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Tag Archives: Deaf returning citizens

World Kindness Day: Escape from Stigma

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Today, November 13, 2017, is World Kindness Day. Seriously, it is. Good time to remind yourself that for next year and for the reminder of the humanly lives. Be kind. Remember that everybody is fighting his or her own personal battles that you know nothing about. Stop hate please. I am writing about Deaf returning citizens.

Currently, I am reading a book, Stand up to Stigma: How We Reject Fear and Shame by Pernessa C. Seele, has helped me to think and questions that we need to analyze more about community accountability. We also need to recognize in a hierarchy who do a good job that would be promote to the next level. If they are not competent, then they do not get promoted and remained at that level. We also have responsibility to break the cycle of stigma, too.

Seriously, this book is damn good! I’ve read few books about Stigma, but this one is the top of all! I write to you that it will worth every dollar of yours to read this book and help break the cycle of stigma, and guide you to see the personal stories and it is only $17.95, of course with taxes.

Remember great literature George Orwell, that guy was brilliant for creating a shared language for educational equity, to understand the glossary of an important term:

Doublethink: The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

Then does it leads to a compassion that is any and all thoughts that serves the actions of seeing ourselves? Do we ever wonder that we do not talk enough about compassion?

Compassion is enhanced wherever and whenever consciousness displaces repression and unconsciousness and reality replace unreality.” Compassion & Self-Hate: An Alternative To Despair by Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D;

Be kindness. Like I wrote above, everybody is fighting his or her own personal battles that you know nothing about. Let’s celebrate World Kindness Day!

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

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Suffering in the Shadows

A foundational question here is what exactly does Gallaudet University expect from me? The legal proceedings, imperfect as they may be, have played out–destroyed my future or even my life.

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Dwight Benedict’s Smirk

 

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It has been really difficult day for me because a year ago today, I was clinically dead for ten minutes on the campus of the world’s famous university for Deaf people, Gallaudet University. In the same room where Dwight Benedict was in, he was walking down the aisle with a smirk because he had the hatred towards me—it was really difficult for me to think that way. How can I forget that? It is impossible to forget something like this.

My story must be seen, written, and examined. I grow tired and sick of people telling me to live in PAST. People do not know my life stories what exactly happened. It has been always HEARSAY. People choose to ignore my stories. Especially when a lot of people do not know the facts cannot comprehend what they were listening or do not care what the facts are and make up their own stories.

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Do you think it was professional of Dwight to smirk when someone else is dead? Many of faculty members witnessed in that room what Dwight did and would vouch for me whenever I need support. He is still walking around campus with power and the same smirk he carries.

When you see the statue of Laurent Clerc on Gallaudet campus, this is one of the most iconic symbols of America—a beacon of hope and acceptance for Deaf people everywhere. So how did coming to Gallaudet University become a crime? Deaf returning citizens are bad news! Make them suffer! Give them the death stare!

If we look at the history of Dwight Benedict’s bullying tactics for the last 37 years, being “Deaf returning citizen” usually just means being “unwanted” and more often than not, that has to do with ignorance and hatred. There are plenty of widespread insecurities at Gallaudet University. As an intellectual community, we the Deaf now seem to exist in permanent fear of the oblivion in the top university leadership, worrying about whether we can survive Dwight’s leadership.

At the same time, at Gallaudet University, we the Deaf appear uncomfortable with the hatred of Dwight’s leadership. The same leadership, so often the means to our advancement, now finds itself under a cloud of power that it falls under a wrong agenda. Disenchanted with Dwight’s past history yet fearful of our future, why are Deaf people—especially people of color and marginalized group struck in Dwight’s leadership where a mood of fear, hatred and low expectations influence our discussion and discourses on many fronts—where our higher education continues to be seen as the problem rather than the challenge.

I worked extremely hard to change my life around and I made an ultimate goal to be a professor. I even made name tags as a personal identification when I arrived in DC and put it around my neck to remind myself. I was so determined more than anything.

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This irrational insight against the grain of oppressed Deaf people on the campus, which teaches that hatred and bullying by Dwight does not lack human compassion. Deaf people in their struggle for social justice—are ignored because Dwight gets away with it. There have been many stories from Kendall Green about Dwight’s 37 years of oppressive leadership. A great many of damages were done, and many Deaf people were hurt.

My constitutional rights has been violated of due process and amounts to Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Eighth Amendment under United States Constitution and Dwight made it very difficult for me to receive higher education and set me up for harassment, public humiliation and bullying long after I served my time.

In February 27, 2014 meeting I was in, the most oppressive meeting ever I experienced in my entire life, he loved the idea very much where his buddy, Ted Baran, Director for DPS whom Dwight calls Ted in the meeting, “Ted is a good man” front of four other people brought up that I must be required to notify my graduate cohort, and walk around the entire Gallaudet campus and must tell everyone why I was jailed for with ugly labeling on my forehead. I was shocked. I already experienced humiliation and harassment at times when I would be at Gallaudet. No doubt, Dwight Benedict opened my old wounds. Dwight and Ted acted as Judge, Jury, and Executioner. The bald faced truth is that they should held accountable.

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Even though it has happened 30 years ago, still, I am set up for extreme public shaming and harassment. I had been a good returning citizen more than 20 years and paid no more than $100,000 in counseling and worked very hard to change my life around and graduated with three degrees all with honors even though I had been experiencing thousands and thousands of times being humiliated in my life. I’ve dealt with hearing counselors who do not understand my journey as Deaf person. I realized it was total lie and waste of money and time. Until I found Deaf-centered counseling, I cried and….

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Did I deserve “scarlet letter” for the rest of my life? Am I allowed to become a productive member of society? I am really sick of people telling me to live in the past and live with the stigma. Horrible lies about me, making me look really bad and I lost almost everything. It’s really hard for me. I cry. I cry. I cry. I suffer more. I suffer more. I suffer more.

Dr. Pernessa Steele, author of “Stand Up to Stigma: How We Reject Fear and Shame” writes: “Stigma” is a simple two-syllable word, yet it carries the weight of negative and often unfair beliefs that we hold about those who are different from us. Stigmas lock people into stereotyped boxes and deny us all the right to be our authentic and whole selves.

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I already had been ostracized from Gallaudet community. Dwight made sure to do more harm than good, with my commitment to turn my life around. I lost my scholarship, I lost my dream job, I lost networking opportunities, I lost pretty much everything and I became the scapegoat on the campus. That is exactly the cruel and unusual punishment. That was the sign of death.

When I woke up on the floor that day, I cried. I still remember being carried out of the room on the emergency stretcher and saw people hand waving at me and I put both of my thumbs letting them know that I’m still strong. Then I was rushed into emergency surgery and carried to an intensive care unit (ICU). The television on right side was turned on—and the presidential election results were still pending.

The worst part was….I was still in extreme shock wondering how I survived from massive heart attack. The election results—did not finalize until 3 AM and became even more heart-broken that Trump was elected. The rises of hate crimes begun. Then I finally fell asleep for only three hours until the nurses woke me up and said, “Time for injections”—my first reaction when I woke up hoping it was only a dream. Only I find it was not a dream. I stayed in the hospital for ten long days. Longest stay in my life.

Do you all remember how you felt when you woke up on November 9th of 2016 morning?

Many people who walked around from Gallaudet University have caught up and suffered in the idea that Dwight thinks he is always right, and that the way Dwight acts is best. But he was wrong in Gallaudet University. What happened with the due process? Why I was not informed with required due process?

Due process means that Gallaudet University cannot give me a serious punishment, like suspension or expulsion, without first having followed fair procedures to determine if I am “bad news”. Fair procedure would include: telling me exactly what I was “bad news”, telling me exactly what the punishment will be, and giving me a chance to tell my side of the story before punishing me. If Gallaudet chooses to punish me, it must punish all others the same. I was never given a chance to do due process. I felt numb.

When I woke up from death, some people who are loyal to Dwight, told me to shut up and stay in silence. Right now Dwight is walking around freely with a smirk and will not apologize for his actions what he had done. It was the most incompetent decision Gallaudet University chooses to keep Dwight in his office. I was targeted by Dwight’s openly discriminatory policies and the discriminatory policies will be always remembered for abuse of power and corruption on the wrong side of professionalism.

For the last 365 days since my death, I wonder if I actually die, the truth would not be seen.

On November 8, 2016, in SAC 1011, the event, “Deaf in Prison Screening & Discussion” sponsored by Gallaudet ASL & Deaf Studies, the very same department I was part of which was very ironic, and the reason they sponsored this because Dirksen Bauman wanted to do this to cover his ass. Complete bullshit. I asked a question for the audience that will be always remembered for long time, “Why Gallaudet University promote FEAR targeting Deaf returning citizens?” and Dwight was in the same room standing in the back giving me a death stare and that was where I had massive heart attack. Dwight was walking down the aisle—slowly and a smirk. Cool, huh?

My death experience has made me stronger than ever. I recently learned that there has been some “talk” around Gallaudet campus that Dwight might retire early—well, there is no way he would walk away with it. My death does not give him full satisfaction and sit in the sun with a smirk. Will Dwight ever experience death for ten minutes and wake up and realize that he is asshole? It was all about personal attack against me as a motivation to new heights of fervor. Master Yoda said: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

‘Bystander’ to the Deaf Community

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Yes, we can make a difference to stop hate. Is Deaf community as humanity as ever? Our impact on hate depends more on how we, as humanity, respond than as we the Deaf people do. Both are very critical right now—the question, which is more effective and community accountability? Hate is invisible to the Deaf community.

Stalking and harassment seems to be a perception among Deaf community. And, to be direct, it does show to verge on stigmatizing basically “normal” behavior. It may be even is true and sad, but Deaf community essentially using the scarlet letter of “harassment” to penalize Deaf returning citizen who they resent very much. We need to know that hate will not make us safe.

The biggest problem in the Deaf community: Bystanders—the context in which this occurs more often. They do not care about hate. They do not care about abuse their power, to understand that as soon as hate is created, it will be abused at least Deaf community who will wield it.

How can we solve this sociological problem: Bystanders in Deaf community and why they refuse to accept community accountability? Dividing into hate, separated by our own experience. Silence is not even cool.

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Can We Hold Hate Accountable?

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I saw this banner somewhere in DC the other day.

As a Deaf returning citizen living in America I have to ask, “Did Deaf community protest enough against hate?”—Our country is based on freedoms that we were supposed to protect, including freedom of speech and the right of people peaceably to assemble.

Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a famous speech in Washington, D.C.—“I Have a Dream” that changed the history forever. George Veditz fought for ASL rights, Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights, and I continue to fight for Deaf returning citizen rights, and there are a lot of people who believes in causes fighting for their rights because we live in the land of the free and we all were supposed to be hate-free from discrimination and harassment.

Did we learn ENOUGH that we were supposed to understand the Bill of Rights under United States Constitution? Deaf people has been denied equal pay, got killed by the very people sworn to protect them with NO BIAS? The list goes on. What happened to liberty and justice for all—regardless of race, disability, religion, gender, or even economic status?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

Harassment in the Deaf Community: Guidelines for Protection and Prevention

 

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…………………………………….So, I got harassed during Homecoming 2017 Saturday afternoon. I am getting tired of this. I was trying to have good time for a change. The person who approached towards me in a threatening mode signed to me, “YOU ARE SICK! SICK! SICK! CRAZY! SICK!” in the PUBLIC EYE. That is a hate speech as well, too. You know who you are. I did not appreciate being humiliated. The public perception is that in Deaf community is getting sick of that same person who continues to cyber-stalk my own friends because we all believe in support system.

It has been like this for long time. It is now pathological. I also acknowledge that person needs help to get rid of a spiraling depression or exacerbate the behavior the person was already exhibiting.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The injustice of the situation is both palpable and maddening. There is a broken mental health service system and what we deal with in Deaf community is sad but not unsurprising result.

In the wake of this person’s harassment driven by hatred as well as hyper-vigilance, the detours and rumors will always chase after me. Does not matter anymore. And whether intended or not, the message sent by the person is that the value our culture places a human life depends upon community accountability as well as in Deaf community.

Can we examine this question, can this person understand the dangers of creating and maintaining an oppression environment of harassment? Can the person be expected to conduct itself in a form that accept the community accountability for causing harassment? Can this person understand the part as a community expectations not to violate someone else? Anger is not cool. The image above says it all. Anger becomes hatred. It is becoming immature. What kind of benefits would you get that out of it?

Finally, how can we foster an environment that harassment is being promoted in this society?

More to come.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

Can Deaf Returning Citizens Exist Without Deaf Community?

 

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Can Deaf returning citizens exist without Deaf community? I do not think so. I believe that is important for information, knowledge, and communication. No one can take away the attribution of success and breach human rights. Bringing awareness about the term of “Returning Citizen” would make all difference.

No more “felons”—no more “convicts”—no more “offenders”—no more negativity. Returning citizen is a positive term. Can Deaf returning citizens deserve to be let alone to resume their life without the haters breathing down their necks? It goes way too far in the continuous punishment. As a nation, I believe that the failure of ignoring hard facts and expert opinions to be discussed in many public policy issues even in Deaf community.

When you see someone bully a Deaf returning citizen, how will you react to it? Does it make it an impressive train wreck? Makes you feel good about it?

I can bully and make Deaf returning citizens ashamed….I bring hatred to their faces…I make them cover their faces by how cyber-bullying can solve problems. I am the greatest bully, and they are inferior. I can do a good job by teaching bullies because it is awesome feeling to do this!”

Have we forgot about the importance of liberty and justice for all? Remember, the society has been trying to teach us the awareness of how to stop bullying including cyber-bullying and end the same way: suffer and humiliation. Do we really understand the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?  This is the real epidemic out there that needs to be addressed and examined. Break the stigma.

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Please be aware about October as National Bullying Prevention Month. If you know someone who is a Deaf returning citizen who is in need for counseling for well-being, please feel free to get in touch with Deaf Counseling Center for more information.

http://www.deafcounseling.com/contact-us/

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

National Bullying Prevention Month: Deaf Returning Citizens

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I would like to focus on writing about Deaf returning citizens and how to support them instead of bullying them. Deaf returning citizens recognize the society’s described behavior as a form of bullying which is and has been normalized in Deaf community, like competition over sharing. It is important to call out bullying as the social sickness it is.

That said, the Deaf community is now exposing the emotional hurt of their world and in this writing, tied it into fear of bullying drivers. As a member of Deaf community and a returning citizen who had experienced bullying and dealt with the bulk of the public accusations were kicked off in a style. October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

Since the bullying popped into my life scene and become part of my social and professional landscape. My life routinely overlaps at events and social media. I say hello friendly to each other in the way that you are friendly to someone who shares your goals and a generous portion of your friend group, but maybe not a lot of mutual respect.

To me, bullies have always been a pitch-perfect caricature of the haters. While I truly respect some people’s energy, and most of their goals, I have found their political tactics clueless, and their grasp of bullyinh tenuous. Some of my friends recognized this, too, and either steered clear or took an “it takes all kinds…” attitude towards those people with privileges.

This is a hard lesson here. Deaf returning citizens need to be more vigilant and protect themselves and their allies, but they hope not to lose trust and not lose their edge by building walls that protects them from the utmost extreme bullying at all times. We need to break down bullying dominance of Deaf community and look at their own behaviors that contribute to it, protect it, or are simply just bad behavior.

Working harder to break the social norms can go a long way. And what happens when we have a person or acquaintances that callously do not follow that rule in our midst? Then we protect others, as we would want to be protected. We do it with courage and tenacity. It starts all with you.

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Shame? Guilt? Revenge? Anger? Hate?

Upon the community initial call-out, the bullying is not accepted and encourages the community to take full responsibility if they ever wanted to continue to play in a role in the community. No body has really come forward.

1) Especially in a time of transition, Deaf returning citizens are very important part of the Deaf community.

2) Can Deaf community embodies the qualifications, character, and commitment to empower Deaf returning citizens that are essential to success and high achievement?

3) Will we empower Deaf returning citizens as members of the Deaf community to see the present is a new opportunity for bold change that cannot imitate the past if it is to ensure the future?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Beating the Online Bully: How To Take Action

 

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The Twitter account “Deaf Access to Justice” operated and moderated by a Deaf returning citizen, Maria Nicole Dollhopf has a strange message of her own—an “obsession” and that is not healthy. It is harmful. It does not mean she is qualified enough to make expert label about my life and claimed that I have “mental issues”. Is she qualified enough to be a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist? As cool Hollywood star, Will Smith, makes a strong message:

Never underestimate the pain of a person, because in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Just some people are better at hiding it than others.”

Judging and labeling people indicate that we are not doing enough to protect the basic right to life enshrined in our Constitution. There is also the problem of stigma associated to mental issues, and there is not even enough serious attempt to recognize this issue.

To understand the full “hate” terminology, it is not going to be easy. With her hatred, goals were launched on a grand scale to rip into pieces. The chunk of anger very much visible, the civilization of hatred is more powerful, and the fundamental problem of the hatred also help to avoid guilty by destroying the evidence of my life and stop my success story by turning my life around. Is an obsession a form of mental issue? When a Deaf returning citizen attacks a Deaf returning citizen is the reason why it leads the path of ignorance.

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My life struggles are not a mental issue. It is a human struggle. It is a huge difference. Who started the “war” in the first place?

As I had written in older blog posts, the word, “war” is derived from the Old English, “wyrre” which means, “to bring into confusion“–and that is the problem that leads to a psychological process under-minding my truth. When a Deaf returning citizen personally attacks my Deaf friends and tells them not to be supportive of my character and my hard-working to change my life around.

Obsession brings into confusion often that triggers for a war. The extension of compassion, Maria has lacked in this area. Her practice of hate remains of the past and present, triggered by anger must be seen, written, and examined. Continuing to do personal attacks against my character shows the weakness on her part and add more fuel to stigma by posting mugshot of me and leaving it there to have me suffer humiliation and pain by using my full birth name. It does not have to work that way.

Mental issues addresses one of the critical missing links identified by thousands of health advocates. I strongly believe the human ingredient for people with mental issues can lead productive lives by getting rid of hate. The success will be the best tool for human compassion. Maria has no right to say that my mental issues needs to be verified and stay away and protect for the sake. Hate is not cool. My energy is forwarding towards positive steps instead of living in negative environment. The first step is awareness, stand up, and acknowledge constructive and beneficial to stop the cycle of hate.

I wish to leave in peace and harmony. Sure, mental issues for Deaf returning citizens may not enough adequate, Deaf community struggle for more Deaf-centered mental health professionals, although the system is not funded or resourced accordingly. I leave the thought of the day below.

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

How to Stop the Avalanche of Hate

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I would like to express something off my mind for couple of minutes. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve received ugly postings about me from my own Deaf community. I am aware that I had been dealing with hate to make sure I disappear off the Mother planet. I come to understand the dangers of hate mongers than ever. Times I would be warned not to write about my experience as a returning citizen. This could not be further from the truth. If you have hard time reading the print in the picture on the left, I apologize for sloppy marker.

The questions I wrote down: Do we believe that youth who make horrible mistakes deserve second chances? Do we believe youth can develop character beyond their crimes?

I believe in resistance and challenge against hate, as a means of survival and hope. I did not create hate in the first place. You did. For 21 years, there are people had been threatening me and put me in human exile. That sucks because I had been working hard to change my life around. I refuse to live in someone else’s shadow.

For the haters out there, please understand this—TAUNTS just does not work. I do not need shame and disrespect, shows that hate STILL kills’ people and corrupt systems. However, I’ve reached the underlying reasons for the resistance and I believe in second chances. Sadly, due to institutional and societal barriers, once I entered back into community, there were challenges of employment, housing, and help for support and I’ve faced hardships where I had to deal with mental and physical abuses for telling truth.

Gandhi writes,

Many people, especially, ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still there.”

My journey as Deaf returning citizen as indirectly described, has been carried around with the educational champions of the Sociology world I fell in love with, and found my Deafhood identity. The hardships are claimed. Deaf Studies are claimed. It is a new birth: the “origin” of my stories. All the hard work of building self-confidence, all the bulwark in the face of hate that is often subtle, yet no less compassion, than hate in the community. I remind myself to live constantly in George Orwell’s “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.”

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When I see this photo the other day, I see it as a metaphor for the intellectual decline of American people to understand stories.

Hate is virtually deserted, devoid of human life; surrounded millions of old souls, the stories will be unthinkable. Is hate an unforgiving society? Does that mean it also allows deficit thinking to build more fear? Even a single story of a Deaf returning citizen can change the world. Will we accept the fact that hate is a painstakingly back-up human error? Are Deaf returning citizens even part of Deaf Studies?

I just wanted you to know that I stand strong. Sure, I can be hard on myself for my imperfections and mistakes even my failures and I am aware of the haters who are obsessed with me as a Deaf returning citizen and try to pull my life down. I’m tired of crab theory. I am tired of rumor-mongers. The last words of this blog when I would like to say that I deal with hate a lot, I do not hide my face under a mask or nothing. Here is the thing: More and more people criticize it, but most likely shift the blame for who is responsible.

Last October 2015, I was invited to give a lecture for CSUN Social Justice conference sponsored by Deaf Studies Association, I felt very good what I’ve contributed back to the community. That matters the most to me.

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I continue to complete my ultimate goals. I will not be intimidated. Let’s remind ourselves this month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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