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Tag Archives: American Sign Language

For CONVO: Sign for HATE

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The Battle on Racism in Deaf Community

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Honestly, I do not know what to say after I saw so much movements the last couple of days and there are several Confederate monuments has been taken down like in Maryland and many other cities. We are witnessing history! How will the history books redefine in schools now? It is really big deal!

The battle on Racism centered today in the white supremacy organizations, has raised two concerns about my own community, Deaf community. Either has to do with the language and culture of the Deaf. I know some Deaf white folks who practice white supremacy. In fact, I know someone Deaf who idolizes KKK and Neo-Nazi with the words painted in the back yard years ago. I saw it with my own eyes. I remember that day well.

What has emerged is that the white supremacy is an organized racist group; powerful enough in lay terms, to practice and promote language hate. White supremacists hate the fact that love exists as the most important human tool. Additionally, and ominously, is what white supremacy knows how to “isolate” some of Deaf people using hate language. These concerns have their origin in a determination, which, if it had merit at its inception, also carried latent demands that Deaf people be taught to preach white supremacy in language and culture.

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Deaf people became oppressed, and their language and culture suppressed. They were target and became supplicants of white supremacy. We the Deaf people, it is safe to say, we will want our language and culture (which, significantly, ASL values above all other subject matters) to be broadly representative of our social whole. At all costs, we the Deaf people must not a caste set apart, neither drawn from nor informed by the white supremacy.

I would highly suggest reading great stuff called Teaching Racism: Using Experiential Learning to Challenge the Status Quo by Melody Aye Loya and Mo Cuevas. It has influenced me huge. The initial premise is prima facie discriminatory. Racism is dangerous; indeed, it can be countervailing. When it comes to communication, Racism does have n opt-in or opt-out practice. These rejected aspects of Racism drills at the root of the language racism we the Deaf face today and tomorrow.

It should not be surprise that in 2017 the white supremacy practitionists alleviate the language racism in such a way as to alleviate the immigration crisis across America. They would make Deaf people who use ASL aliens eligible for oppression and hatred. Remember, white supremacists and white nationalists are targeting minorities including Deaf people—no kidding.

The battle on Racism has been appropriated by white supremacy and white nationalists even some business organizations. Now is a good time to challenge these hate groups and to ask whether they continue to wage the language and culture war—especially Racism against the Deaf in the United States. White Deaf folks—do not go into white silence anymore.

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I see ASL as our collective community. This collective community turns on pieces of it and puts them in a box where we get to talk to each other and figure out how to rethink our of the box. If you could see love in your imagination, then that is all I got to write about the real power behind ASL. Love will always defeat Hate.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

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.

Resentment: Motivations Behind the Hate

What is the Difference Between White Nationalist and Domestic Terrorist?

What Was Laurent Clerc Thinking That Night?

The Sinister Life and Celebrated Death of Alexander Graham Bell

The Hidden Hand: Hate in Deaf Community

 

 

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Every year, on Saint Patrick’s Day, my grandparents would watch their favorite movie, 1952 “The Quiet Man” because Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne were their favorite actress and actor. Plus, it was filmed in Ireland. As they say, “Erin Go Bragh!” [Ireland forever]

Then I learned later that John’s name was not his birth name. He was born as Duke Morrison. I also learned that he was hungry for supremacy. That does not fit Hollywood’s image. I learned that the other night about a year ago that it has happened in California, a Republican congressman was attempting to make a special honor called “John Wayne Day” held in May and the Democrats came out protesting strongly against the idea. The bill failed because they hold zero tolerance policy against Racism and hate. That is what we all should do the same thing. How do we feel about white supremacy?

When you see an image below, John Wayne actually said that in 1971 Playboy magazine interview below. University of Virginia wrote about John Wayne, “Wayne has grossed more than $400 million for his studios–more than any other star in motion-picture history. But because of his uncompromising squareness–and his archconservative politics–he was still largely a profit without honor in Hollywood.”

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Now, can we do something about Audism and hate? What about those hearing actresses and actors who are pretending to be Deaf in the big picture front of Deaf eyes? Why are Deaf people rejected as an aspiration to a world in which all forms of inequality and dehumanization among ourselves that allows a society to oppress Deaf people who have plenty of talent out there?

Some people would say that a degree of “diversity” is a wonderful thing, but within certain demographics it has continue to practice the old, dirty politics, and there are plenty of people in this or that minority culture for whom the old-fashioned non-cultural politics is more relevant. For most people of any group, including the minority groups, the specifically diversity issues are actually a small proportion of the actually important yet invisible issues affecting Deaf people anywhere.

Should Audism be “extinct” in Deaf community, in the sense that the public eye of Alexander Graham Bell is quite welcoming to anyone Deaf. This is not always true. Struggle with sign languages everywhere, communication and personal appearance exists in the term subtle diversity in the society. In Canada, more specifically, Nova Scotia “NS” in ASL— 12 years ago in the legislative Act of 2005, the honor created “Alexander Graham Bell Day” where they celebrate his achievements on March 7th every year ever since and it has became a personal insult for the Deaf community.

While the only Alexander Graham Bell Day in the world, Canada is the front runner and they should get rid of it. One day they will. Do not wait too long. Celebrating Alexander Graham Bell Day is like creating a massacre filled with laughter! What do you think when you see “education” first thing? It may be most complex noun of all. It means, “to train someone for what?”—And it is a teacher-centered, not student-centered. If a teacher thinks a Deaf pupil is better off speaking, then the pupil is really stuck.

I strongly believe in student-centered learning and teaching (peer-teaching) is best of the best for the Deaf as they often teach each other. That is what a Deaf culture is supposed to be. Paulo Freire once said, “The teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting through the action of the teacher.

Deaf people are not part of inventory or investment! Is ASL suffering language bigotry? What do we mean Audism when we say that an oppressor usually a hearing person believes a given proposition about the Deaf? We all need to be outspoken promoters of social justice and  defender of the oppressed! We need to follow a good example what California did and support Deaf Canadians to get rid of AGBell’s Day! So, do you think we should remove all the ranks of Audism in public eye? Alexander Graham Bell’s 1884 hate speech:

We should try ourselves to forget that they are deaf. We should try to teach them to forget that they are deaf.”-Alexander Graham Bell, 1884.

Cite: Ladd, Paddy. Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood. Page 129.

Isn’t Bell doing exactly the same thing what John Wayne said about, I don’t believe giving authority and positions of leadership and judgement to irresponsible people…—AGBell’s speech was instructed to teach Deaf people to hate their own “identity” and forget their existence as the state of being Deaf and lose all the ranks of leadership just because Deaf people are viewed as socially inferior and ‘irresponsible’ people. AGBell was really afraid. The dark side of AGBell has been revealed. His leadership is now weak. The evolution of FEAR begins.

After all, that is the worst massacre created by Alexander Graham Bell and its followers. There may be more reasons behind that. On the left bottom corner, the postage of Alexander Graham Bell–look at his fists. He was so charged to attack Deaf community. That’s the hidden hand, folks!

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Lastly, Wayne’s words, “Our so-called stealing of this country from them [Native Americans] was just a matter of survival.” What an asshole! Generally speaking for “matter of survival” would be any incident where Deaf people would be oppressed by another and the perpetrating group has the control of power.

The stories told by Deaf people becomes the collective journey and how their struggles and circumstances meet with the full use of force. In other words, if people agree that AGBell created a massacre for power, politics, hate, and the oppression ranks, then it meets our criteria.

It makes him less human. His primary goal was to destroy the survivorship of ASL and Deaf people. That makes Bell a bigger asshole. What is so funny right now? Well, I have this book, A**holeolgy The Cheat Sheet: Put the Science into Practice in Everyday by Chris Illuminati sitting on the bookshelf; I saw a perfect introduction from the book: The Ten Demandments of Being an Asshole.

  1. The asshole cares about the asshole the most.
  2. The asshole is always right.
  3. The assholes rarely apologizes.
  4. The asshole never accepts the word “no.”
  5. The asshole is always in control.
  6. The asshole always has a plan.
  7. The asshole takes what he wants.
  8. The asshole always look good.
  9. The asshole learns from his (few mistakes)
  10. The asshole is always evolving.

I rest my case. 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

References: https://www.pinterest.com/janeenweddle/the-quiet-man/

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/alexander-graham-bell-day

http://www.ibtimes.com/was-john-wayne-racist-california-democrats-refuse-honor-film-star-because-white-2361754

https://anydayguide.com/calendar/2860

https://simpsonswiki.com/wiki/Alexander_Graham_Bell

https://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/Wild_Wild_Cold_War/files/2011/11/John_Wayne_Playboy_Int2.pdf

 

 

 

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.