What’s Wrong with Deaf Prison Idea?

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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.

 

 

Wounded by Labeling

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Lecture: Deaf Returning Citizens as Forgotten People. October 2015. CSUN Social Justice Conference.

July 26, 2019:

Dealing with old wounds again. Cycles kept circling around and defining who I am. Pushing me to the brink of human collapse.

Labeling on my forehead–that is very evident in my case, and dealing with that every day, unleashing so much insanity and throwing at me, the hostile dementia, and I had been spending the last 35 years of my life trying to extricate myself from negative drama that was full of deception and been tired of the pain and humiliation anymore. Never mind that I had been raped at age of ten years old with a wood stick up my ass, bleeding, and causing a life-time scar–emotionally. No one wanted to hear my story. Quick enough to jump and judge right away without asking my story.

I was 12 years old when I forced to commit a crime. Now I am 44 years old. The last 35 years of my life has been painful. People do not really know the whole story. It’s amazing how much hate had been infected so fast on social media. I am truly sorry what I had done and there is nothing I can change the past. The system had failed my life. I asked for help at age of 12, and it never happened.

I am not a perfect human being and it is just another in a long line of colossal mistakes. For one thing that I know that I am a good heart and sensitive guy. I care too much. I had been going through a fallow period when I must let the soil rest to prepare for a new growth.

Typical words coming from the paranoid, reactionary, delusional, and fear-mongering crowd that worships hateful labels. If you want to keep your freedom then arm yourself with facts and reject the fear-based, “safety-at-any price” thinking.

I do not need the most hateful label where, like today, results in discrimination, stigmatization, shaming, unemployment, under-employment, homelessness, and general social exile are the norms that must be reversed. Would it be better of killing or murdering me and dispose of my body for its own pleasure? Can in this society, believe in facts before myth, science before faith, and reason before assumption?

I refuse to live down what I am being defined by my character. People had been spreading nasty images about me, powerful biased language was to utilize and draw disgust and fury to the readers. My own face is forever tarnished around Deaf community. It is known as character assassination.

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The social media to a point has emotionalized it where people are pushing for destruction of my own life. It is true that it would be better off to end my life instead of living and struggling in the society where hate is spreading my name like a soulless monster. Instead of the usual political careerism that is being built on the society’s collective and cultural of fear.

Can we have at least sensible and detailed reporting where it is not based on a low fruit, emotionalize piece but on the many sides of this issue? There are millions and millions of dollars of waste fraud and abuse in the criminal justice system. I’ve spent $80,000 in four years alone starting at age of 21. All when I was just 12 years old with no guidance, naive, and all that.

Suicide is a big problem in Deaf community.

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2017/04/03/suicide-is-a-big-problem-in-deaf-community/

Mistakes were: the interpreter whom was a CODA where I never met in my life at age of 19 and a senior in high school before going into the interviewing room with detective telling me to get a lawyer and knew that I was 12 years old to protect my life, and I failed. I ignored my own stupidity. I was not educated enough about it. I thought I would get plenty of help and be honest. It was one of biggest mistakes in my life. It ultimately cost my life for good. I destroyed my own life.

Yet, at 44, after paid my debt to society a million times over, I deal with Internet shaming, and do I deserve a second chance? Most likely, no, and telling me to kill myself or disappear off the face of the Earth would solve everything, is it better off? Deaf community thinks so. I completely understand. Because it is not completely self-healing society yet, refuse to repair the problems, turning bad into good, and reintegrate returnees back into society.

If people break the law then they deserve to be held accountable. Otherwise, freedom and liberty should be the shining societal goals. But, I do not think it would ever happen in Deaf community because they prefer Internet shaming, lynching, and sending me death threats I receive all the time. How can the society provide any degree of safety? Shaming and humiliation is best, while rehabilitation and reintegration is not.

As I wrote an article in DEAF LIFE December 2018 Issue: Deaf Returnees: What do they return to?

“The true stories of Deaf returnees have been too often hidden from the American people. They have been shamed and ignored for political reasons. Did the perpetrators encourage bullying tactics that tear Deaf returnees down?

We must take bold action to defend human rights and the core values of democracy in supporting Deaf returnees. We are tired of being attacked, seeing the truth distorted, the media playing mind games, targeting Deaf returnees as scapegoats.

Terms such as ex-convict, felon, offender, and criminal are negative. The terms returning citizen and returnee are positive.

Media images of Deaf returnees are all too often negative, grotesque, suggesting that they can’t survive in society, can’t turn their lives around, are incapable of giving back to the Deaf community. They are seen as unintelligent, sick, lazy, and not to be trusted. How could they succeed if they actually had to earn merit to advance in society? Why bother giving them second chances?”

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

23 Years Later: Bust of Sisyphus

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23 years ago on this date today was the day I was released from jail, walking out as 102 pounder, ate four breakfast plates at Denny’s about 30 minutes later, hungriest ever as I was, aiming for hard work to change my life around. I would never imagine how many hardships to deal with going through rock throwing later in life. I was hungry for change. It took a lot of guts. Honestly, I never would think I’d gone through major changes. Health major changes.

At the same time, I had been gone through a lot of roadblocks and shit blocks. The bust of Sisyphus aged 23 as I bought the bust at local store in State of Washington sitting on my shelf all those years has helped me gone through series of battles and salvage, and…finding ways to achieve goals today and in the future. The toughest road ahead. Making me to give up. The unjust application of the law lies in my own journey. The hardest part is unemployed for nine years and it is cruel long enough. The most important part is to believe in yourself. It’s not always easy. Be vigilant.

I just want to thank all the people who supports me, listening and signing in ASL either in person, Face Time, or Videophone, and it always does not mean to agree all the time, and enters a secure space, although it has been not easy path, and border is no blockage for higher learning, and overcoming culture of fear. If such as a solid answer to understand more about what culture of fear is all about, and in the distant past, it makes me stronger.

Also, I am thankful for opportunities to give 24 lectures all over country and Canada. Guest speaker three times. Panelist twice. Publications twice. Published work. 15 Editorial Columns for DEAF LIFE, Nation’s Deaf Community Magazine. Aiming for good and social change to stand up against status quo. The issues of higher learning are particularly relevant in a culture where passivity and “censorship” is easily vulnerable.

Someone once said to me as “champion of Deaf returnees” fighting and advocating for Deaf returnees’ right to higher education, employment, living arrangement and human rights. In 2015, I was invited to give a lecture for social justice conference sponsored by Deaf Studies Association at CSUN–Deaf Returning Citizens as Forgotten People.

 

Love or Hate, as a Deaf returnee, I’ve found a purpose that the peace resolution is best thing that I’ve learned in college and university helped retain broad and deep perspective of my mind. Been through extreme bullying such as far as death threats, labeling, and identify the concerns. Can we make all the difference as much as aid people, Deaf or hearing, in developing their own social justice of life? Sure, why not?

While we need more lectures, work shops, bias training, and social justice, we also need more social justice activists, who act from this perspective and relate their total-view perspectives to an activist personal social justice to every day questions of how we learn and discuss more about it to influence people and politicians in our own community.

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If you are interested in my hate crime lecture and culture of Deaf returnee as forgotten people why it is important in Deaf community to understand and protect all of us at all costs, find an acquired skill founded on practice, like discussing and empowering, and how well we do it depends on how much of it we have learned and it is healthy task. It is also good way to increase the inherent interest of issues, giving the readers and viewers a sense of discovery. The information will be at the end of the page below.

Though, I’ve decided to go through peaceful resolution as much as I can, making all the difference in life. Studying Sociology and Hate Crimes played a huge role in my life. I continue to do this for my living. Working on publishing a book.

My proudest achievement to help hate-crime law protecting Deaf Oregonians had passed in 2012.

Ain’t that easy not? I made serious determination and it is much harder maze to overcome the toughest road: Adversity.

Graduated from community college. Graduated from university.

First Deaf returnee to do presentation for Portland Office of Human Relations

First Deaf returnee to do presentation for Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes

First Deaf returnee to lecture for Ontario Association of the Deaf

First Deaf returnee to do video project for Deafhood Discussions

First Deaf returnee is part of Deafhood Monologues

First Deaf returnee to receive scholarship in graduate school

Deaf returnee to be part of first Deaf Returned Citizens Panel

First Deaf returnee and a panelist for Yale Law School Conference

First Deaf returnee to do National Anthem for DC Professional Sport Team

First Deaf returnee to lecture for California State University Northridge. Social Justice Conference

First Deaf returnee to lecture for Georgia Association of the Deaf

First Deaf returnee and panelist for Deaf Access to Justice & Deaf in Prison Symposium

First Deaf returnee to teach at National Technical Institute for the Deaf

First Deaf returnee to lecture at Gallaudet University

First Deaf returnee to write for DEAF LIFE

First Deaf returnee as Director for We the Deaf People, Inc.

First Deaf Returnee as Chair for Deaf Political Action Committee

First Deaf Returnee as Chair for Deaf Consumers United

First Deaf Returnee as member of National Task Force on Police and Emergency Services

First Deaf Returnee as Chair for National Deaf Patient Care Council

More to come!

https://jasontozier.net/

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Deaf Returnees: Helping Them Through PTSD

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The adage that there is no perfect machine holds true from a Jack-in-the-Box to the criminal justice system. What can Deaf inmates and returnees broken by this system hope to achieve during June, which is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) awareness month?

Especially when this awareness reach extends deeply into the Deaf community to places needing empowerment, healing, and positive steps? What resolution can empower Deaf returnees to build learning, healthy and safe spaces?

Imagine the stories of Deaf inmates and Deaf returnees, their hearts shattering under the fiber of social rejection. Even while they are making a positive change to share their experiences to overcome the depression, they experience bullying, humiliation, and surmounting hardships; the toughest thing.

I believe that there are high and unreported PTSD cases by Deaf inmates and Deaf returnees that the social media needs to acknowledge. The sweeping impact of ignoring Deaf simply for who they are, and the lack of awareness, is not felt enough in the criminal justice system. Just like the marginalization of Deaf returnees in Deaf community, why are they being singled out?

While the United States has put more people in prison than any other country, it does not have resources to help Deaf returnees rebuild their lives once they are released. While there is a growing need, there is also a forgotten movement to end mass incarceration to reduce recidivism. Deaf returnees need inspiration and guidance.

Deaf returnees who are in search of rebuilding lives are at once faced with overcoming steep economic hardship, systematic privileges, unemployment, and lastly, PTSD. Changing the pattern across the country would help Deaf returnees successfully transition from inmate to returnee life on the outside.

The Second Chance Act of 2007, which is having a difficult time getting funding, would most likely hurt Deaf returnees in the long run. Why? So, Deaf returnees would be able to get help and learn how to develop healthy thinking patterns.

One bit of critical information here. Not empowering Deaf returnees enough can become frightfully expensive and mentally taxing. Empowering Deaf returnees would require intimate examination of the territory of their lives and not just a perception of its surface, incorporating new knowledge into other knowledge;

Empowering is a good investment, and the supporters’ efforts pay off. Empowering would gain intellectual and emotional agility and strength so needed in society.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Choosing to Overcome the Greatest Shame in Deaf Community: Suicide

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There were couple of older blog posts I wrote about challenges of suicide in Deaf community. It’s really powerful. I’ve experienced a Deaf friend by the name of Greg from the school bus we rode together committed suicide when I was in 8th grade, and one of my hearing professors who committed suicide which hit me hard. She was only 39 years old. My first Sociology class was Sociology of Health and Medicine under Professor Heather Hartley.

I never forget the day when I showed up into classroom with injured right arm from kick-ass bicycle accident where I crashed my right shoulder so hard on the road and I was wearing an arm sling that time. I couldn’t write. Too much pain. That day was final exam. Yet, I still showed up with bicycle again.

She had a better idea and asked me to meet her in her office, and took the final exam by typing down the answers on her computer to take final exam and save it and send it to her. That was a brilliant idea. She was a good professor. Also, I remember the day when the news broke where I showed up for a Sociology course, Criminology and my professor was looking really down, it was not the professor I know. It became quiet in the classroom. It hit the hardest. They were good friends. The same professor in that quiet classroom later discussed about “Suicide: A Study in Sociology” book by Émile Durkheim.

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When I had a fatal heart attack last November 2016, I continue to question my death experience and how I defied death. Living in real world at this current hour has been much harder than I ever face with, and it finds a lot of strength and growing pain to deal with, and one of the most challenging part, was the haters who went after me after I woke up from death. It is much worse than death. Living with labels. Especially most damaging labels. It leads a major culprit.

On the face of it, gaining access to find help, support, and strength how to overcome adversity, it was also cynical, is the most difficult thing. The last 32 years of my life has been rough enough that is way too much to deal with everyday, and when I got a gift certificate for my birthday from my mother last December 2018, I stopped by Barnes and Noble bookstore to buy a book to read: Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self-Esteem by Joseph Burgo, Ph.D.

Joseph Burgo writes: “Self-esteem can’t thrive in the soil of nonstop praise and encouragement. Instead it depends upon setting and meeting goals, living up to the expectations we hold for ourselves, and sharing our joy in achievement with the people who matter most to us. Listening to and learning from encounters with shame will go further than affirmations and positive self-talk in helping to build authentic self-esteem.”

One of my many and beloved Sociology classes, I learned a great deal about Erving Goffman, a high-thinking sociologist who coined “stigma” where he described, “Society establishes the mean of categorizing persons and the complement of attributes felt to be ordinary and natural for members of each of these categories.”

How do you cope with the society when it establishes the mean-spirited of battling with tendencies to go toward suicides?

I am not writing this for myself only, but it applies to Deaf returnees living in Deaf community lacks for accessibility and big help, over the past couple of decades have shaken Deaf America and made them the most invisible minority group and their own identity and forgotten stories. When it comes to Deaf returnees who comes back into the society to change their life around, and blowing the whistle to test the strength, and the story is very much related to my experience.

When Calvin Young, a Deaf vlogger made a vlog: “Life is like a Jenga” is a great example of how to overcome adversity. Dealing with Jenga through shadows, and try to think positive as much as possible, and try to be in my shoes if you can handle Jenga. Beyond the shadows of Jenga, there are real consequences for living with the label. I learned of the news that there are four times more likely to commit suicide for young children as much as ten years old, with hard life lessons.

There are plenty of people who got away with miserable actions, but did not own up to their actions. Again, I am far from perfect and I make human mistakes, too. Will you be willing to learn the culture of Deaf returnees?

As the author of Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self-Esteem wrote from the book: “You’re a fucking loser. You’re pathetic. You’re ugly. Nobody likes you. You might as well die. You’re stupid. Why bother doing anything? You know you’ll fail. It goes on and on like that for hours, repeating the same things. Relentless, like I’m always being watched and judged. You’re pathetic. You’re ugly. Over and over.”

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I know the feeling. I won’t let it control me to set up for self-hatred so profound it sometimes left me dealing with the label. Will you accept me to be part of Deaf community? I’ve told many times that I should not doing anything and set me up for failure, and judged without knowing my life stories.

Bullying: Deaf vs. Deaf is the hardest thing to deal with. I am no better either. In this time of crisis, it is Deaf leaders and Deaf community itself who hold out, by our very nature, the deepest vision of healing and peace that is possible for Deaf people including Deaf returnees. It begins in our hearts, in that place that is never separate from the living heart of ours. Am I allowed to earn empowerment that is something that begins within ourselves that finds a big mirror to reflect who we are between healing and growing pain?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Additional blog posts to read about suicide:

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2017/04/03/suicide-is-a-big-problem-in-deaf-community/

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2018/06/09/treatment-of-suicidal-deaf-people/