Double Standard?

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Open Letter for Gallaudet President Cordano

 

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Gallaudet University

800 Florida Avenue NE

Washington, DC 20002

Dear President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano,

I voted for you as President of Gallaudet University because of the vision you presented. I even made a vlog in supporting of you and your wife where a certain Deaf guy preaching self-hate claiming that homosexuality is illegal.

You knew who I am. I was the one who had a massive heart attack and left dead for 600 seconds on November 8, 2016. When I became conscious again, there were many people being panicked in the hallway crying and cheering. I used both thumbs up to let them know I was all right carrying on stretcher on the way to hospital where I stayed there for a week. It was really tough week for me emotionally.

Last January 2018, I was hospitalized for heart condition, and an interpreter who works for Gallaudet University on a regular basis, informed me that you and certain people were discussing about discrimination to prevent Deaf returnees to receive higher education, and told me that I was the one who had been advocating for a change.

Finally, last April 2018, at an art show on the campus, we met each other, and you seemed very nervous to meet me. I wonder why. I introduced myself politely, but you knew who I am. I became the digital pariah forever. I asked for a meeting with you, and you said to me, “Sure, I will have my assistant get in touch with you once I am done with graduation, NAD conference, and all that and will schedule a meeting with you”

I had hope. I wanted to come home and finish my goals. I wrote an e-mail to your assistant, Patricia Thompson on October 18, 2016—few weeks before massive heart attack, no response. You said to me, “Yes, I got your e-mail” but why did you said to me after waiting for two years? I became puzzled.

After we met in April, then I waited for four months then I wrote an e-mail to you directly to do friendly reminder about the meeting. No response. Completely neglect. I had a lot of patience. I realized it is not going to happen. I felt completely fool.

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I give up. There is no point for me to return to Gallaudet. I do not feel safe anymore. I accept the fact that I am the most hated identity on Gallaudet campus. I accept the fact that I am banished from Gallaudet University. I accept the fact that I am publicly shamed. I accept the fact that I am barred forever. I wasn’t even a teenager. 32 years ago. No one wanted to hear my stories.

Most likely, I will never see a degree from Gallaudet University, I will be always cherishing the most by being an alumnus forever. I had a lot of academic ideas to make Gallaudet proud.

I give up. There is no point why should I return to Gallaudet built on fear. Labels hurt the most. Labeling does not contribute to public safety—instead my life was robbed of my own humanity. No employment opportunities. No networking opportunities. Gallaudet University was supposed to be healing and a safe haven. Earning a Master’s degree from Gallaudet could have improve the odds in trying to re-enter the workforce, but I had been unemployed for eight years and very difficult to find. I realized Gallaudet was not the right place to help Deaf returnees. They don’t even believe in second chances.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The picture, the meeting between President Cordano and me does not lie. Photography is powerful even with words. I became the digital pariah forever. Although, I still love Gallaudet University. It’s the system that built on fear.

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

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.

 

 

 

 

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.