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Tag Archives: Deaf

The Battle on Racism in Deaf Community

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Honestly, I do not know what to say after I saw so much movements the last couple of days and there are several Confederate monuments has been taken down like in Maryland and many other cities. We are witnessing history! How will the history books redefine in schools now? It is really big deal!

The battle on Racism centered today in the white supremacy organizations, has raised two concerns about my own community, Deaf community. Either has to do with the language and culture of the Deaf. I know some Deaf white folks who practice white supremacy. In fact, I know someone Deaf who idolizes KKK and Neo-Nazi with the words painted in the back yard years ago. I saw it with my own eyes. I remember that day well.

What has emerged is that the white supremacy is an organized racist group; powerful enough in lay terms, to practice and promote language hate. White supremacists hate the fact that love exists as the most important human tool. Additionally, and ominously, is what white supremacy knows how to “isolate” some of Deaf people using hate language. These concerns have their origin in a determination, which, if it had merit at its inception, also carried latent demands that Deaf people be taught to preach white supremacy in language and culture.

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Deaf people became oppressed, and their language and culture suppressed. They were target and became supplicants of white supremacy. We the Deaf people, it is safe to say, we will want our language and culture (which, significantly, ASL values above all other subject matters) to be broadly representative of our social whole. At all costs, we the Deaf people must not a caste set apart, neither drawn from nor informed by the white supremacy.

I would highly suggest reading great stuff called Teaching Racism: Using Experiential Learning to Challenge the Status Quo by Melody Aye Loya and Mo Cuevas. It has influenced me huge. The initial premise is prima facie discriminatory. Racism is dangerous; indeed, it can be countervailing. When it comes to communication, Racism does have n opt-in or opt-out practice. These rejected aspects of Racism drills at the root of the language racism we the Deaf face today and tomorrow.

It should not be surprise that in 2017 the white supremacy practitionists alleviate the language racism in such a way as to alleviate the immigration crisis across America. They would make Deaf people who use ASL aliens eligible for oppression and hatred. Remember, white supremacists and white nationalists are targeting minorities including Deaf people—no kidding.

The battle on Racism has been appropriated by white supremacy and white nationalists even some business organizations. Now is a good time to challenge these hate groups and to ask whether they continue to wage the language and culture war—especially Racism against the Deaf in the United States. White Deaf folks—do not go into white silence anymore.

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I see ASL as our collective community. This collective community turns on pieces of it and puts them in a box where we get to talk to each other and figure out how to rethink our of the box. If you could see love in your imagination, then that is all I got to write about the real power behind ASL. Love will always defeat Hate.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

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What is the Difference Between White Nationalist and Domestic Terrorist?

The Sinister Life and Celebrated Death of Alexander Graham Bell

Twitter of the Oppressed

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Here it goes again! Trump: Commander in Chief of Hate. He announced today that he is going to ban transgender anyone who serves in the military. Trump is definitely the dumb-fuckest president in history—hands down!

The ironic thing is that keep in mind, Hate Crime Statistics Act (HSCA) who was signed by President Bush in 1990 and revised in 2009 now named Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, is still valid today in our laws. Are you aware that HSCA requires the current Attorney General Jeff Sessions to collect data on crimes committed because of the race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity? It is the law of our eyes!

Trump as President of the United States just committed hate crime because of sexual orientation! How can he get away with it? He uses Twitter “Trumpism” to recruit hate groups to attack ordinary people. He wants more hate members. More hate money. More power. Trump wants to create the most xenophobic campaign ever—energized and emboldened a growing and hate movement. The number of hate groups are growing. Paulo Freire wrote his bestseller book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed that needs to remind all of us:

It is in the interest of the oppressor to weaken the oppressed still further, to isolate them, to create, and deepen rifts among them.”

Trump’s 100 days already—actions are all about hate agenda. Enough. We need to fight against hate. We need to take our justice and equality back. This is more crucial than ever. When Trump was chosen to be president, the murders of transgenders are at all-time high already. No joke! Never xenophobia! Never ignorance! Never bullying! Never hatred! I support transgender soldiers! Shame on Trump!

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Lack of Jury Duty for Deaf People

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On Friday, July 21st hot afternoon–I decided to meet a friend and gave a tour at Library of Congress. Great times! However, when we walked into a room, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations.” and I saw something that caught my attention and share this with you fellows. It makes me wonder if Library of Congress, the mother of all libraries, is known for research skills, the leadership of literacy, and a complex web of  higher knowledge, makes me think if this message is filled with mixed thoughts, when you notice the picture I took below:

to the rights of the deaf to sit on juries; from a courtroom filled with people wearing masks fearing….”

How do you feel about that when you saw this? Were Library of Congress aware of very little stats about Deaf people to sit on juries? Did they research that, too? Truth: How many Deaf people sitting on juries? Come on, really. Why cannot they tell the truth? Number will make all the headlines. That’s Mask of Benevolence, folks! Europe: Number? Australia: Number? New Zealand: Number? South America: Number? Africa: Number? Asia: Number? America: Number? Right, after the passage of 1990 ADA law, again, how many Deaf people serve on juries? Yes, there were few Deaf people who were selected. Most recently, a friend of mine who was selected to be on jury few months ago in DC. It was very interesting experience for her.

Why did Library of Congress do that? To make them look good for enrollment purpose? Selfish acts? Were Deaf people aware about Library of Congress planing to use them in public eyes? I am sure that there are many questions behind that. Some may not able to answer and avoid the reality. Deaf people were banned from serving on juries for years and many centuries, there is a good article to read:

http://theconversation.com/deaf-or-blind-people-cant-serve-on-juries-heres-why-law-needs-to-change-67418

No courtroom should be wearing masks fearing Deaf people. There are thousands of stories around the world that Deaf people would end up in courtroom with no interpreter at all and struggle for information. They often end up pleading guilty by threatening them or found guilty even without evidence, they fail to recognize Deaf discourses in the courtrooms. For example, recent Thursday evening, I attended an event at Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C; to watch a private screening of Change of Signs, an powerful 35 minutes film. Discovering Deaf Worlds, Inc; (DDW) did an excellent service to help out Deaf community in Philippines and support the stories of ten members of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. Extraordinary work!

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See that hand waving with the watch on on right side? That was me.

The film talked about the lack of Deaf people have the rights to have an interpreter in courtrooms, struggle to be recognized as a human being, and have the human right to sit on the jury as all other people do. I learned that it was 121,000 Deaf people living there and only few interpreters available. That’s major crisis. A lot more to that film that I hope it will show to the public one day.

Before wrapping up for this post, how do you feel when you see, “to the rights of the deaf”? Why lower “d”? Why not “Deaf people have the constitutional right to sit on the juries” Or, “From a courtroom filled with Deaf people’s rights to serve on juries” that would help the visitors from all over the world visiting Library of Congress for the first time and see the truth what Deaf people are really going through a lot. What do you think?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-022/drawing-justice-the-art-of-courtroom-illustrations-opens-april-27/2017-03-07/

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Declaration of Independence: Have Women Been Written Out of History Books?

Let America Be America Again

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When I read Langston Hughes’s poem called, “Let America Be America Again” few hours ago today, I was really blown away by how he wrote this. Looking back when I took Harlem Renaissance course [part of credits for English majors] as an undergraduate student years ago, I must have missed this because this is exactly what America is being in deep pain right now today thanks to hate-mongers, culture of fear, political hegemony,  and the state of Make America great again in the purest white language under Trump’s regime.

It is very dangerous framing, my fellow Deaf folks, when you see the famous phrase, “America the Beautiful”–the most important subject, what does beautiful mean to you? The English language is the most difficult and invisible language in the world. Why is it the most difficult language in the world? Is English part of the pathology of a global culture? Think about how much English literature plays a huge role for money, values, and human lies.

Today, the United States is celebrating its holiday, the Declaration of Independence through series of violence. Emotionally, mentally, and physically. I do not support any kind of hateful violence. America belonged to Native Americans first. When Indian Treaties and the Removal Act of 1830 passed by a racist president, Andrew Jackson–the current 45th supported Jackson and praised for his work few months ago. He is doing to Muslims, people of color, and minorities including Deaf people, too. Yes, Trump does not represent Deaf community, period.

Today, the 45th is making America worse again by breaking the higher education down by robbing the souls of today’s students and the need of democracy.  Are we living in illiterate America again? How can we make America be America again without racists, haters, sexists, and all that? Is Deaf community part of illiterate? Of course, there are plenty of Deaf people who are racists, haters and even white supremacists who voted for the 45th.

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Deaf community does not need to live in the dark again, hate again, and live in America that is becoming WHITE again. In few hours tonight, when you see fireworks, you will feel the vibration—think about violence that preach hate and racism what fireworks do to Deaf community. Think about all those people who got killed by gun violence and white supremacists. The 45th does not represent the Declaration of Independence tonight. Langston Hughes’s written poem needs to remind all of us. He was a great essayist and social activist.

When you are in District of Columbia, be sure to visit Busboys and Poets and check out the social justice books, great food and excellent drinks, it was in honour for Langston Hughes who was a busboy in a hotel, I believe in Harlem and recognized his poet skills. Pretty cool, huh?

References: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/let-america-be-america-again

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? 
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Video Remote Interpreting: Sue NAD and Chris Wagner for Breach of Human Ignorance

 

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While I was a patient last November 2016, VRI has broken down four times due to “technical difficulties”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit wrote that Deaf patients could sue against hospitals for neglect of live interpreters instead of using video remote interpreting (VRI). I never liked using VRI myself as a patient. In fact, last November 2016, when I had a massive heart attack, I remember the first thing when one interpreter said to me, “Look, you need to use VRI–much easier for you to use it” and I said, “No, thanks! I prefer live interpreter” and I realized that they breached against my wish as a human being. Do you even realize that it was also a culture of fear by pushing fear in patients’ faces?

From the link I will provide you below:

A jury could find that [five Deaf patients] were denied effective communication; that nurses were aware of the denials; and that the nurses refused to correct the denials….The evidence indicates that the nurses, knowing the patients required an interpretive aid, relied on the VRI to facilitate communication with the patients; were put on notice that the VRI was not accommodating the patients; and chose to persist in using the VRI without correcting its deficiencies… In fact, it appears that the nurses even abandoned the VRI altogether at times without providing an alternative interpretive aid.” 

I hated using VRIs. There are couple of times that VRI would not work while I was in the hospital recovering and noticed that they do not understand the seriousness of language barrier and hegemony. The worst thing is that I was forced to “live” by hours ordered by the interpreter—how dare the interpreter who is employed by the hospital staff makes rules for me?

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The unthinkable is happening everywhere throughout the country that Deaf people are vulnerable that are being exploited, physically abused, and emotionally abused by the hospitals on Mother Earth that was supposed to love thy neighbor. It is impossible to know just how many Deaf patients who struggled for human rights are out there.

When I made complaints against the hospital and asked National Association of the Deaf (NAD) for help, know what NAD said to me? “Sorry. The case is closed!” and bid me good day. That was fucking bullshit. Even more distributing that in many cases, NAD are doing very poorly job not to give Deaf people enough protection.

Is it the reason the systematic failure that makes it very difficult for Deaf people to seek for rightful justice? Also, we must remember former NAD president, Christopher Wagner who supported the idea of VRIs, which caused huge conflict of interest while he was working for zVRS to bring into political favouritism.

Through those stories are a way for all of us to escape our minds and experience their pain, deep down the problems are very real. And in many ways, our characters are what the reflection of the light. We need to help them and set a good example. We need to understand them that would bring quintessential to the human condition.

Deaf patients who were pressured to use VRI or face consequences promoting human rights abuse—I think it would be good idea for them to hold Christopher Wagner and NAD accountable. Stop abuse of power, corruption, undermines rule of law, money, bullying, ignorance and bullying!

Time for those Deaf patients to sue against NAD and Wagner. Do not be a bystander. VRIs has done major damage more than they really think.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://brombergtranslations.com/2017/06/05/2236/