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Tag Archives: Human Rights

Twitter of the Oppressed

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Here it goes again! Trump: Commander in Chief of Hate. He announced today that he is going to ban transgender anyone who serves in the military. Trump is definitely the dumb-fuckest president in history—hands down!

The ironic thing is that keep in mind, Hate Crime Statistics Act (HSCA) who was signed by President Bush in 1990 and revised in 2009 now named Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, is still valid today in our laws. Are you aware that HSCA requires the current Attorney General Jeff Sessions to collect data on crimes committed because of the race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity? It is the law of our eyes!

Trump as President of the United States just committed hate crime because of sexual orientation! How can he get away with it? He uses Twitter “Trumpism” to recruit hate groups to attack ordinary people. He wants more hate members. More hate money. More power. Trump wants to create the most xenophobic campaign ever—energized and emboldened a growing and hate movement. The number of hate groups are growing. Paulo Freire wrote his bestseller book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed that needs to remind all of us:

It is in the interest of the oppressor to weaken the oppressed still further, to isolate them, to create, and deepen rifts among them.”

Trump’s 100 days already—actions are all about hate agenda. Enough. We need to fight against hate. We need to take our justice and equality back. This is more crucial than ever. When Trump was chosen to be president, the murders of transgenders are at all-time high already. No joke! Never xenophobia! Never ignorance! Never bullying! Never hatred! I support transgender soldiers! Shame on Trump!

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

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The Lack of Jury Duty for Deaf People

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On Friday, July 21st hot afternoon–I decided to meet a friend and gave a tour at Library of Congress. Great times! However, when we walked into a room, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations.” and I saw something that caught my attention and share this with you fellows. It makes me wonder if Library of Congress, the mother of all libraries, is known for research skills, the leadership of literacy, and a complex web of  higher knowledge, makes me think if this message is filled with mixed thoughts, when you notice the picture I took below:

to the rights of the deaf to sit on juries; from a courtroom filled with people wearing masks fearing….”

How do you feel about that when you saw this? Were Library of Congress aware of very little stats about Deaf people to sit on juries? Did they research that, too? Truth: How many Deaf people sitting on juries? Come on, really. Why cannot they tell the truth? Number will make all the headlines. That’s Mask of Benevolence, folks! Europe: Number? Australia: Number? New Zealand: Number? South America: Number? Africa: Number? Asia: Number? America: Number? Right, after the passage of 1990 ADA law, again, how many Deaf people serve on juries? Yes, there were few Deaf people who were selected. Most recently, a friend of mine who was selected to be on jury few months ago in DC. It was very interesting experience for her.

Why did Library of Congress do that? To make them look good for enrollment purpose? Selfish acts? Were Deaf people aware about Library of Congress planing to use them in public eyes? I am sure that there are many questions behind that. Some may not able to answer and avoid the reality. Deaf people were banned from serving on juries for years and many centuries, there is a good article to read:

http://theconversation.com/deaf-or-blind-people-cant-serve-on-juries-heres-why-law-needs-to-change-67418

No courtroom should be wearing masks fearing Deaf people. There are thousands of stories around the world that Deaf people would end up in courtroom with no interpreter at all and struggle for information. They often end up pleading guilty by threatening them or found guilty even without evidence, they fail to recognize Deaf discourses in the courtrooms. For example, recent Thursday evening, I attended an event at Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C; to watch a private screening of Change of Signs, an powerful 35 minutes film. Discovering Deaf Worlds, Inc; (DDW) did an excellent service to help out Deaf community in Philippines and support the stories of ten members of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. Extraordinary work!

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See that hand waving with the watch on on right side? That was me.

The film talked about the lack of Deaf people have the rights to have an interpreter in courtrooms, struggle to be recognized as a human being, and have the human right to sit on the jury as all other people do. I learned that it was 121,000 Deaf people living there and only few interpreters available. That’s major crisis. A lot more to that film that I hope it will show to the public one day.

Before wrapping up for this post, how do you feel when you see, “to the rights of the deaf”? Why lower “d”? Why not “Deaf people have the constitutional right to sit on the juries” Or, “From a courtroom filled with Deaf people’s rights to serve on juries” that would help the visitors from all over the world visiting Library of Congress for the first time and see the truth what Deaf people are really going through a lot. What do you think?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-022/drawing-justice-the-art-of-courtroom-illustrations-opens-april-27/2017-03-07/

 

 

 

ASL: The Meaning of ‘Justice for All’

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There are millions of visitors who visit District of Columbia, the nation’s capital. What I did not realize that today on this date, July 16, 1790 when DC was picked as nation’s capital while the first American president, George Washington signed The Residence Act that made a city.

There are indeed still consequences in today’s Deaf community. The fracturing of the social media takes a larger scope and understands that it is not OK to attack Deaf community.

District of Columbia’s motto: Justia Omnibus, which means Justice for All. When President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill to create higher education for Deaf people: National Deaf Mute College (Now Gallaudet University) in Washington, DC; Deaf people have the right to carry rightful justice that they have every aspect of human right to use sign language for communication, knowledge, and information. That was the main topic. Simple.

The creation of the university was built by many stories you cannot imagine how much it meant to them. DC was only 74 years old city when Gallaudet University founded. As Alexander Graham Bell was 17 years old living in Scotland that time, did you ever think what would AGBell think about that day, 8th April, 1864? Did his father or grandfather tell him the news? Did AGBell have a plan to destroy “all for justice” policy and erase sign language in favor for oralism? Was it the plan to preserve Bell family’s name and legacy to destroy an American motto at what highest cost possibly be?

Exactly 100 years after the founding of nation’s capital, AGBell had the nerve to set up American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf now known as Volta Bureau, AGBell’s headquarters in the same city. AGBell challenged Edward Miner Gallaudet on the sacred ground of Gallaudet University that can be found in a book, Never the Twain Shall Meet by Richard Winefield. Help ourselves understand. The American democracy is not easily misunderstood.

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Justia Omnibus, is an American motto, which means NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM DEAF PEOPLE in 1880 and the next 100 years today. AGBell do not have the authority to prioritize and revoke all for justice in Deaf community’s favor of ASL.

The District of Columbia gave Deaf people a life to grow and teaches that justice for all to overcome Audism at Gallaudet University. Why cannot the Board of Trustees [BoTs] flesh out all the connections between AGBell’s headquarters and the university for dirty money? Make it ASL/Deaf-centered, ASL/Deaf-controlled, and ASL/Deaf-oriented. What’s wrong with that? Today, we will stand by human rights to use ASL—Justice for All! Justia Omnibus! ASL wins!

Happy birthday, DC! ASL JUSTICE FOR ALL.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

Did Gallaudet University Erase Hate Crime Recently?

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I learned about this when I visited Gallaudet University couple of hours ago. It is being offered for $500—the university viewed it as vandalism. It was a student action project exhibit and robbed their time and education. I am very much in support of Black Lives Matter.

To me, once someone took the sign down out of pure vengeance, it means they bullied human beings down just because they are Black and it is a hate crime. Yes, Gallaudet University has been racist for long time. The English language has a strange inference of criminalization, “Legislation that makes something illegal.” For example, indicating the criminalization of Black Deaf people everyday—it is true that the society fails to educate Deaf community what Racism really meant in the highest term of learning.

From Jack Levin’s book, Hate Crimes: The Rising Tide of Bigotry and Bloodshed:

Thrill seeking hate crime: an individual joins a group activity so that the people who are most important to him–his friends, will not reject him. It is the most common type for anyone to use this.

Mission hate crime (the rarest group): the rarest version of hate crimes consists of an attack carried out by the individuals with a mission; they seek to rid the world of evil by disposing of the members of a despised group.

You decide which would be best to describe for the haters or is it both, too? What kind of hate crime policing at Gallaudet University? What works to get Deaf community to take hate crime seriously by having a policy from Gallaudet community to make a statement, “our policy is to take hate crimes seriously” and create specializing units. Specifically study and keep track of hate crime data and set a good role model by Gallaudet community. Racist, xenophobic and intolerant discourses in politics is not enough discussed at the university.

Unfortunately, Gallaudet University has been always a white privilege stronghold campus. When someone took the BLM project down, it is also a racial harassment, is it also a violation of U.S. Civil Rights laws, too? As Joe R. Feagin and Karyn D. McKinney wrote in a book called The Many Costs of Racism “Dealing with everyday Racism is more than a matter of managing internal concerns and crises.”

Community accountability needs to be recognized at Gallaudet University. We need to prevent this crisis not to let this happen again. We do not need Trump’s America to let it happen on the campus. Again, I am all in support for Black Lives Matter. Our democracy is at risk.

Thanks for standing with us against Racism and hate crime.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Nation Was Also Built By Laurent Clerc

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History Through Deaf Eyes 

Today, May 1st is Immigrant Rights Day! Consider, to begin with a colonialism scene in Deaf world–especially in America that time. In 1816, Laurent Clerc to begin his journey for America knew the destiny to create in the name of Deaf Education. Clerc was the ONE who generated Deaf Education, without him, it would not be the same. It was a fate to get rid of Audism and break the colonization.

This was the time that Clerc had to articulate his teaching philosophy in America. The ability to acquire and use sign language exclusively is valuable for Deaf students in the field of literatures and Clerc strive to have students actively thinking about higher education within minutes of entering the classroom, and when communication something Clerc pushed to use as much sign language as possible.

Clerc had been teaching for long time, and I’m sure he enjoyed this work a lot. He had coordinated Deaf Education and there is no way he would realize that his presence had developed and facilitated many courses through the College-wide Curriculum Committees and Higher Education Commission. His gift for America was a huge amount of time, and through this process, he determined to boil down his teaching philosophy to higher principles that Clerc as an immigrant made a huge difference today.

The most important principle of Deaf Education is always demonstrating a passion for higher learning. Unfortunately, there is no unique recipe for passion that works for all Deaf students. While for some Deaf students it is important to know how to use ASL, others find the ideas for education in ASL interesting by themselves.

The final grade has been a top-priority for many Deaf students, but I am sure that Clerc always do his best to explain that it should an ultimate goal for acquiring skills in ASL. Otherwise, students would gain the skills in ASL after classroom is over and that is very desirable for Clerc.

So, I feel that Clerc as an immigrant with his credentials why Deaf Education is important and where it is used today and explain the ideas behind philosophy and linguistics, propagating the idea that ASL can be approached from two perspectives, science (descriptive) and art (prescriptive). Before proceeding to the theory Clerc would give a lot of examples and usually draw appropriate pictures.

Clerc’s passion is enthusiasm for acquiring and mastering ASL for Deaf students. His enthusiasm must be infectious enough to transmit to the students. In this case they would learn ASL because of ASL itself and not only because it is used somewhere else. The goal here is to share the beauty of ASL. Deaf students, I am sure that have never complained about a lack of enthusiasm.

We reinforce Deafhood every time we use ASL. © Jason “JT” Tozier 2017

Clerc might not also realize that he brought human rights of the Deaf in America. It was all about modeling and teaching professional behavior and respect. To Clerc, teaching and learning is palpable: When Clerc can see it in a student’s visible delight in acquiring and using ASL jargon; when Clerc can read the excitement in students’ essays about ASL or Deaf experience that is also part of Deaf Studies, Clerc cannot say anything better than an Irish writer, W.B. Yeats about teaching when he wrote:

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

Clerc’s energy had ignited in Deaf students a passion to learn as much as possible and be professional within the field of Deaf Studies. I can best summarize in one word for Clerc: passion. Passion helps the Deaf students engage in the course assignment, even if there is no “correct answer” in the processes of exploring the language and culture of the Deaf. Engaged students in classrooms must work hard, write about their Deaf experiences, and learn to think, respect others, and above all, have fun!

Clerc was the most important Deaf immigrant in America. Thank you, Laurent Clerc for your genius and innovations. You were the face of human rights! After all, we are a nation of immigrants. Behold the Deaf community in highest standard possible! Yes, Immigrant Rights are Human Rights!

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://www.neh.gov/explore/history-through-deaf-eyes

 

Ignorance Continues…..

 

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I was a patient there for a while before I was discharged recently (today) for a heart-related condition. When I found out the sign on the door where I was assigned to be in a room, the ignorance about Deaf people by labelling them “hearing impaired”–a damaging image of Deaf people.

What I do not understand is that hearing people who think they make the best decisions for Deaf people by oppressing emotional experience and reflects the need for understand that Deaf people in our culture and expression of emotion. I mean, Washington, D.C. is the largest Deaf community in America and the home of the world’s only Deaf university and yet, today is 2017–the ignorance still amazes me. Just amazing…

It is an example of how complex oppression is, and why it is not just a hearing perspective of Deaf people on oppression, but a multi-viewed Audism perspective that affects Deaf people all in different ways. When hearing people have every right to label Deaf people “hearing impaired”—Deaf people are not just protesting oppression as Deaf, but as Deaf people with inherent rights, human rights, as well as cultural rights.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

CULTURAL GENOCIDE: Gallaudet University Hosted a Conference in 2003

The Tides of Deaf Mind: Uncovering the Self-Hate

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Today, there are thousands of parents of Deaf children who are now cochlear implanted 40% in America according to VICE—and that is scary statistics.

There are sure to be far-fetching consequences of what is taking place both in cochlear implant industry of the richest and most powerful country in human history and in what Dr. Dimity Dornan, former Executive Director and Founder of Hear and Say made a hate speech towards Deaf people:

“I think deafness is at the same stage polio was…it is a scourge in our world but it can be almost completely eradicated. I believe we can truly make this happen.”

I mean, fuck, that is bullshit and Dimity has no business to make a human decision that Deaf people should be eradicated. The term of ‘eradicated’ means to remove or destroy utterly. Is this not a cultural genocide? It is hate!

Dimity comes from Australia. The cochlear implant makers come from Australia spreading the energy of eradication into America, the world’s richest and powerful country.

Look again—above. One more time. “Scourge” that is even worse. In dictionary, it means, a whip or lash, especially for the infliction of punishment or torture.

Remember Charles Dickens’s story, A Christmas Carol:

A ghost faced Ebenezer Scourge.

Scourge: Who are you?

Ghost: The Ghost of TV Past.

Scourge: What do you want of me at this hour, ghost?

Ghost: I’m here to show you the errors of your ways.

Scourge: Where are you taking me?

Ghost: To the television set.

Scourge: What are those?

Ghost: Old sitcoms.

The old sitcoms…Deaf people are beautiful without cochlear implants. Deaf people are beautiful without speaking and hear. Deaf people are beautiful without oppression.

Deaf people do not need to be punished or being tortured because they are Deaf. That’s morally wrong. We need to take strong action to protect our state of being Deaf as fundamental values and stop the wave of hate crimes and other bias-related including Dornan’s statement.

I cannot imagine that statement in Australia would spread into classroom bigotry spawned by Dornan’s words that later become a global xenophobic rhetoric and created haters to help cochlear implant makers rich to target vulnerable Deaf minds.

The form of harassment is no longer recognized. Dornan’s falsehoods—it seems, to distract attention from controversies and has to do with hearing ideology. Why is it being ignored?

The Deaf minds are the most sacred entitlement of all time. It is complicated and sensitive. We all need to know the minds are practically protected in its level of awareness.

After Dornan’s hate speech statement, it was in order to attack Deaf people and practice institutionalized Audism in historically hearing world. What about institutionalized bigotry and hate, both overt and subtle? Audism is part of hate.

Dornan’s words not only reflected ignorance and callousness about the awareness of Deaf people and culture, Dornan championed the perfect example of hate speech has its roots in worst oppression including self-hate, too.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

The Social Outcast: Bullying Allowed at Gallaudet University

In Solidarity With International Women’s Day