LEAD-K Open Video: Will AGBell Ever Condemn Hate?

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Another Hearing Privilege in Hollywood Industry

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Honestly, when I learned about the movie, “The Silence”, the hearing actress would play a role as Deaf person. It’s another language war. The term of war comes from old English, “wyrre”—bringing into confusion. It is also an insult to Deaf culture. It’s the bandwagon of hearing privileges that always the stronghold to overcome. Deaf people should never been confused. It’s the hearing people who are confusing.

I do not really understand this social phenomenon why hearing people keep denying by unpacking own privileges. I mean…it’s no excuse! What is so special about Deaf community? Deaf actors and actresses are talented and attuned to their people.

I remember when I was selected to act as Hansel in Deaf program in 1983, that time I was 9 years old. The joy and excitement of learning as much acting as possible through which it can be understand, intellectually and emotionally, that Deaf people can act and understand the presence in their life experience is the consequence of those learning experiences so we are better prepared to act once we leave the acting experience.

It was a big deal for me even I realized just now. It’s really big deal. You know, Deaf children are precious to be given and empowered with acting skills. The study of acting as Deaf person had shown that the study of ASL is a creative process based upon the analysis of linguistic/cultural evidence, which results in a conversation between ASL and its users.

When I become an actor for Deafhood Monologues, it was a learning experience at Gallaudet. I believe that not only in ASL but in all areas Deaf actresses and Deaf actors should have the opportunity to reach their full potential as informed and knowledge young women and men. As they have chosen to learn about the language and culture.

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It’s just impossible and unthinkable that hearing actresses and actors would deprive away from Deaf talent. It’s an invisible tool that Deaf community continues to be oppressed. We all need to be reminding of Homer’s Odyssey, Deaf people are challenged to overcome the unknown. It’s the same that goes to Hollywood industry.

Deaf actresses and actors had a joy of learning something novel—something mind-blowing. They are the ones who have gained from the learning journey that shall furnish their home. Back in 2011, I attended Toronto International Deaf Film + Arts Festival, the Gala event was a huge insult to Deaf community, the gala film was showing 88 minutes of hearing actresses and actors until three minutes left in the movie, finally Deaf actress. What does it mean?

What happened to the safe and rigorous, one that empowers Deaf actresses and actors in pursing ASL for Hollywood industry? After Gala night, the film festival begun and the opening of the festival, I’m Deaf and I Didn’t Know made by French Deaf filmmaker was the best film of the festival that morning that I decided to write down this film as best film and sure enough, the film won the best film of festival. It should be in the gala first place!

Yet, SEVEN years later, the film industry is still dominated by hearing privileges. Oh yeah, 30 years later after Marlee Matlin won Academy Award for the movie, Children of a Lesser God is still oppressed in the name of hearing privileges. I mean, what’s worst the most of all? The Silence.

The term: silence—complete absence of sound and cause to become silent; prohibit or prevent from speaking.

Yes, speaking from pain. Speaking from experience. Speaking from truth. It’s really unbelievable and insulting that Deaf culture continues to be oppressed from the absence of sound and prevent from showing Deaf talent. It’s quite shameful, hmm?

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

Deaf Community: In Shadows of Constitution Day

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The Constitution of the United States is done, and signed by a majority of delegates attending historic Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia today on September 17, 1787. It’s a hallmark that in Deaf community, we need to protect our rights. Buy yourself a small book, The Constitution of the United States of America and study well, maybe better tip to carry this book everyday with you to protect yourself. It is crucial.

I got this book at ACLU National Membership Conference last June 2018, and the five reasons I support ACLU:

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Deaf community should be a public service—not a place of fear what is called Surdophobia, “fear of Deaf people” and take advantage of them because of auditory measures. That is beyond cruel punishment and that is exactly why oppression has since become a unique subset of Deaf America. Can we dedicate to protect Deaf America? The Constitution of the United States of America—is an important asset that also dedicates to Deaf America, the quality is largely invisible that often overlooked group of minorities, who easily targets.

We, the Deaf need to restore citizen trust, and empower through American democracy. A strong, Deaf community is vital to help Deaf citizens to build resources and constitutional rights in local, state, and federal—and….their country.

Unfortunately, as United States Constitution does not really protect Deaf community. There is no law that protects Deaf community and why is that? They are often confronted with very, very, very limited help that cannot support higher learning, and guidance on addressing sociological problem in Deaf community.

There is one powerful lever for change is the United States Constitution to safeguard the privacy and security of Deaf people, that a single United States Constitution book can impact the security of Deaf community. Not only that the United States Constitution celebrates its moral or political virtue, but it is also bigger, more uplifting virtue more than we really thought even in Deaf community. It is the best and powerful tool to support pursuit of happiness that comes from the guard of United States Constitution.

If the Deaf community suffers, then it needs to be examined and corrected. How can we challenge this sociological problem? If we are honest then we will see that the oppression is a sociological collective with an authority for human punishment that has never recognized Deaf people as human beings, at least, it is true. Deaf people continues to be “human doings”—what happened to the Constitution Day that has forgotten a lot of painful stories that Deaf people suffer in their lifetime?

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Why Should Deaf Children Be Condemned for Life?

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This is invisible hate crime, folks. This is the world where Deaf children can no longer protect themselves. Every year, thousands of Deaf children are mockingly targeted without compassion because they’re easy to target for greed.

For example, a cochlear implant surgeon saying, “Here is a child with no hearing whatever. Previously that child would have been condemned to a life of signing, special schools, and now…we can restore that sense. And the vast majority of the children will given a really a virtually normal life.”

It is a sign of dangerous framing. There are two meanings of the word: “condemned”

Express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure.

Sentence (someone) to a particular punishment, especially death.

Death. Does it look familiar? We the Deaf are in constant danger other than sign language. The sound /f/ in the term, Deaf shares the same fricative—the force of the breath through a constricted or partially obstructed passage in the vocal tract—with the sound of /th/ in the term, death. Deaf people are being punished because they are Deaf. Can we understand and combat hate crime and form of bigotry? Are hate crime, hate speech, and hate literature about Deaf people getting worse?

We all should read Tarski’s Theory of Truth written by Hartry Field and his structure of ideas, sometimes paradoxical, inconsistent, or contradictory, that people have about good and bad, about beautiful and ugly, and about right and wrong, which are the justifications that people cite to explain their actions.

The theory of truth along which people make judgments are all dependent upon what they learn from childhood. These include judging between right and wrong, between good and bad, and between beautiful and ugly, all based upon social and community values. They are not acquired through our genes, but through our socialization. That implies that they can be relearned; that we could change our judgments.

In the broad sweep of human existence, the general trend of change has been for a decrease in the number of truth, and a reduction from societal differences in society to secular space. From local community with theory of truth, Deaf people moved to a community with struggles, from that Deaf people moved to truth and an increase in the proportion of people, like cochlear implant surgeons who believe in no truth.

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The impact of hate crime had spread well beyond the immediate survivors and victims and the target of Deaf community to the general society.

This effect includes practice of hate speech, like this surgeon’s words: “Previously that child would have been condemned to a life of signing”—-is the central point here is that Deaf people are continually punished in the name of hate crimes, we must understand precisely why Deaf children are punishing, and it is a hate crime grounded in name of Audism as well. Audism is in the umbrella of hate.

What we need is in this world, is not healthy, what we need is not hatred of Deaf people, and what we need is not punishment of Deaf people, what we need is love and wisdom.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

Remembering Milan 1880: Light a Candle Against Hate

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September 7, 1880—has addressed the Deaf community worldwide—before I get into the urgent necessity of this post. Let’s start with some painful memories. Imagine the day after September 7th, let’s think about Deaf children’s skills to use sign language as human right, they would have been great leaders—to embark on journey through uncharted territory, and to change the image of Deaf people within painful energy into the world that sees before us.

It was not long though, before Deaf people were pounded with human threat, and deal with Oralism from every direction—slammed doors and angry looks wherever they use sign language. That’s hate crime, folks.

Today, the surge of Oralism, for example, listening and speaking, Cued Speech, and cochlear implants, Deaf children are forced to face with a world that feels extremely fragmented and hostile as much as possible. That is not the way of a human life that was supposed to be safe.

The challenges Deaf people face are far—the rise of bigotry and hate crimes, and the huge gap between the richest and poorest are just the tip of the iceberg and that is even scary part.

Do not be intimidated by power. Deaf community is in the making—and stop in the name of hate! We need to resist in the age of hate crime. Imagine how Deaf community felt the day after September 7th, 1880. It’s just mind-boggling. We, the Deaf people have the power to make a change—and start off by digging deep into our identity as the state of being of Deaf.

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”

There are plenty of Deaf people who survived who dealt with Oralism ideology, they are also humans, who got the same number of hours each day as others on Earth—we must continue to resist against Alexander Graham Bell’s hate practices.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

Starbucks: Advocate of ‘Ban the Box’ for Deaf Returnees

 

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Guy Wonder. Deaf Artist.

There was huge news around about Starbucks announcing about first American Sign Language (ASL) signing store in United States for Deaf community and it is in Washington, D.C; it is perfect location to match our national intellectual movement. It is the Deaf community generates ideas that we all should make commitment to improve unemployment concerns. It is huge news.

First, I’d like to point out some important movement that had generated Deaf community in D.C; As Starbucks opened its first store in America: Seattle, Washington in 1971. The same year in 1971, Frederick Schreiber, former executive director for National Association of the Deaf (NAD) coined Deaf Studies, in his profound thoughts,

“If Deaf people are to get ahead in our time, they must have a better image of themselves and their capabilities. They need concrete exampled of what Deaf people have already done so they can project for themselves a brighter future. If we can have Black studies, Jewish studies, why not Deaf Studies?” (Note: Quoted in Charles Katz, “A Partial History of Deaf Studies, in Deaf Studies VI Conference Proceedings: Making the Connection (Washington, D.C.; College for Continuing Education, Gallaudet University, 1999. 120.)

ASL informs us that human beings have been around for many centuries before the writing culture merged. Deaf people are to get ahead in our time, signing hands are the reason why every day across the nation, including nation’s capital, and it offers life. Don’t forget Deaf President Now (DPN) in 1988. That time in ’88, Starbucks owned 33 stores.

Starbucks have around 8,000 stores. The first signing store in U.S. could be a huge project to discover the root causes of Deaf Studies. Like Schreiber said, “If Deaf people are to get ahead in our time, they must have a better image of themselves and capabilities…” and expand more signing stores across the country.

Starbucks is also one of largest companies in the country that would help former prisoners. It is called ban the box. When I lectured “Deaf Returning Citizens as Forgotten People” at California State University Northridge Social Justice conference sponsored by Deaf Studies Association in 2015, I explained about ban the box as well as Starbucks in that lecture. I also met the creator of “Ban the Box” at Yale Law Conference in 2014.

The District of Columbia has adopted a ban-the-box policy. Deaf returnees (former prisoners) who are living in DC are encouraged to get a job. In this time of crisis, it is Deaf leaders who hold out, by our very nature, the deepest vision of healing and peace that is possible for Deaf returnees.

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I hope Starbucks would teach Gallaudet University the same model that does not discriminate Deaf returnees or shame them in the name of hate and suffering and support ‘ban the box’. Same idea that when employers are being interviewed at Gallaudet, they are not required providing background check. I had asked several faculty members at Gallaudet that they never had background check at all. Irony, right? Privileges?

It is now becoming a central theme in the face of Gallaudet University. Deaf returnees must not be more invoked than deeply understood. Not everyone will agree with that, but it is essential for three critical reasons. 1) It is necessary for empowerment. 2) It is necessary for Deaf returnees. 3) It is necessary for the quality of higher education for Deaf returnees.

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

As a best practice, and consistent with applicable laws, the Commission recommends that employers not ask about convictions on job applications and that, if and when they make such inquires, the inquiries be limited to convictions for which exclusion would be job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.”

Deaf returnees are struggling to find new ideas, avenues, directions, and motivations to change their lives around that is to be understood, appreciated, and used in growing pain stories. Higher education is the highest point of getting out of dark caves, and the critics are due first to the readers themselves, whose judgments can be traced not only to their past but also to their abilities and expectations.

As Starbucks is opening its first signing store in DC, it is something that will generate discussions in Deaf Studies classrooms for sure. Deaf returnees are encouraged to apply to work at this historic Starbucks and show that they can be hardest workers. After all, it is perfect location to match our national intellectual movement.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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