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Tag Archives: Carl Schroeder

DPN 30th: Racism Was an Ugly Duckling

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Carl Schroeder: Unseen and Forgotten Hero of Deaf President Now

When Carl Schroeder was dying, he shared an invaluable story about Deaf President Now (DPN). There were a lot of stories to share though. He told a story that when he visited John Yeh and learned that Yeh heavily appropriated DPN. I am talking about spending a lot of money before it became materialized. Yeh is a good man.

I was told about this story how I. King Jordan (IKJ) and Paul Kelly knew each other before DPN. Paul Kelly encouraged IKJ to apply and coached him how to get this job. Of course, Jordan awarded Kelly by giving him a promotion to Vice President of Administration and Business. That is where Kelly got his hands by controlling Gallaudet today and tomorrow. 30 years ago Carl said no to IKJ and he became an ugly duckling and he said that he is comfortable with it because he knows that he is in literature and pictures, too.

Carl had a huge clash with one of the Seven Ducks and Carl felt his hatred. It was not even pretty. One of the Seven Ducks spewed hatred and racist language towards Carl and the other Duck supported that racist Duck. Through Carl’s “campaign” before and in the DPN demonstration, Carl insisted that Gallaudet do a new search. That is where Carl was made even more ugly duckling. They picked IKJ and thought he would leave in few years. However, he overstayed his welcome and continued to entertain this welcome.

Anyone ever remember that in 1991, Jordan shut down bilingual education and ASL? That was only three years as Gallaudet University President. Remember, Jordan was a huge Sim-Com user and still is today. Carl was right and tried to warn the Seven Ducks that Jordan was not the right selection. He knew. He knew. He knew. Yet regardless this attitude, anyone who finds himself in a position of Gallaudet University needs to develop a Deaf-centered environment if he means to lead the University well that was supposed to be ASL-centered.

So much for Harkin’s speech in 1988 at Gallaudet few months after DPN—“The inauguration of President Jordan is the beginning of a new era for deaf people around the world. No more will deaf people tolerate the paternalism and the charity of those who seek to control their future. You ARE the masters of your own destiny.”

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Ten years later after DPN, one Deaf guy asked a question, “Why not Deaf President Now should be a national holiday?” The whole story needs to be filled in from the start. As long as Gallaudet emphasizes diversity, it will take years before a mental unity will merge unless I am grossly mistaken. “Div”—is in Latin meaning spilt. If it is not unity, uni-means oneness. It was the faculty senate that is the most powerful voice. It is the same truth for all other colleges and universities and we need to be aware about this very much. It is extremely important!

Carl was an “unseen” hero in DPN. He was very much involved with DPN meetings and all. The only regret as in 2013, one person asked a question for Ben Jarashow’s lecture: The 7 Ducks: Behind the DPN Movement if any 7 Ducks had any regrets. A Duck threw the most ugliest and racist language in his face and other Duck supported that Duck. Yes, that duck had a HUGE clash with Carl. No regrets? Tsk tsk. Racism is a social disease.

Fast forward. 2006. There was second protest—see what happens? Carl knew that IKJ was not the right selection. Carl became a scapegoat. The administration did nothing to minimize their anger and there was an insidious plan at Gallaudet University to remove him from his professoriate.

Of all the DPN duckies, Carl was considered crazy and radical. The reason he was very disappointed with the appointment of IKJ at the helm of Gallaudet because IKJ switched his support between the Board of Trustees and the protest. Carl was the one who inspired students with his talk on the night before the students and other people marched to the Mayflower Hotel.

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The only reason he became blackballed because he said “Fuck Hearing” (So what! I bet there are a lot of Deaf people who would say the same thing) and the administration made his life hell.

Remember 2006 Protest Video? There were couple of hearing people who said some not pretty things. For example, Dirksen Bauman, the world’s only hearing faculty member in ASL/Deaf Studies at Gallaudet U. said not cool about Irish people. Why would he say something like that? Ironic, right? Wait, Carl was targeted because he was DEAF. So much for hearing privileges.

Carl was an unseen hero. He had a huge passion. He fought for students. The leaders of the Deaf would like to know what it all means. The students at Gallaudet University—they would like to know, too. Gallaudet University was designed for DEAF people FIRST.

Their lives live the most extraordinarily satisfying lives in a period that has witnessed the 1988 DPN; a world in which Deaf people have been “seen” and in which hundreds of millions of Deaf people around the world live in conditions of oppression and hopelessness. It demands change, especially in academia. Most importantly, students could become new meaning-makers. Carl told me many stories about DPN—and he approved of student protest because it was meaningful and necessary. His or her battle harmed no one. Take notice. Be aware. Appreciate the students.

Most recently about a week ago, I learned that one of DPN original Student leaders was asking for names to be part of DPN 30th anniversary—and the majority of people are white. How come there are not enough Deaf people of color? Why are they shunned out of the picture?

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Carl’s passionate will never  forgotten. He was very much part of DPN Movement. Shame on two Ducks for encouraging Racism. They were the most unqualified, misleading, uninformed vile excuse for humanity. I support Carl all the way. I do not support DPN as national holiday because of racism and it needs to be addressed sooner or later. I do not appreciate hatred.

The worst part was that when Carl passed away and had asked me to be person of charge for his memorial service at Ole Jim (Alumni House) in April 2014. That day, there were few original Ducks did not even bother to attend Carl’s memorial service and pay respect instead of watching a NFL tryout for a Deaf football player at Gallaudet on the same day.  Laughing, hand-shaking, debating about sports. It tells a lot. Selfish? Guilt? Who knows?

I also learned that Ben Jarashow is attempting to write a book about DPN—and I hope the book will not be all-white literature book. History needs to be changed. Truth needs to be seen. Do not hide the history. Do not hide the stories. Deaf people of color needs to be addressed more often.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

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DPN 30th: Unseen Hero

30 years ago, Deaf President Now (DPN) has changed the faces of Gallaudet University forever. The stories and pictures must be seen for an unseen hero that had inspired many students. Being radical is a good thing to advocate a social change for Deaf-centered Gallaudet University.

 

From Shame to Scholar: Deafhood Journey

 

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2006. Graduation party.

Say all you want about Jason “JT” Tozier, because he does not care what you think. Well, he does. It depends. He can forgive Deaf community for feeling he have been trapped for long time. Deaf community in America, we approach our community with negativity, rather than viewing something else. He is being tired of portrayed as a monster in the spotlight.

He refused to have his life destroyed despite eight times he had faced death (five times by heart attack, two by guns and accidentally slipped off the bridge where his face on big rock so hard that could easily break his neck or even crack his face into pieces and that is only the beginning. He became a reviled figure, mocked, bullied, and humiliated countless times.

He have had Deaf people throw rocks breaking into his apartment windows, a Deaf guy in year 2000, pointed a real handgun at his face telling him to leave town. He had guns in his face twice. Five Deaf guys were about to team up and give him a brutal beating in Portland, Oregon. You name it; it has been done to him with many unimaginable things to him. Oh, there are more.

All these years, he is still punished for what he did, even as a 12 years old kid. His life was terrible. He had been beaten in schools. He had been threatened many times even lost count. He had been kidnapped when he was nine years old. He had been sexually abused when he was ten years old. He had done awful things that he did not really understand. While the word “privacy” does not appear in the constitutional document itself, there is something important to understand the “right to be left alone”—and this, for those affected by the hatred, once he have completed his court-mandated sentence, is the most prized right of them all.

He believes in the United States Constitution because it is the highest form of LAW in the land. He had been targeted and spitted in the very face of the people who put together a document with his freedom in his mind. We need to be reminded about 9th Amendment to the United States Constitution, “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be constructed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

This amendment is important because it is a commendable language, and this is the same amendment that should protect unlisted rights that is a basic tent of United States Constitution. He has an equal right, under the constitution as the supreme law of the land, to secure privacy and right to become a productive member of society again once he had served his sentence, as authored by the court and he does not need to be humiliated every day. For the last 32 years ago of his mistake, he was a lost child. No guidance. His world is hurting every day.

All these years what we were taught about democracy, if there is not a fair and balanced system of justice, then do you call it democracy? Unfortunately, we have crab theory, haters, bullies, and cyber-bullies pairing with deficit thinkers, which slants the negative perception of him, which do not give accurate depiction of human struggles. The person who attacks him loves to think they are the crusaders for justice. When emotional feelings guide their decisions on what they think is true this is called emotional overreactions.

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Overcoming Detours. 2010. Maryland. [Great Experience!]

Why is he still rejected in Deaf community? This is outrageous. But…. he refuses to live in shame. One day, he decided to become a scholar by attending colleges, and graduated with three degrees all with top honors. He was the first Deaf ever to win the highest award in the English department, Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society. It was a huge feat. During his graduation, his English professor who was on graduation committee walked up to him and gave him a hug and said to him that he was his best student ever. It was a huge honor by his English professor who influenced him in Harlem Renaissance.

He fell in love with libraries where a place makes him happy and empowered. Each trip to the library has been always an adventure for him. On his way to library, he would think what kind of books he wants to read to create many ideas. Sociology was his love. He loved to think about everything around himself or people. There is a reason he has a big desire to write because he wishes to spread his thoughts for the circle of his family, friends, and acquaintances.

His journey into Deafhood was attempted to kill in Washington, D.C.; there were a lot of detours, unnecessary turns, and rocky roads; He would remain optimistic that he would pay more attention to the road signs, figuratively speaking. It is the same old game: no hype around the news and get Deaf people to tune into the latest news seeing Jason “JT” Tozier getting attacked somewhere in the circle of oppressors. Including Gallaudet University. Deaf Studies with Cultural Studies. He was a scholarship receipt.

He makes a statement that he cannot be invisible anymore. It was not necessary where it promotes more fear around Deaf community. Flashback memories are bound to repeat. Do you agree this is not a moment because it might be a movement? Oppressing Deaf returning citizens is a social responsibility, not a social norm. Anyone who purchases hate must sign a public agreement, and it is subjective to be disclosed for the greater good. His scholarship has a full intention to change the world, to make it a better place, to have the Deaf community appreciate more.

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Thanks, Carl Schroeder for the scholarship!

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

Honors Program: Carl Schroeder’s Legacy

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Honors programs on colleges and universities are designed to become stronger academicians who are seeking for motivated students—-Gallaudet University is based on the educational philosophy that Deaf people have diversity potential to learn, thrive, and succeed. The goal is to find the way in which each Deaf individual learns best to grow and success. Gallaudet University is a federally funded, private institution for Deaf intellectuals.

As I learned that in 1960, University of Oregon was the first high academic university to create Honors program where many colleges and universities follow the model and still do today.

In late 1970s, Student Body Government (SBG) Director of Academic Affairs, Carl Schroeder lit the light in the room by putting a seed on Gallaudet College campus: Honors program. He was the one who started it all. A year later, Carl was selected as SBG president and continued to push for Honors program on the campus. After SBG presidency was done a year later, Honors program was established in thanks to Carl Schroeder’s leadership.

Carl became the key merit who brought the Honors program that changed the face of Gallaudet for intellectual discourses to inspire Deaf students’ thinking capabilities. He was quite an innovator in the academic world. Did Gallaudet College that time or Gallaudet University today honors Carl’s name for creating the idea to discover the root causes of academic honesty?

Carl understood the learning environment on Gallaudet College campus in 1981, where the school campus claimed to be proud of highly training Deaf students to work and learn with the professors that provides an exciting learning environment that meets students’ need to chase their goals within the field of study. The radical idea by Carl brings the educational goal to make Gallaudet University a better place to make a stronger chronicle of higher learning.

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The way I see after reading the Buff and Blue interview with Carl in 1990 [September 21], see why he thought of an idea about the Honors program on the campus to expose their ideas in the lifelong learning process that is the essence of our literacy, even in American Sign Language (ASL) literature, too. That was one of Carl’s best works to contribute Gallaudet community that helped students in Honors program to thrive their future. It was beautiful thing, a human connection. You cannot beat that. You just cannot…..

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I now see why Honors program had changed the lives of Deaf students forever—Deaf society, our culture, the intellectual discourses has undergone dramatic change just within our lives. When I learned by that reading Blue and Buff article the day before today, I was blown away and I absolutely had no idea that Carl engaged in his activism to optimize change to thrive character, fellowship, leadership, and scholarship in creating Honors program. When Carl sent me this picture below via text message two weeks, he was resting at home before December 18th.

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Who would have done without Carl’s ideas? That is the gateway to knowledge. It is also set of fearless ideas to inspire social change. That is how it works. Who would have done it if it was not Carl? Where is the legacy on his part?

Four years ago today, Carl N. Schroeder passed away in state of Oregon. His existence must not be forgotten. His works and contribution in Deaf community cannot be neglected. His soul will not be missed. Oregon as the founding innovator of ‘Honors program’ felt Carl’s presence by how he helped Gallaudet University grow with the program. Isn’t life supposed to work in mysterious ways?

The honors of this world, what are they but puff, and emptiness, and peril of falling?”-St. Augustine.

 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scholarship Has Nothing to do with Past Mishaps

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I must admit that I was shocked to know that I was awarded. I was very happy that I had been awarded a scholarship for my graduate studies at Gallaudet University. It shows that the scholarship committee had looked at my intellectual potential and ideas, and they wanted me in. My award had nothing to do with my past mishaps, and higher learning always means forgiving and changing. Gandhi: Be the change you wish to see in the world.

It takes one scholar to recognize another one. Winston Churchill said: never, never be satisfied or you will not improve. I do look to build more stories, be they told with wealth and wisdom. Carl Schroeder, a Deaf scholar once told me that I belong to the future of all the Deaf—many generations to come.

Shakespeare in Sonnet 60: Like as the waves makes toward the pebbled shore, so do our minutes hasten to their end; Each changing place within that which goes before, in sequent toil all forwards do contend. The key word in this above passage is “toil”—hard and continuous work. To strive to make yourself understood.

Carol Erting, then Dean of Graduate Programs writes me e-mail:

Dear Jason,

Members of the BIT found the additional information you sent to us, and we forwarded to them, very helpful. On the basis of those additional materials and our conversations with them, a small number of them (perhaps two) would like to meet with you, the circumstances and that led to your lack of disclosure on the graduate application form. Rather than asking you to put this information in writing, they would like to have the opportunity to meet with you to allow you to explain in person. Ms. Karen Evans from the Dean of Student Affairs office will be contacting you to arrange for a meeting. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Couple of hours later, Dirksen writes me e-mail at 5:07 PM,

“Jason, I hope you are doing well. I wanted to clarify that the members of the BIT that you would meet with do not include Ted Baran. I do very much encourage you to follow up on this request and to see this as a positive development. Thank you, Dirksen.” Funny thing…there was never two people, there were SIX. Dirksen lied to me—good job!

Then Feb 27, 2014—I agreed to the meeting at 11 AM as I was arriving on the campus getting ready for the meeting, I walked into the building and informed Karen Evans, the ghostwriter and receptionist for Dwight Benedict that my existence had arrived, I remember waiting for 15 minutes, Ted Baran was walking into the office, he was walking like an asshole by the highest human standards, after discussing with Dirksen, like I wrote in another post, I believe Baran’s accusation of me is a calumny of his duty. Ted will always abuse his power to fulfill selfish personal desires and goals.

Dirksen was walking into the office with long coat and sat next to me on the couch, assuring everything will be fine until I informed him that Ted recently walked into the office and Dirksen pretended to be confused. Good actor. “I thought Ted was not supposed to be in the meeting as you wrote me an e-mail few weeks ago assuring me that Ted would not be there.”

Then Dwight walked into the building and quickly recognized me sitting there with Dirksen on the other side, Dwight’s facial expression was more than a hateful expression. He was so ready to “bulldoze” me with administrative power he enjoys very much as a Deaf white man with privileges. Then Dirksen signed to him, “I thought Ted was not supposed to be in the meeting because Ted made it clear that he will not join the meeting himself two weeks ago” then Dwight became very upset, “Do you want to postpone this meeting for other time?” in a very aggressive tone. He repeated this twice. That was a very nice way of a professional behavior coming from the director of Behavioral Intervention Team. Kind of funny, is it not?

I told Dirksen, “I can handle that. I had been around worst people other than him.” and we went ahead with the plan and entered into the meeting. The only regrettable thing is that I did not bring a lawyer and that was one of my mistakes (I am sure that Ted was laughing right now while reading this post) —two minutes later after the meeting had started, they introduced who they are. Dwight was the first person to start the meeting, he was signing way too fast front of my eyes—his aggressive and egoistical tone showed the true colors. I asked him, “Can you slow down? You were too fast. Geez. Take it easy.” then Dwight signs at much slower pace. What a jerk.

That Dirksen’s words to me, “Individuals who undergo therapy have a much greater chance of changing their live and redeeming themselves in society. This is also recognized on behalf of the BIT.” and a “positive development”. Not only that Dirksen liked to me, but also lied about Ted showing up. Even worse that I was being used and exploited. There were times when there were things worth fighting for but helping the Deans build a bigger endowment on an erratic priority is not worth touting for. Looking at Deaf returning citizens especially at Gallaudet University, I see the same pattern. Gallaudet University lied to me and lied about me. It has informed me that there was no leadership crisis; it has informed me that there was no campus brutality.

All of these lies were lies. There has been no leadership at Gallaudet University with a lame duck president at this time that happened to be Alan Hurwitz. There were some students who had the right to seek higher education at Gallaudet University that do not welcome lies about them, they have instead done everything they can to help Gallaudet community and fight against the oppressors.

The heat continues to turn up at Gallaudet University. The liars need to hold accountable for their self-touting arrogance and indifference. Carl Pramunk said that he would make sure that Buff and Blue would write about me. Ted Baran has zero knowledge about the successful stories about Deaf returning citizens. Like I said in my previous blog post, Ted wanted me to announce my status every time I enter into an academic classroom or I face punishment just like that. Every time! This is bullshit! This calls for cruel punishment as in 8th Amendment in the United States Constitution. Ted was smiling at me and said, “Why not?” and of course, I said, “I refuse to do that. My debt is enough.”

Ted was encouraging for students to begin harassing hatred that inflict or intend to inflict my emotional or physical harm in classrooms or anywhere on the campus. Is it not enough hostility? I was shocked that the “professional development” by professionals like Dwight, Carol, Dirksen, Ted, Carl, and Lauri, completely blind by hateful spews.

The 8th Amendment in United States Constitution, “cruel punishment” and worst of all, Dwight signs, “OK, I am going to make an executive decision that I will make you suffer and follow the rules or else to order me (JT) to report to Ted every [fucking] day and not be allowed to be in gym, dorms, even study groups should I be part of, library that I am forbidden to check out books and study there as a graduate student, and not to grab any food from cafeteria.” I was beyond shocked how mean-spirited and illegal Dwight can be.

There is a Gallaudet “bible” called Manual of Operations where you have the right to obtain this from the office of President. Actually, Paul Kelly hides it. The bible is all about running Gallaudet, ranging from personnel to financing to communication policy. Within the guide from the bible, the student unit fee was distributed to an organization and programs and one of them are Buff and Blue and Carl failed to follow the principle. By threatening to write about me in Buff and Blue, Carl has been coping out. Simply stated, Carl could not articulate and facilitate Buff and Blue through the Administration. The Peter Principle informs Gallaudet students including Deaf returning citizens that Dwight was so advanced to its highest level of competence and remained at this level at which Dwight became incompetent. Now the Administration no longer reliable students’ voice!

Dwight can do is self-touting—an intimate part of ego. I remember Dirksen was sitting next to me on left side in the meeting; I was looking at Dirksen in disbelief along with Dwight agreeing with Carl’s decision when they were supposed to be on my side. I protested against Dwight’s oppressive and hateful approaches, the meeting was adjourned to be done, then we all shook hands. I did not feel very good by shaking Ted’s hands, his hands were too soft and wimp. Ted’s eyes were born from Satan’s forces. That was where I got fooled badly by their lies. The Gallaudet of Evil. I felt powerless. I lost trust in Dirksen and Carol where they betrayed me beyond my human dignity. Every student has a protected status; I face with heavy discrimination as a student already.

My mind was spinning—and realized that I was the subject of an intellectual vulnerable in Gallaudet society. I needed the opportunity with my own space to reclaim and revitalize my human rights to protect my life and allow me to survive and flourish in higher education, so I could advance my future.

To be continued…..

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Display on the Scaffold

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Visiting Gallaudet University for the first time. 2010. I was so sure it was my name calling for my career. I was really happy.

After spending 20+ years trying to change my life around, my late mentor Carl Schroeder and I were eating lunch at his house in rural Oregon and once asked me if I was afraid of “change for success”—I said, “Yes” then he said to me, “Do not be afraid. Gallaudet will help you and determined to get healed.” He also said to me “Humiliation will always be present. It is how you handle it makes all the difference.”

Ted Baran, Department of Public Safety Director abused his calumny of his duty by using power. He did not want my letter to get to the public. There were six people involved in the picture to make sure I get punished under the worst harsh conditions possible. I became the target of being pariah on the campus. The same six people, who were supposed to keep it confidential, did not keep their word. It has spread over the campus including my former department, ASL and Deaf Studies. What about The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FEPRA)? Not only that, but Dirksen even shared confidential information with his buddy, Robert Weinstock.

Dwight Benedict, Dean of Student Affairs and Academic Support were the biggest bully of all people. Dwight is the director for Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) while Ted is the vice president of BIT. They became very successful by blackballing me. I am now in what I would call an intellectual exile. In the meeting, Dwight calls Ted, “a good man.”

One day, Dirksen Bauman, the Chair of ASL/Deaf Studies Department, wrote me e-mail and assured me that Ted will not be in the meeting. I got fooled badly. Carl assured me to trust Dirksen before his death.

Dirksen writes me e-mail on Feb 9, 2012 at 9:54 AM, “JT—I am pleased to see that you will be joining us next year. We are looking forward to having you in the program!” Then I was encouraged to apply for a scholarship and got in touch with Dirksen on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 1:55 PM. “A friend of mine told me about graduate scholarship fund, so I would like to submit some letters and apply for scholarship please. Thanks!”

The same day at 8:56 PM, Dirksen responded: “Hello JT. Please do let me know of your need. Thank you.”

A minute later, I quickly replied, “Hi Dirksen, where can I send the letter to you?” Four minutes later, Dirksen typed, “Me please.” After I got the letter accepting my application, I wrote him thanking him for his consideration. He said, “You’re welcome” and wrote to people I love the most to let them know about it. My mother and father were delighted to see that! I was feeling good…maybe it was one of the best feelings I ever experienced. It was very rare to see that inside my life. I was really happy.

Then one day, Dirksen asked me to meet up with him in a meeting along with Gene Mirus, a coordinator that time where he looked for me during Graduate Student Orientation and asked me to go with him. Dirksen asked me to withdraw from Gallaudet until further notice. I asked him if my scholarship would be affected. He said, “No” through ASL in a clear message. Boy, I was wrong and it was never safe.

I decided to write e-mail to Dirksen, making sure he kept his word. He writes me e-mail on April 1, 2014 at 7:33 PM, the day of April’s Fool Day. “Hello Jason, I am sure you will be hearing from the Dean soon. Thank you, Dirksen” and I got fooled very badly. It was pretty mean-spirited thing to do. My scholarship was stolen once from my hard and continuous work. The most damaging thing coming from Dirksen on January 20, 2014 at 3:50 PM writing from his office where he often sleeps a lot:

“We thank you for taking the time to meet with Dr. Erting and me last Friday. As we explained, we are working with the Behavior Intervention Team (BIT), with the goal of arriving at a consensus regarding to your admission to the University. We have been meeting and deliberating on this matter and had very positive and constructive meetings. We appreciate your patience; we are fully aware that this is not an easy process for you. We hope that you continue to demonstrate the resolve and determination that you have to this date…Thank you, Dirksen.”

Six people were: Carol Erting, Dean of Graduate Program and Professional Studies, Lauri Rush, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), Carl Pramuk, Associate Director of Student Conduct, Dirsken, Ted, and Dwight. Six people: Four of them are hearing that are sound-oriented. Audism at best.

Dwight said in the meeting that he understood that I have been walking under the “black cloud”. That was very dehumanizing and offensive. Plantation mentality. Policing me around. Character assassination. Dwight made sure that I appear in a ‘black book’ of shame. The image on the below right side: Remember the book, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne?

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Ted required me to inform people every time I enter into classroom as a student, giving presentation, or anywhere, telling them that I was jailed and tell them the reason every time. Dwight really liked the idea. That calls for suicide on my watch. Dirksen did not object. Carol did not object. Lauri did not object. Carl did not object. They all liked the idea of pushing more for “Scarlet Letter” on my forehead. A public shaming. Evil, revenge, and identity.

I was beyond dismayed. Of course, I objected. What do you expect? Ted said, “Why not?” and realized how much hatred he spewed on front of my face. Top of all, Dwight’s secretary, Karen Evans wrote an e-mail to me in 2014, “Be assured that the meeting will be productive” meaning—positive. Again, I got fooled badly.

My biggest mistake that I did not represent a lawyer with me that day in 2014. I got burned twice. This experience on that day has left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the safety as a student at Gallaudet University I proudly called my own. Not only that experience makes me question if this is indeed bullying in the meeting. Questionable leadership.

My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen for any Deaf returned citizens, the next time they apply for Gallaudet University for higher learning. Gallaudet University now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a Gallaudet secret bullying ground that is isolating enough from the truth in an unprecedented fashion.

High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable stage as a student at Gallaudet University even the rest of Deaf community. Dwight and Ted made it happen with attributes that can be “profiled”—no one is safe from this type of unlawful campus policies.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

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.

1988: The World in Unknown Journey

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1988 was one of the most remarkable years of the 20th century for Deaf community. All across the world, Deaf people were signing in American Sign Language (ASL), filled the streets and took up arms to arms in a way to win their freedom.

Why was it special that year? Deaf President Now (DPN). I was 14 years old, struggling my journey as the state of being Deaf in Eighth grade at a hearing school, getting in fistfights with people who were bullying me and made fun of my condition as Deaf. It was awful that year. I even got kicked out of school three days before school ends for the summer. Hearing people made nasty comments on my yearbook.

I had no idea about Gallaudet University or DPN at all. No news. Deaf program at Wy’East Junior High never talked anything about DPN. They thought it was not important to discuss about it and made sure I do not belong to Deaf community. The hearing world I was forced to live in, my hearing teacher who ran Deaf program even interpreters had campaigned against DPN by promising a pack of lies to fool Deaf students including myself in the classroom. Hearing teachers are sound-oriented. I was not. That is why I did not bond very well with any of them. Interpreters betrayed me at times, too!

It was all about blunt political agenda. I did not know anything about DPN until at least 19 or 20 years old and did not really become interested to understand why it was important to know about DPN. I had no motivation. I wonder why. Finally, around in my 30s, I grabbed a book called Deaf President Now!: The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University by John B. Christiansen and Sharon N. Barnartt and realized it was a game-changer. My views about Gallaudet University have changed.

Then I purchased a book; The Week the World Heard Gallaudet authored by Jack Gannon and found some interesting pictures including my mentor, Carl Schroeder who gave an important speech for students that evening. It is like a game, Jenga in which players attempt to remove blocks from a tall tower without causing the tower to collapse.

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To me, DPN was very much like that tower. Is that not a game-changer?

In 2012, I got to meet one of the leaders for DPN and had good talk about how much Carl influenced the leader. 25 years later after the DPN, I grabbed the golden opportunity to attend DPN 25th Anniversary at Gallaudet University where I attended most of the events: From Civil Rights to Human Rights, DPN Student Leaders, Comparative Civil Rights Panel, History of Women at Gallaudet and DPN, and Our Time: The Legacy of the 20th Century.

I was blown away. At the same time, I was saddened not to know anything about it or why I was not part of Deaf community that time. It was the same year that really made my life harder. Five months after DPN, I got invited to attend a camp called Camp Taloali located in Stayton, Oregon, about an hour drive from Portland —my very first Deaf camp and last as well, too. It was supposed to be filled with fun, excitement, adventure, challenge, friendship, memories and much more than has been stated in camp’s goals. It was supposed to be my Deafhood journey. It was supposed to empower my own Deaf identity. It was supposed to be a Deaf-centric camp as far as I can remember. I could be wrong.

Camp Taloali is now Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) today.

It has ended up with worst guidance on my journey forever. I remember traveling down in my father’s car going on a road trip for Camp Taloali from a small town in Washington State. The length of the distance was no more than one hour and 45 minutes, maybe two hours unless stop at mini stores for refreshments. The adventure has begun. There was a tall man with gray hair sporting mustache with a hat and he was a fast signer. I never had seen that fast before, especially from a Deaf man. The tall man was a camp director welcoming me to the camp with a warm hospitality.

Then the camp director had assigned me to a cabin to sleep for next two weeks. I was walking down to the cabin and got greeted with the camp counselor that became a bully. For the next couple of days, it has become my dark adventure wondering why my camp counselor was a mean-spirited attacking, belittling, and condescending in every sense of word. I apologize for forgetting his name, but I do remember the look.

I realized that I was bullied severely because I was mainstreamed. One day, there was a horseback riding lesson for the campers, learning how to ride and appreciate horses for their powerful shift in camper’s sense of normalcy. The lessons were done for the day, my fellow campers (they were all from Deaf schools) instructed me to stand back of the horse where a camper snapped the horse causing to kick into my stomach. The campers actually laughed for their ego-bruising task. My own camp counselor even laughed and supported them. I was in shock. It could have killed me right there on the spot. It had actually happened.

My camp counselor was drinking on duty even sporting a bottle of whiskey in the cabin where I slept. I could not understand. I tried to explain to the camp director but laughed at me and told me to get lost. I protested and got punished and made me to sit in the corner during lunchtime front of all the campers, camp counselors, and the camp director. I remember the feeling of being humiliated more than anything.

The worst part is that few hours later, I got out of a swimming pool and took shower, then realized that my basic necessities were missing: a towel and my underwear. There was nothing else to cover it up then saw my underwear was on the flagpole and became upset about it and decided to climb all the way to get my underwear back.

There were several campers including the staff that actually laughed. I was in shock. My two weeks stay was cut to one week instead and called my cousin to come and pick me up. I became a camp villain. Remember the fun, excitement, adventure, challenge, friendship, and memories theme? Not anymore. My father never got a full refund for my two weeks’ leisure. I tried to explain to my father, but he does not understand ASL and put the blame on me, so it was time for me to write a story–about time, really.

The best part of my camp experience: Getting second place for “wood” Olympics.

1988 was my unknown journey. If the DPN has made all the difference five months before I attended the camp, I thought 1988 was supposed to be a remarkable year of the 20th century for Deaf community to stage for all the freedom and pursuit of happiness that should not allow bullying at a campsite. Policing me around. Think about many mainstreamed children being manipulated in schools, too.

That was my story. My story will become their story, which is the point. It is my quest of Deafhood. Yes, Deafhood transforming my life. I was shocked that I never knew about YLC, Jr NAD, and others–today the leaders who was already part of YLC and Jr NAD in 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, they are lucky.

I learned that even moving 3,000 miles away from Pacific Northwest, the former camp director is living only one hour away from me. I have not seen the camp director since 1988 and would like to tell the director one day,

Thank you for humiliating me all these years“.

That was my 1988. At the same time, it made my life stronger. It is a story worth written and examined.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Anyone Who Supplements for AGBell is A Traitor

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There is a story that needs to be seen. At this hour, Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Washington, D.C; is offering a position for Chapter Relations Manager that pays $60,000 a year. The picture you shall see above:

“There is a terrific opportunity for a real ‘people person’ who is great with details! AG Bell helps families who have a deaf child who is learning to speak and the professionals who support them with a focus on helping children catch up to their peers with typical hearing by the time they start school….”

But, it is not what it caught my attention though. “…people who have worked with association chapters or fraternities….” the key word is fraternities.

Many stories which became mine to share with you. Kenneth Lane was an embittered guy who lost his hearing late in life and went to Gallaudet University. He became a fraternity brother there. He talked down to many of Deaf people and their own parents and they boycotted and had him kicked out.

Kenneth simply hated being Deaf. He was conservative; He would supplement hearing people. When Lloyd Ambrosen, a CODA superintendent at Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) announced that he had accepted to become Vice President of NTID, about 75% of teachers at MSD left, too. They refused to deal with Kenneth. As for Lloyd Ambrosen whom had a heart attack and died just a month before starting at NTID. It was a great loss.

One day, Kenneth visited Carl Schroeder in the English Department and told him that he was very proud to know that one of his star students was teaching English. Carl was like, “Oh, shit.” Kenneth hated himself. He was simply in wrong agenda. Even Kenneth advised Carl to use simultaneous method (SIM-COM) in the English Department for which Carl was well known to refuse it.

Not only that but Kenneth became a bigot against Deaf people and many of Deaf parents even hearing parents of Deaf children at MSD and they all boycotted and got out of MSD. Ken became a mean-spirited guy at MSD. Many parents were his classmates at Gallaudet and they did not like him passionately.

David Denton arrived at MSD with a different philosophy called Total Communication. It was a disaster. Denton, on the other hand, hated Deaf parents and the school alumni. He even forbad the alumni from coming to the school, even for sport games. It was just awful.

David Denton and Kenneth Lane were good friends. They shared the same goal: AGBell’s philosophy and look down Deaf people in a mean-spirited way.

Kenneth Lane was a Director of Publications for Volta Review under Alexander Graham Bell Association. He was a high school principal for MSD. He had a military personality. Anyone who is in fraternity at Gallaudet who supports Alexander Graham Bell’s philosophy is a traitor. That kind of educational leadership is very evolving, ranging from strict discipline to sound discipline to informed citizenry.

After all, “There is a terrific opportunity for a real ‘people person’”.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Carl Schroeder and Why Literacy in Deaf Community is Important Today

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Today is late Carl Schroeder’s birthday—he would be 64 years old. Also, he shares the same birthday as the greatest Deaf visionary leader in America, Laurent Clerc. As for Carl to be the first person to coin American Sign Language (ASL) philosophy and ASL Storytelling Theatre. How fitting! Learning stories from Carl was one of my greatest time in my life. He lived in a beautiful and quiet town in Oregon, about 45 minutes drive from Portland, Oregon. Most of the times when he would visit Portland, he would come down to my apartment and we both would zoom to Powell’s, the largest and best bookstore in Pacific Northwest, which was five minutes from my apartment.

Once when he asked me to house-sit his residence while he was away for ten days—at the same time, he said to me, “I am going to give you those books and I expect you to read and write me an essay when you’re done with it” and I was like, “Wait a minute, I thought, I did not expect like that” but looking back, I realized that he made me a better writer out of this and pushed me hard to understand philosophy than ever. Heck, he was better explaining in person than paying up for classrooms. That was how good he was.

We would spend hours in there browsing books and talking about each books we would purchase—even sometimes, we would exchange books once we finish with those books. He PUSHED ME to to set up a club called American Sign Language Book Club (ASLBC), to make sure it would be in wonderful feature of humanity and begin to draw together strands from reading, reviewing, referring—and linguistics of ASL—to explain why we are so compelled to use ASL exclusively. ASLBC allows people to examine how ASL sustains our community and promotes our academia. It made many meanings.

It was best times when we both were talking about books and how important public libraries are today. I was totally bummed that Carl could not make it to Washington, D.C; in November 2013—we both were about to give a lecture at Library of Congress to talk about literacy in Deaf community because we both understood what public libraries are very critical for literature. The lecture would have been awesome!

Carl created thick pictures of what was going on in literature, particularly about Deaf community. There is often a symbolic relevance behind his story-telling skills, behind his descriptions of nature and life. Almost mythical. He also gives mostly physical descriptions how to challenge Audism and we end up not knowing very much about the power dynamics of Audism. He also taught me about today’s interpreters that are from an old school of thoughts, trained to view the Deaf as clients and to justify their claims of misunderstanding and other things.

Professor Schroeder was phenomenal. It is OK to be controversial—it’s about challenging the oppressive society. It is important to appreciate public libraries everyday. Discover the radical new way we the Deaf people are treating our most traumatic memories with a single book. Public libraries are good for your soul!

Happy birthday, Carl.

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Chilly and Rainy Oregon. 2012.

-JT

Copyright @ 2016 Jason Tozier

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