Using Non-Deaf Returnees to ‘Speak’ for Deaf Returnees: NO-NO!

It is important to analyze privileges. Check your privileges! For example, White people speak for Black people? NO! Men speak for Women? NO! Hearing people speak for Deaf people? NO!

Same thing as non-returning citizens. No difference. Those people who had not experienced jail or prison emotionally, physically and mentally. Understand what it is being a Deaf returning citizen or returnees “RC” like after returning to the society. Do they really understand hardships, emotional triggers, stigma, PTSD, depression, labeling, the list goes on. You cannot measure their struggles and understand the pain.

Those non-returning citizens should not speak for Deaf returning citizens.

HEARD [Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf], a hearing-owned organization run by Talila Lewis, decides to use non-returning citizens in a video discussing semantics related to quarantine is inappropriate. Those non-returning citizens should not speak for Deaf returning citizens.

It is the same way for other organizations that use privileged people to speak for unprivileged people. It is best to learn from Deaf returning citizens because they had gone through the system. They are the unprivileged people.

I wrote a column for DEAF LIFE in December 2017 Issue: “DEAF RETURNEES: WHAT DO THEY RETURN TO?” “They’re [Deaf returnees] kept invisible. The stigma they experience is deeply rooted in the sense of struggle, a fear of being silenced.”–Jason “JT” Tozier

For more reading on my piece: Check the link below.

THREE (3) REFERENCES:

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2018/03/24/deaf-returnees-what-do-they-return-to/

https://www.deafcounseling.com/returning-citizen-on-asl-sign-for-quarantine/

 

 

Deaf Returnees: The Case of Language Deprivation

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There was a story about Deaf returnee settled down for $125,000 in Multnomah County Courthouse (Portland, Oregon). The reason: No interpreters were provided during his well being for the last two nights and deny his right to American Sign Language (ASL) in mind, heart, and respect. The root of respect defines in Latin, ‘respectus’ meaning “regard, a looking at,” what happened for the last 48 hours? Sure, it is not the first time anywhere in America. I’ve seen enough cases. Some were much worse.

We understand public relations and media, having spent time spinning with Deaf community. The county claims that the former Deaf inmate can read and write at own expert guesses. Accessible to ASL interpreters are important, no matter what. While Deaf community is being educated about general news like this story, we must pay close attention to stand up for our rights to access ASL interpreters without bias for communication in the legal system. Justice is being tested.

In Ancient Greek, dike as in ‘justice’ means something like behaving in accordance with nature as the former Deaf inmate reserves the right to behave in accordance with nature professionally and legally where he have the rights to access to ASL interpreters, no matter what.

Being neglected and rejected for seeking for ASL interpreters is considered a legal responsibility, becoming a challenging task. Deaf former inmates/returnees are as much a part of inclusive landscape as anything else and it is ridiculous to ignore our language, ASL. This is a language that needs to be included a lot of time to start and empower through training, because there is less space, Deaf inmates, legal rights to access ASL, more and more honest communication of what is needed. How do we combat it without a notion of what respect is?

Deaf inmates and Deaf returnees live our language, ASL. We can call it Deaf Culture but basically justice of the Deaf, been dealing with oppression of ASL–the lack of ability to respect language and culture with an important human meaning.

However, we need to take a hard look at it as a reality to be dealt with in terms of language oppression, which I realize, is a challenge, and then there is no mutual respect. We cannot forget Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution: Nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Why should neglect knowledge of ASL interpreters and what would it benefit the legal system?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

REFERENCES:

https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2019/09/jury-awards-125000-in-damages-to-former-multnomah-county-inmate-who-is-deaf.html

The Impact of Public Shaming in Deaf Community

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Internet shaming is the greatest pain in human struggle. The population in Deaf community is the world’s smallest minority group. When Deaf shares a mug shot of Deaf in a digital age, defining whom the person, and shaming in the most possible character assassination. Just mention name to those who have known and read with no doubt stirring a flurry of controversy. It is exhausting and drains emotionally. The Impact of Public Shaming in a Digital World available on Internet to read with a good example below:

 

“Using public shaming to shift our beliefs rather than having constructive conversations has become the new normal. Are we now blurring the lines between activism and [cyber] bullying or humiliation?”

Are we just scratching the surface? It will take more than pain to keep us safe. Public shaming must be addressed the dangerous concentration of cyber bullying that allows cruel punishment and hate to operate in Deaf community. At the lowest, earliest, and most painful stage, public shaming of Deaf in literature as such begins with the hate.

The practice of public shaming in Deaf community is not something new. More public, more widespread, more dangerous, more harm, more hurt, and there is a book by Jon Ronson who is the author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, highly recommended to read:

 

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Under warped system of public shaming, who have the power to change it? This kind of power prevents critically community accountability for all the ways public shaming hurts Deaf community, destroying democracy, address the crises facing possible for the critical awareness about public shaming, and it might be critical than ever that the needs of Deaf community must be addressed to stand up against internet shaming in the name of hate, in a well-defined solution, will it ever happen?

Living into the past, say 35 years ago is not going to solve anything. It creates more hate to make public shaming, a toxic in the making. Internet shaming is part of psychology’s traits; something to think about it.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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