The World is Waiting For You

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Gallaudet University website: Commencement Day 149th Ceremony

Commencement is the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory for our graduates and their families and friends. It is the day to celebrate our graduates’ hard work that goes into the achievement of graduating…..”

Friday, May 17, 2019:

Live streaming.

EPHPHATHA as seen on huge black Gallaudet seal banner on the wall behind people’s back while signing front of the audience, it is a political satire of Deaf people at least.

When those Deaf graduates go home carrying a degree with the same seal you see would make a political satire in your space even as the story about EPHPHATHA who espouse false hopes make the news, those very same Deaf graduates are granted rights in the Amendment VIII to push for justice. What is Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution?

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

What we saw was absolutely horrible and inhumane. It was a poor taste of showing large banner “EPHPHATHA” in spelling. Again, it was supposed to be the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory.

No, it is not just “be opened.” It is ABOUT “ears be opened”—they should not be facing “excessive bail” just because they are being Deaf—connected to the cruel punishment inflicted. Deaf graduating students as always shall be protected even in educational system, Gallaudet University, always shall eager to overcome Audism what little remains of the privileges that limit Deaf students by mocking them, frequently justifies what it shall be ordered by saying that EPHPTHATHA wants the power to prescribe serious effects the state of being Deaf and therefore comes under Congress’ power to regulate this.

When Deaf graduates restore and gave confidence to countless hours and their consequences are very real and with the systematic Audism, trying to make the most of each and every day, but Gallaudet University had the nerve to show the banner the power of hearing privileges on the most important day for Deaf graduates, why cannot they restore their confidence as state of being Deaf?

Gallaudet University also said: There is no other place like this in the world.

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Then the huge banner should not be shown at graduation day again because it is where Deaf students connect their world with the rest of the world and Deaf community we once knew as home.

The Commencement Day is about deep respect to step out and thrive on Deaf community behalf. Without being insulted. Gallaudet University needs a positive approach. When Deaf students growing up, they might be appeared to be happy to graduate, you would never guess how many of them would suffering through some dark times. Imagine from K to 12th grade, they would get bullied, physical and emotional times. They end up feeling worthless and think they would treat that way for the rest of their lives.

Gallaudet University, the beacon of healing and hope for Deaf people, seeking mental health help, they either are more or less tried to act like it never happened. The hope should be provided all the times. This month, May: Mental Health Awareness.

So, in 2019, EPHPHATHA should not hold the power and did not choose to empower Deaf students to prohibit oppression even in public accommodations. The banner shows the greatest invisible Audism on Gallaudet campus, properly acting under the rules. Then why is it continues to construe—to flagrantly oppress, to its advantage—a higher educational oppression problem?

With the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as the rights to the state of being Deaf—First Amendment, written to protect the rights of “speech” to use American Sign Language (ASL), EPHPHATHA authorizes Gallaudet University to oppress Deaf students with any goal that it asserts in a way, however struck, with an order to practice the reverberation of Audism.

Supposedly, there is no banner showing EPHPHATHA, would Deaf graduating students more vocal about their mental health and what they were going through with those around them as Deaf identity to be proud of? It would be a huge help on those roads to healing in all. Would it be nice to see with a smile on their faces that their lives is a precious thing with state of being Deaf without punished, I am sure that we all would not want to steal that away. Right?

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

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The Questioning of ‘Safe Haven’ in Classrooms

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Every time I see David Call’s artworks–and gives me a lot of ideas to write!

As alumni for Gallaudet University and a scholar recipient for a graduate program in Deaf Studies, every vote counts. It is the key idea in the Deaf community we live in America, a belief that is easily forgotten about ourselves. The sizable chunk of the electorate does not put the vote in the ballot to heal Deaf citizens with prescriptions every day. That is the power, regardless of the wishes of the voters as a whole.

Like I wrote in my previous blog,

“the Deaf (with capital d) is an archetype within the conscious of all the Deaf that contains our awareness of being Deaf. It is the psychological component that we still think and react to our society like Deaf people, and it is the same component that we are fully aware that the society continues to keep from being able to embrace American Sign Language (ASL).

Of all the betrayals that we the Deaf suffer, perhaps the most poignant of all is the betrayal of ourselves. No example of this is more striking than we remain committed to our being Deaf, that archetypical force which will hinder us from becoming fully empowered users of ASL.

To better understand why we the Deaf betray ourselves, let me present the common patterns of this archetype found within the Deaf community. These patterns include behaviors, perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes of the Deaf. This exploration is intended to help us identify how this archetype force is still in control, and to understand how the Deaf adversely affects our daily lives. They keep us struck, disempowered, and isolated.”  @ Jason “JT” Tozier, 2015

This force can be incredibly powerful, such as depicted by the biblical story in which a word make a Deaf man hear: EPHPHATHA. Gallaudet University has this Christian word in its official seal. The idea is that it “contacts” the Almighty. Very powerful, indeed! It is very discriminating! I, myself, could never associate myself with this word in the university seal.

In 1971, Frederick Schreiber, an executive director for National Association of the Deaf (NAD) coined ‘Deaf Studies’ in his quote, If Deaf people are to get ahead in our time, they must have a better image of themselves and their capabilities. They need concrete examples of what Deaf people have already done so they can project for themselves a brighter future. If we can have Black studies, Jewish studies, why not Deaf studies?” (Note: Quoted in Charles Katz, “A Partial History of Deaf Studies, in Deaf Studies VI Conference Proceedings: Making the Connection (Washington, D.C.; College for Continuing Education, Gallaudet University, 1999. 120.

National Deaf-Mute College was founded in 1864—known as Gallaudet University today. Exactly 130 years later, Deaf Studies program switched the lights on and invited students in to study and research. That was when I was a senior in high school when it was founded. However, there was resistance involved with the idea of the program, “This is partially due to the fact that Deaf Studies was already taught across the curriculum at Gallaudet University and partially due to resistance within Gallaudet University, for fear that such a program would foment resistance and activism. In any event, the solidification of a department was an important moment in the field’s history, as was the formation of its graduate program in 2002” (the undergraduate program was founded by Dr. Yerker Andersson and the graduate program by Drs. Ben Bahan, MJ Bienvenu and H-Dirksen Bauman)

I am perpetually honored and humbled to serve as the only hearing member of the Deaf Studies program at the world’s only liberal arts university for Deaf and hard-of hearing students.” H-Dirksen Bauman

That is where the danger begins. That is a big hearing privilege.

Four years after the coinage of ‘Deaf Studies’, Tom Humphries coined the term, Audism, based on the Latin audire, meaning, “to hear”. In his original article, Humphries defined Audism as “the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears”–Tom Humphries, Audism: The Making of a Word, unpublished, 1975.

Words have such power that they can bring respect or they can bring disrespect, as is shown by current Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) president, Alyce Slater Reynolds and its association/board. They have had nothing to protest the word, EPHPHATHA today. They had alienated Deaf people, and their words could never help us to concentrate on our own nature. Their words are associated with the charging of ongoing oppression.

There is another crucial point to make about words, which we do not wish to talk about. However, we need to talk about our nature. What is wrong with it?

Paddy Ladd writes a powerful chapter, Colonialism and Resistance: A Brief History of Deafhood—-that questions why EPHPHATHA is not being discussed in Deaf Studies, We now face the challenge of bringing about the second phase, to search for more explicit Deaf epistemologies and ontologies that can frame these developments in a more holistic way, so that Deaf Studies can become a more conscious model for Deaf-centered praxis

That is exactly why EPHPHATHA should be more conscious model to discuss in classrooms—and one of the reasons we may find nature of the Deaf hard to believe in—even when it has been demonstrated to us—is that we have lost our connection to nature. The lack of action from GUAA would be unlikely to hold true for most Deaf people today, for the way we think of nature has changed.

Flash: Bauman, the only hearing member writes in his own words, “Even within the field of Deaf Studies, perspectives of Deaf people are often not valued. Many programs call themselves Deaf Studies but are actually based on an audiological model…”

EPHPHATHA is an audiologically model that will not allow to discuss in classrooms or you get in trouble. Bauman has the power as a department chair that will not allow discussions about this at all. You know what will happen next? TROUBLE. For example, in 1972, there was a tragic day in my motherland, Ireland, dealt with ‘Bloody Sunday’ and within a year before; ‘Deaf Studies’ was created.

‘Bloody Sunday’ was a national tragic day for Ireland. British soldiers shot 26 unharmed Irish people during a protest march. The same idea that ‘Deaf Studies’ applies to oppression, hegemony, language racism, and language bigotry what was going on in Ireland.

A better course for Deaf Studies would be to examine the situation in identity politics now, learn from the past, think about the beyond-identity issues floating in the public sphere, come up with flexible and nonhierarchical models of being, and lead the way out of the dead end of identity thinking”Lennard Davis

13 yeas later after the graduate program was created, Bauman is in charge today. Think about it. Remember, resistance and activism.

Yet, Bauman writes, From Desloges to Veditz to the formation of Deaf Studies, Deaf people have been defending the right to use sign language, the right to intermarry, and the right not to be subjected to medical and religious cures, the right simply to be left alone…while Deaf Studies has proven the existence of Deaf Culture, the cultural argument is often not enough to convince hearing doctors and parents to cease their endless search for a cure.”

Why should society want to keep and promote Deaf people? What good are Deaf people to society? What good are Deaf children to a family? These difficult questions must now be explored if the Deaf world is to continue in the face of biopower institutions intent on the eradication of the Deaf community.”

As Gallaudet alumni, nature is considered part of the family. I recognize that every alumnus and alumni, they do not talk about it to hearing people, they do have their own guiding spirit. Isn’t that part of our nature of being Deaf?

In terms of language, let’s start by defining EPHPHATHA. The English language has a very strange inference of curing ears, and the speakers of English assume from their own inference that being Deaf is pathological. The English language dictionary defines EPHPHATHA: the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning “Be opened,” uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7:34). It is one of the characteristics of Mark that he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord’s lips. (See 3:17; 5:41; 7:11; 14:36; 15:34.)

Once again, Bauman writes, “How would the world be affected negatively by the loss of Deaf communities?” The speakers of English are very comfortable applying the word at Gallaudet University. It is a loss that affects Deaf community. Why not Bauman enforce and allow EPHPHATHA in the classrooms to be part of academic discussion? Remember Bloody Sunday 1972.

After all, EPHPHATHA is a Bloody Sunday.

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

References:

“Ephphatha.” Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary. 13 Mar. 2015. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ephphatha>.

As Speechless As You Are

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After collecting and reading archived letters from Gallaudet University about EPHPHATHA in my previous blog with 12 different posts, (I could not upload all the images at once, so I had to split different posts and I apologize about that) it is still blurry and very limited information. We the Deaf need to report Audism, language aversion, our language, and our culture. Removing EPHPHATHA will design to empower the Deaf community to prevent these religious “bad omen” or “witch hunt” to heal and minimize the false beliefs and negative feelings that people have about the Deaf. What does Deaf people feel like when they drive by, walk by nor walk around Gallaudet and see EPHPHATHA playing behind the fence? Deaf people on display?

EPHPHATHA is driving Deaf people out of their state of being Deaf and only sees the world of action to make sure that Deaf people do not think and desire their own culture because EPHPHATHA is an everyday influence on Gallaudet’s seal which has a huge power-playing and that is why Deaf people do not talk much about it. Talking about EPHPHATHA is an opportunity for us to learn about ourselves as Deaf people and I think it is very important to know that we need to reclaim our lives back in good conscience. Not only that the term also fragmentize the Deaf community into quattuordecillion pieces.

Deaf people must fight against the religious belief to heal us in order to preserve our language and our culture for future generations. Gallaudet needs to know that every Deaf citizen’s rights to be rooted in the free pursuit of happiness. “Be Thou Opened” has nothing to do with the opening of mind, knowledge, education, learning, whatever, but we must look at the very ORIGIN of the term: healing ears and speech. That is very much hidden message. Every English word always has the ORIGIN meaning of it. We must remember to recognize the origin meaning first. The term itself taught the university how NOT to tolerate diversity.

From one of my favorite books, Cultural Studies in the Future Tense by Lawrence Grossberg wrote Cultural Studies describes how people’s everyday lives are articulated by and with culture. It investigates how people are empowered and disempowered by the particular structures and forces that organize their everyday lives in contradictory ways and their (everyday) lives are themselves articulated to and by the trajectories of economic, social, cultural, and political power..This is, seeks to understand not only the organization of power, but also the possibilities of survival, struggle, resistance, and change. It takes contestation for granted, not as a reality in every instance, but as an assumption necessary for the existence of critical work, political opposition, and even historical change.”  

It is time to make a substantive democracy and work for real change. EPHPHATHA is divided. We, the Deaf people, are united. It is pretty much evident that Audists are holding large claims on Gallaudet’s property, including a fair amount of government debt. President Hurwitz is not the president we need. He is not doing his job. We have to let him ago. We need to get back in shape. It is pretty easy choice when you compare two circus clowns, I. King Jordan and Alan Hurwitz that lie at the drop of their teeth every time they speak, worship only the greed of EPHPHATHA and never tell us what their plans who allows the obstruction of Audism on the Gallaudet seal. Both are members of Alexander Graham Bell Association. No character and heart for the Deaf community at all.

It is time to propose to the Gallaudet administration that it is enough to play mind games with Deaf people’s emotions. We need to get ourselves involved in this hidden term and remove it. Our activism needs to make a loud statement and let them know that our conviction that EPHPHATHA is wrong. Why does Gallaudet fail Deaf people from not succeeding their hearing abilities? Deaf people should not been criticized and their biggest liabilities are to be succeed and get a fair education from Gallaudet without the term wringing their necks around. EPHPHATHA does not contribute to the cultural diversity of this Deaf community and makes us invisible in this world. Removing the term off the seal will bring Deaf people a place of belonging, but if the term is still there, then Deaf people will deny their sense of belonging. Simple.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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

Responsible for Gallaudet Seal

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Gallaudet Seal

The minutes of the Board of Directors, dated May 24, 1864, state that “Mr. Edward Miner Gallaudet submitted a design for a corporate seal, as follows, Viz:
An open Bible hearing the word Ephphatha (be opened) in Syriac characters….around the Bible the same word in the characters of the deaf-mute alphabet;
rim of the seal containing the words Academia Columbiana.

Dr. Sutherland suggested that 13 stars be inserted in the rim, filling up the space between the words “Academia” and “Columbiana”, and the shield of the United States placed within the rim at the foot of the Bible.

At the Board of Directors meeting on June 7, 1864, the members after a heated discussion decided not to use Latin on the seal and voted “That the words “Columbia Institution” be inscribed upon the seal, with other insignia adopted at the last meeting of the Board.

The original seal was used for 90 years. On June 18, 1954, and Act of Congress, signed by President Eisenhower, changed the name of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf to Gallaudet College. A new seal bearing the imprint “Gallaudet College” became the corporate seal.

The first seal was adopted by the Board of Directors of the Columbia Institution by Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, April 8, 1964. Edward Miner Gallaudet and the Rev. Sunderland, a board member of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf, were mainly responsible for the design of the seal.

The term EPHPHATHA, as it appears in the Seal of Gallaudet

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The term EPHPHATHA, as it appears in the Seal of Gallaudet University (see the picture) is strictly a Christian propaganda by putting it in our Deaf minds. It was an Aramaic word used by Christ (Mark 7:31-37) who made a Deaf man to hear. EPHPHATHA means “Be (thou) opened”. The International Standard Version reads the prophecy (Isaiah 35:5): “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf shall be stopped”. Mark 31-37 is a cross-reference, as if the prophecy was fulfilled.

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I do not know exactly why Gallaudet University has this “non-diversifying” term on its official seal. It is an evangelistic effort to impose such a Christian value on all degrees and diplomas? Even university class rings, too! When Gallaudet University changed its name from college, it changed the seal to make it university-like but let alone this Christian EPHPHATHA. Why?

EPHPHATHA means loss of individual liberties, which are their “inalienable rights” of state of being Deaf. Audism needs to be rejected in their eyes and noting that it does led to an unacceptable loss of individual liberty. Gallaudet is flirting with monumental scale with tragic consequences. The whole point is that people who are in the direction to preserve their state of being Deaf should not give up in their own individual liberties. The administration has been seen as executive branch already abusing its authority and allows this word to be around. Deaf people should not sacrifice their freedoms for their ideological utopian dreams to heal the Deaf people into hearing-minded people. Why is the administration so focused on healing Deaf people? Their actions have caused mental and emotional scars that will last a lifetime.

I am hereby submitting the proposal to the Gallaudet community to replace the EPHPHATHA on the seal to implore the creation of a stronger task force dedicated to improve Deaf people to heal from Audism. Deaf people have an unique set of barriers to access services when there is a power dynamics of Audism has committed at Gallaudet. The same university that does not have policy for Audism and the staff may lack a core cultural competence necessary for understanding the unique barriers faced by Deaf people whom I see as survivors. Due to their unique barriers, Deaf people under-report Audism perpetrated against them. The creation of task force to implement a comprehensive training for university staff will improve Deaf people’s access to their rights of being Deaf. The task force has a tremendous opportunity to shape and transform existing services for Deaf people into services that offer comprehensive support, safety and healing to survivors through medical, legal, and social advocacy.

The faculty and administration need to become our important advocates as we the Deaf navigate the legal systems to obtain understanding orders and legal supports from Audism. Mental health can serve as community educators of Audism related to psychological, medical, and social issues faced by Deaf people and can promote healing. Where can best practices and culturally competent protocols be attained? Deafhood Foundation is an organization that offers technical training to stop the power dynamics of Audism. This is an absolutely slam dunk case of negligence.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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

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