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Tag Archives: Labeling

Dwight Benedict’s Smirk

 

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It has been really difficult day for me because a year ago today, I was clinically dead for ten minutes on the campus of the world’s famous university for Deaf people, Gallaudet University. In the same room where Dwight Benedict was in, he was walking down the aisle with a smirk because he had the hatred towards me—it was really difficult for me to think that way. How can I forget that? It is impossible to forget something like this.

My story must be seen, written, and examined. I grow tired and sick of people telling me to live in PAST. People do not know my life stories what exactly happened. It has been always HEARSAY. People choose to ignore my stories. Especially when a lot of people do not know the facts cannot comprehend what they were listening or do not care what the facts are and make up their own stories.

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Do you think it was professional of Dwight to smirk when someone else is dead? Many of faculty members witnessed in that room what Dwight did and would vouch for me whenever I need support. He is still walking around campus with power and the same smirk he carries.

When you see the statue of Laurent Clerc on Gallaudet campus, this is one of the most iconic symbols of America—a beacon of hope and acceptance for Deaf people everywhere. So how did coming to Gallaudet University become a crime? Deaf returning citizens are bad news! Make them suffer! Give them the death stare!

If we look at the history of Dwight Benedict’s bullying tactics for the last 37 years, being “Deaf returning citizen” usually just means being “unwanted” and more often than not, that has to do with ignorance and hatred. There are plenty of widespread insecurities at Gallaudet University. As an intellectual community, we the Deaf now seem to exist in permanent fear of the oblivion in the top university leadership, worrying about whether we can survive Dwight’s leadership.

At the same time, at Gallaudet University, we the Deaf appear uncomfortable with the hatred of Dwight’s leadership. The same leadership, so often the means to our advancement, now finds itself under a cloud of power that it falls under a wrong agenda. Disenchanted with Dwight’s past history yet fearful of our future, why are Deaf people—especially people of color and marginalized group struck in Dwight’s leadership where a mood of fear, hatred and low expectations influence our discussion and discourses on many fronts—where our higher education continues to be seen as the problem rather than the challenge.

I worked extremely hard to change my life around and I made an ultimate goal to be a professor. I even made name tags as a personal identification when I arrived in DC and put it around my neck to remind myself. I was so determined more than anything.

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This irrational insight against the grain of oppressed Deaf people on the campus, which teaches that hatred and bullying by Dwight does not lack human compassion. Deaf people in their struggle for social justice—are ignored because Dwight gets away with it. There have been many stories from Kendall Green about Dwight’s 37 years of oppressive leadership. A great many of damages were done, and many Deaf people were hurt.

My constitutional rights has been violated of due process and amounts to Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Eighth Amendment under United States Constitution and Dwight made it very difficult for me to receive higher education and set me up for harassment, public humiliation and bullying long after I served my time.

In February 27, 2014 meeting I was in, the most oppressive meeting ever I experienced in my entire life, he loved the idea very much where his buddy, Ted Baran, Director for DPS whom Dwight calls Ted in the meeting, “Ted is a good man” front of four other people brought up that I must be required to notify my graduate cohort, and walk around the entire Gallaudet campus and must tell everyone why I was jailed for with ugly labeling on my forehead. I was shocked. I already experienced humiliation and harassment at times when I would be at Gallaudet. No doubt, Dwight Benedict opened my old wounds. Dwight and Ted acted as Judge, Jury, and Executioner. The bald faced truth is that they should held accountable.

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Even though it has happened 30 years ago, still, I am set up for extreme public shaming and harassment. I had been a good returning citizen more than 20 years and paid no more than $100,000 in counseling and worked very hard to change my life around and graduated with three degrees all with honors even though I had been experiencing thousands and thousands of times being humiliated in my life. I’ve dealt with hearing counselors who do not understand my journey as Deaf person. I realized it was total lie and waste of money and time. Until I found Deaf-centered counseling, I cried and….

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Did I deserve “scarlet letter” for the rest of my life? Am I allowed to become a productive member of society? I am really sick of people telling me to live in the past and live with the stigma. Horrible lies about me, making me look really bad and I lost almost everything. It’s really hard for me. I cry. I cry. I cry. I suffer more. I suffer more. I suffer more.

Dr. Pernessa Steele, author of “Stand Up to Stigma: How We Reject Fear and Shame” writes: “Stigma” is a simple two-syllable word, yet it carries the weight of negative and often unfair beliefs that we hold about those who are different from us. Stigmas lock people into stereotyped boxes and deny us all the right to be our authentic and whole selves.

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I already had been ostracized from Gallaudet community. Dwight made sure to do more harm than good, with my commitment to turn my life around. I lost my scholarship, I lost my dream job, I lost networking opportunities, I lost pretty much everything and I became the scapegoat on the campus. That is exactly the cruel and unusual punishment. That was the sign of death.

When I woke up on the floor that day, I cried. I still remember being carried out of the room on the emergency stretcher and saw people hand waving at me and I put both of my thumbs letting them know that I’m still strong. Then I was rushed into emergency surgery and carried to an intensive care unit (ICU). The television on right side was turned on—and the presidential election results were still pending.

The worst part was….I was still in extreme shock wondering how I survived from massive heart attack. The election results—did not finalize until 3 AM and became even more heart-broken that Trump was elected. The rises of hate crimes begun. Then I finally fell asleep for only three hours until the nurses woke me up and said, “Time for injections”—my first reaction when I woke up hoping it was only a dream. Only I find it was not a dream. I stayed in the hospital for ten long days. Longest stay in my life.

Do you all remember how you felt when you woke up on November 9th of 2016 morning?

Many people who walked around from Gallaudet University have caught up and suffered in the idea that Dwight thinks he is always right, and that the way Dwight acts is best. But he was wrong in Gallaudet University. What happened with the due process? Why I was not informed with required due process?

Due process means that Gallaudet University cannot give me a serious punishment, like suspension or expulsion, without first having followed fair procedures to determine if I am “bad news”. Fair procedure would include: telling me exactly what I was “bad news”, telling me exactly what the punishment will be, and giving me a chance to tell my side of the story before punishing me. If Gallaudet chooses to punish me, it must punish all others the same. I was never given a chance to do due process. I felt numb.

When I woke up from death, some people who are loyal to Dwight, told me to shut up and stay in silence. Right now Dwight is walking around freely with a smirk and will not apologize for his actions what he had done. It was the most incompetent decision Gallaudet University chooses to keep Dwight in his office. I was targeted by Dwight’s openly discriminatory policies and the discriminatory policies will be always remembered for abuse of power and corruption on the wrong side of professionalism.

For the last 365 days since my death, I wonder if I actually die, the truth would not be seen.

On November 8, 2016, in SAC 1011, the event, “Deaf in Prison Screening & Discussion” sponsored by Gallaudet ASL & Deaf Studies, the very same department I was part of which was very ironic, and the reason they sponsored this because Dirksen Bauman wanted to do this to cover his ass. Complete bullshit. I asked a question for the audience that will be always remembered for long time, “Why Gallaudet University promote FEAR targeting Deaf returning citizens?” and Dwight was in the same room standing in the back giving me a death stare and that was where I had massive heart attack. Dwight was walking down the aisle—slowly and a smirk. Cool, huh?

My death experience has made me stronger than ever. I recently learned that there has been some “talk” around Gallaudet campus that Dwight might retire early—well, there is no way he would walk away with it. My death does not give him full satisfaction and sit in the sun with a smirk. Will Dwight ever experience death for ten minutes and wake up and realize that he is asshole? It was all about personal attack against me as a motivation to new heights of fervor. Master Yoda said: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

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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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Beating the Online Bully: How To Take Action

 

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The Twitter account “Deaf Access to Justice” operated and moderated by a Deaf returning citizen, Maria Nicole Dollhopf has a strange message of her own—an “obsession” and that is not healthy. It is harmful. It does not mean she is qualified enough to make expert label about my life and claimed that I have “mental issues”. Is she qualified enough to be a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist? As cool Hollywood star, Will Smith, makes a strong message:

Never underestimate the pain of a person, because in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Just some people are better at hiding it than others.”

Judging and labeling people indicate that we are not doing enough to protect the basic right to life enshrined in our Constitution. There is also the problem of stigma associated to mental issues, and there is not even enough serious attempt to recognize this issue.

To understand the full “hate” terminology, it is not going to be easy. With her hatred, goals were launched on a grand scale to rip into pieces. The chunk of anger very much visible, the civilization of hatred is more powerful, and the fundamental problem of the hatred also help to avoid guilty by destroying the evidence of my life and stop my success story by turning my life around. Is an obsession a form of mental issue? When a Deaf returning citizen attacks a Deaf returning citizen is the reason why it leads the path of ignorance.

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My life struggles are not a mental issue. It is a human struggle. It is a huge difference. Who started the “war” in the first place?

As I had written in older blog posts, the word, “war” is derived from the Old English, “wyrre” which means, “to bring into confusion“–and that is the problem that leads to a psychological process under-minding my truth. When a Deaf returning citizen personally attacks my Deaf friends and tells them not to be supportive of my character and my hard-working to change my life around.

Obsession brings into confusion often that triggers for a war. The extension of compassion, Maria has lacked in this area. Her practice of hate remains of the past and present, triggered by anger must be seen, written, and examined. Continuing to do personal attacks against my character shows the weakness on her part and add more fuel to stigma by posting mugshot of me and leaving it there to have me suffer humiliation and pain by using my full birth name. It does not have to work that way.

Mental issues addresses one of the critical missing links identified by thousands of health advocates. I strongly believe the human ingredient for people with mental issues can lead productive lives by getting rid of hate. The success will be the best tool for human compassion. Maria has no right to say that my mental issues needs to be verified and stay away and protect for the sake. Hate is not cool. My energy is forwarding towards positive steps instead of living in negative environment. The first step is awareness, stand up, and acknowledge constructive and beneficial to stop the cycle of hate.

I wish to leave in peace and harmony. Sure, mental issues for Deaf returning citizens may not enough adequate, Deaf community struggle for more Deaf-centered mental health professionals, although the system is not funded or resourced accordingly. I leave the thought of the day below.

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

World Mental Health Day: The Modern Struggle For Deaf Returning Citizens

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I would like to share my reflections about World Mental Health Day yesterday (October 10th). My apologies not for finishing up a post on time. It is very important to share more awareness about mental health that impacts Deaf community—especially Deaf returning citizens in Deaf community.

Depression is part of mental health; the stigma connected with Deaf returning citizens is unbearable. The public consciousness about Deaf returning citizens has been a failure of an evolving cultural understanding of mental health among them.

The phrases may haunt them each day. All these years later, they may be struck with shame. The state of being Deaf returning citizens was an “easy job” to ignore and not reported as violating their human dignity and thrown away on the side of the road where the cars would run over them. There was no raised questions from mental health professionals who are hearing who claimed that they are experts in understanding Deaf world. It makes things worse.

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Today, there is ONLY ONE Deaf-centered counseling center in America, Deaf Counseling Center. Without Deaf mental health experts (bless them!), Deaf returning citizens would feel paralyzed whether to share their struggles or not. There is a quote that should be seen:

Should you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities. Remember this, things could be much worse. You could be one of them.”-Unknown.

Mental health awareness helps to distract all the negative labels in their lives by getting themselves involved with educational jaunts, and Deaf-centered licensed therapists. Is it fair to use a distasteful mental image to prove a point, even if that mental image relies on stereotyping of Deaf returning citizens?

Labeling hurts the most. Mental health awareness can make all the difference to understand the gravity of their experiences. In the Deaf community, there are plenty of hardships that Deaf returning citizens suffer and even think it is OK to bully other Deaf returning citizens who were going through what they had been through. Deaf community ranks one of the highest percentage—lack of mental health awareness and educate the most serious consequences they would face with.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Suicide is a Big Problem in Deaf Community

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One problem with labeling that leads to suicide in America are that both sides it is ruled by emotion rather than fact. There is a big reason suicide view, as public health issue that is not enough discussed in Deaf community.

Today in Deaf community that suicide is still shaped by what happened between these mental health professionals.  How come suicide is not viewed as a social disease in Deaf community? The result is that the suicides over the role of hearing mental health professionals has been left policymakers flailing in the dark, with little more than gut feelings to guide them. In the area of what works to prevent suicides in Deaf community, we know almost nothing.

Do we really need to wrestle with the issue of how to label Deaf returning citizens? Words matter in our world. Is water boarding torture? Is someone a bigot or a hater? Is a politician liberal or progressive? The Deaf community needs to recognize that language is a living thing does not always fully capture the cultural and contextual meaning words take on—but at the end of the day, Deaf returning citizens to people seems more accurate than “ex-convict”, “former criminal”, “ex-con”, “jail bird”.

Labeling, in my opinion, an inevitable and direct result of our societal “culture” of hate-motivated themes. In doing so, I discounted the notion that it is haters and expressed, rather, my belief that as survivor of hate crimes is a systemic oppression it is, in fact, all people who are a part of it and who bear both a collective responsibility for it and for fighting with our Deaf returning citizens to end the oppression.

While haters and oppressors very favorably received this suicide, it also elicited a very strong and negative reaction from many people, and some of them, who objected to it on the inaccurate grounds that it supposedly “blamed” people for the specific crimes of Deaf returning citizens and it painted all people as equally culpable.

Is it time to support DEAF community and stop hate speech? Is it also time to advance our knowledge that hate speech actually exists in our life? A lot of Deaf returning citizens put on a mask when they step outside.

I think it is important to deal with the defensive response and what the nature of systemic oppression on Deaf returning citizens really means in for human emancipation. Suicide is real. No one, understandably, wants to think or to acknowledge that the haters, personally, may be part of the problem. And this is part of the problem.

It is easy to condemn this troubled Deaf community because of labeling. That is the kind of reactionary thinking the average Deaf returning citizen in America. There are plenty of brutish lynch mob mentality and find cruel punishment by Deaf community.

Labeling is offensive to culture and deemed ill. Labeling should be considered as a sociological problem but the soul and heart of human needs to be addressed.  Something is missing. Labeling Deaf returning citizens is dreadful enough that people makes wish to put them on an an island off the coast, someplace dreadful. No one else can live on the island, only haters to provide a service. Deaf returning citizens could not able to receive treatment, both medically and spiritually, but not through religion.

We need to address labeling in Deaf returning citizens to turn the problem in our culture around. Deaf returning citizens must be invested in creating a better life situation for themselves with the help of Deaf community. When we do not address them, we fail to grow as a culture and we fail to stop that kind of injury from our collective body and mind.

As a nation, we have failed to address the problem: Recognizing suicide tendencies. I am all for rehabilitation, especially in the most tragic cases, such as Deaf returning citizens facing suicide every day.

-JT

Copyright @  2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

The Labeling and The Unintended Consequences

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Who cares if I have ADHD? Who cares if I have Asperger’s? Who cares if I have ADD? Who cares if I am a returned citizen? I deal with harshest labels you can imagine. Try to label with care. The main theme of the blog I will be presenting are hate speech, character assassination, and stigma. The consequences of those words will be discussed as well as possible strategies and solutions. Lastly, we all call for a change and make a difference.

I experienced hate speech recently.”Should someone with Asperger’s Syndrome should be allowed to make a representation in the society?” “Wait, he is a returned citizen. He should not be alive. He should be dead by now!” Labeling is dangerous and it can be deadly, too.

In Psychology, certain new diagnoses seem to become the label “Asperger’s” trendier. In the 1980s, suddenly a huge percentage of people labeled ADHD. In the 1990s, a huge group suddenly fit the expanded definition for bipolar. Now I am notching that people are stretching the definitions for Asperger’s in such a way that it could apply to almost anyone.

Who cares if I have Asperger’s? So what! Quite frankly, it is not their business anyway. It does not matter. I do not live by labels. The main symptom with Asperger’s is that people has trouble relating to other people and interacting socially. They also need a more rigid structure in their lives to feel comfortable. What if I have ADHD? So what!

I can interact successfully with almost anyone. I am confident and I can express myself clearly to my peers. As for structure, I find myself to be flexible. I do not seem dependent on a rigid routine. I “roll with the punches” as they say, and are confident in facing new challenges. I can be insensitive to other occasionally, but I am also passionate about my opinions and have trouble seeing other people’s perspectives BECAUSE I am so passionate.

Granted, there are plenty of days of bombastic and harsh attacks in the airwaves and throw hate speech to label my soul is not cool. Sure, every day I face adversity, stigma and harsh labels, stigma is not adversity-free. So, there has been a time in my life that I try to remember having a day that is actually a label-free.

Although, in SPITE of adversity, there will always be things to be thankful for, and to feel positive about. I mean, how much better is your life with people you are thankful for? My love of reading and absorption of knowledge and the knowledge that there are people who feel their lives are better for having met me. I battle with hate speech and hateful labels all the time.

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One of my favourite busts.

It does take time to forgive, but I do not forget what happened. They might not realize that they spew hate speech. To be sure, we all could be escaped from our collective journey without being bashed, and no one of us gets to be labeled. That’s less or more character assassination.

I am getting sick of being labeled and bullied by some Deaf leaders, too. I’ve been TRYING to change for better everyday! Yet, people repeat my old past, repeat, repeat, repeat. People could not even look into my eyes and understand that my soul has been stained by the blood of harshest oppressors and haters. Feel my pain. Can you?

I read a quote today from a book, Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” it was said by Benjamin Franklin who founded America’s first library. 

I grow tired of closed-minded people like those people. I grow tired of labels that use to marginalize and stigmatize who I am. Are we getting tired of stigmatization? Sure, I struggle for increased connection to defeat the oppression through labels. There are stages of traumatization that exists in the society.

Hate speech socially. Harm to someone’s group acceptance through labels, excluding someone from the event, ostracizing notes, and the list goes on. I’ve been excluded from higher learning and social networking. A friend of mine said to me the other day, “You know, you’re a good person. What they did to you is injustice. You are my friend.”

The hardest part was from my father whom we had a conversation through video relay service couple of days ago, he said to me, “Son, I am amazed how much strength you possess. You’re the strongest person I ever know. It’s you, my son.”

Anger is not the answer.

Additional link:

https://audismnegatsurdi.com/2016/08/29/people-of-the-eye-second-chance/

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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