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Deaf Community: In Shadows of Constitution Day

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The Constitution of the United States is done, and signed by a majority of delegates attending historic Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia today on September 17, 1787. It’s a hallmark that in Deaf community, we need to protect our rights. Buy yourself a small book, The Constitution of the United States of America and study well, maybe better tip to carry this book everyday with you to protect yourself. It is crucial.

I got this book at ACLU National Membership Conference last June 2018, and the five reasons I support ACLU:

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Deaf community should be a public service—not a place of fear what is called Surdophobia, “fear of Deaf people” and take advantage of them because of auditory measures. That is beyond cruel punishment and that is exactly why oppression has since become a unique subset of Deaf America. Can we dedicate to protect Deaf America? The Constitution of the United States of America—is an important asset that also dedicates to Deaf America, the quality is largely invisible that often overlooked group of minorities, who easily targets.

We, the Deaf need to restore citizen trust, and empower through American democracy. A strong, Deaf community is vital to help Deaf citizens to build resources and constitutional rights in local, state, and federal—and….their country.

Unfortunately, as United States Constitution does not really protect Deaf community. There is no law that protects Deaf community and why is that? They are often confronted with very, very, very limited help that cannot support higher learning, and guidance on addressing sociological problem in Deaf community.

There is one powerful lever for change is the United States Constitution to safeguard the privacy and security of Deaf people, that a single United States Constitution book can impact the security of Deaf community. Not only that the United States Constitution celebrates its moral or political virtue, but it is also bigger, more uplifting virtue more than we really thought even in Deaf community. It is the best and powerful tool to support pursuit of happiness that comes from the guard of United States Constitution.

If the Deaf community suffers, then it needs to be examined and corrected. How can we challenge this sociological problem? If we are honest then we will see that the oppression is a sociological collective with an authority for human punishment that has never recognized Deaf people as human beings, at least, it is true. Deaf people continues to be “human doings”—what happened to the Constitution Day that has forgotten a lot of painful stories that Deaf people suffer in their lifetime?

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Forcing to Use Voice or Face Consequences

 

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I had a mind-bogging conversation with Deaf professor who works at Gallaudet University and prefer ASL for communication, information, and knowledge this evening. The professor had been working there for long time, and one day, the professor was required to attend a departmental meeting. The Chair of the department is also Deaf. The department has the majority of hearing teachers. The chair had asked that Deaf professor to use voice for hearing teachers’ sake. The professor is not required to do it. Despite the professor never used voice before. Why now? Right there, it is very much oppressive and hostile environment. We all must remember: Gallaudet’s most complicated motto: “There is no other place like this in the world.” It is supposed to be most safe place in the world.

This is 2018, and Gallaudet University is practicing language bigotry and language aversion against ASL. The worst thing was coming from the chair who is Deaf has ordered that professor to use voice—do you think it is double oppression? Deaf people who uses ASL have led lives of suffering and emotional distresses within an unforgiving, if not hostile, hearing social hierarchy in the environment where ASL is marginalized and visual modes of communication forever ignored at Gallaudet University.

At the same time, we must remind ourselves that Gallaudet University is a well-known reference to the attitude of honest acceptance for the state of being Deaf. In our own language, ASL stands for much more than just ASL. It is deeper meaning is our culture, that is, Deaf culture. As we the Deaf people at Gallaudet University continue to struggle by being forced to use voice, the university becomes attuned to erratic priorities for the Deaf people.

The Deaf chair who ordered Deaf professor, where is the leadership power for empowering bias-free, stress-free, hostile-free, and success at Gallaudet University? By forcing to use voice has destroyed many Deaf people in the past to benefit not only themselves, but ASL continues to be oppressed today.

fullsizerender-7.jpgSimultaneous Communication known as SimCom will be less workable if ASL was allowed. Deaf people using ASL are smarter. SimCom will not change the foundation of ASL society; Deaf people could never adapt to a new order of the Deaf. Gallaudet University MUST never endorses any attempt to force Deaf professors to use voice. It would be like blaspheme because being state of Deaf is divinely endowed with manifestation for ASL.

That Deaf professor should not deal with emotional distress and the majority of hearing teachers in that department build their case against ASL entirely on their own speculations. These people value speculations and are serious about making academics out of them. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what ASL does and does not.

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Their communication speculations have been misused to defend educational bankruptcy; to support linguistic and cultural colonialism; to persecute ASL against Deaf people; to support the oppression of ASL; to oppose ASL as their first choice to use language every day; to condemn Deaf people to use ASL;

We must be open to new truth about ASL at Gallaudet University. We must stop language hegemony against ASL. William Shakespeare once said, “Even the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”

-JT

Copyright © 2018 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.