am not writing about the law or the Constitution, I am writing about how hearing actors or actresses hijack the system and using it to amplify oppression as a message. The illustration above was drawn by Brian Selznik.

I continue to be amazed by the unnecessary cruelty of the Hollywood industry, which has again taken aim at the most vulnerable members of the society in the name of language hegemony. Isn’t Hollywood industry was supposed to be the “civil rights and human rights” safeguard to protect Deaf people from unequal treatment? Obviously not. It is not the first time what Julianna Moore has continue to be ignorant about the importance of Deaf Studies in recent memory.

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A graphic created by Amber Zion–Deaf person with plenty of talent!

This is the time to think about that there are plenty of Deaf talent can do to stop exploitation of Hollywood to hire hearing actors or actress to act as Deaf. We need to educate them in anti-bias and anti-bullying discourses. Can we educate them with effective tactics that defuse exploitation before they can trigger over time into the kind of systematic oppression?

When Deaf people show the world that they have talent in acting with better eye movements, learns of people with hearing privileges and deceit, they essentially disowns Deaf citizens and implore them to shut up and stay in the cell in order to allow them to beat their appearance up and harm their reputations. Again, when Deaf citizens learn that the oppression in Hollywood have been returned to be practiced, they are suffering in the hands of oppressors. Oh, the sentencing of their fate!

We are tired of the worst oppression over the past year that a well-known Hollywood actress has again stepped over Deaf people just like stamped out Audism! Did Hollywood really acknowledge their errors? No. Instead, in the days since, oppression of Deaf people in Hollywood scenes, they would probably refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. All evidence to the contrary, Hollywood have continued to insist on Julianna Moore’s false version as a Deaf person, ignoring the grief of Deaf community, who are trying to make an attempt to educate the society that there are plenty of Deaf people who can show their talents.

Even a Deaf administrator and moderator for Deaf Talent Guild News wrote, “I do not wish to see any more posts critical of Julianna Moore for taking the deaf adult role nor discussing plans for a boycott of the movie Wonderstruck, which frankly in my opinion would be counter productive. I know some of you may not have fond opinions of her after reading the news of what she did…she may have already realized by now she made a mistake; let her be.”

Umm, excuse me, what about the pain what Deaf community has suffered? Where is the compassion? This is a disgrace. We are talking about the opportunity—no longer in the invisible hand. Isn’t Hollywood supposed to be the land of the opportunity? Deaf people on Mother Earth have a reason–know no life other than America. Can we even recognize Hollywood’s America?

I want to make it clear that this is not hoax or an exaggeration. I have been personally embarrassed by this whole ordeal, but out of continued frustration, I find it now necessary to write about what occurred in Hollywood. I feel that least writing this post could help start healing process. When I had been chosen to as an actor for Deafhood Monologues in Washington, D.C.—I understood the importance of Deaf talent where Julianna Moore has twice oppressed the Deaf community—with the quote below:

You will know you are completely done with something when you give it up and feel freedom instead of loss”.—Emily Maroutain

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2012/januaryfebruary/feature/deaf-meets-wonderstruck

 

Trump and His IQ of a Eraser

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Uh…..how will Trump win? Check out some of Trump’s most stupidest things he said so far. What would the IQ test results for Trump? The results would be shocking! No way Trump could make it into Mensa, the high IQ society with high caliber goals: “an international society whose only qualification for membership is a score in the top 2 percent of the general population on a standardized intelligence test” I laugh at Trump. He would erase everything including Obama’s achievements out of the history books. His stupidity is what profoundly impacts by erasing the quality of life in America. I support 25th Amendment to remove Trump as United States of America President.

“Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” –Donald Trump, tweeting about the tragic death of Nykea Aldridge, cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, and making it all about him (Aug. 27, 2016)

“I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.” –Donald Trump, on receiving a Purple Heart as a gift from a retired lieutenant colonel and supporter (August 2, 2016)

“I think I am, actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.–Donald Trump, 60 Minutes interview, July 17, 2016

“We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.” –Donald Trump on his performance with poorly educated voters who helped him win the Nevada Caucus, Feb. 23, 2016

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.” –Donald Trump, speaking at a rally in Sioux Center, Iowa as the audience laughed, January 23, 2016

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Word of “Kneel” In a Poor Judgement

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I would like to write this out of my heart that I would like to apologize for using “Kneel” from one of my recent blog posts. The term of “Kneel”—inspired from professional football players in the National Football League (NFL) to make a statement to stop police brutality, racism, and targeting people of color people (PoC). I realized that I should know that after 20 years of police brutality I’ve seen in newspapers and Internet targeting PoC, I used “Kneel” for the wrong reason even as a white man with lineage in Cherokee and I realized that I still have not completely unpack white privileges yet.

It is true that the majority of Black people who has suffered the most. For so long, do we even realize that the Deaf community, “us” and “them” may never touched the same ground in many corners of American society. Because of those people like who kneel in NFL games, the healing is encouraging. The truth is far more critical. That is exactly why we should be supportive of social justice.

As eager as I recognize the cause, we all do need to analyze ourselves a crucial question. I would like to thank this person who found time and talked about it in person and wrote a text to me, “As for injustice of POC against anthem” and we need to accept the fact about the police brutality and injustice of PoC, we need to use kneel against anthem. The anthem is not represent for PoC, too. Community accountability is desired.

As compelling as the stories out there who survived through police brutality, racism, and PoC including Deaf PoC, Deaf, Deaf-Blind people, the question to be seen, why we did not seen enough of never-ending human struggles with us until we stand up against the bigotry? Why does just how far we still have to go?

Again, I used “Kneel” out of poor judgement and realized that it was particularly hurt to PoC, for whom this image is a symbol of hatred and struggles and would like to commit to make a change.

With my apologies, I take full responsibility for not taking myself serious enough to understand those stories out there.

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Rightful Presence in Justice: Challenging ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620)

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I am writing this out of my great concern to respond what Congress wants to pass so-called The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act of 2017 [H.R. 620] this coming Thursday, September 14th. From the moment of its passage in 1990, it has quickly reached an unprecedented global scope, overwhelming the human rights formed by Deaf people because of Deaf President Now (DPN) in 1988 to the waves of marginalized people from shore to shore in America upheavals of earlier decades.

ADA became important for everyone including Deaf people and Disabled people. The doors were open. They were left out for generations. It reminds me of a movie called Music Within based on a true story. Richard Pimentel who lost his hearing during war in Vietnam then comes home and became oppressed after that then he became a disability rights advocate. One scene where he and his friend in a wheelchair went into a restaurant in Portland, Oregon and the waitress asked them to leave because they were not “standard” people according to a law called “Ugly Laws” so controversial that made people hate people who had disabilities.

The law continued to practice for almost 100 years from late 1860s until 1970s– several American cities followed the law where people were “unsightly” or “unseemly” to appear in public then it was removed from the law books. ADA of 1990 recognized the growing pain of ugly laws and gave those people with disabilities to have rights. No more hatred. Sandra Fredman in her book, Discrimination Law in 2011, writes:

Individuals with disabilities are a discrete and insular minority who have been faced with restrictions and limitations, subjected to a history of purposeful unequal treatment, and relegated to a position of political powerlessness in our society, based on characteristics that are beyond the control of such individuals and resulting from stereotypic assumptions not truly indicative of the individual ability of such individuals to participate in, and contribute to, society.

Tyler Ray, Americans Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] Washington Legislative Office and Vania Leveille, Senior Legislative Counsel writes on September 6, 2017:

H.R. 620 would completely change the way in which a business is required to comply with the ADA. Instead of requiring that a business comply proactively, the bill would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access. This bill proposes that after an individual with a disability is denied she must first notify the business owner, with exacting specificity, that her civil rights were violated, and then wait for six months to see if the business will make “substantial progress” toward access, before going to a court to order compliance. 

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The key word: “would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access”—isn’t that the same thing that applies to so-called Ugly Laws? The civil rights would be violated in the highest sense of oppression. The disabled people are at a higher risk of rejecting in a bias-motivated attitude. Why should Deaf people and disabled people suffer and deal with Eighth Amendment “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” in the United States Constitution?

As bad as Congress brought the idea about wanting to pass unlawful H.R. 620, we must remind ourselves that the old-school politicians have since the last removal of Ugly Law in 1970s, at least moved in the direction of making strongest effort possible, through the eyes of public policy, to reduce inequality for Deaf and disabled people. We must also be aware of 1964 Civil Rights Act, and ADA that has carried the legacy in our society to keep and protect the rights of all our citizens. No matter what the cost is. The H.R. 620 is unconstitutional and inhumane!

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Fredman, Sandra (2011). Discrimination Law [2nd ed.]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 96.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/disability-rights/congress-wants-change-americans-disabilities-act-and-undermine-civil-rights

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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