Hate Crime Case

Update about my case last November 2019 where an individual was charged with a hate crime attacking my state of being Deaf.

Waiting for Transformation

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While visiting Washington, District of Columbia from Oregon, I remember watching: Gallaudet: The Film in 2010 with late Carl Schroeder, it was the very day before we visited Gallaudet University. I could not exactly understand the social phenomenon that time because I was not a student at Gallaudet University.

When we entered on the campus from Florida Ave NE by car, I still remember the feeling when I stepped my shoes on the Gallaudet soil, it was something I would never forget. It was the path where we walked that way entering into Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC) to find Department of ASL/Deaf Studies.

The passage of second wave Oralism to legalize oppression of American Sign Language (ASL) has been showing both films: Gallaudet: The Film By Facundo Element and Our Deaf Community | Celebrating Gallaudet By Convo has sent a signal to embrace ASL and Deaf culture. The Pandora Box has warned all of us.

I saw the film premiere by Convo last October 2019;

What’s the deal between Facundo Element and Convo? Between Gallaudet University and Convo? What about Gallaudet University and Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD)? What is the difference between Communication Service for the Deaf and Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC)?

As University budgets continue to be slashed, Deaf-centered philosophy for the award-winning Deaf space, anti-bias resources had been lacked, and that is the problem of the Gallaudet system. When you enter Gallaudet University as a student, you would be colonized, good or bad. Whether you want to challenge or be a bystander; I now understand the social phenomenon.

The mentality of Gallaudet. I became a student in graduate program on a full-ride scholarship in ASL/Deaf Studies in 2013; Even though the first time in 2010 when I saw Gallaudet: The Film, it has not inflicted me that time. Again, because I couldn’t understand that time. So, I had to watch that film again, and that is where it hit the lighting. Just like Ben Franklin using the kite to test and see if the lighting strikes the kite.

Can we learn ourselves of oppressive Gallaudet University by conversing the university anew to preserve and promote ASL and Deaf Culture? That is exactly what Carl taught me on the plane back home from the Deaf Community (DC) to Portland.

He explained: Gallaudophobia to describe of oppression at Gallaudet University and elsewhere. Of course, we are not experts in curing Gallaudophobia; do you think it is a serious phobia? Is it the culture of fear an outgoing problem: Gallaudet-style oppression? Let me give you few examples of phobias:

Eleutherophobia: fear of freedom

Mastigophobia: fear of punishment

Epistemiphobia: fear of knowledge

Let’s turn our thoughts to the oppression. It strikes me that the program of Gallaudet University is more ideological more than phenomenal rather than generosity. Its ambition is to weaken or destroy ASL and Deaf Culture.

The Deaf space is the hottest market where Deaf scholars are treated with honour. Imagine Board of Trustees (BoT) who sits together in order to share wisdom and advice with the Gallaudet campus. Imagine going to this Board the moment you first recognize your own language there. Imagine sharing your concerns with the Board, the Deaf members like yourself who listen to you with respect. Imagine how you would feel about yourself if you could call on this Board’s guidance when you need it.

Wake up! Do we really have this kind of imagination at Gallaudet University today? Do we understand that the Board of Trustees is powerful? Have they failed to live within the goals now?

Hansel Bauman, the leading-architect for the Deaf Space at Gallaudet University, as I learned later that Janet Pray would typically say that sign language users are an “increasingly small” percentage of the deaf population.

In 2006, from GallyNet-L where a comment by Deep Eyes wrote:

“king and jk plan to meet with washington post editorial board this
afternoon. they will try to manipulate public info & perception. make
sure deaf people get correct info to the media

let world know that board voted 7-5 initially – 7 votes for jk and 5
votes for steve weiner. king then came into the picture…. manipulated
boardies like puppets and get ’em to go 12-0 for jk. illegal? No! But it
stinks!! king is now a fair game

look at king’s compensation package and perks. very similar to the mess
at american university which actually forced him to retire

DPN in 1988 belongs to all deaf people, not to king. remember that cuz
king and his people forget that”

About SLCC, there was a committee of university constituents (approx. 2002) who were discussing plans for the new building and the committee decided that the name should include the word “culture” as in “Sorenson Language and Cultural Center”–however, Irving King Jordan, Janet Fernandes, and Janet Pray ignored that and changed it to “Sorenson Language and Communication Center.” Some people think that when Janet Pray typed the minutes for the committee meetings that she sneakily changed what the committee decided.

Brian Riley wrote in February 2007: “Breaking News–Web page for SLCC taken off Gallaudet.edu”:

“According to one reliable report, Gallaudet’s Faculty and students (in committee) had originally objected to the plan to use the word “Communication” in the name of the building and favored the word “Cultural” instead. However, the wishes of the faculty and the students were ignored. The decision was made by Paul Kelly, Irving Jordan King, Jane Fernandes, and Catherine Sweet-Windham to bypass the committee’s decision. They overrode the decision and took their illegitimate decision (to use the word “Communication”) to the Board for approval.

Question have also raised about the legality of the contract between Sorenson and Gallaudet. The contract reportedly gives away patent rights to Sorenson for any new inventions or innovations created in the planned building.  Such an ill-conceived contract is probably not legal, since Gallaudet is registered as a 501 (c)(3) with the Federal Government and is required to reinvest all profits from campus activities and ventures back into the non-profit corporation of Gallaudet itself.”

In its place comes a sort of biblical oppression that would be in Christian name, EPHPHATHA. Through this Christian word on the official university seal, there would be no freedom of expression, no freedom of religion, no independent academic disciplines, and no place for scientific progress. In short, it would be our worst nightmare.

1) Home again at Gallaudet University;

2) The acceptance of ASL in the academy;

3) The nature and persistence of the linguistic research;

4) The power of ASL to influence and shape the human mind;

5) The character of faculty as it shapes intellectual life of the Deaf;

Is Gallaudet University a place of safety, where ASL becomes the focus? Is ASL home or fading?

The understanding of an economic system that oppress ASL and Deaf people be replaced with a system that meets the needs of the Audism. To that end, ASL pays tribute to Deaf people. It is the voice of thousands and thousands of everyday Deaf people who are fighting to preserve ASL and Deaf culture in crisis.

14 years ago. October 31, 2006. Washington Post editorial: Gallaudet Loss. Don’t we all remember that Post article or have we forgotten it? We need to review that again and again.

Despite more aggressive and often dishonest tactics, Gallaudet University public relations are encountering resistance on campus, not only students, but also faculty, staff, and alumni.

That leads to a newspaper letter, The Examiner written technically a letter to the editor by once again, Brian Riley in 2006: Protestors are trying to save Gallaudet University for the future has proved social problems today.

What happened to Gallaudet University unique because it is where ASL is best used comparing between 1988 and 2020? There are so many areas of scholarship in Gallaudet University that cry for betterment, and we need more insightful leaders to create a Deaf-centered path for all of us to be hungry for.

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The film differences between Facundo Element and Convo is something we need to do serious critical thinking how to save Gallaudet University for the future. One of the more powerful films we need to stumble upon block of stone that sits on the “sacred ground of the Deaf” in Washington, D.C., the problem is that it is still struggling to be as Deaf-centered University.

-JT

Copyright © 2020 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://tinyurl.com/sf3a9uf

http://gallyprotest.org/DC_Examiner_LTE.pdf

http://gpli.blogspot.com/2006/10/letters-to-editor-examiner-oct-19-2006.html

 

Powell’s Bookstore: Restoring Democracy for Deaf Community

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I am proud Deaf person right now. I feel good. I made a difference. Earlier this week, I received e-mail from Powell’s bookstore. Doing good thing that makes all the difference is taking leadership role in every aspect of the Deaf community that captures the depth and diversity of the Deaf people.

Powell’s bookstore in Portland, Oregon is the largest independent bookstore in the world, which happened to be my most favorite place anywhere. My life would not be the same without books. Powell’s bookstore has a unique energy, bringing symbolism to the minds of book readers.

When I was living in Portland, I would take my radically crafted bicycle to Powell’s bookstore in all angles of  greater Portland, to appreciate the journey as a bibliophile “book lover”—has taught me plenty of knowledge, and I am thankful forever.

The classic 1971 Schwinn bicycle I bought in 2007 for $5.00 and fixed up by myself was fun part.

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Recently, I noticed something on the website that caught my attention that I decided to get in touch with Powell’s bookstore and make a positive contribution for the Deaf community. It is important to recognize something that is not appropriate or controversial, take a bold step and make the difference. A controversy over defining Deaf people needs to be questioned of what is and is not a negative symbol back into the public eye.

Is a term of “hearing-impaired” a human-whistle symbol for deficit thinking? Why is ‘hearing impaired’ acceptable for years and years? Is it time to make a radical change?

See the picture below:

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Then I had to write an e-mail to Powell’s bookstore to clarify it up. “The friendliest and most reassuring human beings on the planet…”…..”Our hearing-imparied customers.” It was much needed to do the civic duty to have “hearing impaired” removed and use “Deaf” customers instead. That’s where I shared the link:

http://www.wtdp.org/deafyes/

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Should Powell’s bookstore follow a good example of leadership of WTDP? Yes, Deaf people are also most reassuring human beings on the planet. Deaf people are human beings. With the term “hearing impaired”–they are subjected to “human doings” instead of human beings.

However, I had to make another step to educate about “Deaf” with upper “D” instead of “deaf” with lower “d” should be culturally appreciated with love. It is not just about “grammar rules”—Learning how to take a radical step within the advocacy efforts to make all the difference feels good! And they listened with big and open heart. See the big change?

 

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Powell’s bookstore is a better place that distributes healthy journey for Deaf customers, and engages in human appreciation, outreach, and education. Deaf customers around the world are part of human right. Around the world? Yes, remember “largest independent bookstore in the world”?

That’s the image of Powell’s bookstore today. That is the reason I had a vintage world globe antique–rotating Earth gift from Aunt Sally sitting on my bookshelf–you can find second picture above of this page. Next to the globe was my favorite chessboard.

The labeling of Deaf people as “hearing impaired”—the dilemma is that far more denial than the society admit that the human right violation of defining who Deaf people are. It is time that the society continues to violate human rights for Deaf people is protested and challenged. Simply, the view of Deaf people as “hearing impaired” is often lead to culture of ignorance, denial, and misinformed. Chessboard: Checkmate.

Most importantly, the culture of stigma is taught by prejudices against the image of Deaf people in society. Powell’s bookstore listened with open mind and big heart. Deaf people are being in the process of growing on account of acceptance. That makes the largest independent bookstore in the world an unique place.

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Powell’s Bookstore: Selling books before moving to D.C.

After explaining about video relay service (VRS) that today’s majority of Deaf customers use through VRS is important because without video relay service which means rejection of American Sign Language (ASL) is immediately vulnerable and is much needed to defend life of ASL.

This sentiment and desire for ASL is a special place. After all, we need to take back ASL. To put an end on the negative labeling of Deaf people as “hearing impaired”–we need to take back the Deaf community to preserve our positive identity, we need to take back the Deaf community after all. That is the quest vision.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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