Gallaudet: Censorship & the Punishment of ASL

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Gallaudet University still have relationship with Alexander Graham Bell, a historical figure who owned Audist views or engaged in hate practices—his name have not been removed across on the campus of Gallaudet. The coat of arms by the name of Bell have been idolized a landscape symbol of Audism that honors AGBell that leads to a question:

Is it obvious that GUAA had cited any sentiments in Ella Mae Lentz’s work because of her views about AGBell and LEAD-K? The videos between October 2018 and March 2019 by Ella Mae Lentz should not be censored due to her “tone”–“tone” is part of ASL, too. Is there a reason to cite its decision by GUAA to take an award away with “very careful assessment”, the highest social justice award known as Galloway award, reserved for Ella who have made a lasting contribution to Deaf community?

“Tone” is also an amendment to the United States Constitution: First Amendment. Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Expression. It means any law that should not prohibited limiting Ella’s rights to the First Amendment. Did it mean Gallaudet University and GUAA violated Ella’s rights even if it is because of “tone” in her videos where it belongs at her own house in California? It is an United States Constitution violation. It is indeed, very serious.

Ella Mae Lentz is very much entitled to her linguistic expressions to share her own thoughts in ASL, yet, GUAA is a hell-bent on allowing censorship being shifted control to limit her own expression, so ASL can be sold or censored to the highest bidder.

If there are at least, three people on the GUAA board whom have significant stakeholders of LEAD-K, making the decision independently, would cite a huge role in favoritism, and then it is a problem. It spells out a well-planned effort to penetrate the Audism market, while being stakeholders of LEAD-K, then it is also a stakeholder as the behalf of GUAA to avoid being “controversial” and generate modes of communication to deliberately confound the Deaf.

Ella Mae Lentz’s lasting contributions that stands up against AGBell to stop widespread linguistic and cultural anxieties in Deaf America is a feat.

GUAA board decides it would be best to rescind the Galloway award, so to avoid the permanent fear of ASL-centered, for political reasons, there is a huge banner that says: “WE ARE GALLAUDET: A SIGNING COMMUNITY”

Why not “WE ARE GALLAUDET: ASL COMMUNITY?”

GALLAUDET: SIGNING COMMUNITY is all about promoting more speculative communicative pursuits—oppressing ASL, the language and culture of the Deaf. Is it good example of marginalization of ASL? Is it censorship at best?

GALLAUDET: ASL COMMUNITY is about healthy lifestyle, living by the values it teaches and to reflect ASL everywhere. Students, faculty, and the campus would benefit the profession of ASL as scholars and teachers depends on the First Amendment rights that ASL COMMUNITY belongs on Gallaudet campus.

Ella Mae Lentz, a defender of ASL rights, shall receive Galloway social justice award without retaliation. Her views of LEAD-K and AGBell should not be censored, with a direct contradiction of the practice of American democracy—freedom of speech. Censorship at Gallaudet University is not acceptable and appropriate.

While the answer to censorship of ASL, shall not be imposed from GUAA or Gallaudet University itself, it is also invoking the view of ASL literature. Rescinding an award has reduced to a symbol of ASL politics just because Ella publicly calling out objectionable views of LEAD-K and AGBell, has gone too far in the political climate on Gallaudet campus.

If GUAA board members have direct lineage with LEAD-K for political reasons to help AGBell thrive and grow the modes of communication instead of ASL-centered climate at Gallaudet, then it is a huge conflict of interest and fail to manipulate communicable trust between the leadership and the led.

That is where Ella Mae Lentz has every right to receive an award that fits the character of a social justice warrior. Ella’s work on consciousness about the oppression practices is a social justice award. Social justice is all about advocating for a change.

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Please take, as a liberty in embracing and appreciating the rights of ASL climate and Gallaudet University shall be a bias-free campus without retaliation.

Lastly, Gallaudet University and GUAA should not allow AGBell to engage in a decision-making about which mode of communication would be best thing, instead of ASL, is a pattern of derogatory ideologies. Questioning is another act of avoidance.

Please sign the petition to support Ella Mae Lentz to receive the Gertrude Scott Galloway, Advocacy and Social Justice Award.

Link:

https://www.change.org/p/gallaudet-university-alumni-association-social-justice-award-for-ella-mae-lentz

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

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Deafhood Foundation: A Criminal Record Shouldn’t Define Your Entire Existence

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Deafhood Foundation writes, Your donation will help end the economic exploitation of Deaf people, support anti-audism work, and create a society where everyone experiences full humanity and celebrates American Sign Language and Deaf culture.”

I have had been thinking about this for a while. For the last eight years, I have had invested a lot of heart and believability in Deafhood Foundation after reading Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood written by Paddy Ladd. The book arrived at my apartment in Portland, Oregon in April 2010 and I finished that book on the same day. It was mind-blowing experience. As soon as I finished that book, I remember calling up a friend who was one of certified Deafhood presenters and had brief discussion about it. I understood the magnitude of healing. That was the goal.

Two weeks after finishing that book, I was walking on Hawthorne Street in Portland, one of the famous streets, most laid-back streets, and there was a tattoo shop, and I decided to walk in and asked them to give me a tattoo, ‘Deafhood’ on my left arm where it ends up being first Deaf person to have ‘Deafhood’ in America. I was very proud of it.

Fast forward. June 2011. I was awarded with three degrees with honors. I worked very hard as Deaf returnee. I remember that day when I was released from jail in 1996, I told myself; I will never look back and make a huge difference in future. Day after day, year after year, I had no guidance, no space to call my own, or where to go. It was very difficult to deal with. I was separated from friends and Deaf community. I refused to be the scapegoat.

Couple of years later, a Deaf person informed me that the board position was open on the same day, and I immediately became interested in board position. I contacted one of the founding board members for Deafhood Foundation, and the board member said to me that I would not be welcomed on the board and I was devastated more than anything in my life all because I am a Deaf returnee. WITHOUT due process or screened—nothing just like that. Just right on spot right there. I was completely surprised and hurt, too.

It was a major discriminatory. I was surprised that the founding board member signed to me that I’d be “frustrated” and knew that it was discriminating against its own Deaf member in Deaf community. It was a huge blow. It shows that Deafhood Foundation does not support recidivism in Deaf community.

When I had to re-read the book by Paddy Ladd, I realized that the book does not support Deaf returnees either. If less than 0.00000005 percent of Deaf returnees suffering today—the truth supported by lack of awareness, the support matters, and goes a long way, How can we improve this conscious?

Think about emotional and physical impact that has gone deep enough to deal with struggles, with the capacity to think strong that has stored enough. Thought-provoking adventures. I live by reading books doing everything I can to make a living on the streets, and effectively deal with a world that most of us would never understand would never understand what it is like or known about. I often wonder about discovering the origin of life.

It will make a big impact of the overall quality of life. Can we articulate the specific needs of empowerment by building bridges to Deaf community? Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them”—that’s where it starts right there.

So, why not Deafhood Foundation supports Deaf returnees? The “philosophy” of Deafhood Foundation in the broadest sense, ignoring a barrier repertoire—stories, literacy expressions and the like—against Deaf returnees whose forms of expressions exert upon them.

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Where are the tears of joy—and tears of pride? Having being “incarcerated” since my early teen years, I had ever experienced a pursuit of happiness before and never thought I would have that opportunity, my young adulthood forever lost. Deaf returnees do not given a second chance as “productive contributor” to Deaf community.

Deafhood Foundation, where is the compassion and willingness about Deaf returnees to put their lives on the line for others is deeply rooted in their own struggles for being given the opportunity for redemption and for being welcomed back into society?

In Paddy’s Corner: Dr. Ladd coined the word “Deafhood” to describe positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression, and to present a framework to understand our past, work within the present, and plan for the future.”

What about the positive framework to understand Deaf returnees’ past, work with the present, and plan for the future to focus on positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression every day?

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Few months ago, when I attended as lone Deaf attendee for ACLU National Conference in Washington, D.C.—I saw a powerful image that says I believe a criminal record shouldn’t define your entire existence”—sadly, Deafhood Foundation does not see that way that it would always define your entire existence forever because Deaf community is small–and quickly judged by its looks and books.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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