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Tag Archives: Deaf

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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

World Mental Health Day: The Modern Struggle For Deaf Returning Citizens

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I would like to share my reflections about World Mental Health Day yesterday (October 10th). My apologies not for finishing up a post on time. It is very important to share more awareness about mental health that impacts Deaf community—especially Deaf returning citizens in Deaf community.

Depression is part of mental health; the stigma connected with Deaf returning citizens is unbearable. The public consciousness about Deaf returning citizens has been a failure of an evolving cultural understanding of mental health among them.

The phrases may haunt them each day. All these years later, they may be struck with shame. The state of being Deaf returning citizens was an “easy job” to ignore and not reported as violating their human dignity and thrown away on the side of the road where the cars would run over them. There was no raised questions from mental health professionals who are hearing who claimed that they are experts in understanding Deaf world. It makes things worse.

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Today, there is ONLY ONE Deaf-centered counseling center in America, Deaf Counseling Center. Without Deaf mental health experts (bless them!), Deaf returning citizens would feel paralyzed whether to share their struggles or not. There is a quote that should be seen:

Should you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities. Remember this, things could be much worse. You could be one of them.”-Unknown.

Mental health awareness helps to distract all the negative labels in their lives by getting themselves involved with educational jaunts, and Deaf-centered licensed therapists. Is it fair to use a distasteful mental image to prove a point, even if that mental image relies on stereotyping of Deaf returning citizens?

Labeling hurts the most. Mental health awareness can make all the difference to understand the gravity of their experiences. In the Deaf community, there are plenty of hardships that Deaf returning citizens suffer and even think it is OK to bully other Deaf returning citizens who were going through what they had been through. Deaf community ranks one of the highest percentage—lack of mental health awareness and educate the most serious consequences they would face with.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Follow-Up Observations: Gallaudet University Town Hall

GUAA: Conflict of Interest?

Indigenous People’s Day: Resistance in the Epoch of Christopher Columbus

 

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Please support Indigenous Peoples’ Day all over the cities and towns in the country, “Columbus Day” is a commonly used as a white privilege label to support to any bigotry, hostility, and discrimination against Native Americans and its use is often politically motivated. That is why I do not support Christopher Columbus’s legacy in secrecy, war, and violence in Native American lands. To date, if Columbus was alive today, hate crime charges without question where the trial is necessary for Columbus.

There are plenty of literature reviews on Native Americans and criminal justice, found one of the literature reviews focusing ethno-violence and found not a single case of Native Americans as victims of racially motivated violence. It makes them deeper than an invisible cloak. It is literally bad! What had Native Americans done to them? Kurt Vonnegut writes in his book, Breakfast of Champions: As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North American for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.”

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What is Indigenous People’s Day? It is about celebrating of the Indigenous peoples in North America to celebrate their culture, language, and arts. It is important to appreciate them as part of humanity and it is also difficult to imagine and understand the current strains of Indigenous peoples where they face the connections with colonialism. As for Columbus’ trial, according to the United Nations: 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

 a: Killing members of the group;

b: Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

c: Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

d: Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

e: Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (Article II)

Do we need to celebrate Columbus Day what he has robbed Indigenous Peoples lives? It should be student-centered, human-centered, and love-centered that we need to retain our knowledge about Indigenous People in schools. Also, it can be educator-led that we need strong educators to bring in stronger awareness that impacts learning. At a human compassion, we all need a healthy terminology such as Indigenous People’s Day.

Finally, it should be Hate-Free, as Indigenous People deserve an education without financial hardships. They deserve a chance to thrive in their lives, without facing hate and racism daily. We need teachers and learners clearly to share a common interest in positive meaning and we need to re-invest Native American literature more often in our public schools and universities. Can we channel our knowledge toward the essentials of teaching and learning about Indigenous People’s Day? Please visit this YouTube video with captions provided:

 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Do You Agree With The Idea Dwight Benedict as Victim of ‘Administration System’?

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In one of my most recent blog four days ago, The Power of Positive Leadership, I forgot to add “administration” before system. I applaud President Cordano of Gallaudet University made a decision to place the position, Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement, on hold. However, I am still questioned by president’s motivation to make a statement below.

Why did President Cordano of Gallaudet University signed in a town hall front of sold-out with countless onlookers standing at Foster Auditorium, Dwight Benedict is a victim of administration system’?

What does it mean to you, “…..victim of administration system….”? Do you agree or not agree that Dwight is a “victim of administration system“? Do you think it was fair for Cordano to make this statement? Have you seen “victim of administration system” ever showed up anywhere until now? I never seen this statement before.

How is bias seen, written and expressed this time? Bias is part of physical, written acts of oppression, insensitivity, lack of awareness, intimidation, the use of vulgarity, making comments, restricting of free movement of an individual and the list goes on.

Using “victim of administration system”–does that mean it was also part of white silence? Have we forgot about Deaf people of color who were oppressed? Have we forgot about Deaf LGBTQA who were oppressed? Have we forgot about Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Deaf-Disabled people who were oppressed? Have we forgot about Deaf returning citizens who were oppressed? Have we forgot about marginalized groups?

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Is white silence also a white consent? What’s up with that by making a statement to silence the Foster auditorium filled with faculty, staff, students, alumni and alumnus in a white consent when it is named after Andrew Jackson Foster?

How can they suffer oppression at the same time while Dwight Benedict is a “victim of administration system”? We need to increase opportunities for restorative justice for students, staff, and faculty and collect all the data how all of them to share their experience on campus climate. How can we improve the campus climate in regards to bias when it is in Dwight’s leadership?

Privileges? Victim of administration system? Does it mean all Deaf of Deaf families who run Gallaudet University “old school” victim? How? It cannot be. We are the victims of Dwight Benedict’s power. Not the administration system. His power. Did he ever support students’ rights, welfare, and the laundry list goes on?

So, Dwight is the victim of administration system? Does it mean the whole system of all administration system bad news? No! Dwight is the bad apple–not the administration. He is the one and only Dwight Benedict. Finish. Not the administration. No, he is the one. President Cordano should not sign to students, faculty, and staff: You are all in pain. No. Dwight Benedict’s power is the pain because he is not allowed anyone to be above him–just like above the law. This is his pain. Not ours. Negligence, abuse of power, and again, the laundry list goes on. The growing pain continues.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

The Power of Positive Leadership

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When President Cordano wrote a statement:

“President Cordano has decided to place the position of Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement on hold. This will give us the space to engage in a deeper dialogue about what is in the best interest of the community. The ultimate decision about this vice president position will be determined, in large part, by the input gathered from the entire community. A campus-wide email message with a vlog will be issued soon.”

As immediately as I saw the statement, the members of Deaf community at Gallaudet University is increasingly tired of being marginalized including Deaf returning citizens. It is true that Foster auditorium was full house; I would like to thank Bobbi to make right decision that Dwight is not the effective person for the position: Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement.

However, I became puzzled the fact that Dwight Benedict has not been let go of the campus. When Bobbi said in her presentation, “I recognize a lot of pain.”—Where did the “pain” actually come from? Dwight’s policies are so oppressive that he would not able to give someone a chance to breathe for some air. Also, Bobbi’s signed,

Dwight Benedict is a victim of the system”

Hello? How can it be irresponsible excuse? Why did Bobbi need to say that? What’s up with that? Political cover-up? Lack of admitting systematic racism? Lack of institutional racism? Educational oppression?

Whose responsibility is it from the administration system? Should we believe that Dwight is a victim of the administration system? Where is the apology from Dwight himself on the stage what he had done to many survivors? Someone informed me that person has confronted Dwight sitting next to Bobbi in office this morning what he had done, Dwight admitted to the fact he did. Yes, he actually did. What does it mean to you?

Whoa, that was fast! Rome did not built overnight. It takes a lot of unpacking, I mean, the size of the Great Wall of China is so big that would stretch from Washington, D.C. to Wichita, Kansas. That is where Dwight needs to unpack his privileges that much for the last 37 years.

Was it good enough? Will Dwight ever “man up” or own it up what he had done to underprivileged Deaf people of color, Deaf people, and Deaf returning citizens?

I also asked the person if Dwight would happy to start unpacking his white privileges. Dwight gives the surprising answer—you need to guess the answer. If Dwight ever owns up and demand the apology from Gallaudet community, alumnus, and alumni through video without written script, but his own sincere apology, will it ever happen? The motto for state of Kansas: Ad Astra per Aspera which means in Latin, “To the Stars through Difficulties” and the motto for Washington, D.C.: Justia Omnibus which means in Latin, “Justice for All”

Where is the JUSTICE for ALL Deaf survivors who experienced Dwight’s power of oppression? I am asking for his apology including the fact that he did not quickly complete his civil duty when an alumnus faces a life and death situation last November 2016. The silence continues to understand the stars through difficulties for those people. We need to break down the great wall of silence. Not only the apology for I seek for, the apology goes to the survivors for the last 30+ years. Overstayed, overpriced, and overconfident is long due.

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All we are asking for a fresh change at Gallaudet in the healthiest environment as possible. We need Justia Ombinus. Positive Leadership. That is the kind of Community Engagement we are looking for. 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

David King’s Letter for President Cordano

David Musa King

October 3, 2017

Ms. Roberta J. Cordano
President
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

Dear President Cordano,

Open Letter to President Roberta J. Cordano: You are an Embarrassment to Gallaudet University.

I am writing you this open letter on ground of being Gallaudet University Alumni and a regular donor. I am so embarrassed that I have to call you an embarrassment to the university. When you were selected as the first DEAF female President of Gallaudet University – I was never impressed with your leadership and your recent actions as the President of Gallaudet justified my stance. While I am fully aware that your position as the University’s president accorded you prerogatives but that do not mean you have to harbor double standard in your leadership.

Your recent decision to appoint Mr. Albert Dwight Benedict as the first Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement without national search or community input is an testament of your clear double standard and ole boys network. I do not have to remind you that you have conducted two important national search, the positions of Chief of Staff and the Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer, so one would be wondering why is the appointment of Mr. Benedict unique this time?

As a woman, lesbian and a member of oppressed groups, one would have hoped that you are going to be a beacon of hope for oppressed groups especially the people of color at Gallaudet University. However it is an embarrassment that you subscribed to oppressor group of ole boys network.

In your appointment of Mr. Benedict as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement, you emphasized on the importance of students’ experience while spitting out in the face of Students and Staff of Color who have sent you strong wondered letter their disapproved of Mr. Benedict’s leadership.

If it is important to serve you as reminder, the staff of color sent you letter on August 18, 2016 as a follow up to your meeting on March 8, 2016. Students of color also wrote you to express their rejection of Mr. Benedict’s leadership. Both the Staff and Students of Color expressed the existing race disparity on campus with proven statistics.

As an alumnus, I have nothing to say but to inform you how embarrassment you are to Gallaudet University. My current goal is to ask like-minded donor to stop donating to Gallaudet University till the college make change and address the diversity on campus.
Thank you,

David M. King
Greensboro, NC

Gallaudet University: Whoever Reserve the Right to Freedom

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As an ally for Deaf people of color, the last 48 hours has been mind-boggling where I had received e-mails and calls, I was even more surprised to see the bigger hidden agenda of institutional racism remains bigger problematic at Gallaudet University more than we really understand, why hide in the dark? Deaf people of color students would experience the first signs of racism after they were enrolled. I would like to acknowledge myself that I am a Deaf white man with lineage in Cherokee world. I believe in human equality.

Are the stories too familiar or too ignorant to admit it in the Deaf community? The leaders at Gallaudet University—will they acknowledge the last couple of years that the Deaf person of color has subjected to institutional racism? We ask ourselves to hold Gallaudet University accountable for ignoring strides to solve the problem too long.

For quite time, do we ever realize that Deaf people of color students been subjected to hostile environment on the campus? Why all of silence treatment about this? The information shows that they do not need a reason to worry and often sweep the rug are difficult to fathom. No way we should been absolved in easy steps. Yet, discriminatory practices on the campus proving that institutional racism is difficult to forget and move on.

Can we convince President Cordano to hire an outside Deaf consultant “with expertise in understanding institutional racism in society” to make the campus safer? Gallaudet University is not the problem. It is the central problem that whoever in charge is running Gallaudet University. Will we ever put ourselves on the front line to overthrow institutional racism and whenever we hold ourselves accountable? The clear path becomes the central of failure.

Deaf people of color I signed with the last 48 hours, they were alumni and alumnus experienced institutional racism before the day was over.

Racism is real. It is also lacks of awareness. When Gallaudet administration officials receive a complaint about institutional racism, did they take the discrimination complaints seriously enough? I guess we need to admit that institutional racism today is often unintentional. I feel like we are constantly remind ourselves what it is like to understand the fox guarding the hen house.

So, the last question of the post: Do we have a choice but to conclude that there was never institutional racism at all? In my final thoughts, Gallaudet University would improve better and start a fresh start and overthrow old thinking dilemma. Chief Tawonka quotes:

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So, it means for Gallaudet community to understand the freedom that applies to Deaf person of color shall be bound to hold free. We do not need more infighting, it gets too old and tired. We need to set policies stronger to stand up against language bigotry.

When we see the selection of Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Enagement, walking by College Hall everyday in the open air, we can overcome old school thinking. So, the way we can have healthy thinking. We do not need to become tired of this. It starts with us. Leaving Gallaudet community members out of the dialogue is a problem. Leaving institutional racism out of the dialogue is bigger problem.

-JT

 

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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