The Last 48 Hours: Deaf Community Marginalized?

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After I watched State of the Union by #45 in 2019 speech, I have to admit that it was a joke. I mean, come on, it would take someone to have a simple common sense to solve math problem in additional formula. Does Donald Trump understand the solution that would fix the sociological problem in the society?—and I am writing about the lack of Deaf sociological problems in America.

All of Trump’s speech tonight, think about how much the language had been showing—language hegemony in the power of hearing privileges, think about Deaf Studies or the people of the eye we live in for time being when we breathe or die. It is a life and death situation. It is amazing how the literature been going through trials of struggle and trying to betray the language of truth. Which was the smallest minority group of all?

DEAF COMMUNITY. The number 45, it was said to be in the mathematical literature that that number would shift major changes in people’s life. That makes sense. Do not let this new norm to rattle and crumble the Deaf community in lower numbers. When I watched #45’s speech, the key merit to recognize the beginning of literature that allows hearing privileges to hold the power, the hate crime is too bullshit to discuss and why we cannot walk away from this social problem and how can we discuss more about hate crime in our own community: Deaf community?

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The actual Issac Newton’s Drawing as a Kid.

The wall is a joke. Let’s discuss about the wall of Deaf community. The metaphor by one of my favorite mathematicians: Sir Isaac Newton: “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

Exactly. Where is the bridge between Deaf and hearing community? Too many walls! Why cannot hearing community get along with Deaf community when it should not build too many walls and ignore bridges that should have been prevented? For one, I have always believed in the bias against the Deaf. The Deaf bias has managed to weave itself a very haunting reputation that is extremely difficult to catch and comprehend. When it comes to American Sign Language (ASL), the bias would be laid on the table and then allow itself to be examined, thus becoming easily erased and eradicated.

In my most recent lecture, “Fighting the Fire of Hate: Deaf America in Crisis” last October 2018 held at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC, it has transformed into a model of its own kind, rich with anecdotes and facts from all the Deaf, from all walks of life, and the laws that lacks the protection of Deaf people, has been missing the facts, and it has missing the most from two parts: ASL and counterpart English.

When we are glued to watch through television, it is so powerful that the trick of political language that matters you the most, challenging in the most of truth of all truth that the biases are often invisible against the Deaf. Where is the betterment of all the Deaf?

When Deaf people are heard around the world and the country, it goes by the ballots in the years and years ahead—and it needs your help. Is there a fundamental right for Deaf person to stand and hold democracy in America? Think about this one, after America, there is no place to go in this vast universe. Although Deaf community like myself, had experienced implicit prejudices and discrimination. America is still a great place to be and live.

The last 48 hours had been making Deaf community difficult to breathe and live with the consequence that had been marginalized, and neglected, the Super Bowl 2019 game: “Deaf, Dumb, and Blind” even if it was a lyric that hurts them the most—and less than five seconds of live coverage of Deaf person signing in ASL on national television, and the history of the State of the Union that always lack the discourses of Deaf Studies in people, literature, and history. All in thrice! We should remember that “Deaf” will be always unparalleled force in our politics. Action does show much the difference. Can we find the next generation of DEAF-CENTERED leaders in our movement?

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

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Suffering in the Shadows

A foundational question here is what exactly does Gallaudet University expect from me? The legal proceedings, imperfect as they may be, have played out–destroyed my future or even my life.

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Can We Hold Hate Accountable?

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I saw this banner somewhere in DC the other day.

As a Deaf returning citizen living in America I have to ask, “Did Deaf community protest enough against hate?”—Our country is based on freedoms that we were supposed to protect, including freedom of speech and the right of people peaceably to assemble.

Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a famous speech in Washington, D.C.—“I Have a Dream” that changed the history forever. George Veditz fought for ASL rights, Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights, and I continue to fight for Deaf returning citizen rights, and there are a lot of people who believes in causes fighting for their rights because we live in the land of the free and we all were supposed to be hate-free from discrimination and harassment.

Did we learn ENOUGH that we were supposed to understand the Bill of Rights under United States Constitution? Deaf people has been denied equal pay, got killed by the very people sworn to protect them with NO BIAS? The list goes on. What happened to liberty and justice for all—regardless of race, disability, religion, gender, or even economic status?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

The Power of Positive Leadership

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When President Cordano wrote a statement:

“President Cordano has decided to place the position of Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement on hold. This will give us the space to engage in a deeper dialogue about what is in the best interest of the community. The ultimate decision about this vice president position will be determined, in large part, by the input gathered from the entire community. A campus-wide email message with a vlog will be issued soon.”

As immediately as I saw the statement, the members of Deaf community at Gallaudet University is increasingly tired of being marginalized including Deaf returning citizens. It is true that Foster auditorium was full house; I would like to thank Bobbi to make right decision that Dwight is not the effective person for the position: Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement.

However, I became puzzled the fact that Dwight Benedict has not been let go of the campus. When Bobbi said in her presentation, “I recognize a lot of pain.”—Where did the “pain” actually come from? Dwight’s policies are so oppressive that he would not able to give someone a chance to breathe for some air. Also, Bobbi’s signed,

Dwight Benedict is a victim of the system”

Hello? How can it be irresponsible excuse? Why did Bobbi need to say that? What’s up with that? Political cover-up? Lack of admitting systematic racism? Lack of institutional racism? Educational oppression?

Whose responsibility is it from the administration system? Should we believe that Dwight is a victim of the administration system? Where is the apology from Dwight himself on the stage what he had done to many survivors? Someone informed me that person has confronted Dwight sitting next to Bobbi in office this morning what he had done, Dwight admitted to the fact he did. Yes, he actually did. What does it mean to you?

Whoa, that was fast! Rome did not built overnight. It takes a lot of unpacking, I mean, the size of the Great Wall of China is so big that would stretch from Washington, D.C. to Wichita, Kansas. That is where Dwight needs to unpack his privileges that much for the last 37 years.

Was it good enough? Will Dwight ever “man up” or own it up what he had done to underprivileged Deaf people of color, Deaf people, and Deaf returning citizens?

I also asked the person if Dwight would happy to start unpacking his white privileges. Dwight gives the surprising answer—you need to guess the answer. If Dwight ever owns up and demand the apology from Gallaudet community, alumnus, and alumni through video without written script, but his own sincere apology, will it ever happen? The motto for state of Kansas: Ad Astra per Aspera which means in Latin, “To the Stars through Difficulties” and the motto for Washington, D.C.: Justia Omnibus which means in Latin, “Justice for All”

Where is the JUSTICE for ALL Deaf survivors who experienced Dwight’s power of oppression? I am asking for his apology including the fact that he did not quickly complete his civil duty when an alumnus faces a life and death situation last November 2016. The silence continues to understand the stars through difficulties for those people. We need to break down the great wall of silence. Not only the apology for I seek for, the apology goes to the survivors for the last 30+ years. Overstayed, overpriced, and overconfident is long due.

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All we are asking for a fresh change at Gallaudet in the healthiest environment as possible. We need Justia Ombinus. Positive Leadership. That is the kind of Community Engagement we are looking for. 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Protest and Kneel Against Dwight Benedict

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Dwight Benedict “Deaf Trump” wearing American flag tie

There are times that I seriously question the leadership by Dwight Benedict even many of my fellow Deaf citizens were ignored and marginalized. If the oppression and bullying by Dwight as an oppressor representing Gallaudet University and all that it truly stands for, then we should be kneeling down to defend an oppressed Gallaudetian right to higher education, bias-free, and pursuit of happiness.

I think it would be wise for all of us to protest Dwight’s new leadership role that which we see it as wrong, for that is a constitutional right even with our choice to kneel against the Gallauadet Administration in hand-picking Dwight without proper channels through Gallaudet community.

Dwight is not a true Gallaudetian—with the idea, I think Gallaudet community (faculty, staff, students, alumni, alumnus, and GUAA) should kneel and protest Dwight’s position. Stop favoritism, nepotism, and privileges. I think it would be wise for students to walk out of classrooms and protest–and kneel. We must remember our rights to freedom of speech under United States Constitution. Nothing is wrong with that.

Gallaudet University cannot punish students for that even Dwight will be in full charge of Department of Public Safety (DPS) starting October 1st, 2017. We cannot let Dwight’s “power trip” oppress students. Dwight knows better than that!

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Gallaudet University: Charity Reedy Warigon, a Finalist for Chief Diversity Officer

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I am a Deaf White Straight Male. I am an alumnus of Gallaudet University. As Gallaudet University is strongly white establishment system even today, the administration, majority of faculty and students are still predominately white. I am sharing my major concerns about Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) final three picks. I honestly think that Gallaudet University need to search again and pick the right people—there are plenty of qualified only Deaf People of Color candidates.

Focusing on Charity Reedy Warigon, a White Deaf privileged female who is a special assistant to the Vice President for Engagement at Gallaudet University. She is one of three finalists. As I am sure that Charity have an impressive resume that I will not deny that, but is she the right person?

Will she understand the “home” at Gallaudet University for people of color? Will she understand Deaf people of color’s power struggles in the white-establishment academy? Does Charity understand the character of Racism as it shapes intellectual life of the Deaf people of color?

Although Gallaudet University has a Racism long history to be performed within the Deaf community, it has yet to stop marketing itself and treating Deaf people of color as its consumers. It should develop and share much needed “diversity and inclusiveness” catchword, and hardly ever offered resolutions. Even hate crimes is the face of “dark crime figure” known as under the rug at Gallaudet. Yes, you read this right, diversity is also about recognizing hate crimes and hate speech. It is rarely talked about.

The position for CDO must be responsible for demonstrating accountability for diversity and effectively communicating the accomplishments, needs and value of Deaf people of color to the public and to the world. Why Gallaudet University thinks Deaf people of color in language and cultural oppression should be oppressed was my comprehension. Once someone is oppressed, he or she learns to become the oppressor.

The problem is that Charity is white. I also realized that she did not attend an important event last March 2017 at Gallaudet University: Islamophobia Within Deaf Community. This is also part of diversity as well. I remembered seeing Charity to show up for an event Beyond Inclusion hosted by Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) that it did not include Deaf people of color on the panel. It was more important for Charity to attend this event than attending Islamophobia Within Deaf Community.

Link: https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2017/02/23/my-reflection-beyond-inclusion/

Although it is not the first time what Charity had done before. She was only an American sitting on Canadian Hearing Society [CHS] board making best interests for Deaf Canadians when she is not a Canadian. I think what she did was very selfish move. I believe that it applies to Deaf Canadians only when they understand Canada better than an American who does not live there. Is that also a power trip, no? Would we really describe Charity as a “leader” for the position of CDO?

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I think Charity knows better than that—and would make a wise decision to give CDO position to someone else who are qualified Deaf people of color. As in CDO search announcements via Gallaudet website, Charity may be “married to an African-American, she has exposure to the rich and diverse African cultures.” Still, it does not mean anything really. She will always have white privileges. Always. Even Deaf privileges that are often oppressed Deaf people of color. Ain’t that true or not?

Even though my Aunt Sue who is married to a Black male, I have strong exposure in Black cultures as I have many Black cousins, Aunts and family member. I still would not apply for CDO because I do not understand their experiences through pain and struggles. And I am a White Deaf man. I respect them first. That is a big difference.

Please, no hearing candidates that DOES NOT KNOW ASL either, too! Also, the CDO should be well-versed knowledge about LGBTA, Deaf returned citizens (which is the most marginalized and most oppressed group), ethnicity, socio-economic status, religious beliefs (for example, Islamphobia) and many others.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://www.gallaudet.edu/chief-diversity-officer-search/announcements/announcement—april-25