From Rejection of Deaf People in Hollywood Industry

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Ah, people has asking me what are my thoughts about the latest movie, “Wonderstruck” from what I understand that there were hearing people who pretended to be Deaf– has shed light on what hearing privileges really mean when they attack Deaf people and steal the image from them as well as free speech, too. I am not writing about the law or the Constitution, I am writing about how hearing actors or actresses hijack the system and using it to amplify oppression as a message. The illustration above was drawn by Brian Selznik.

I continue to be amazed by the unnecessary cruelty of the Hollywood industry, which has again taken aim at the most vulnerable members of the society in the name of language hegemony. Isn’t Hollywood industry was supposed to be the “civil rights and human rights” safeguard to protect Deaf people from unequal treatment? Obviously not. It is not the first time what Julianna Moore has continue to be ignorant about the importance of Deaf Studies in recent memory.

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A graphic created by Amber Zion–Deaf person with plenty of talent!

This is the time to think about that there are plenty of Deaf talent can do to stop exploitation of Hollywood to hire hearing actors or actress to act as Deaf. We need to educate them in anti-bias and anti-bullying discourses. Can we educate them with effective tactics that defuse exploitation before they can trigger over time into the kind of systematic oppression?

When Deaf people show the world that they have talent in acting with better eye movements, learns of people with hearing privileges and deceit, they essentially disowns Deaf citizens and implore them to shut up and stay in the cell in order to allow them to beat their appearance up and harm their reputations. Again, when Deaf citizens learn that the oppression in Hollywood have been returned to be practiced, they are suffering in the hands of oppressors. Oh, the sentencing of their fate!

We are tired of the worst oppression over the past year that a well-known Hollywood actress has again stepped over Deaf people just like stamped out Audism! Did Hollywood really acknowledge their errors? No. Instead, in the days since, oppression of Deaf people in Hollywood scenes, they would probably refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. All evidence to the contrary, Hollywood have continued to insist on Julianna Moore’s false version as a Deaf person, ignoring the grief of Deaf community, who are trying to make an attempt to educate the society that there are plenty of Deaf people who can show their talents.

Even a Deaf administrator and moderator for Deaf Talent Guild News wrote, “I do not wish to see any more posts critical of Julianna Moore for taking the deaf adult role nor discussing plans for a boycott of the movie Wonderstruck, which frankly in my opinion would be counter productive. I know some of you may not have fond opinions of her after reading the news of what she did…she may have already realized by now she made a mistake; let her be.”

Umm, excuse me, what about the pain what Deaf community has suffered? Where is the compassion? This is a disgrace. We are talking about the opportunity—no longer in the invisible hand. Isn’t Hollywood supposed to be the land of the opportunity? Deaf people on Mother Earth have a reason–know no life other than America. Can we even recognize Hollywood’s America?

I want to make it clear that this is not hoax or an exaggeration. I have been personally embarrassed by this whole ordeal, but out of continued frustration, I find it now necessary to write about what occurred in Hollywood. I feel that least writing this post could help start healing process. When I had been chosen to as an actor for Deafhood Monologues in Washington, D.C.—I understood the importance of Deaf talent where Julianna Moore has twice oppressed the Deaf community—with the quote below:

You will know you are completely done with something when you give it up and feel freedom instead of loss”.—Emily Maroutain

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2012/januaryfebruary/feature/deaf-meets-wonderstruck

 

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Oklahoma Association of the Deaf President’s Statement

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Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) President Renee Sites issued a statement yesterday. I do not know when, but here’s the statement in relation to a killing of an unharmed Deaf man (picture attached above) in Oklahoma City the other night. What do you think of this statement?

“The Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) steps forward in recognition that education is needed in our home state and across the nation between deaf and emergency responders. We are sad, but not surprised by this most recent act. Lack of education plays a vital part in many communities. It is our hope to join with police departments in Oklahoma, to provide better advocacy and training to law enforcement personnel. We want to prevent this type of situation from happening in the future. We want the members of our community to be safe. We understand that police are often in difficult situations and might not remember that all individuals can respond to verbal commands.

There are many challenges between the deaf community and law enforcement. We would be willing to partner with agencies in Oklahoma to better serve our communities while breaking down barriers. OAD has discussed providing town halls in different cities in Oklahoma. This is not only for police, but all emergency responders. If you would like to set up a town hall with our deaf community, please feel free to reach out. We are here to advocate, educate and learn together. Oklahoma Association of the Deaf is here to build bridges between the two communities. We would like people to know they can reach out to us.”

“The mission of the Oklahoma Association of the Deaf (OAD) is to promote, protect and preserve the civil rights and quality of life of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Oklahoma.”

Rightful Presence in Justice: Challenging ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620)

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I am writing this out of my great concern to respond what Congress wants to pass so-called The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act of 2017 [H.R. 620] this coming Thursday, September 14th. From the moment of its passage in 1990, it has quickly reached an unprecedented global scope, overwhelming the human rights formed by Deaf people because of Deaf President Now (DPN) in 1988 to the waves of marginalized people from shore to shore in America upheavals of earlier decades.

ADA became important for everyone including Deaf people and Disabled people. The doors were open. They were left out for generations. It reminds me of a movie called Music Within based on a true story. Richard Pimentel who lost his hearing during war in Vietnam then comes home and became oppressed after that then he became a disability rights advocate. One scene where he and his friend in a wheelchair went into a restaurant in Portland, Oregon and the waitress asked them to leave because they were not “standard” people according to a law called “Ugly Laws” so controversial that made people hate people who had disabilities.

The law continued to practice for almost 100 years from late 1860s until 1970s– several American cities followed the law where people were “unsightly” or “unseemly” to appear in public then it was removed from the law books. ADA of 1990 recognized the growing pain of ugly laws and gave those people with disabilities to have rights. No more hatred. Sandra Fredman in her book, Discrimination Law in 2011, writes:

Individuals with disabilities are a discrete and insular minority who have been faced with restrictions and limitations, subjected to a history of purposeful unequal treatment, and relegated to a position of political powerlessness in our society, based on characteristics that are beyond the control of such individuals and resulting from stereotypic assumptions not truly indicative of the individual ability of such individuals to participate in, and contribute to, society.

Tyler Ray, Americans Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] Washington Legislative Office and Vania Leveille, Senior Legislative Counsel writes on September 6, 2017:

H.R. 620 would completely change the way in which a business is required to comply with the ADA. Instead of requiring that a business comply proactively, the bill would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access. This bill proposes that after an individual with a disability is denied she must first notify the business owner, with exacting specificity, that her civil rights were violated, and then wait for six months to see if the business will make “substantial progress” toward access, before going to a court to order compliance. 

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The key word: “would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access”—isn’t that the same thing that applies to so-called Ugly Laws? The civil rights would be violated in the highest sense of oppression. The disabled people are at a higher risk of rejecting in a bias-motivated attitude. Why should Deaf people and disabled people suffer and deal with Eighth Amendment “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” in the United States Constitution?

As bad as Congress brought the idea about wanting to pass unlawful H.R. 620, we must remind ourselves that the old-school politicians have since the last removal of Ugly Law in 1970s, at least moved in the direction of making strongest effort possible, through the eyes of public policy, to reduce inequality for Deaf and disabled people. We must also be aware of 1964 Civil Rights Act, and ADA that has carried the legacy in our society to keep and protect the rights of all our citizens. No matter what the cost is. The H.R. 620 is unconstitutional and inhumane!

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Fredman, Sandra (2011). Discrimination Law [2nd ed.]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 96.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/disability-rights/congress-wants-change-americans-disabilities-act-and-undermine-civil-rights

 

Let’s Grab Some Popcorn!

Watching Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump is like a set of movies in order or perhaps a sequence. Cutting 9.2 Billion dollars for Education is a big insult to the American people. LBTQA and Black students including Deaf students are America’s future students that should not be demoralized and oppressed!

More Than Just Being Boxed In: Attacking Deaf People is a New Norm

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Boxed In. David Call. 2017.

Cochlear implant industries are out of control. When oppressors throws Deaf soul away in the box, that is the face of discipline—I mean, look at that way, think about struggle for our language and culture that we the Deaf have to deal either through or between financial and emotional is unthinkable; That’s exactly the box—punishing Deaf people—for what? IDEA! Let’s box them! Imagine what is next…..

You see, there are evil eyes aka cochlear implant industries and stockholders out there looking for any flaws to stop the truth about Deaf culture and ASL, they develop underground online camps and install blogs about how wonderful cochlear implants are.

Those haters has attempted or thought they would stall the truth. Piece by piece, word-by-word, eyes by eyes, everything ASL have built in the last 50 years that will not accept to be defeated.

Thousands of Deaf people who were trapped in the box, has met and discovered the journey of Deafhood to set up symbolic messages. They walk out of the box and tell the stories that the struggle for the language and culture as their everyday reality and it is happening everywhere in the lens of Deaf Education today and tomorrow.

The cochlear implant industries attempts to constitute an attack on intellectual life of Deaf people, also attempting to denounce them as human beings. Not only that the box represents Deaf people as intellectual inferiority—causing more problems.

It is not the society’s business to determine when being Deaf is the problem or not. Yes, that’s right, none of their business, really. All the survivors who were in the box, are the champions of defeating gross language hegemony and held those oppressors, for example, cochlear implant industries, cued-speech organizations, and oralism practices responsible for attacking their lives. Isn’t it a new norm for them to attack Deaf people? Enough.

They are the reason they are the miscue of resources as corrupt dictators and seek power as well as wealth in batteries and cochlear implant mapping more than the welfare of Deaf people.

I would ask that, in addition to continue and challenge cochlear implant industries, we need to step in to remedy the rampant human and civil rights violations that continue to occur in Deaf America, that it take punitive measures against cochlear implant industries for such a reprehensible breach of human rights violation that has put their lives in jeopardy. Are we all getting sick of being boxed in? Let’s get out of the box!

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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