‘Threat to Kill’ a Student at Gallaudet University

Waiting for Transformation

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While visiting Washington, District of Columbia from Oregon, I remember watching: Gallaudet: The Film in 2010 with late Carl Schroeder, it was the very day before we visited Gallaudet University. I could not exactly understand the social phenomenon that time because I was not a student at Gallaudet University.

When we entered on the campus from Florida Ave NE by car, I still remember the feeling when I stepped my shoes on the Gallaudet soil, it was something I would never forget. It was the path where we walked that way entering into Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC) to find Department of ASL/Deaf Studies.

The passage of second wave Oralism to legalize oppression of American Sign Language (ASL) has been showing both films: Gallaudet: The Film By Facundo Element and Our Deaf Community | Celebrating Gallaudet By Convo has sent a signal to embrace ASL and Deaf culture. The Pandora Box has warned all of us.

I saw the film premiere by Convo last October 2019;

What’s the deal between Facundo Element and Convo? Between Gallaudet University and Convo? What about Gallaudet University and Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD)? What is the difference between Communication Service for the Deaf and Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC)?

As University budgets continue to be slashed, Deaf-centered philosophy for the award-winning Deaf space, anti-bias resources had been lacked, and that is the problem of the Gallaudet system. When you enter Gallaudet University as a student, you would be colonized, good or bad. Whether you want to challenge or be a bystander; I now understand the social phenomenon.

The mentality of Gallaudet. I became a student in graduate program on a full-ride scholarship in ASL/Deaf Studies in 2013; Even though the first time in 2010 when I saw Gallaudet: The Film, it has not inflicted me that time. Again, because I couldn’t understand that time. So, I had to watch that film again, and that is where it hit the lighting. Just like Ben Franklin using the kite to test and see if the lighting strikes the kite.

Can we learn ourselves of oppressive Gallaudet University by conversing the university anew to preserve and promote ASL and Deaf Culture? That is exactly what Carl taught me on the plane back home from the Deaf Community (DC) to Portland.

He explained: Gallaudophobia to describe of oppression at Gallaudet University and elsewhere. Of course, we are not experts in curing Gallaudophobia; do you think it is a serious phobia? Is it the culture of fear an outgoing problem: Gallaudet-style oppression? Let me give you few examples of phobias:

Eleutherophobia: fear of freedom

Mastigophobia: fear of punishment

Epistemiphobia: fear of knowledge

Let’s turn our thoughts to the oppression. It strikes me that the program of Gallaudet University is more ideological more than phenomenal rather than generosity. Its ambition is to weaken or destroy ASL and Deaf Culture.

The Deaf space is the hottest market where Deaf scholars are treated with honour. Imagine Board of Trustees (BoT) who sits together in order to share wisdom and advice with the Gallaudet campus. Imagine going to this Board the moment you first recognize your own language there. Imagine sharing your concerns with the Board, the Deaf members like yourself who listen to you with respect. Imagine how you would feel about yourself if you could call on this Board’s guidance when you need it.

Wake up! Do we really have this kind of imagination at Gallaudet University today? Do we understand that the Board of Trustees is powerful? Have they failed to live within the goals now?

Hansel Bauman, the leading-architect for the Deaf Space at Gallaudet University, as I learned later that Janet Pray would typically say that sign language users are an “increasingly small” percentage of the deaf population.

In 2006, from GallyNet-L where a comment by Deep Eyes wrote:

“king and jk plan to meet with washington post editorial board this
afternoon. they will try to manipulate public info & perception. make
sure deaf people get correct info to the media

let world know that board voted 7-5 initially – 7 votes for jk and 5
votes for steve weiner. king then came into the picture…. manipulated
boardies like puppets and get ’em to go 12-0 for jk. illegal? No! But it
stinks!! king is now a fair game

look at king’s compensation package and perks. very similar to the mess
at american university which actually forced him to retire

DPN in 1988 belongs to all deaf people, not to king. remember that cuz
king and his people forget that”

About SLCC, there was a committee of university constituents (approx. 2002) who were discussing plans for the new building and the committee decided that the name should include the word “culture” as in “Sorenson Language and Cultural Center”–however, Irving King Jordan, Janet Fernandes, and Janet Pray ignored that and changed it to “Sorenson Language and Communication Center.” Some people think that when Janet Pray typed the minutes for the committee meetings that she sneakily changed what the committee decided.

Brian Riley wrote in February 2007: “Breaking News–Web page for SLCC taken off Gallaudet.edu”:

“According to one reliable report, Gallaudet’s Faculty and students (in committee) had originally objected to the plan to use the word “Communication” in the name of the building and favored the word “Cultural” instead. However, the wishes of the faculty and the students were ignored. The decision was made by Paul Kelly, Irving Jordan King, Jane Fernandes, and Catherine Sweet-Windham to bypass the committee’s decision. They overrode the decision and took their illegitimate decision (to use the word “Communication”) to the Board for approval.

Question have also raised about the legality of the contract between Sorenson and Gallaudet. The contract reportedly gives away patent rights to Sorenson for any new inventions or innovations created in the planned building.  Such an ill-conceived contract is probably not legal, since Gallaudet is registered as a 501 (c)(3) with the Federal Government and is required to reinvest all profits from campus activities and ventures back into the non-profit corporation of Gallaudet itself.”

In its place comes a sort of biblical oppression that would be in Christian name, EPHPHATHA. Through this Christian word on the official university seal, there would be no freedom of expression, no freedom of religion, no independent academic disciplines, and no place for scientific progress. In short, it would be our worst nightmare.

1) Home again at Gallaudet University;

2) The acceptance of ASL in the academy;

3) The nature and persistence of the linguistic research;

4) The power of ASL to influence and shape the human mind;

5) The character of faculty as it shapes intellectual life of the Deaf;

Is Gallaudet University a place of safety, where ASL becomes the focus? Is ASL home or fading?

The understanding of an economic system that oppress ASL and Deaf people be replaced with a system that meets the needs of the Audism. To that end, ASL pays tribute to Deaf people. It is the voice of thousands and thousands of everyday Deaf people who are fighting to preserve ASL and Deaf culture in crisis.

14 years ago. October 31, 2006. Washington Post editorial: Gallaudet Loss. Don’t we all remember that Post article or have we forgotten it? We need to review that again and again.

Despite more aggressive and often dishonest tactics, Gallaudet University public relations are encountering resistance on campus, not only students, but also faculty, staff, and alumni.

That leads to a newspaper letter, The Examiner written technically a letter to the editor by once again, Brian Riley in 2006: Protestors are trying to save Gallaudet University for the future has proved social problems today.

What happened to Gallaudet University unique because it is where ASL is best used comparing between 1988 and 2020? There are so many areas of scholarship in Gallaudet University that cry for betterment, and we need more insightful leaders to create a Deaf-centered path for all of us to be hungry for.

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The film differences between Facundo Element and Convo is something we need to do serious critical thinking how to save Gallaudet University for the future. One of the more powerful films we need to stumble upon block of stone that sits on the “sacred ground of the Deaf” in Washington, D.C., the problem is that it is still struggling to be as Deaf-centered University.

-JT

Copyright © 2020 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://tinyurl.com/sf3a9uf

http://gallyprotest.org/DC_Examiner_LTE.pdf

http://gpli.blogspot.com/2006/10/letters-to-editor-examiner-oct-19-2006.html

 

Hearing Taking Over Gallaudet University

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Gallaudet University as the world’s only higher education for the Deaf is coming to an end thanks to the hearing people taking over. It is literally happening. Are we witnessing language and cultural bigotry, hegemony and oppression, especially at Gallaudet University?

Over, over, and over—we must remember this that this is the world in progress. Oppression is not a progress. Simple. This is Gallaudet University, and is losing ground of the Deaf, and gaining higher ground for hearing people. What in the world that it was supposed to be home for the Deaf?

Gallaudet University will be never Deaf-centered, even the current president is not Deaf-centered either, instead of closing the door to Deaf and open the door for hearing world, welcoming input, feedback, and ideas without telling the truth to Gallaudet Deaf alumni and Deaf alumnus what would happen in the future. It is unethical, irresponsible, and oppressive.

Not only that, but Gallaudet University needs a president who can open the door for DEAF FIRST, who encourages speaking up and speaking freely. It’s the opposite—if Deaf speaks up, she or he would face severe punishment at all cost. It is the spiral of oppression.

“If it is in speaking their word that people, by naming the world, transform it, dialogue imposes itself as the way by which they achieve significance as human beings. Dialogue is thus an existential necessity. And since dialogue is the encounter in which the united reflection and action of the dialoguers are addressed to the world which is to be transformed and humanized, this dialogue cannot be reduced to the act of one person’s “depositing” ideas in another, nor can it become a simple exchange of ideas to be “consumed” by the discussants.”—Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire

In 2020, Gallaudet University already projects OVER 100 PERCENT INCREASE enrollment for hearing people. That is a huge, huge, huge skyrocket jump. Check the link below. In fact, what happened to its embrace for change for Deaf people? This history is our own strength that is deeply rooted in our own sense of place. Which means….hearing people are literally taking over Gallaudet University as the ownership.

1988: DEAF PRESIDENT NOW (DPN)

2006: UNITY FOR GALLAUDET (UFG)

2019-2020: WHAT DO YOU CALL IT?

We are the ones to make ALL THE CHANGE that holds merit of ASL and Deaf culture. Most importantly of all, we need to have reason, heart, and our sense of place at Gallaudet University. We cannot let hearing people taking over the campus and learn the lesson is not to be oppressed of change inflicted upon Gallaudet University.

We cannot let this repeat its history in the near future. Gallaudet University is of no consequence. There is very crucial point to make a statement about this, which Gallaudet University kept it very quiet and telling them to SHUT UP and wish not to talk about it.

Censorship has had such power that Gallaudet University brings disrespect for Deaf culture now and future. For years and years, Gallaudet University denying and neglecting Deaf people’s linguistic and cultural heritage, we need to bring in a strong renewal of passion in ASL and Deaf culture more than ever.

Link: https://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget20/justifications/l-gallaudet.pdf

 

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Percival Hall: EMG’s Scary Thought

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The library is a one-stop place to visit, read, study, and find the answers. The scary notion, which was revealed recently as I was reading a book written by Percival Hall, “Impressions of English Schools for the Deaf”

The book is the very rarest book around.

Percival Hall with no Deaf mother either Deaf father was second president of Gallaudet College, was also the second longest president-elected after Edward Miner Gallaudet (EMG), the namesake of his father’s greatest work as the longest president-elected in history. His mother was Deaf.

The notice of Oralism in human history had been failing plenty of Deaf people’s educational aspirations in the past and present time. Oralism had never been warned and is supposedly aimed to stop American Sign Language (ASL) from succeeding in the academic classrooms, it would mark ASL who had been posed as such threat.

Percival Hall writes: “It seems to be pretty well agreed now by the most experienced educators of the deaf that a large proportion of the deaf children can be as well educated by oral methods as by any other. Dr. Edward Gallaudet, himself, put the proportion at two-thirds.”

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Two-thirds in percentage: 66.6666666666666%–with infinite line above the number is forever defined in Deaf Education. There are two meanings behind the definition of infinity.

Synonym: endlessness.

Mathematics: The symbol of infinity looks like ∞: is a concept describing something without any bound. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity)

The cultural trait of Deaf people is a sacred ground and nothing can take away from us. Today’s Deaf Education is viewed as educational bankruptcy in encouraging Deafness as endlessness to make Deaf Education suffer in the hands of Oralism. Deafness is a negative approximation.

Deafhood is an approximation.

Within Percival Hall writes that EMG claims Oralism is the best tool for Deaf students. That is where the buck stops there. Most Deaf students, no matter what their age or cultural background have experienced an amount of betrayal starting at very early age or young age.

Oralism is usually the first to betray Deaf students not knowing how to effectively deal with their Deafhood journey. Everyone in our world, on level, knows that ASL is the best activity to learn for higher education.

A year after disastrous Milan Resolution in 1880, EMG writes, How Shall The Deaf Be Educated?

It is a powerful piece, in the first place, he writes:

“First of all, class should always be spoken of as the deaf. The term deaf-mute should only be applied to such as are totally deaf and completely dumb.”

It was just Oralism who betrayed Deaf students. The Deaf students controlled by Oralism had been also the occasional method doing a “good job” with most experienced teachers of the deaf”the one who shamed Deaf students in front of their classmates often got promoted.

Deaf students should not be dealt with sense of shame and confusion when using ASL for their own pursuit of happiness and human right.

Further betrayal happened when, at Gallaudet College, Percival Hall writes: “Dr. Edward Gallaudet, himself, put the proportion at two-thirds.” in tenure as commander-in-chief at National Deaf-Mute College, secretly instructing professors explaining that sign language is inept in the language and culture of the Deaf and in facilitating between sign language and Oralism.

Did he change his mind after fierce debate with Alexander Graham Bell, the staunch chief of Oralism?

Deaf students in the past and present are betrayed by a society that continues to bastardize ASL and keep Oralism method as “successful” story and profiting. Not only that but it had disempowered Deaf students in classroom by denying them the language credit for their thoughts and ideas in ASL.

Human rights with using ASL in academic classrooms shall always preserve intellectual debates, symbols, and practices for the sake of their cultural heritage and the rights to use ASL.

If Percival Hall claims that EMG was secretly supporting the power of Oralism, then did it make EMG the chief distributor of the Oralism at Gallaudet University today?

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Then it is a scary thought. The large statue of EMG stands on the campus makes a statement. Stigmatizing Deaf students as a threat to ASL everywhere for the rest of their lives seem not irrational, but that does not mean Deaf students who uses ASL will not ever fail academic studies. Even if Oralism is poorly designed to achieve its goals filled with lies, then that is rational enough for Alexander Graham Bell’s greatest work which is the basic test of failure.

Lastly, Percival Hall also writes at the very end sentence of the same sentence above:

“Some of our experienced English friends, who are, I believe, unbiased, after much longer experience in education than we have had, put the proportion at three-fourths.”

Whatever it means.

ASL will never be unbiased because education is the key to documentary path that exposes the truth how much successful ASL is benefiting today and tomorrow.

Oralism is biased. It is all but educational hardship. What’s the difference? The simplest way to put this is that today, in our world remains ignorant of Deaf education and their language and culture.

VLOG:

 

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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