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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Why Punish Ella Mae Lentz?

Response to Donalda Ammons, President of GUAA

“This is Donalda Ammons, President of GUAA. On behalf of GUAA I wish to correct your misconstrued statement that those two women contracted GUAA and that the GUAA board’s decision was influenced. It is totally and absolutely fabricated. I ask that you retract this particular statement. Thank you very much. We need to have reliable source to prove it. Do we have evidence we can reveal?”

I would like to thank Donalda Ammons, President of GUAA for responding:

On behalf of Deaf community, I understood the gravity in this language; I would feel the same thing. I really do. However, the gravity has to be felt at this point. At the time, silence cannot be asked to retract the truth. Nothing cannot be constructed by the gravity of the language. There is no need to be hurt. An award is considered: “a prize or other mark of recognition given in honor of an achievement” and nothing can replace that.

It is someone who is on Deaf journey just like all of us. That is the achievement we live, embrace, and experience. Establishing relationships with all kind of people, Deaf alike;

When someone works hard enough to contribute to Deaf community for long time by building the greatest difference, this individual going through a great deal of revolution to make all the difference possible in the greatest reliable source. That is the honour of an achievement in this matter. Once torn up, the greatest reliable source itself hurt in all of us.

The reliable sources whom I trust have the Deaf heart to protect the truth from this individual, shouldn’t be labeled as the most notorious, the hurt began right there and Deaf humans should not experience hurt in what most notorious evidence it can reveal in all of language bias, something of a Deaf bias, and the world of hurt affects Deaf community, each of us, one in one, sure, it could be easily denied, and we cannot deny that in each of us. The reliable sources, I am talking about more than several sources, it is painful enough to see this spreading around.

The very same reliable sources very much hold memberships under GUAA with highest regards. It is considered a democratic underground, can we cannot agree more at this point? Whether the fabrication accusation of Deaf versus Deaf, the hurt is denying even hurt more. Deaf community needs love, not hate.

Longaville:

“Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye,
‘Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?”

Honestly, we all do not need to divide up in Deaf community. Really. It requires all of us to be part of the process even at the greatest distance–and it is not easy to get people to become healthy and get involved more to stand up for social justice instead of struggle, especially how important ASL is to the Deaf community today, in the time of crisis, by our very nature, the deepest vision of healing and peace possible. The world of hurt cannot be ignored. Can it offer us the room to grow capacity to overcome the collective unconscious?

I mean, I just cannot ignore this pain and I cannot be asked nor pushed to retract this statement because I cannot imagine what pain journey is like in this situation and because it is not my story, it is someone else’s story that needs to be seen and examine the hurt. I share the story because it is quickly silenced and felt that the message needs to be examined more why it is being asked to retract this particular statement in a quick tone.

Deaf vs. Deaf is the greatest hurt, I recognize that I am no better than this either, it takes growing pain for all of us in this matter, all of us including two women, who had been done this for politically motivated, and it shudders my heavy heart to see this world of hurt happening. As for Deaf vs. Deaf, it takes the liberty away without misunderstanding, is it possible to see lack of genuine higher learning and culture of respect? Truly, there is no need to allow Deaf vs. Deaf.

While we cannot ignore the traits of hurt, when I see a story from my reliable sources, I cannot name them because I cannot breach this trust, I also realize that without evidence is necessarily demanded, and could lead to dehumanizing, I really do understand. Who would take action and respect this evidence in someone’s journey first? Which it leads to a rational argument is what makes peaceful cooperation possible.

Once someone’s story surfaced, the influence through pain is too much and cannot be ignored. I simply carry the message whether it is fabrication or not. Ignoring a story like this is anything but deficit to inciting the mind of hurt.

Sincerely-

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Is Dwight Benedict Best Qualified for the Position?

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Le Toudjida Allara, a Deaf People of Color (POC) shares his concerns about Albert Dwight Benedict:

This is unbelievable to hear the unhealthy news stating that Gallaudet Administrators have decided to automatically promote Dwight Benedict as the new and historic Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement of our beloved Alma Mater–see the officially announced vlog presented by President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5CSaEX3FsU) without going through the national search process. This has been surprised us so big time.

As a POC, international alumni and former long student of Gallaudet University, I have sincerely so tired to hear, see, learn and receive that Gallaudet Administrators have not taken their serious action to change their institutional system for the good health of our whole community and eliminate the uncomfortable/unwelcome environment for FSSA (Faculty, Staff, Students & Alumna) because Gallaudet has:

1- Made us to increase our loss of trust toward its administration team

2- Continued to make POC members of Gallaudet Community feeling down with its decision to appoint Mr. Albert Dwight Benedict as the VP of Students Affairs & Community Engagement without going through job application process, national search process and various interviews process with the community AND even he does not have a good record of leadership toward international and POC FSSA during his recently long tenure as Dean of Student Affairs

3- Proven us that certain “Deaf” White Privilege (DWP) members as part of the Gallaudet’s dominant coalition do whatever they want unprofessionally and unethically in order to show us that we POC folks are like a garbage or worthless people to them

4- Disrespected its mission and vision statements that have a true intention to produce Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students to be great and professional because it has failed to provide fair, respect and chance to qualified deaf professionals to apply for the VP position through the national search

5- Clearly shown us that it is not for us, belong to us and through us

6- Encouraged the division and destruction of relationships within its internal environment

7- Continued to promote favorism, nepotism, racism and misleadership in its institutional politics and system

I can say more of what I have known about Gallaudet but the school has indeed a lot lot lot to work on fixing its hugely institutional issues since the 2006 Protest. If Gallaudet University especially its top-leaders, GUAA – Gallaudet University Alumni Association and Board of Trustees seriously care about us as valuable Alumni and other important members of the community, I would like to challenge them to seriously consider to reopen and re-advertise the VP position (then Mr. Benedict has to understand that he has to go through the application process with respect of other potential candidates and prove us why he is the right candidate for the VP position) and going through its formal national search process. Also, I hope they will take this matter so soberly for the GREATER GOOD OF GALLAUDET COMMUNITY. Sigh… What a sad and unacceptable news!