From one of my previous blogs, someone asked me to show the proof that Aristotle committed suicide; there is no need to criticize my truth. That person had an access to the higher education and can find out from there. It is an easy vocation to do it. Hint: A book that focuses only on Alexander the Great’s life. After Aristotle actually took his life, his work fell into the hands of the Arabic world, Islam, the enemy of the Church. Although the Church was aware of Aristotelian thoughts, they refused to incorporate his work into the intellectual life. Reason: Aristotle did not die naturally. Aristotle’s work became appreciated in the 13th century Spain where Judaism, Christianity and Islam lived in harmony. Aristotle lived in harmony to mock Deaf people’s solemnity.
The copies of Aristotle’s work eventually fell into the hands of Saint Thomas Aquinas who promoted some concepts into the Church in the 14th century. Aristotle lived way after Socrates passed away in 399 B.C.; his thoughts were evolved from the Socratic doctrine that the mutes, who signed in groups, had intelligence. Saint Augustine was the 4th century AD bishop who ordered Saint Jerome to put together and compile the Bible. The same guy, Saint Jerome who wrote EPHPHATHA in the Bible. Much information was deliberately eliminated, but St. Augustine pointed out that the Deaf do have the soul if they are able to talk about the same GOD. The whole point is that EPHPHATHA is very Aristotelian method.
I began to realize that many people are not aware of the governance at Gallaudet University—a system of higher learning management. EPHPHATHA is a governance duty to make sure Deaf people is healed from their ears. Alan Hurwitz could not do anything to make Deaf students better on campus or even to offer an academic course. It is the Board of Trustees (BoT) that is more powerful than Faculty Senate. It is the same truth for all other colleges and universities. If Board of Trustees said no, then we are all struck. For example, if a professor can facilitate a course proposal through the Faculty Senate’s Curriculum Committee, and if the Committee said no, then the professor is stuck. An administrator could not touch the Senate because he is an administrator. The same thing goes to Alan Hurwitz.
In 1988, when there was a Deaf President Now (DPN) protest, the Faculty Senate voted to disassociate itself from the Board Chairperson Janet Spillman for saying that the deaf people were not ready for a higher position at Gallaudet. It was the vote that helps winning the protest. It is time to erase EPHPHATHA from Gallaudet campus and vote no confidence in BoT’s leadership. Also it hurts not only the university but also our Deaf intellectual life—our academic freedom. It must not be over-sighted.
Imagine this, if Deaf people, the Deaf world, populated the world, our beloved earth. What if the world was devoid of hearing people? At very least a Deaf world would be a signing place where everything had a sign name thought of or experienced, for there would be just a signed language. Unfortunately, the world is not Deaf. Indeed, it is thickly populated with people who can hear and speak. In this very world today, I am asking if these hearing people do actually listen to themselves and to speak with the Deaf. Or should I ask whether these hearing people so gullible there exists the medical and scientific arrogances. For instance, the term, EPHPHATHA, the world’s invisible Audism had proposed that Deaf people must be cured. If we manage to get the media to recognize the extent of Audism on Gallaudet campus, then we move them closer to an open mind because Audism is “unheard of”—Aye?
In the 15th century, Martin Luther challenged the Church by publishing the Bible in the German language. In the 16th century, Henry VIII broke up with the Church. In the 17th century, the Puritans became the pilgrims in America. In the 18th century, America revolted against the British Empire. In the 19th century, America had the Civil War. In the 20th century, America saw two World Wars. In the 21st century, the term EPHPHATHA is still around Gallaudet. Why not we the Deaf challenge BoT and remove the term off the seal. It is time for Deaf people to live in harmony. The irony thing is that one of the BoT members holds PhD in Cross Cultural Communication and Language and the same guy who coined Audism has not done enough conscious effort to stop it.
EPHPHATHA is very much the role of culture in attempting to medicalize Deaf suffering and toxic language in cross-cultural discipline and measures. Is it an occupation that many critics are not aware of EPHPHATHA at best, a betrayal at worse? We all ride. Now we can ride as one. The goal of removing the term is to gather thousands and thousands of support, to speak with one powerful “voice” and let policymakers, the media, and BoT know that removing Audism-theme is important and be supported. Also, will Gallaudet University we known ever grow into a reality or see the light of the day?
It is about liberty and democracy. As Deaf citizens of the world, exactly what is our responsibility toward deafness implies—ASL and sign language! Being Deaf does not mean listening and speaking.
Isaiah 29.18: “Is it not a duty that falls to all of us to take up these children and to protect them on behalf of God, to educate them so that, as the prophet tells us, every day the deaf may heard the word of the book”
Copyright © Jason Tozier
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