Systemic Racism in Georgia Deaf Community: White Guilt?

Stand in Solidarity with Black Deaf Community and Black Lives Matter!

Keep up the solidarity against the inhumane conditions targeting Black Deaf community and Black community for years and years. Enough! More than ever, our support needs to spread the powerful impact at what may be one of the most critical timing right now in our lifetime for the future of America.

Dear Joel Barish: Acknowledging the White Privileges

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Dear Mr. Joel Barish:

I would like to applaud Mr. Joel Barish for acknowledging the White privileges and power-tripping being preserved to hide a sociological problem of the damage control; However, when Mr. Joel Barish wrote, “Our hands were intended to block multiple cameras…” that was a good defense, and if necessary to avoid the acknowledgment of inflicting pain for the memories of Nazism, it is too great, and how often do we see the pose of Nazi salute in repeated cycles and becoming a bystander is hard enough.

With the utmost respect for the human rights of the Deaf, can we acknowledge for all of the Deaf survivors from the Nazi regime who have their dignity bulldozed by the ignorance? They had been subjected to cost-benefit practice to deny the existence of a “sacred fire of liberty” is something we cannot ignore.

The struggle for freedom feeling exiled from human rights is difficult to swallow. Understanding for the human rights to describe the human struggle–what does not appear in their struggles is being ignored easily?

Let us look at the everyday life of the Deaf, especially Deaf survivors of the Nazi era, and recognize the lack the knowledge of hate crime and how to develop the layers of sympathy, tolerance, and compassion. The goal of this compassion is to help to defeat the hate in our community who are potentially living and operating in a hostile environment to survive and thrive in that environment today and tomorrow.

Helping the member of the Deaf community understand how they can transition from being a bystander of a bias incident to becoming an active bystander and respect Deaf survivors from the Nazi regime. The pain was too destructive. The force is with them. They are real-time heroes.

Much of the destructive, painful stories the society had practiced hate crime, the forgotten stories of Deaf survivors from the Nazi regime is due to the widely practiced oppression that would be more likely to repeat history.

What does this society was actually doing does not contribute with the headline with community responsibility to discuss hate crime that harms Deaf survivors of the Nazi regime? Human prosperity, knowledge, and happiness, will find in our quest and insights somewhere on how those goals can be achieved—and on what stands on the way of Deaf people.

Like society who never takes enough community accountability by discussing the news or educational discourses just because there is nothing else to write or discuss. The human element is, of course, important of our lives in this regard we can teach each other how to minimize hate crime. There is not much sympathy in this society, and we can make sympathy to prioritize justice all over.

America is the number one geographical of hate crime. Hate crime is deeply entrenched in our society. Silencing Deaf people is deeply rooted, too. At the start of empowering, we need to educate the tendency of oppression for the sake of white privileges. Much empowerment goes into maintaining cultural standards—get siphoned off any empowerment for challenging hate.

Nazi salute should not be an opportunity to target vulnerability in the Deaf space, and the bias is pretty serious not to ignore the problem. Allowing a culture of fear is very complicated more than we understand.

There is no denial in that, we do not need Nazi sympathizers unchecked, and we can effectively challenge White privileges. There are most books I’ve read below including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. One of my all-time favorites was The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.

 

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To the highest standard of compassion, I think Mr. Joel Barish would understand the better road. Who says that Mr. Joel Barish is an expert on hate crime? Distressing and damaging? So much for “committed to fighting for a society in which white privilege and power will no longer exist” in his words. As well as much in his own words for far from “equitable country, and I am committed to fighting for a society in which white privilege and power will no longer exist.”

As the only Deaf lecturer with strong knowledge focusing on hate crimes in the Deaf community. My passion has been burning the flames since 2007. My proudest achievement was to help hate-crime law protecting Deaf Oregonians was passed in 2012.

We live in a culture of fear. What we now identify as “hate crime” has been part of our culture for centuries, only it wasn’t recognized.

Please visit my website should you be interested in hate crimes.

https://jasontozier.net/

-JT

Copyright © 2020 Jason Tozier

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

75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz: Invisible Hate Crime of the Deaf

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Nancy Rourke’s Deaf Survivors of the Holocaust

Around the world commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the greatest pain of the camp where six million Jewish prisoners of the German Nazis were murdered, humiliated, suffered. and targeted, today on January 27th, 2020 is the Holocaust Memorial Day, we must continue to challenge hatred. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on an educational tour around the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex in Poland, on December 6, 2019, must-have impacted her life by now. I quote, by Angel Merkel’s powerful words: “I feel a sense of shame for the barbaric crimes that were here committed by Germans—crimes that are unfathomable.”

I am struggling to get through this post because there is a problem where people interchangeably use language bigotry with what should be called hate. Hate cannot be compared to any other words. Hate is its own beast with the terrible history that should be recognized by all and the suffering of Deaf people cannot be compared to any other oppression. This is a severe case of non-compliance, and pure oppression.

Often, people use ignorance and compare it to their own oppression. This is problematic for a number of reasons. If you want to write a piece on hate, it has to be about hate. If you want to call this language bigotry, then you can call it language bigotry, you cannot call it to hate. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Jack Levin, professor emeritus at Northeastern University and co-director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict states: “When people think of hate crimes, they think of neo-Nazis, they think of racism, they think of homophobia, they just don’t seem to think of people with disabilities as being a protected category. I call it the invisible hate crime.”

However, ‘Deaf Jews’ were murdered, Deaf schoolchildren were sterilized, and those who survived, even rendered unable to ever have children, considered themselves lucky, seen as the most notorious minority group, ‘Deaf’ were the first people to be targeted, in the name of the most barbaric thinking; Is it not unfathomable? Imagine all the execution walls. 

Deaf people in the Holocaust is being treated invisible, but to focus on hearing-dominated choices, instead of exploiting Deaf people and trying to present a life that allows them to feel tolerant; However, those very Deaf people who survived the Holocaust, presents the struggles and triumphs of their lives in a human way.

Two books: ‘Crying Hands: Eugenics and Deaf People in Nazi Europe’ by Horst Biesold, and ‘Deaf People in Hitler’s Europe’ by Donna F. Ryan, where I wrote an essay project for Hate Crime and Bias class 13 years ago. That opened my eyes. This assault in our democracy, leading a fight against hate.

“Yet this most stigmatized group is not often viewed through the lens of compassion and understanding, only modern forms of old ignorance. The Deaf community has gone through considerable evolution, but hate crime remains invisible in the face of society.” (Tozier, 2007)

What happened in Holocaust is forever scarred by facing a moment of the growing pain, Deaf people had been profiled by Germans and needs to be held accountable about Deaf people in Holocaust for its culturally labeled in hate and bias, because it is not enough talked about the fabrication of human civilization and their identity.

The best description of the deep feeling of admiration for the language and the culture of the Deaf, and when it comes to the Deaf, we should just respect their language and culture, full stop. When social media choose not to talk enough about Deaf victims and survivors in the Holocaust, losing respect is a tragic loss in the world. 

Much like Deaf Jews being murdered, ending up on the wrong side of the hatred and bullying by expressing views seemingly on the right side of a power-hunger in cultural hegemony. The witch-hunting of the Deaf is not the answer, extensively on the social construction of “Deafness”.

There are many and many historic written articles around social media (NPR, The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, BBC, et al) about German Chancellor Angela Merkel visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, none of them had mentioned Deaf Jewish prisoners as the first people to be murdered.

Merkel said in the New York Times article written by Melissa Eddy: “We are witnessing and experiencing an attack on the fundamental values of liberal democracy and a very dangerous historical revisionism that serves a hostility that is directed at specific groups”

A powerful piece by BBC where it can be found on YouTube, BBC: ‘The Deaf Holocaust’, Deaf People and Nazi Germanyof Aktion T4 survivors sharing their experiences. The trend of discrimination has been documented from the Holocaust forward. When I visited the United States Holocaust Museum for the first time, I was blown away that it was not enough documented about Deaf people. That is a good example of the invisible hate crime.

Last March 2019, a performance by Deaf actresses and actors held at George Washington University: ‘Crying Hands: Deaf People in Hitler’s Germany’ sends a powerful message: “based on interviews of Deaf Holocaust and civilian survivors, explores the fates of the Deaf and disabled in Nazi Germany, a neglected story of the Holocaust.” 

When the Nazi Party came to power in Germany in 1933, Hitler was obsessed with racial purity, the notion that nature had created a superior Aryan race. Persons who were of “mixed-race” and those with disabilities, chronic diseases (e.g. epilepsy), mental handicaps, and illnesses, etc, were to be weeded out of society or prevented from reproducing. Between 1933 and 1945, some 17,000 Deaf people were sterilized. The youngest was nine years old.

Hitler masterminded the barbaric attacks. The consequences were grave, nothing powerful than this. “Deaf people in Hitler’s Europe were among those who were killed by the Nazis during the Third Reich because they were Jews, others because as congenitally deaf people, they were considered “defective” and “biologically inferior” (Gilbert, 1998) 

The Nazi campaign against the handicapped begun in 1933 with the passage by the Reichstag of the Law for the Prevention of offspring with hereditary diseases. The conditions were mental illness, retardation, hereditary blindness, and hereditary deafness. 17,000 out of 375,000 people were Deaf people. 28 percent of 17,000 Deaf people were under the age of 18. Nine (9) percent were women who were already pregnant.

Hitler created a secret campaign called Aktion T-4 to mass-murder disabled people because they were “life unworthy of life.” Infants with disabilities were the first victims. (Gilbert, 1998)

Reminder: Not only Deaf Jewish were targeted, but also Deaf Germans and Deaf Polish Jewish, too.

Any kind of participation would go a long way to raising awareness in the community about some of the unique issues that arise in matters involving Deaf survivors in Holocaust and to providing them examples of positive examples of how with community and support, plus the right resources, contributing to the community is possible. 

We cannot ignore hate crimes that must be challenged by us all. No matter what. There were older blog posts to share with the readers. As the only Deaf lecturer focusing on hate crimes in the Deaf community, available for lectures below. 

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/tag/deaf-people-in-hitlers-europe/

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2019/03/10/crying-hands-deaf-people-in-hitlers-germany-reflection/

https://www.nancyrourke.com/deafsurvivorsholocaust.htm

https://jasontozier.net

-JT 

Copyright © 2020 Jason Tozier 

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

References: 

Gilbert, Jean (1998). Deaf People in Hitler’s Europe. Gallaudet Today, September 1998.

Tozier, Jason (2007). Negative Perceptions of Deaf Individuals in Relation to Knowledge of American Language. March 2007.

Eddy, Melissa. (2019). Visiting Auschwitz, Merkel Warns Against Danger to Liberal Democracy. New York Times. December 2019.