About to Get Killed

Sharing my near death experience where I was about to get killed in year 2000.

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Election Day: Deaf Returnees VOTE.

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.

Allegory of Deaf Returnees: The Opposite of Hate

 

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After watching ACLU video about the treatment of imprisoned Deaf and Deaf returnees in Georgia, I understood the pain myself. We must understand that the law requires humane treatment of Deaf prisoners. When I was jailed almost 25 years ago, I was placed what was called pod known as C-2. It housed around 50, 60 inmates. Only 15 beds were offered, so the majority of inmates slept on the floor. I was 21 years old that time. Now I am 43 years old.

The first 15 minutes of living in jail system, I got in huge fight with three big inmates who were calling me names and placing death threats, and broke my hand. I was given aspirin for it. Nothing else. I had to be forced and learned how to toughen it up.

I remember I asked for ASL interpreter, written down on note, and it was rightfully violated—as I remember one of the jail staff, knew that I was Deaf, and became the target of harassing through shame and shaming even attempts at shaming more. It was nothing but a shame revival as a force.

Once I was thrown into a solitary confinement known as “hole” for 72 hours just for protecting a Deaf inmate. I stood strong while I was in there. How did it happen? Inmates from C-2 were given one hour to play table pool, and this Deaf inmate was standing on red line where people were not supposed to stand there.

He could not understand what jail staff were talking to him and forced him to lip-read, then I walked up to him and explained to him in ASL, then one of the jail staff, happened to be the same officer who were targeting me, roughed me up against the wall to mind my own business. Other inmates did not like that what they saw and they were on my side. Then I was thrown into hole.

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Then later, I became very sick for nine days and asked to see nurse also I also asked for ASL interpreter, of course, denied as usual. The nurse gave me aspirin and water. My temp was 104 degrees. The treatment of Deaf prisoners exists.

While I was very sick, I had to survive myself. All I had to drink Kool-Aid and could not able to eat much for the last nine days, even though there were few inmates who came up to me and gave up their Kool-Aid out of respect and they knew that I was damn sick as fuck.

Finally, I felt better after nine long brutal days, then about few weeks before my release, I fought for my rights to get captions on TV, it took me many months to fight and won. That morning, there were two men from jail staff came in and installed captions there, I was standing there smiling and other inmates looked at me, “Right on!” and later, I was chosen to be a trustee in C-2 cleaning, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and messenger for inmates before my release.

I had very difficult time getting access to TTY—only that I must wait until after 5 PM, but my lawyer’s office closes at 5 PM. They said to me, “Fuck off” and deal with it. When I use TTY, a jail staffer would stand next to me and read what I type. Seriously. Word for word.

Then the hardest part: the brutal treatment of Deaf returnee in society. Eight years on probation, like I wrote in other post, around 97% of time, I was denied for ASL interpreter, only if it is emergency meetings, or polygraph tests.

I was forced to write down on notes, and lip-read—if I do not comply or cooperate with probation officials, I was warned with eight years in prison is on thin ice for me if I do not comply. Writing about my experience became at stroke of a pen that we all know that pen is mightier than sword.

As a Deaf returnee in the making, I had been the biggest target of an online bullying campaign that they wanted to derail me badly, crashing my livelihood, and mental stability by the personal attacks. Shame is not healthy, it is a targeted emotion, which makes Deaf returnees challenging. Is the society on the full scale of anger? Encouraging culture of fear would solve solution? We need to understand the core of shaming.

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Right before deadly heart attack at Gallaudet University on November 8, 2016: the most important question in the history of Gallaudet, I asked in the front audience will be always forever remembered. Room 1011. The question, “Why did Gallaudet University encourage fear targeting Deaf returnees?” then I was dead for ten minutes. They do not want the public to know the truth. I am a living testimony of personal shame and humiliation. Will the living of testimony of support happen? The history of Gallaudet is famous for bullying, shaming, and ostracized.

Flash. Flash. Flash. Then I came back to life. I challenge scholars themselves to be educated about how to define shaming itself, and particularly about whether to emphasize my experience of shame in my own journey. The treatment of Deaf returnees exists. Bashing does not work. Love is what is most important right now. Hate is not.

Yes, Gallaudet University will be always a hate-crime, hate-speech, and hate-literature campus. How can we improve the treatment of Deaf returnees at Gallaudet University? Department of ASL/Deaf Studies comes in many forms, and it is surprising how much of shaming practices from the department bringing an army of trolls causing real psychological damage. Where is the opening examination of shaming?

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

Train Our Minds to See Good in Deaf Returnees

When a Deaf returnee (returning citizen/returned citizen) denied, he/she are separated from Deaf community. First, Deaf returnees seek rehabilitation is not illegal and the law says they shall be treated respectfully. According to the United States Constitution, Eighth Amendment.

Second, as it is, Deaf returnees are guilty and incarcerated without due process. So much for compassion and following the rule of law. Most of Deaf returnees are receiving harsh treatment than they had their entire lives. Dealing through harassment is a depressing task. So much cruelty, so much lack of empathy or understanding or even basic human caring.

Those Deaf returnees are humans. Do any of you that support this know any Deaf returnees personally? This is not how Deaf community treats the awareness among us. Remember, humanity has been at this crossroads before.

Culture of fear is what will fail. Deaf community should be accurate and fair. On the other hand, rejecting Deaf returnees from Deaf community seek to minimize the profound damage that culture of fear is doing to us. This practice is a witch-hunt. It has to be critically examined and discussed.

If you want to go that route, then it is just what it is, but states, counties, cities needs rehabilitation, not retribution. Do we understand that oppression used to justify the ownership of Deaf community?

Deaf returnees are being taken away from Deaf community are traumatized enough and it does infect harm. It is a fact. The pain, anguish, fear, raging through rumor-mill who lives in culture of fear. It is shameful, and it has no place in the heart of Deaf community. Who in their right mind takes a Deaf returnee on a difficult journey while knowingly being punished daily? Why do Deaf community continue on this path of cruelty? What price will Deaf returnees pay its final reckoning due? One Deaf person sent me this quote few weeks ago to remember by:

“Train your mind to see the good in every situation”- Buddha

It would be nice to train our minds to see the good in every situation what Deaf returnees can contribute back to Deaf community.

For Deaf returnees who seeks Deaf-centered counselors, please visit

www.deafcounseling.com

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

Deaf Community: Rehabilitation Over Retribution

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Life in Deaf community can be challenging, but it can be particularly harder for Deaf returnees whose bodies and minds are being pushed away by ignorance, bullying, and hatred. Deaf returnees serve the principal purposes of punishment: retribution, and rehabilitation. Whose old bones suffer from exile in Deaf community, who are forgetful, suffering human compassion, mocked, and ignored.

Ignorance does not make society safer. Ignorance hurts Deaf returnees, not dangerous people. Ignorance locks up Deaf returnees who have been convicted of a crime. Ignorance hurts vulnerable community that is known as Deaf returnee community, the world’s smallest human population.

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I lived 30 minutes from Mt. St. Helens, the famous eruption in 1980. I am also a Deaf returnee. I found myself in trouble with the law; I had to face my past. As a teenager in the small town in state of Washington during my junior high days, I suffered and experienced a horrible tragedy.

Now I am 43 years old. The horrible tragedy was 32 years ago. Stories from a time when as a child myself did not learn or taught lessons what was right and wrong who were responsible for my early learning.

A Greek philosopher, Aristotle once wrote, “Memory is the scribe of the soul.”—In this case, writing is the mirror to my soul and the doorway into my existence where I was told that in Deaf community, I do not exist.

I had thought when I traded my life as a dedicated suburbanite for a life in Deaf community I had experienced about as radical a transition as I would ever face. As you read this it is good to realize that empowering Deaf returnees is the highest human compassion. By all reports life behind the fence as Deaf returnee is very different, and is often a much more degrading and dangerous experience.

Malthus who was born in 1766 and died in 1834, he studied at Cambridge and was selected to be a fellow at Jesus College in 1793. Five years later, he published Essay on the Principle of Population in which he argued that population would outrun food supply and would increase population. My point is that Deaf returnees are hungry for circle of support, empowerment, compassion, and higher education in the eyes of human population.

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Do they deserve a second chance in Deaf community? Do they deserve being shunned? Rehabilitation should be number one priority over retribution in Deaf community.

 

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

RID got Humpriezed

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Registry of the Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) already boasts the biggest hearing privileges, that would guarantee newest CEO for RID, Joey Trapani one of the biggest flops ever to walk around.

Just for kicks, Trapani had only one year or even less in interpreting experience, and yet got RID’s highest position: CEO through a shoddy reputation that often overlooks his power as a white man with red-hot hearing privileges. Oh, he’s Children of Deaf Adults (CODA)—pffft! I do not care if he is CODA. So what? Don’t get me wrong, there are some cool CODAs and there are some not very cool CODAs.

Let’s get serious here. How could RID allow hearing privileges and oppress Deaf community? The cloak dagger continues. People are allowed to help others and it does not matter who it is. If it is their own, they are comfortable in then that is it.

The major issue of Audism exists in all of us, even RID would go into complete denial and regardless of what and who we are. The regardless of language oppression is what the RID apart and what made the RID being differed from Deaf community. RID had failed to address the underlying causes of Audism and hearing privileges and leaves Deaf community without a guidance to move forward. RID refuses to identify the roots of language hegemony. Deaf community does not need to deal with status quo.

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CODA and with only a year in freelance interpreting experience suffers numerous misinterpretations—deliberate confounding, irreversible misunderstanding can be very costly and burdensome for Deaf community, and Deaf people have personally experienced them somewhere in their life.

What really binds the Deaf together is their culture—the language and the ideas they have in common. Knowledge of cultural forms within the Deaf community is necessary in sociological concerns.

Since RID is essentially important for Deaf community, particularly in its history stages. Willard Willow wrote in 1932, “Schools have a culture that is definitely their own. There are, in the school, complex rituals of personal relationships, a set of folkways, mores, and irrational sanctions, a moral code based upon them.”

RID is not a world of its own. It is not even a world. But because RID is in the world, because it is affected by situations, and because it orients itself comprehensively in those situations, RID had something to teach, RID has offered something to bring Deaf community to higher learning of interpreting. Well, that is something to think about.

In the light of RID’s failure to hold community accountability, it is time to boycott RID. It is time for interpreters to get their money back and revoke their RID memberships.

CEO Joey Trapani and the board president, Melvin Walker, need to resign. CODA and hearing privileges do not belong well in Deaf community. They both ignited the golden age of Audism and the dominance of hearing privileges of their namesake of ignorance, which furnished RID toward the notion of educational proof and has been thrown into the mind of Deaf community since. Hearing privileges–not cool.

Isn’t Deaf community exactly the right place to exchange and debate differing concerns? Perhaps RID has lost its professionalism and respect. RID got Humpriezed. In reference to Tom Humphries, the coinage of Audism. Deaf community should not be oppressed in the name of Audism. Deaf community is a minority of one, they deserve better. RID should be Deaf-centered, Deaf-oriented, and Deaf-controlled.

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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