Deafhood: A Journey of Greater Thinking

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Paddy Ladd. Jason “JT” Tozier. September 2012. University of Washington.

Humans live in landscapes of make believe.- Jonathan Gottscall

No doubt, with proper preparation on your part, any research you do will be an effective tool towards helping you with the art of Deafhood journey. With the wealth of information that you will gather over time, you will never run out of stories to tell.

What is Deafhood journey? Subject is what stories and a journey is how the meaning of Deafhood journey is defined. Each Deaf person’s journey does not explicitly inform the audience what the journeys are. Instead, the audience must infer this from what they have learned from the journey. Deafhood journey is how the process relates to real human experience.

No matter how cleverly plotted your Deafhood journey is, the audience must relate to a widely understood story theme. In Deafhood journey, stories feed each other and overlap. Just like Pablo Picasso’s quote, “If there were only one truth, you couldn’t paint a hundred canvasses in the same theme.”

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The Deaf community wake up confused. They find themselves en route to find their Deafhood journey and accompanied by someone who experienced Deafhood journey themselves. They look around and find there are about thousands of them huddling together in an open wagon by a fine-looking horse.

They find the journey that awaits them or as their escort points out “agora” or “gathering place” The important thing is to realize that the English verb “to gather” is from Greek verb “ageiro” so the noun agora must come from the same Greek term. They get confused because they are not sure if they are dreaming. Maybe not!

Oh, the horse-drawn wagon stops, and they better get off now. There are many Deaf people who are trying to find their own Deafhood journey milling around, nor minding their presence. And they are learning to distinguish between public gestures and it must be complex. Deaf people see in the center of the journey, a process. How does that translate into positive thinking?

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To master positive thinking, active learning is a core element of their learning. Deaf people would benefit a lot from their Deafhood journey to identify their freedom, bound, and inflectional, derivative or obsolete environment and they shall design the goal and assessment for understanding of their journey just as much as building a high view of confidence.

They would master the basic content and also express in creative and challenging ways. They feel the true growing of pain. They are taught content but process, the methodology by Deafhood journey is generated.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

The Buff and Blue: Cloak of Invisible?

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The first picture you will see above, it was taken in 1990. The second picture was taken below in 2017: See the difference in both pictures? What do you really see the whole picture of it?

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When you see The Washington Post, it writes “Democracy Dies in Darkness” 

When you see The Buff and Blue in 1990, it writes “Student Publication of the World’s Only University of the Deaf. Established 1892.”

It was the pride that consisted Deaf writers,  Deaf editors, Deaf Editor-in-Chief, and Deaf students who worked hard to give their capabilities to share stories. The respect of giving Deaf people the opportunities to flourish their careers and develop academic skills for the future of the Deaf. Is that supposed to be part of the Buff and Blue life, too?

When Deaf students arrive at Gallaudet University for the first time to begin their quest, the creative path that leads Deaf students filled with notes along with observations and experience. The answer was clear for their well beings. When they see the motto like in 1990, it would inspire them even more. The Buff and Blue was created for Deaf people in the first place and shall give all the Deaf people a chance, it really make a huge difference!

There is a reason why the first Deaf Editor-in-Chief, James M. Stewart (1893) who wrote a powerful column, The Beginning of the Buff and Blue that all the names you read Stewart’s post was filled with all Deaf people’s names. It was an eye-opener and I’m sure it had changed every fiber and bones of Deaf community. The journey has begun in the search of higher knowledge. The Buff and Blue filled with Deaf souls were given the liberty of democracy cannot be forgotten.

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Please notice that I added “Deaf” Editor-in-Chief, James M. Stewart because 2017 Buff and Blue did not emphasize that Mr. Stewart was Deaf.

“Below is a column written by the very first Editor-in-Chief of the Buff and Blue”

What happened? I strongly believe when Deaf people learn that the fact that Buff and Blue’s First Editor-in-Chief was Deaf then they would be inspired more. Stewart became really huge role in Deaf community even strongly influenced Amos G. Draper, John B. Hotchkiss, Agatha Tiegel Hanson’s lives and many others.

Around 1990s, I believe it was 1992; Gallaudet University begins to accept hearing students in undergraduate school and changed everything that includes the Buff and Blue. Were there ever hearing Editor-in-Chief? When did the hearing person break the ranks of the Buff and Blue? It reminds me of a hearing student who recently broke the tradition for Student Body Government (SBG) to be on cabinet when it was rooted for Deaf people to flourish and share their experience in the first place. That is how it was supposed to be like that.

Just like the Washington Post’s motto: Democracy Dies in Darkness. Gallaudet University Administration plays a huge role that oversees the Buff and Blue. Why delete the beautiful motto: Student Publication of the World’s University of the Deaf right under the Buff and Blue? Is that where it has become a part of the democracy that dies in darkness in that motto, no? Mr. Stewart writes in his first post, “There were many printers among the students then and they were called to the colors of The Buff and Blue”

How fitting for the opportunity for Deaf people! That is why. He meant printers and students: Student Publication of the World’s Only University of the Deaf.

The contributors of the Deaf have been always the democracy that sees in the light. Yet, the Gallaudet University administration chose its affairs and instructs the Buff and Blue not to publish Student Publication of the World’s University of the Deaf on the front page conducts under a cloak of invisible.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

From Rejection of Deaf People in Hollywood Industry

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Ah, people has asking me what are my thoughts about the latest movie, “Wonderstruck” from what I understand that there were hearing people who pretended to be Deaf– has shed light on what hearing privileges really mean when they attack Deaf people and steal the image from them as well as free speech, too. I am not writing about the law or the Constitution, I am writing about how hearing actors or actresses hijack the system and using it to amplify oppression as a message. The illustration above was drawn by Brian Selznik.

I continue to be amazed by the unnecessary cruelty of the Hollywood industry, which has again taken aim at the most vulnerable members of the society in the name of language hegemony. Isn’t Hollywood industry was supposed to be the “civil rights and human rights” safeguard to protect Deaf people from unequal treatment? Obviously not. It is not the first time what Julianna Moore has continue to be ignorant about the importance of Deaf Studies in recent memory.

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A graphic created by Amber Zion–Deaf person with plenty of talent!

This is the time to think about that there are plenty of Deaf talent can do to stop exploitation of Hollywood to hire hearing actors or actress to act as Deaf. We need to educate them in anti-bias and anti-bullying discourses. Can we educate them with effective tactics that defuse exploitation before they can trigger over time into the kind of systematic oppression?

When Deaf people show the world that they have talent in acting with better eye movements, learns of people with hearing privileges and deceit, they essentially disowns Deaf citizens and implore them to shut up and stay in the cell in order to allow them to beat their appearance up and harm their reputations. Again, when Deaf citizens learn that the oppression in Hollywood have been returned to be practiced, they are suffering in the hands of oppressors. Oh, the sentencing of their fate!

We are tired of the worst oppression over the past year that a well-known Hollywood actress has again stepped over Deaf people just like stamped out Audism! Did Hollywood really acknowledge their errors? No. Instead, in the days since, oppression of Deaf people in Hollywood scenes, they would probably refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. All evidence to the contrary, Hollywood have continued to insist on Julianna Moore’s false version as a Deaf person, ignoring the grief of Deaf community, who are trying to make an attempt to educate the society that there are plenty of Deaf people who can show their talents.

Even a Deaf administrator and moderator for Deaf Talent Guild News wrote, “I do not wish to see any more posts critical of Julianna Moore for taking the deaf adult role nor discussing plans for a boycott of the movie Wonderstruck, which frankly in my opinion would be counter productive. I know some of you may not have fond opinions of her after reading the news of what she did…she may have already realized by now she made a mistake; let her be.”

Umm, excuse me, what about the pain what Deaf community has suffered? Where is the compassion? This is a disgrace. We are talking about the opportunity—no longer in the invisible hand. Isn’t Hollywood supposed to be the land of the opportunity? Deaf people on Mother Earth have a reason–know no life other than America. Can we even recognize Hollywood’s America?

I want to make it clear that this is not hoax or an exaggeration. I have been personally embarrassed by this whole ordeal, but out of continued frustration, I find it now necessary to write about what occurred in Hollywood. I feel that least writing this post could help start healing process. When I had been chosen to as an actor for Deafhood Monologues in Washington, D.C.—I understood the importance of Deaf talent where Julianna Moore has twice oppressed the Deaf community—with the quote below:

You will know you are completely done with something when you give it up and feel freedom instead of loss”.—Emily Maroutain

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2012/januaryfebruary/feature/deaf-meets-wonderstruck

 

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.

 

ASL: The Meaning of ‘Justice for All’

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There are millions of visitors who visit District of Columbia, the nation’s capital. What I did not realize that today on this date, July 16, 1790 when DC was picked as nation’s capital while the first American president, George Washington signed The Residence Act that made a city.

There are indeed still consequences in today’s Deaf community. The fracturing of the social media takes a larger scope and understands that it is not OK to attack Deaf community.

District of Columbia’s motto: Justia Omnibus, which means Justice for All. When President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill to create higher education for Deaf people: National Deaf Mute College (Now Gallaudet University) in Washington, DC; Deaf people have the right to carry rightful justice that they have every aspect of human right to use sign language for communication, knowledge, and information. That was the main topic. Simple.

The creation of the university was built by many stories you cannot imagine how much it meant to them. DC was only 74 years old city when Gallaudet University founded. As Alexander Graham Bell was 17 years old living in Scotland that time, did you ever think what would AGBell think about that day, 8th April, 1864? Did his father or grandfather tell him the news? Did AGBell have a plan to destroy “all for justice” policy and erase sign language in favor for oralism? Was it the plan to preserve Bell family’s name and legacy to destroy an American motto at what highest cost possibly be?

Exactly 100 years after the founding of nation’s capital, AGBell had the nerve to set up American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf now known as Volta Bureau, AGBell’s headquarters in the same city. AGBell challenged Edward Miner Gallaudet on the sacred ground of Gallaudet University that can be found in a book, Never the Twain Shall Meet by Richard Winefield. Help ourselves understand. The American democracy is not easily misunderstood.

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Justia Omnibus, is an American motto, which means NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM DEAF PEOPLE in 1880 and the next 100 years today. AGBell do not have the authority to prioritize and revoke all for justice in Deaf community’s favor of ASL.

The District of Columbia gave Deaf people a life to grow and teaches that justice for all to overcome Audism at Gallaudet University. Why cannot the Board of Trustees [BoTs] flesh out all the connections between AGBell’s headquarters and the university for dirty money? Make it ASL/Deaf-centered, ASL/Deaf-controlled, and ASL/Deaf-oriented. What’s wrong with that? Today, we will stand by human rights to use ASL—Justice for All! Justia Omnibus! ASL wins!

Happy birthday, DC! ASL JUSTICE FOR ALL.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

No Human Rights Law Shall Expel ASL Ever

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When I read all the letters Illinois Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (IRID) sent to the Honorable Julie A. Morrison, a senator for Illinois about SB0752 and HB1811.

IRID president, William Lee’s words: Requiring fluency in ASL does not need to be explicitly stated in the law in our opinion. It was a huge insult to ASL community that the power dynamics of Audism was allowed to oppress Deaf people. It is also a language hegemony. We do not need to deal with educational bankruptcy and struggle with human rights.

Illinois Association of the Deaf (IAD) followed up with Senator Morrison. I am deeply concerned about the ability of IRID to allow Audism against ASL. My concern has been compounded by the failure exhibited by the professionalism of interpreters to understand the nature of cross-linguistic and cross-cultural inquiry and the integrity of critical thinking in ASL.

President William Lee of IRID needs to look at these dismal facts portend a clear and present danger to the role of Deaf Education in the United States including Illinois that ASL is very important. Lee may filter this post out because it is about insulting Deaf people and witty put-downs of their language and culture. ASL that William Lee and the board of IRID should not continue to oppress.

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I am sure just like Deaf students struggling to learn but getting nowhere without ASL, Lee has no business to fulfill his own desires and the best interests of Deaf community, never realizing that his effort is the problem, not the solution. His own insecurity is the motive to attack ASL and the best interests of Deaf community in Illinois for their language and culture.

Imagine this—can you imagine that for centuries Deaf people have suffered appalling language and culture abuses and the devastating consequences of educational and economic sanctions? Can you imagine that in a climate of language oppression, many Deaf students in Illinois would be neglected without ASL over the years in Lee’s words?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

My Letter for Graduate School

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My mother and my father were proud of me graduating that day! June 2011. 

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[It was written in 2011]

Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

ATTENTION: Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and to express my interest in attending your graduate program in Deaf Studies.

It has been my experience in life that the process of development requires baby-steps and growth from a place that is firmly grounded. For example, before I became a student at an university, I had no intention to attend college. It was not because I was incapable of achieving success at the university, but my immediate environment did not expect it of me. I was told then that I was incapable of succeeding at a university. Over time, my resilient nature, positive attitude and motivation helped me to rise above that expectation.

I am both a first-generation college student. My long path to intellectual freedom and academic achievement has not easy, yet it has been worthwhile I have found it to be immeasurable in the personal and academic growth that I have experienced on that path. I gave up a debt-free life for a college degree. I have balanced my job and schoolwork while subsisting on Mac and Cheese because I believe my education and personal development are worth the liberating value that comes from academia.

To me, achieving this degree is not about getting a piece of paper, rather, it is about fully absorbing what the entire Deaf world has to offer the people who compose it. It is also about informing the hearing world about its continual struggles and the diversity of Deaf culture. It is about change.

The most meaningful change in my life has been that transition from the boy I was 15 years ago to the man that I am today. My perception of myself has altered radically from a quiet, isolated adolescent to an extroverted, involved, and socially active person. I attribute this transformation of my academic skills, personal relationships and intellectual insights to provide to an university experience.

Currently, I do not have a simple answer for my purpose and long-term goals within your program, but I do know that I have a longing to express my experience as a Deaf person. I also have a conviction that at the heart with in addition to the foundation of belief, I am aware of my ability to offer my unique perspective on life. I am a human, with Deaf desires.

The Deaf are an underrepresented group in society that requires appropriate representation at the university level. Historically, Deaf persons could not attend university because of the lack of infrastructure that impeded their mere existence on a campus.

However, there are only few numbers of Deaf professors teaching at the university level, which significantly impairs the diversity and representatives that universities, in general, strive to attain. More credentialed Deaf people are needed at this level to facilitate an understanding and acceptance of Deaf people and our culture.

As an undergraduate Sociology major, my sociological perspective will help bridge the gap between Deaf and Hearing communities in order to broaden cultural acceptance. My study of Sociology has provided me within the opportunity to explore my intellectual curiosity of how people create, maintain, and am by social influences.

I have found that the study of sociology requires critical thinking, problem solving, written and signed communication and interpersonal skills. I can also say that the program at an university has cultivated my skills in these areas. I am very excited about the opportunities that sociology offers me to explore the world through a sociological perspective and look forward to expanding my knowledge with the discipline.

A Master of Deaf Studies degree with a concentration in Cultural Studies will allow me to continue my path to achieving my career goal of being a university professor teaching Deaf Studies. With this degree, I strive the reduce the stigma and discrimination that Deaf people and other individuals with disabilities encounter, which I believe is masked by “political correctness,” lack of information, and a perceived insensitivity from the non-Deaf, non-disabled community. I want to help both Deaf individuals understand their unique place in the world while also broadening the experience and understanding of those who are non-Deaf.

I believe that your program would not only help me to build a stronger foundation of knowledge and skills applicable to Deaf Studies, it will also to continue to build towards my personal and professional goals. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Cordially,

Jason Tozier

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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