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Tag Archives: Ignorance

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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See the Difference?

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Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Please Apologize to the Deaf Community

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It is just disheartening to see that once in a while that Deaf people would be mocked for their own language choice: American Sign Language (ASL). When Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former governor for the state of California has mocked ASL front of the audience promoting them to laugh. I was shocked to see what he has done. I had respect for him.

I’ve seen all of Arnold’s movies, of course, The Terminator, but one movie gave me a lot of laughter, Twins with Danny DeVito. Memories were good! Arnold was the one who vetoed AB 2072 in 2010, he saved Deaf community. But…. after what he did couple of days ago, he did not save the Deaf community instead of mocking them. No compassion.

So, I went ahead and find out when the Twins were produced and surprised that it was made in 1988, the same year Deaf President Now won the hearts of American people to pick its first Deaf president in history. Respect!

Where is the compassion?  Is it a right word? A compassion is a moment of sudden clarity on a dank day whether it was morning, neither afternoon nor evening.

We all are the same. We are all Deaf. We are all the same. Though, our stories are not the same. We live in a very oppressed world dominated by hearing people. The hearing world has forgotten that Deaf people have been contributed to the society.  Did Arnold even know that the mirror said to him?

Each day, Deaf people face challenges–discrimination in all spheres of public spaces wherever they go to. The nation that has named United States of America was supposed to live in a peaceful space. When Laurent Clerc arrived on the soil of America in 1816, we all need to remember the old mantra of Deaf progress. It makes Clerc as an immigrant just like all of us. Arnold was an immigrant, too. America was built with immigrants.

Clerc’s America was supposed to be seen as “grandfather clause” meant to protect Deaf people. After infamous 1880 Milan Resolution, thousands of Deaf people even today–I meant, a countless number the last two centuries were targeted for bullying.

Soon, few weeks away from the month of March–the National Deaf History Month. Never mind Alexander Graham Bell’s birthday on March 3rd or Sleep Awareness Month that Deaf people were supposed to sleep peaceful without being bullied. We will not forget what AGBell or Arnold has done to us. Deaf History Month is filled of Deaf people pushing us for future and build stronger foundation at every forward step.

Have Deaf people suffered enough hate from cruel people? The scourge of hate speech about ASL has been built enough reputation. ASL might be seen as homeless to hearing people who laughed just like what Arnold did. ASL, arguably the most marginalized and forgotten group in the United States promoted by AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, is constantly either ignored or encouraged by its laughter.

How in the name of ignorance can it be misunderstood if one does not hear or know it? If you were in the same room, talking on the same objectives, then why was the laughter not very much part of us? Laughing is contagious if it shared and understood.

It is about the moan of pain. Will hearing people accept Deaf people in America today? We will need to continue to stand up against hate speech. ASL and the intellectual life of the Deaf have become quite pronounced as the result of the contact between two educators: Laurent Clerc, and the Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. That is why it is important to celebrate 200 years anniversary with the arrival of Clerc.

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Before closing this post, Deaf people have given plenty of contribution to the society and recognize them as human beings with inherent rights. Arnold needs to apologize for mocking ASL. We do not need a Terminator to mock us. If Arnold refuses to apologize then he’s terminated! Where is California Association of the Deaf’s action and tell Arnold not to do that?

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Removing IDEA From Department of Education: Are We Being Setting Up For Failure?

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Human Right to Education “Key 3”. Christian Avendaño Cendales.

Hours after the Department of Education has nominated the person who is in charge as secretary, Betsy DeVos has created a huge mess at this hour. Ignorance, human rights violation, even segregation–propelled by economic expansion and justified by dirty money has informed us the Deaf community what the Department of Education is today.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] has been removed from Department of Education’s website that was supposed to ignite networking through healthy channels and promote human rights; yet, it is not the same anymore.

Betsy DeVos, and those ignorant people who voted for DeVos need access to a history that is honest what Deaf people and people with disabilities has been going through hardships.  What do we mean by history? Let’s shall find out and go from there. Maybe then it would be easier for them, and the rest of us, to make history that is progressive and inclusive.

In this way, DeVos creates room to remove Deaf people to doubt their current mentality. This doubt serves as the foundation on which she builds the rest of her arguments, citing that IDEA is not important–“up to the states” and shows prejudice is forcefully pointed out. Her debate urges the Department of Education to stay with the status quo. Given this logic, the oppressors against human rights movements are equal to those in removing IDEA off the face of the country’s fundamental human rights.

From there, DeVos outlines the logic behind equality and ignorance. Her debate holds that, while Deaf people and people with disabilities are not actually equal, they should be considered to be wiped out.

As a supporter of IDEA myself because I was one of them, we need to recognize the essence of DeVos’s work stands as a call to remove IDEA from the website to adjust hypocrisy at finest hour. Do we even realize what DeVos has downplayed xenophobic as well? The Department of Education needs to boycott DeVos for the sake of humanity.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References: https://www.flickr.com/photos/myhappydesign/

Why “Social Justice” Matters at Gallaudet University

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After watching MJ Bienvenu where she explained the meaning of “Social Justice” video provided by Deafhood Foundation Newsletter, [Issue #6, January 26, 2016] I would like to express my grave concerns about Social Justice at Gallaudet University today.

Inside Gallaudet campus, it is filled with bigotry and hate, Deaf students are oppressed for using American Sign Language (ASL), and in today’s climate at Gallaudet, social justice is imaginatively and speculatively based on lack of education and ignorance, and it gives some fictitious information that humiliates and ostracizes not only Gallaudet, but also Deaf people everywhere on the campus.

As a Social Justice supporter myself, I always believed that producing the Social Justice to be an act of leadership. From time to time, it tells stories that we are not ready to see, holds up a mirror to reflect the realities of the Deaf people, and raises the antenna of our own social consciousness. However, I found it very difficult to write about Social Justice—that should give a good name specifically to any educational institution like Gallaudet where Deaf students are the legal age of full responsibility.

There is no question that Deaf students have tried to describe a number of experiences of consciousness that appear to them to be essential to the process of Social Justice—that is, they find it very difficult to “think away” these elements while assuming that Social Justice will continue to recognize there. Not only that, but Deaf returning citizens are severely oppressed more than anyone on the campus.

How can Gallaudet University ignore Social Justice with stimulate thought, open dialogue, and leave Deaf students about Gallaudet, for example, for hours, days, even years later? It is just a sad piece of Deaf history that Social Justice is not educated enough at Gallaudet. It is not the same today as MJ made this video ten years ago. We need to bring “Social Justice” back and educate them to protect their human rights and civil rights.

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

Laugh and The World Laughs With You

Image                                                 Identity Gone by Nancy Rourke

Laugh, laugh, laugh! Come on, it is not that hard to do! What is wrong with you?

Well, when I was growing up seeing family members in the same room, laughing, and I often asked them, “what is so funny?” They would say, “I am too lazy to tell you,” “it is not important to know,”  “you do not understand,” “get lost,” “who are you?” Why is the laughter not very much a part of my life? I became dumbfounded on-spot that something was funny in another language: spoken English. Not just the family gatherings, but I would watch movies with closed captions, I still did not laugh. Growing up as a kid, I was completely clueless about American Sign Language (ASL).

Growing up in THE hearing world all my life, I was just a stranger, an interloper without guidance, a lack of ASL, and confused with no goal or direction in life. As a boy growing up in a small town, I drank into my character a dark with empty life that had not shared enough with an important human property, laughter. Without laughing, it gave me a handful of toxic legacies that flushed me inside out.

There were several times when my cousin Tony and I would be watching a movie with some of comedy together, he was laughing hard but he noticed that I did not laugh. He then asked me why I would not laugh. I never really understood any part of the laughter. I was just an angry kid, knowing that my family did not bother to communicate with me. Also, I was angry that I was being bullied and ostracized at my school. I often landed me in the principal’s office where I would get accused, blamed and suspended right away. Those hearing peers would mock and laugh at me. So I did not laugh.

After I saw stories in ASL via vlogs and Deaf scholars, I was shocked to discover that I was able to laugh! It had transformed me from a lonely and introvert childhood. I always had trouble with the hearing world, and with laughter, I went to being an outgoing, sociable jock, just a full of life.

I lived with the label in hearing world all my life until ASL came into my life that removed my depression right away. As my story goes on, I saw people laughing with furtive glances in public.  I could remember for the first time when I laughed in ASL in the air, it became free. It changed my life; I still feel the stigma from growing up in the mainstreaming world. I believe that mainstreaming changed the presence of who I am. It is the most reviled label that I lived in that world.

When I was 20, I chose to move out of from a small plot of land in the rural southwestern Washington State town, population of 500, the back door of the single-wide house faces the forest—the fact that I had to escape from vigilant attacks. The stigma by not laughing too much followed me around until I met Deaf scholars. I never knew they knew how to make me laugh! What kept me going? My anger, my guilt, my ignorance.  I had lived in the hearing world. My return to a “normal” life has been slow. I needed to go to ASL festivals more often. With glints of laughing in ASL made a lot of progress where I had opened up to my friends and relatives outside my immediate family.

I realized that laughing is itself a learned behavior. ASL is the language usage to learn. I was intrigued by seeing comedies in ASL to help me identify myself as a Deaf person. The act of role in ASL makes a huge repetitious performance of Deafhood that is dictated by a hearing dominance culture. It questions the idea of laughing in ASL is very important to recognize the state of being Deaf from which hearing world deviates. Learning how to laugh in ASL goes through a fallow period and has some conceptualization of what I am to ASL around me before I can comfortably live in the world. After all, laughing is contagious if it is shared and understood.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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