A big concern for Deaf residents who lives in District of Columbia and pay membership fees for District Columbia Association of the Deaf (DCAD). Profiling and criminalizing is not funny.
Gallaudet University still have relationship with Alexander Graham Bell, a historical figure who owned Audist views or engaged in hate practices—his name have not been removed across on the campus of Gallaudet. The coat of arms by the name of Bell have been idolized a landscape symbol of Audism that honors AGBell that leads to a question:
Is it obvious that GUAA had cited any sentiments in Ella Mae Lentz’s work because of her views about AGBell and LEAD-K? The videos between October 2018 and March 2019 by Ella Mae Lentz should not be censored due to her “tone”–“tone” is part of ASL, too. Is there a reason to cite its decision by GUAA to take an award away with “very careful assessment”, the highest social justice award known as Galloway award, reserved for Ella who have made a lasting contribution to Deaf community?
“Tone” is also an amendment to the United States Constitution: First Amendment. Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Expression. It means any law that should not prohibited limiting Ella’s rights to the First Amendment. Did it mean Gallaudet University and GUAA violated Ella’s rights even if it is because of “tone” in her videos where it belongs at her own house in California? It is an United States Constitution violation. It is indeed, very serious.
Ella Mae Lentz is very much entitled to her linguistic expressions to share her own thoughts in ASL, yet, GUAA is a hell-bent on allowing censorship being shifted control to limit her own expression, so ASL can be sold or censored to the highest bidder.
If there are at least, three people on the GUAA board whom have significant stakeholders of LEAD-K, making the decision independently, would cite a huge role in favoritism, and then it is a problem. It spells out a well-planned effort to penetrate the Audism market, while being stakeholders of LEAD-K, then it is also a stakeholder as the behalf of GUAA to avoid being “controversial” and generate modes of communication to deliberately confound the Deaf.
Ella Mae Lentz’s lasting contributions that stands up against AGBell to stop widespread linguistic and cultural anxieties in Deaf America is a feat.
GUAA board decides it would be best to rescind the Galloway award, so to avoid the permanent fear of ASL-centered, for political reasons, there is a huge banner that says: “WE ARE GALLAUDET: A SIGNING COMMUNITY”
Why not “WE ARE GALLAUDET: ASL COMMUNITY?”
GALLAUDET: SIGNING COMMUNITY is all about promoting more speculative communicative pursuits—oppressing ASL, the language and culture of the Deaf. Is it good example of marginalization of ASL? Is it censorship at best?
GALLAUDET: ASL COMMUNITY is about healthy lifestyle, living by the values it teaches and to reflect ASL everywhere. Students, faculty, and the campus would benefit the profession of ASL as scholars and teachers depends on the First Amendment rights that ASL COMMUNITY belongs on Gallaudet campus.
Ella Mae Lentz, a defender of ASL rights, shall receive Galloway social justice award without retaliation. Her views of LEAD-K and AGBell should not be censored, with a direct contradiction of the practice of American democracy—freedom of speech. Censorship at Gallaudet University is not acceptable and appropriate.
While the answer to censorship of ASL, shall not be imposed from GUAA or Gallaudet University itself, it is also invoking the view of ASL literature. Rescinding an award has reduced to a symbol of ASL politics just because Ella publicly calling out objectionable views of LEAD-K and AGBell, has gone too far in the political climate on Gallaudet campus.
If GUAA board members have direct lineage with LEAD-K for political reasons to help AGBell thrive and grow the modes of communication instead of ASL-centered climate at Gallaudet, then it is a huge conflict of interest and fail to manipulate communicable trust between the leadership and the led.
That is where Ella Mae Lentz has every right to receive an award that fits the character of a social justice warrior. Ella’s work on consciousness about the oppression practices is a social justice award. Social justice is all about advocating for a change.
Please take, as a liberty in embracing and appreciating the rights of ASL climate and Gallaudet University shall be a bias-free campus without retaliation.
Lastly, Gallaudet University and GUAA should not allow AGBell to engage in a decision-making about which mode of communication would be best thing, instead of ASL, is a pattern of derogatory ideologies. Questioning is another act of avoidance.
Please sign the petition to support Ella Mae Lentz to receive the Gertrude Scott Galloway, Advocacy and Social Justice Award.
Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in it entirely only, including this copyright message.
227 years ago today, the Bill of Rights was shown to the public eye. The people of the eye are also protected by the Bill of Rights. As I wrote this column for DEAF LIFE: Our Constitutional Crisis in April 2018 Issue. Permission was granted to share this column.
“When Deaf people are facing a time of crisis, it is extremely important that they understand their Constitutional rights.
For the past five years, I’ve been asking Deaf people basic questions about the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution)—and considering what’s been happening, a basic knowledge of the answers to these questions could be life-saving. But during these five years, I found only one Deaf person who knew all ten amendments.
Only one? What happened to what we learned about democracy in school? Were we ever taught that the Constitution was written and ratified to resist the tyranny of the ruling minority? Were we taught about the Bill of Rights, discussing each amendment, so we could understand the principle of equal protection?
We can ask—but won’t get any answer—why Deaf students didn’t learn about this before graduating, or why Deaf schools or mainstreamed programs failed to teach them. How can we hold schools accountable for these results?
The U.S. Constitution is a “living document” that can be interpreted, as legal protection should Deaf people face excessively harsh treatment by law enforcement. Recently, one Saturday night, I attended a Deaf social gathering in Washington, where a Deaf woman was sharing her experience with me about an encounter with local police, and how an officer, who knew a little bit of ASL, told her, “I am cold, I need to come in,” and forced himself into her house without her permission. She told me that she felt violated.
Then I asked her if she knew anything about the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. She said, “No.” I explained to her what the Fourth Amendment says: Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any search warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.
I told her that her Constitutional rights had indeed been violated. Certainly, it’s not the first time that a police officer entered a citizen’s house without a search warrant. It is perfectly legal to tell the police that they cannot come in without a proper search warrant. You have the right to say no, and they don’t have the right to barge in. It is your home. It is your property. (Even if you’re renting an apartment or saying at a friend’s house, you have your property with you.)
The key is better education about our Constitutional rights. If it’s impractical to enroll in continuing education classes, you can get access to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and study them carefully. And reread them every so often so you don’t forget. The text of the Constitution and Bill of Rights are posted online, can be borrowed, in book form with commentaries, from the public library, or can be purchased. It’s a good investment. Booklets containing the text and amendments can sometimes be obtained free of charge from nonprofit organizations.
Parents of Deaf children, Deaf members of locally elected Deaf school boards, teachers of the Deaf, Deaf advocates, and grassroots Deaf community members should recognize that we’re responsible for ourselves and our fellow Deaf citizens. Empowerment begins with education. We need to teach each other and educate the uneducated about why understanding our Constitutional rights is crucially important, and a survival skill we all need to know.
If we believe that our rights have been violated, do we understand what those rights are? Do we understand what the laws are?
-Jason “JT” Tozier is a former Gallaudet University graduate student living in Washington, D.C; He was a scholarship recipient for ASL/Deaf Studies with emphasis in Cultural Studies at Gallaudet.
He is Chair of Deaf Political Action Committee—District of Columbia Chapter, Chair of National Deaf Consumers United, Director for We the Deaf People, Inc.’s District of Columbia Chapter, member of National Deaf Task Force on Police and Emergency Services, and Founder of Deaf Access Justice.
In his spare time, he loves to play cribbage and chess, reading books, lecturing, and blogging.
Elections IMPORTANT. Our democracy depends on November’s midterm elections. Bottom line, the consequences are real blocking Deaf Returnees’s fundamental rights to vote without prejudice. Stigma is not needed in the society that includes Deaf community.
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?
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
Yes, I voted—even as a Deaf returned citizen, I have the rights to vote. I won my rights to vote after I fought for it once I moved to Washington, D.C; translate and interpret for myself. In a true democracy, Deaf returned citizens in order to review the facts and, through a critical discourse, participate in actions and events that will support our conclusions.
I also decided to commit myself to support criminal justice reform for Deaf returned citizens, which was a thrilling experience for me. As it turned out, it has been difficult at the basics of the oppression in the society; however, being a Deaf returned citizen has been troubling for me because I could barely make it there.
As a Deaf returned citizen, how did I reclaim my rights to vote again? Democracy-nothing more than a re-election tools for politicians and yet provides better awareness. What is not generally known by people in general is that Deaf returned citizens had been harshly criticized besides the misdirection given by United States Constitution, I experienced plenty of ugly unintended consequences and understood the humiliation and shame–Top it all of, the laws and their derivatives are unconstitutional in that they violate my 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution in my case that has been violated ex post facto, too.
I will not be silenced. Democracy is the most beautiful thing!
Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.