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Tag Archives: American Politics

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/

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

Declaration of Independence: Have Women Been Written Out of History Books?

July 4th History Facts

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.

AGBell Is a Disgrace to the Deaf Community

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I know that we do not want to remind ourselves today—it is important that we need to continue to grow strong and stand up and challenge hateful ideologies. Today is Alexander Graham Bell (AGBell)’s birthday.

In Trump’s speech last Tuesday standing before United States Congress, he praised Alexander Graham Bell’s name. Couple of years ago, the same United States Congress recognized that AGBell no longer as an inventor of the telephone. The White House needs to know that they did not report the full story about Audism influence on Deaf community, AGBell’s organization attacks on Deaf Education, the environment, and human rights.

The books, The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community, When The Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf, Never the Twain Shall Meet: Bell, Gallaudet, and the Communications Debate, Made to Hear: Cochlear Implants and Raising Deaf Children, The Deaf Community in America: History in the Making, Everyone Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary on Martha’s Vineyard, The Deaf Mute Howls, Signs of Resistance: American Cultural History, 1900 to World War II, and many other books.

Those books are part of long line of truth-telling stories. Deaf community continues to resist hatefulness by AGBell and struggle for justice. Across the nation, Deaf community will not honor AGBell on his birthday that has been attacking our society, working to dehumanize public institutions, and demonizing all of us who are different from the society.

Deaf America has overcome such challenges before. We will fight for economic rights, environmental rights, human rights, and social justice and the right to use American Sign Language (ASL) at all times. We must remain vigilant.

After AGBell’s damaging speech in 1883 and 1884, the next 38 birthdays celebrating AGBell had shaped the future of Deaf Education and Deaf people today in a damaging society. No more!

What kind of Deaf America will we leave future generations? We must continue to resist against AGBell, no matter what.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Democracy and Freedom of Press Are Our Lifeblood!

We Are The Nation of Immigrants

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One Deaf person has adversited in the name of the book called The Law written by Frédéric Bastiat and sent a wrong message. The man also supported President Trump’s executive orders to go ahead and ignore the limit of his authority under the United States Constitution, and ordered the spree of violence directed against Muslims for faith-based favouritism. President Trump favors Christianity over Muslims. Both Trump and Deaf person here are Christians.

Hate crime–often referred to as “ethnoviolence” which was:

first used in a report for the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence in 1986 to describe an act or attempted act that is motivated by group prejudice and intended to cause physical or psychological injury. (Young, 1990; Bowling, 1993; Kelly, Maghan and Tennant, 1993).

On January 27, 2017–in the honour of Holocaust Remembrance Day, we the Americans witnessed the most violence-ridden of hate-motivated in American history to see an American president sign an executive order to ban Muslims. The attacks on Muslims were inspired by an intense hatred of white superiority and a desire to eliminate as many Muslim Americans as possible.

Few days ago when I was reading The Washington Post Express, there was an headline that says: “Think about being better Americans” where a Trump voter left a waitress a huge tip on the inauguration day was a political manipulation. The term, better Americans…..is a hidden language that we must live in White world or get out of the country. Your choice.

Even with book, The Law and the importance of “individualism” that President Trump is attempting to brainwash Americans is not working at all. Trump is already running American on erratic priorities. One of President Trump’s worst mistakes, for example, ignoring the Americans’ constitution rights and civil rights–without consulting with the Congress but himself.

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Why is individualism more than collectivism? What about indifference? Is individualism part of indifference? Etymologically, the word means “no difference”. A strange and unnatural darkness, cruelty, and compassion are blurring. Is there a sociological lens of indifference conceivable? Is it viewed as a virtue? Is it necessary to practice hate simply, no compassion, as we the Deaf around the world experience oppression? We are no better!

Indifference is the friend of the oppression, for it benefits the oppressor–for example, President Trump’s banning the Muslims–never the oppressed whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. Indifference is evil. Trump administration had been composed of three simple categories: the oppressors, the oppressed, and the bystanders.

During the darkest times, inside America that was supposed to be the land of the free and bias-free and…hate-free, after Trump sworn to be president, we felt abandoned, forgotten. All of us did become the oppressors, the oppressed, and the bystanders.

Even with the book, The Law—the Deaf man did not understand the full extent of compassion for Americans including Muslims–regardless of their religious preference. Remember, under United States Constitution, First Amendment, Freedom of Religion, was not to be tolerated. Taking their constitutional and civil rights away is a form of aggression and often dishonest tactics, we must be vigilant to protect and support them.

We are committed to promote social justice and excellence. The final question, does the man completely understand hate crimes and bias…and ethnoviolence?  I doubt so! To read this clearly, that we the Americans reject hatred in all of its forms and that we no longer tolerate religious bigotry. In today’s world, we need to understand the message of mutual respect and unity that we cannot afford to ignore them. After all, collectivism is the core and common ground. Individualism is not.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

The Invisible Spot: ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ in Deaf Community

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I am an activist in Deaf community—the community I grow to love, and being an activist is who I am. It is my passion. It is my calling. I am Deaf. I grew up in a very small town that had a culture of racism, sexism, xenophobia even audism. My mother and father are life-long Democrats, my recently passed away grandparents were life-long Democrats, too. We were a Blue family. In the town I lived with bullies that I knew of around me growing up, my identity as Deaf had been hidden from making some kind of difference.

It was not until after I turned 35 years old that I found the meaning of Deaf identity and culture through Deafhood book, coming out as a strong Deaf identity. At 35, I started learning about my people and my culture more than ever. I finally found where I belonged. I am an activist and I am Deaf. Those two statements have been always important to me and would never allow anyone to break me down. The presidential election on November 8th, 2016 had struck the greatest fear in my heart and many other Deaf people. Xenophobia has begun to open the can of worms than before.

The election, I almost lost my life—resulting up dead for ten minutes at Gallaudet University with massive heart attack. Being in ICU, I remember watching an election result via television, the fear in my heart has struck powerful word with me. The Deaf community had been viewed as a lonely and alienating world. So, I made a decision to be activist and visible ally in the community. After the election, Donald Trump had won, it was not very good timing for me while I was in hospital wondering how to deal with this.

The American flag, and the “Pledge of Allegiance”—is not what created of Deaf community today and tomorrow. This is not the flag we allow to practice hatred in Deaf community. Why? It is important to treat people with respect and dignity, no matter what—need to be constant source of support. Deaf community do not need to deal with high spikes in hate crimes, we owe it to ourselves making a better citizen. “Pledge of Allegiance” is really racist.

Francis Bellamy, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance, was a bigot. His cousin and cohort Edward Bellamy was also a bigot. The link I suggest the readers to click and read the history behind Pledge of Allegiance.

http://rexcurry.net/pledgebigot.html

So-called Trump administration with the worst cabinet ever in history, Deaf community including myself refuses to be invisible—we need to remind ourselves that we are their neighbors. The best part is to create a stronger culture of normalization.

“It’s likely that our country will remain polarized for the foreseeable future. That makes our work fighting hate, teaching tolerance and seeking justice eve more urgent in the coming year.” -Morris Dees and Richard Cohen

With the incoming administration, Deaf community will not tolerate bullying at all. We might be viewed as a minority group; we will not be threatened at all. I hope the electors will realize what the true meaning of American democracy is and make a difference.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2016 Jason Tozier

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