It is important to analyze privileges. Check your privileges! For example, White people speak for Black people? NO! Men speak for Women? NO! Hearing people speak for Deaf people? NO!
Same thing as non-returning citizens. No difference. Those people who had not experienced jail or prison emotionally, physically and mentally. Understand what it is being a Deaf returning citizen or returnees “RC” like after returning to the society. Do they really understand hardships, emotional triggers, stigma, PTSD, depression, labeling, the list goes on. You cannot measure their struggles and understand the pain.
Those non-returning citizens should not speak for Deaf returning citizens.
HEARD [Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf], a hearing-owned organization run by Talila Lewis, decides to use non-returning citizens in a video discussing semantics related to quarantine is inappropriate. Those non-returning citizens should not speak for Deaf returning citizens.
It is the same way for other organizations that use privileged people to speak for unprivileged people. It is best to learn from Deaf returning citizens because they had gone through the system. They are the unprivileged people.
I wrote a column for DEAF LIFE in December 2017 Issue: “DEAF RETURNEES: WHAT DO THEY RETURN TO?” “They’re [Deaf returnees] kept invisible. The stigma they experience is deeply rooted in the sense of struggle, a fear of being silenced.”–Jason “JT” Tozier
For more reading on my piece: Check the link below.
THREE (3) REFERENCES: