The World is Waiting For You

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Gallaudet University website: Commencement Day 149th Ceremony

Commencement is the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory for our graduates and their families and friends. It is the day to celebrate our graduates’ hard work that goes into the achievement of graduating…..”

Friday, May 17, 2019:

Live streaming.

EPHPHATHA as seen on huge black Gallaudet seal banner on the wall behind people’s back while signing front of the audience, it is a political satire of Deaf people at least.

When those Deaf graduates go home carrying a degree with the same seal you see would make a political satire in your space even as the story about EPHPHATHA who espouse false hopes make the news, those very same Deaf graduates are granted rights in the Amendment VIII to push for justice. What is Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution?

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

What we saw was absolutely horrible and inhumane. It was a poor taste of showing large banner “EPHPHATHA” in spelling. Again, it was supposed to be the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory.

No, it is not just “be opened.” It is ABOUT “ears be opened”—they should not be facing “excessive bail” just because they are being Deaf—connected to the cruel punishment inflicted. Deaf graduating students as always shall be protected even in educational system, Gallaudet University, always shall eager to overcome Audism what little remains of the privileges that limit Deaf students by mocking them, frequently justifies what it shall be ordered by saying that EPHPTHATHA wants the power to prescribe serious effects the state of being Deaf and therefore comes under Congress’ power to regulate this.

When Deaf graduates restore and gave confidence to countless hours and their consequences are very real and with the systematic Audism, trying to make the most of each and every day, but Gallaudet University had the nerve to show the banner the power of hearing privileges on the most important day for Deaf graduates, why cannot they restore their confidence as state of being Deaf?

Gallaudet University also said: There is no other place like this in the world.

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Then the huge banner should not be shown at graduation day again because it is where Deaf students connect their world with the rest of the world and Deaf community we once knew as home.

The Commencement Day is about deep respect to step out and thrive on Deaf community behalf. Without being insulted. Gallaudet University needs a positive approach. When Deaf students growing up, they might be appeared to be happy to graduate, you would never guess how many of them would suffering through some dark times. Imagine from K to 12th grade, they would get bullied, physical and emotional times. They end up feeling worthless and think they would treat that way for the rest of their lives.

Gallaudet University, the beacon of healing and hope for Deaf people, seeking mental health help, they either are more or less tried to act like it never happened. The hope should be provided all the times. This month, May: Mental Health Awareness.

So, in 2019, EPHPHATHA should not hold the power and did not choose to empower Deaf students to prohibit oppression even in public accommodations. The banner shows the greatest invisible Audism on Gallaudet campus, properly acting under the rules. Then why is it continues to construe—to flagrantly oppress, to its advantage—a higher educational oppression problem?

With the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as the rights to the state of being Deaf—First Amendment, written to protect the rights of “speech” to use American Sign Language (ASL), EPHPHATHA authorizes Gallaudet University to oppress Deaf students with any goal that it asserts in a way, however struck, with an order to practice the reverberation of Audism.

Supposedly, there is no banner showing EPHPHATHA, would Deaf graduating students more vocal about their mental health and what they were going through with those around them as Deaf identity to be proud of? It would be a huge help on those roads to healing in all. Would it be nice to see with a smile on their faces that their lives is a precious thing with state of being Deaf without punished, I am sure that we all would not want to steal that away. Right?

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

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Reclaiming the Youth Leadership Camp

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This coming weekend (May 24-27th): Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) Alumni Foundation 50th Years for the search of the Leadership experience.

When I first learned about YLC while I was an attendee for Deaf People of Color Conference in 2010 where it was held in Portland, Oregon. I was 34 years old that time. Oh, I was hurt not to know about it that long. There is need to make a CHANGE for the betterment of Deaf community.

Yes, it is a late start to learn about the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory for Deaf Youth and the day to celebrate hard work even as Deaf youth who went through mainstreaming system, their leadership to push for justice, is the most painful for those who does not even know anything about YLC because they did not get “privileged” information. Mainstreaming Deaf students do suffer and they have the right to explore their human rights to advocate for leadership in the Deaf community. Yet, they are shunned in the face of Deaf community. Why? Mainstreaming. It’s not their fault.

When YLC was founded in 1969, it had been focusing on Deaf families, Deaf schools, adding the fuel of Elitism, and would get information about YLC first hand before whoever Deaf students who thrive for personal growth in leadership coming from hearing families and the status of mainstreaming system would easily get rejected in the name of favoritism. Even Deaf students in Deaf schools who come from hearing families would get rejected, too.

Mainstreaming Deaf students do suffer for so long until current society we live in, the Deaf community is not same as ever, and where is the real leadership for Deaf students who were part of mainstreaming system as victims which it was never their fault to attend mainstreaming schools instead of Deaf schools?

The Deaf leadership has decisively ripped apart and did not give Deaf mainstreamed students a chance to grow has largely blamed on National Association of the Deaf (NAD)—and the leadership, scholarship, and citizenship brought up by the idea in YLC’s mission is the crisis of our time now and tomorrow. It is a serious problem.

Today and in the future ever, Deaf mainstreaming students would need help more than ever. Deaf schools are shrinking because of politics, and I do not support the idea of closing Deaf schools because they are important in educational system at every juncture.

The Deaf community’s most prominent change makers and activists join together to push for stronger idea for human change. In those stories we may see or not seen, it would reduce the problem of favoritism and elitism, and challenge our very change in equality, and challenge the very start of the leadership reform, giving Deaf students from mainstreaming system, to make all the difference in political and cultural change. It would make Deaf America stronger.

How do we make all the difference as in change? Why reject those Deaf mainstreamed students and Deaf school students from hearing families would deal with emotions firsthand? Remember, the month of May is Mental Health Awareness and it does influence them very much.

Is this also considered a bullying? From eliminating to end bullying, from ending favoritism to abolishing elitism, from reforming justice to changing the public view of the Deaf community, will it ever get equally that can rooted in fairness and personal growth in leadership? The information is very important for Deaf mainstreaming students to get stronger leadership as much as Deaf schools do; it makes Deaf community stronger only if they put it in their mind to believe in good fight.

Can you imagine that for decades that Deaf mainstreaming students and Deaf schools coming from hearing family lineage, have suffered appalling language and cultural oppression and the devastating consequences of educational and leadership sanctions?

When I learned about YLC at Deaf conference in 2010, it hit me the hardest part when it was moved to Stayton, Oregon from Minnesota in 1990, it was almost two hours drive from town in state of Washington to Stayton, Oregon, and the same 1990 was when I was 15 years old, I never knew anything about it. Why is that happening to several Deaf mainstreaming students alike like that? Language oppression?

It was the responsibility of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) who had failed Deaf mainstreaming students or Deaf students from Deaf schools coming from hearing families that so inured to actual human-to-human “compassion” by the ignorance and paradoxically blasé, judgment quality of “leadership, scholarship, and citizenship”—that they no longer readily feel the biased.

Of course, it shows that Deaf school leadership fare better than Deaf mainstreaming leadership because they did not get the same expose and experience and lack the information that they never knew about YLC. Is it their fault? Is it so invisible by the society even in Deaf community?

Deaf mainstreamed students were most and severely deprived from the information age about YLC in the past, and they are also part of the most important among them—as far as future of leadership is concerned—is the philosophy of leadership which lies away from the false dilemmas of “leadership” and is what would it be closely connected to?

It would be a good and healthy discovery one way to empower those students above; YLC might be as well as their way to make new meanings and inquiries.

What is YLC leadership is like in current climate this time in 2019?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Concern About Rep. Tom Cole as Gallaudet Commencement Speaker

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Dear Gallaudet Community:

While I also am aware about members of our community are gravely concerned about Rep. Okla.—Mr. Tom Cole as the Commencement speaker. That is the very important line and yet, Gallaudet University chose to ignore and disrespect graduating students’ safety. It is reported that there are plenty of Deaf graduating students who are still hurting either formal and informal settings. The future of Gallaudet depends on graduating students. President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano was in charge.

Deaf graduating students are our number one priority. They had lost faith in Gallaudet’s ability to lead the university, and where is exactly the respect from Deaf graduating students? Where is the leadership change of this magnitude that has been deeply felt across Gallaudet campus? It also affects alumni and alumnus, too because they were once students and understood the governing board to remain committed to the success of Deaf students, to the face of Gallaudet University.

The selection of Mr. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, is a poorly choice. It does not even meet the values of Gallaudet University. Is it losing its ground to understand the magnitude problem of hate crime and hate speech? When Mr. Tom Cole said that he was not very concerned with the appointment of Steve Bannon in the White House, and that was something to be concerned of. The biggest question on the meaning of higher learning—not higher learning, as we know at Gallaudet University, but our own learning.

That raises a concern that Gallaudet University went ahead and put their self-interest ahead of the Deaf graduating students, and engaging in conduct that affects Gallaudet University’s reputation, and had been misled the Deaf graduating students to a false hope.

We need to remind ourselves that Deaf graduating students comes first before the selection of Mr. Tom Cole, had led lives of necessity with an unforgiving, if not hostile, political and hearing social hierarchy in the environment is a big social problem and does not meet the values of Gallaudet University.

Whatever directive it might be, it was wrong of Gallaudet University to ignore Deaf graduating students under any circumstance whatsoever. What is the professionalism with these people, entrusted with private money, that they did not respect their feelings?

“One of the most difficult issues for the victims of hate crimes is wondering how widespread the bigotry is. How many of the other people on the block want them to leave the neighborhood? How many other students on campus resent their presence?”—Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt, Hate Crimes Revisited: America’s War on Those Who are Different 

It is clearly showing poor performance and be done with it, in a dizzying tumble of words about Deaf graduating students’ objection that has left the Gallaudet University community uncovered, something such as a leadership is missing—the bottom line is that Deaf graduating students had to listen with a knot with fear in their stomach. Generally the Gallaudet administration was highly hostile toward Deaf soon to be graduates, and pain on the campus is not even funny. It is painful!

While the selection of Mr. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma who failed miserly to stop the white supremacy in the White House, the hate crimes had been highly recorded than ever, and the numbers of hate crime incidents does not lie, and those Deaf graduating students who protested the selection of Mr. Cole was so important to the university it represented academic freedom, and it is now becoming a central theme in the history of Gallaudet University graduation inviting a congressman who did not support the idea and did not vote YES in 2009 for H.R. 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act:

The passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) would expand the federal hate crimes law to include crimes that are based on sexual orientation, gender, or physical or mental disability.”

No wonder why Gallaudet University fails to be hate-free campus. What if one of those Deaf graduating students end up as a survivor of federal hate crime that is often forgotten, marginalized, under-reported and swept under the rug? It starts with community accountability at Gallaudet University. The stories of invisible hate crimes are once again reverberating throughout Gallaudet campus.

Did Gallaudet University fail to recognize the problem of hate crime and ignore the implementation efforts to support students, stimulate learning and awareness, and promote inclusion and intercultural knowledge and experience about diversity and cultural differences and how to be fully knowledge about the magnitude social problem of hate crime in America?

When Mr. Tom Cole as inviting Commencement speaker failed to acknowledge the painful stories of Deaf people who would feel painful and violated and support the idea not to prosecute attackers for federal hate crime starts with his leadership and that affects Gallaudet University’s reputation:

“Media attention may also have educated a growing number of people about the occurrence and character of hate crimes.”—Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt, Hate Crimes Revisited: America’s War on Those Who are Different 

It is necessary for Gallaudet University; It is necessary for Gallaudet community; It is necessary for the quality of Deaf graduating students;

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=38&Itemid=828&nameid=C001053

http://www.ontheissues.org/House/Tom_Cole.htm

 

 

Gallaudet University: A Signing Community?

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Honestly, as three days ago, when I was at Library of Congress to see private collections of old letters hand-written by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Sophia Fowler Gallaudet, Edward Miner Gallaudet, Laurent Clerc, the list goes on—to help out a friend for PhD dissertation.

ASL stands for American Sign Language. They all had the goal: ASL-centered, ASL-oriented, ASL-controlled for Deaf people who comes from all walks of life. Between 1815 and 1847 letters, they all were fierce. They knew that sign language is the best and powerful to overcome intellectual oppression. The very same letters I read, where Sophia writes to T.H. Gallaudet:

I love Laurent Clerc. I love seeing his signs.”

Sophia became the matron for Gallaudet University. Without the matron of Gallaudet University, sign language would not be there. Sophia knew sign language was the pivotal moment.

That was the goal to see ASL everywhere on Gallaudet campus and that was all they wanted. That was the bottom line. That was it. Sign language changed Sophia’s life forever. That was history in the making!

Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet sailed together for destination back to America. They both knew that sign language have the power to directly represent and protect the interests. They stood true until their death.

Gallaudet University, the world’s first university for Deaf, to claim Deaf people’s intellectual life to ASL across the educational landscape and reject oppression practice; Hearing people with hearing privileges walk and talk around on the Gallaudet campus, insulting ASL that should be appreciated our language, that is ASL within the institution of higher education.

ASL is a step in the direction of intellectual equity, as the huge banner rolls out front of parking garage at Gallaudet University across from Union Market, makes an official statement that it is signing community. Can we really see Gallaudet University an ASL-centered university only? We need to make sure Gallaudet University as an ASL-centered needs to make a clear sense of what ASL is used for so that we are in a position to navigate Gallaudet as an ASL community. Signing is like mode of communication. Signing can be Sim-Com. Oh yeah, Sim-Com is still practiced at Gallaudet. It is better to use ASL instead of signing.

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Yet, there are hearing people who talk without sign language, oppressing ASL on the campus that is supposed to be sacred for Deaf people. Please look at my most previous post, Signing Community: Hypocrism at Best where seven videos were sent to me by several Deaf people who felt insulted.

Why do you think Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet went all the way to England to join in the audience and witness Deaf people signing and writing on stage, and that was where T.H. Gallaudet shook hands with Abbe Sicard—the history of all the Deaf is the most beautiful thing! Is Gallaudet University enough ASL-centered with instruction and scholarship?

The huge banner “We are Gallaudet University: A Signing Community” needs to examine more and I mean, really deep in heart. Audism is not allowed at Gallaudet University. It is a big problem! When hearing people talk on the campus designed for Deaf people, is exactly the struggle for Deaf community to feel oppressed. The latter attitude is that the term “oppression” has been most invisible mirror, oppressing ASL and Deaf people.

Should we allow language hegemony by hearing people? Deaf people had fought hard for ASL. We all cannot deny that. Is it intellectual oppression? Behind the university gates, oppression is everywhere and that is embarrassment. There is no way Gallaudet University should not allow people talking and insulting ASL, its linguistic and cultural heritage of the Deaf, period.

Again, “We are Gallaudet University: A Signing Community”–Can they really be honest with themselves? When hearing people talk on campus, they do not see ASL as a human and it continues to be oppressed. Deaf people are hurt. Deaf people are suffering. That is the real answer.

 

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We cannot forget the passion in ASL. That’s our mother tongue. After all, we are the ones to push for change. No more Audism! If they use that banner, then the major point of using ASL on the campus is to transform the language and culture to intellectual life. That’s how it is supposed to work. ASL is intellectual property and that is it matters the most……for Deaf people whose ownership is ASL first on the campus.

Again, please be honest with yourself. Gallaudet University is not a signing community. Not yet. It is better if the banner says: Gallaudet University is an ASL community.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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