23 Years Later: Bust of Sisyphus

0-10.jpg

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.

0-11.jpg

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.

Advertisements

We the Deaf People, Inc (WTDP): New Look!

I am proud to be on executive team and Director for We the Deaf People, Inc.–District of Columbia Chapter.

http://www.wtdp.org/

My Reflection Triggered by the CI question: Deafhood is the Answer

ImageDeafhood Unleashed

[When the oppressed Deaf people discover Deafhood, the chains of oppression start to dissolve and hands becomes free as butterfly]-David Call

Last February 2013, at age 38, I suffered a heart attack, and I was taken to Emergency Room.  After examining my heart condition, while I was resting, I was asked if I would like to have cochlear implants.

It was highly offensive. What they were attempting was to make me a by-product of cochlear implant industry. That day I felt that I was in a Holocaust concentration camp. The air inside the hospital was very still, regardless some doctors were surrounding with their activity.

I thought about driving by the mental hospital and seeing Deaf patients behind the fence. Deaf people on display? It reminded me of the Nazi proclamation: Arbeit Macht Frei (Work makes you free).  Cochlear implants make Deaf people free so they could speak and hear. Asking me about being cochlear implanted was, and is, INHUMANE!

Once I encounter the word Deafhood as the state of being Deaf, the process of linguistic and cultural behavior, and the technology related to communication, I realized that Deafhood requires a lot of self-examination from the perspective of social change, language planning, and how technology affects my future and my membership in the Deaf community. Not only the social determinants of Deaf community with respect to how we use American Sign Language (ASL) as a tool for communication, but also the non-intentional structuring of technology that promotes standards and assumptions of Deaf people.

After all, cochlear implants are not an arbitrary economic style that Deaf people pick and choose. CI are stimulant, just like dogs needing constant praises and treats.

I, JT, offer two characteristics that are distinctively different in my life situation, yet they are similar in my common struggles to find a sense of self within a tension of two cultures. I wonder if I am anything, but a “hero”, and hardly a stereotypical rendition of a Deaf lad. After I read Paddy Ladd’s book on Deafhood and discussed it with several Deaf scholars I met. I enjoyed them as they offered a rare glimpse into a life of a Deaf person in a contemporary situation. I often felt a true confinement of my personal cell as a reflection of my greater potentiality. As my name reflects, I felt “captured” in a situation I felt that I was unable to change.

There were so many other issues I faced. Many stemmed from my painful childhood in which I struggled with issues of Audism and identity crises, as I tried to find a place of my own as a Deaf individual in this contemporary society. I had dealt with depression and coped with the ghosts of my past.

My life is not that typical drawing upon rich imagery and spiritualism to confront my demons. Instead, I was a guy with an unknown Deaf heritage that was in a conflict with by my life issues under which I have viewed through the lens of two cultures.  They are in tension. Yet, it was ultimately my initial connection with a Deafhood progress which saved my insanity. My acknowledgement of my past failures, and my ultimate courage to continue living, to change my future, stemmed in part from my cultural connections.

I am writing to renew myself, my name, and my identity, and to find my connection to my own Deaf heritage. I had been searching for meaning and personal identity in relation to the current time of cultural change and adaptation among Deaf people. I find my own narrative broken up, disjointed, almost as if to convey the literacy and oral “storytelling” technique of traditional Deaf literature.

My story is not linear, but spherical. The use of “distance” thematically shows the estrangement of Deafhood from my culture, my separateness from Deaf community, which stresses holistic, meaningful connections to each other and, to nature. “The country has created a distance as deep as it was empty, and the people accepted and treated each other at a distance. But the distance I felt came not from country or people; it came from within me” (James Welch).  The “distance” is further felt by a general absence that is felt by my narrative. This void is sensed by the lack of personal depth in my life and my desire for a change in the personal circumstances of my life.

After reading Paddy Ladd’s book, it offers me a new sense of purpose, through my connections with my ancestry and coming to terms with my past. My personal estrangement from my Deaf life was suddenly replaced with a new framework rich in cultural identity and meaning. Deafhood has been creating a stark depiction of my lifeblood. Its progress comes with its challenges, and continuing survival, with humor, and perhaps a sad recognition that I must continuously face and sometimes capitalize on stereotypes such as Audism to ensure my survival.

The comparisons that I make with Audism seem to both trivialized and disrepute. As an opponent to Audism, I find such a way to take the understanding of its nature further, philosophically. It is not as easy for Deaf people to consider other species equal, as it is to consider each other equal. The essence of Ladd’s work stands as a call to Deaf people to adjust their mentality in such a way that there is no room for hypocrisy or contradiction. The only manner in which Paddy Ladd downplays Audism is time-related. “Mainstream” liberation movements hold just as much weight as those not widely recognized.

Paddy Ladd employs comparison of Deaf people to human liberation movements in order to promote Deaf rights. In this way, Ladd creates room for the readers to doubt their current mentality. This doubt serves as the foundation on which he builds the rest of his arguments, citing in his book, page seven (7): “You will be asking yourselves why this has not come to public notice before and why someone [else] isn’t doing something about it. One of the aims of this book is to find answers to both questions. For in order to understand how something like this has escaped notice on such a planet-wide, century-long scale, one has to be able to understand the true nature of the society in which we live; how political power, medical and educational dominance and media information strategies interact and reinforce each other to create an overarching form of what is effectively thought control. In other words, to understand how one’s own cultures really operate” His debate urges the reader to question the status quo.

Audism is an everyday influence on our Deaf community. Audism has a great power partly because we don’t talk much about it. I have turned to the book Deafhood to lead myself into the metaphysical world by making manifest the questions I have asked daily: Who am I? With whom shall I deal? And what is my purpose?

Please visit David Call’s website: http://www.eyehandstudio.com

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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

Reference:

Ladd, Paddy. Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood. 2003.

Welch, James. Winter in the Blood. New York: Penguin Group, 1986.