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.

 

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Hate Crime?

Earlier this afternoon, a hearing person using cane as a weapon assaulted me for NO REASON knowing that I am Deaf and used American Sign Language (ASL) as my primary language. The video is shown. Do you agree that it is a hate crime or not? Why or why not?

The World is Waiting For You

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Gallaudet University website: Commencement Day 149th Ceremony

Commencement is the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory for our graduates and their families and friends. It is the day to celebrate our graduates’ hard work that goes into the achievement of graduating…..”

Friday, May 17, 2019:

Live streaming.

EPHPHATHA as seen on huge black Gallaudet seal banner on the wall behind people’s back while signing front of the audience, it is a political satire of Deaf people at least.

When those Deaf graduates go home carrying a degree with the same seal you see would make a political satire in your space even as the story about EPHPHATHA who espouse false hopes make the news, those very same Deaf graduates are granted rights in the Amendment VIII to push for justice. What is Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution?

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

What we saw was absolutely horrible and inhumane. It was a poor taste of showing large banner “EPHPHATHA” in spelling. Again, it was supposed to be the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory.

No, it is not just “be opened.” It is ABOUT “ears be opened”—they should not be facing “excessive bail” just because they are being Deaf—connected to the cruel punishment inflicted. Deaf graduating students as always shall be protected even in educational system, Gallaudet University, always shall eager to overcome Audism what little remains of the privileges that limit Deaf students by mocking them, frequently justifies what it shall be ordered by saying that EPHPTHATHA wants the power to prescribe serious effects the state of being Deaf and therefore comes under Congress’ power to regulate this.

When Deaf graduates restore and gave confidence to countless hours and their consequences are very real and with the systematic Audism, trying to make the most of each and every day, but Gallaudet University had the nerve to show the banner the power of hearing privileges on the most important day for Deaf graduates, why cannot they restore their confidence as state of being Deaf?

Gallaudet University also said: There is no other place like this in the world.

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Then the huge banner should not be shown at graduation day again because it is where Deaf students connect their world with the rest of the world and Deaf community we once knew as home.

The Commencement Day is about deep respect to step out and thrive on Deaf community behalf. Without being insulted. Gallaudet University needs a positive approach. When Deaf students growing up, they might be appeared to be happy to graduate, you would never guess how many of them would suffering through some dark times. Imagine from K to 12th grade, they would get bullied, physical and emotional times. They end up feeling worthless and think they would treat that way for the rest of their lives.

Gallaudet University, the beacon of healing and hope for Deaf people, seeking mental health help, they either are more or less tried to act like it never happened. The hope should be provided all the times. This month, May: Mental Health Awareness.

So, in 2019, EPHPHATHA should not hold the power and did not choose to empower Deaf students to prohibit oppression even in public accommodations. The banner shows the greatest invisible Audism on Gallaudet campus, properly acting under the rules. Then why is it continues to construe—to flagrantly oppress, to its advantage—a higher educational oppression problem?

With the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as the rights to the state of being Deaf—First Amendment, written to protect the rights of “speech” to use American Sign Language (ASL), EPHPHATHA authorizes Gallaudet University to oppress Deaf students with any goal that it asserts in a way, however struck, with an order to practice the reverberation of Audism.

Supposedly, there is no banner showing EPHPHATHA, would Deaf graduating students more vocal about their mental health and what they were going through with those around them as Deaf identity to be proud of? It would be a huge help on those roads to healing in all. Would it be nice to see with a smile on their faces that their lives is a precious thing with state of being Deaf without punished, I am sure that we all would not want to steal that away. Right?

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

Gallaudet University: A Signing Community?

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Honestly, as three days ago, when I was at Library of Congress to see private collections of old letters hand-written by Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Sophia Fowler Gallaudet, Edward Miner Gallaudet, Laurent Clerc, the list goes on—to help out a friend for PhD dissertation.

ASL stands for American Sign Language. They all had the goal: ASL-centered, ASL-oriented, ASL-controlled for Deaf people who comes from all walks of life. Between 1815 and 1847 letters, they all were fierce. They knew that sign language is the best and powerful to overcome intellectual oppression. The very same letters I read, where Sophia writes to T.H. Gallaudet:

I love Laurent Clerc. I love seeing his signs.”

Sophia became the matron for Gallaudet University. Without the matron of Gallaudet University, sign language would not be there. Sophia knew sign language was the pivotal moment.

That was the goal to see ASL everywhere on Gallaudet campus and that was all they wanted. That was the bottom line. That was it. Sign language changed Sophia’s life forever. That was history in the making!

Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet sailed together for destination back to America. They both knew that sign language have the power to directly represent and protect the interests. They stood true until their death.

Gallaudet University, the world’s first university for Deaf, to claim Deaf people’s intellectual life to ASL across the educational landscape and reject oppression practice; Hearing people with hearing privileges walk and talk around on the Gallaudet campus, insulting ASL that should be appreciated our language, that is ASL within the institution of higher education.

ASL is a step in the direction of intellectual equity, as the huge banner rolls out front of parking garage at Gallaudet University across from Union Market, makes an official statement that it is signing community. Can we really see Gallaudet University an ASL-centered university only? We need to make sure Gallaudet University as an ASL-centered needs to make a clear sense of what ASL is used for so that we are in a position to navigate Gallaudet as an ASL community. Signing is like mode of communication. Signing can be Sim-Com. Oh yeah, Sim-Com is still practiced at Gallaudet. It is better to use ASL instead of signing.

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Yet, there are hearing people who talk without sign language, oppressing ASL on the campus that is supposed to be sacred for Deaf people. Please look at my most previous post, Signing Community: Hypocrism at Best where seven videos were sent to me by several Deaf people who felt insulted.

Why do you think Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet went all the way to England to join in the audience and witness Deaf people signing and writing on stage, and that was where T.H. Gallaudet shook hands with Abbe Sicard—the history of all the Deaf is the most beautiful thing! Is Gallaudet University enough ASL-centered with instruction and scholarship?

The huge banner “We are Gallaudet University: A Signing Community” needs to examine more and I mean, really deep in heart. Audism is not allowed at Gallaudet University. It is a big problem! When hearing people talk on the campus designed for Deaf people, is exactly the struggle for Deaf community to feel oppressed. The latter attitude is that the term “oppression” has been most invisible mirror, oppressing ASL and Deaf people.

Should we allow language hegemony by hearing people? Deaf people had fought hard for ASL. We all cannot deny that. Is it intellectual oppression? Behind the university gates, oppression is everywhere and that is embarrassment. There is no way Gallaudet University should not allow people talking and insulting ASL, its linguistic and cultural heritage of the Deaf, period.

Again, “We are Gallaudet University: A Signing Community”–Can they really be honest with themselves? When hearing people talk on campus, they do not see ASL as a human and it continues to be oppressed. Deaf people are hurt. Deaf people are suffering. That is the real answer.

 

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We cannot forget the passion in ASL. That’s our mother tongue. After all, we are the ones to push for change. No more Audism! If they use that banner, then the major point of using ASL on the campus is to transform the language and culture to intellectual life. That’s how it is supposed to work. ASL is intellectual property and that is it matters the most……for Deaf people whose ownership is ASL first on the campus.

Again, please be honest with yourself. Gallaudet University is not a signing community. Not yet. It is better if the banner says: Gallaudet University is an ASL community.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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