Double Standard?

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Handwritten Letters From Jail Uncensored

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When I received a package from my mother and it had contained many letters from 23 years ago writing to my mother while I was incarcerated, the letters proved the greatest driven in my mission to break the impossible. The fact my state of being Deaf returnee had made me the strongest asset to my survival and defy the odds.

While I was reading those letters last night, flashbacks were meant to teach me how to learn how to walk through the harshest punishments, defining my life who I am, and learned how to manage to crack the code of bullying. Finally, if there is not the triumph of hope, what will it be like?

I should explain that sometimes I find myself seeing life without its reasons. It is kind of experience, one where the compassion melt away, and it is most often when we are in denials. Ever since I was incarcerated, there was a part of me that has been searching for the story-telling purpose behind it all with the goal to become repentant and rehabilitated. I became the first family member to graduate from university.

I helped passed the hate crime law to protect Deaf community in state of Oregon. It was one of my greatest gift ever. 

I worked very hard to defy the odds when people said I would have no chance at all instead of sending me threatening e-mails, in person, and you name it all.

Whenever I was writing letters, I look beyond the walls of hope. I did not give up. It was not something you would see everyday. Because of the letters I wrote, I’ve overcome each obstacle–including the critical goals I set and show what I can do when I come together from walk of life, challenging the differences, and that makes me far stronger than what I was instructed by the very society to divide my life. Not in this life this time.

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I do not believe in the pursuit of individuality where I suffer life long imprisonment for the rest of my life. I share my own experiences, some of the most painful experiences I’d ever endured. To make matters worse I had dealt with naysayers who turn my suffering into financial gain. I refuse to let people define who I am. No one.

After all, the handwritten letters to write is not the one that thinks for me, but the life which makes me think. In some of the letters to my mother that I will share few details that proved a serious change in my life:

Dated: February 25, 1996:

“Like I said, I’ll probably will have long hair by that time!”

Dated: Friday, March 29, 1996:

“There are so many things I would like to do on the day when I get out.”

Dated: May 18, 1996:

“I just wrote 10 goals when I release, these 10 goals are important to do.”

I could go on more, but let’s stop right there.

I miss my hair.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

23 Years Later: Bust of Sisyphus

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23 years ago on this date today was the day I was released from jail, walking out as 102 pounder, ate four breakfast plates at Denny’s about 30 minutes later, hungriest ever as I was, aiming for hard work to change my life around. I would never imagine how many hardships to deal with going through rock throwing later in life. I was hungry for change. It took a lot of guts. Honestly, I never would think I’d gone through major changes. Health major changes.

At the same time, I had been gone through a lot of roadblocks and shit blocks. The bust of Sisyphus aged 23 as I bought the bust at local store in State of Washington sitting on my shelf all those years has helped me gone through series of battles and salvage, and…finding ways to achieve goals today and in the future. The toughest road ahead. Making me to give up. The unjust application of the law lies in my own journey. The hardest part is unemployed for nine years and it is cruel long enough. The most important part is to believe in yourself. It’s not always easy. Be vigilant.

I just want to thank all the people who supports me, listening and signing in ASL either in person, Face Time, or Videophone, and it always does not mean to agree all the time, and enters a secure space, although it has been not easy path, and border is no blockage for higher learning, and overcoming culture of fear. If such as a solid answer to understand more about what culture of fear is all about, and in the distant past, it makes me stronger.

Also, I am thankful for opportunities to give 24 lectures all over country and Canada. Guest speaker three times. Panelist twice. Publications twice. Published work. 15 Editorial Columns for DEAF LIFE, Nation’s Deaf Community Magazine. Aiming for good and social change to stand up against status quo. The issues of higher learning are particularly relevant in a culture where passivity and “censorship” is easily vulnerable.

Someone once said to me as “champion of Deaf returnees” fighting and advocating for Deaf returnees’ right to higher education, employment, living arrangement and human rights. In 2015, I was invited to give a lecture for social justice conference sponsored by Deaf Studies Association at CSUN–Deaf Returning Citizens as Forgotten People.

 

Love or Hate, as a Deaf returnee, I’ve found a purpose that the peace resolution is best thing that I’ve learned in college and university helped retain broad and deep perspective of my mind. Been through extreme bullying such as far as death threats, labeling, and identify the concerns. Can we make all the difference as much as aid people, Deaf or hearing, in developing their own social justice of life? Sure, why not?

While we need more lectures, work shops, bias training, and social justice, we also need more social justice activists, who act from this perspective and relate their total-view perspectives to an activist personal social justice to every day questions of how we learn and discuss more about it to influence people and politicians in our own community.

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If you are interested in my hate crime lecture and culture of Deaf returnee as forgotten people why it is important in Deaf community to understand and protect all of us at all costs, find an acquired skill founded on practice, like discussing and empowering, and how well we do it depends on how much of it we have learned and it is healthy task. It is also good way to increase the inherent interest of issues, giving the readers and viewers a sense of discovery. The information will be at the end of the page below.

Though, I’ve decided to go through peaceful resolution as much as I can, making all the difference in life. Studying Sociology and Hate Crimes played a huge role in my life. I continue to do this for my living. Working on publishing a book.

My proudest achievement to help hate-crime law protecting Deaf Oregonians had passed in 2012.

Ain’t that easy not? I made serious determination and it is much harder maze to overcome the toughest road: Adversity.

Graduated from community college. Graduated from university.

First Deaf returnee to do presentation for Portland Office of Human Relations

First Deaf returnee to do presentation for Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes

First Deaf returnee to lecture for Ontario Association of the Deaf

First Deaf returnee to do video project for Deafhood Discussions

First Deaf returnee is part of Deafhood Monologues

First Deaf returnee to receive scholarship in graduate school

Deaf returnee to be part of first Deaf Returned Citizens Panel

First Deaf returnee and a panelist for Yale Law School Conference

First Deaf returnee to do National Anthem for DC Professional Sport Team

First Deaf returnee to lecture for California State University Northridge. Social Justice Conference

First Deaf returnee to lecture for Georgia Association of the Deaf

First Deaf returnee and panelist for Deaf Access to Justice & Deaf in Prison Symposium

First Deaf returnee to teach at National Technical Institute for the Deaf

First Deaf returnee to lecture at Gallaudet University

First Deaf returnee to write for DEAF LIFE

First Deaf returnee as Director for We the Deaf People, Inc.

First Deaf Returnee as Chair for Deaf Political Action Committee

First Deaf Returnee as Chair for Deaf Consumers United

First Deaf Returnee as member of National Task Force on Police and Emergency Services

First Deaf Returnee as Chair for National Deaf Patient Care Council

More to come!

https://jasontozier.net/

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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