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Tag Archives: Mask of Benevolence

The Lack of Jury Duty for Deaf People

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On Friday, July 21st hot afternoon–I decided to meet a friend and gave a tour at Library of Congress. Great times! However, when we walked into a room, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations.” and I saw something that caught my attention and share this with you fellows. It makes me wonder if Library of Congress, the mother of all libraries, is known for research skills, the leadership of literacy, and a complex web of  higher knowledge, makes me think if this message is filled with mixed thoughts, when you notice the picture I took below:

to the rights of the deaf to sit on juries; from a courtroom filled with people wearing masks fearing….”

How do you feel about that when you saw this? Were Library of Congress aware of very little stats about Deaf people to sit on juries? Did they research that, too? Truth: How many Deaf people sitting on juries? Come on, really. Why cannot they tell the truth? Number will make all the headlines. That’s Mask of Benevolence, folks! Europe: Number? Australia: Number? New Zealand: Number? South America: Number? Africa: Number? Asia: Number? America: Number? Right, after the passage of 1990 ADA law, again, how many Deaf people serve on juries? Yes, there were few Deaf people who were selected. Most recently, a friend of mine who was selected to be on jury few months ago in DC. It was very interesting experience for her.

Why did Library of Congress do that? To make them look good for enrollment purpose? Selfish acts? Were Deaf people aware about Library of Congress planing to use them in public eyes? I am sure that there are many questions behind that. Some may not able to answer and avoid the reality. Deaf people were banned from serving on juries for years and many centuries, there is a good article to read:

http://theconversation.com/deaf-or-blind-people-cant-serve-on-juries-heres-why-law-needs-to-change-67418

No courtroom should be wearing masks fearing Deaf people. There are thousands of stories around the world that Deaf people would end up in courtroom with no interpreter at all and struggle for information. They often end up pleading guilty by threatening them or found guilty even without evidence, they fail to recognize Deaf discourses in the courtrooms. For example, recent Thursday evening, I attended an event at Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C; to watch a private screening of Change of Signs, an powerful 35 minutes film. Discovering Deaf Worlds, Inc; (DDW) did an excellent service to help out Deaf community in Philippines and support the stories of ten members of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. Extraordinary work!

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See that hand waving with the watch on on right side? That was me.

The film talked about the lack of Deaf people have the rights to have an interpreter in courtrooms, struggle to be recognized as a human being, and have the human right to sit on the jury as all other people do. I learned that it was 121,000 Deaf people living there and only few interpreters available. That’s major crisis. A lot more to that film that I hope it will show to the public one day.

Before wrapping up for this post, how do you feel when you see, “to the rights of the deaf”? Why lower “d”? Why not “Deaf people have the constitutional right to sit on the juries” Or, “From a courtroom filled with Deaf people’s rights to serve on juries” that would help the visitors from all over the world visiting Library of Congress for the first time and see the truth what Deaf people are really going through a lot. What do you think?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-022/drawing-justice-the-art-of-courtroom-illustrations-opens-april-27/2017-03-07/

 

 

 

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Open Your Eyes: The Gleam of Light in ASL/Deaf Studies

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ASL/Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University is the most controversial program anywhere, maybe in the world— inside Sorenson Language Communications Center (SLCC) is incredible—filled with political assistance along with favoritism and hate-mongers. ASL/Deaf Studies has been dominated by a hearing person—known as the most vicious writer in the program that will easily write you off like you do not exist at all and made Deaf students their anguish all too private, too invisible: Let ASL/Deaf Studies use this influence to shape private awareness, diverting the impact of their ignominy to a higher purpose. This is how ASL/Deaf Studies is today—by forcing the realization that the oppression has been hidden for its own good. They made sure that it is invisible eye.

Recently, there have been two instructors and an assistant professor; all of them are Deaf that has left the program this summer. One is well known, his wife is an administrator—and is very good friends with the Provost. The well-known assistant professor has been asked to leave the program, bypassing the channels through his wife as Dean for Deaf Studies—and had been recommended a full report by the hearing chair of ASL/Deaf Studies to have the assistant professor be wiped off the radar. It shows that it is all about generational oppression by hearing people still continues.

Deaf people—in the eyes of hearing people like the Chair of the program would be executed on the first hand. The chair has the power. Why? Hearing privileges. The ignorance, hate, and lynch mob mentality sickens me. Now that is rich, you have no concept of what Deaf people have been through—everything they say can be easily backed up—but they’re ignored. Would you rather live in your own little world where facts are not relevant? Don’t you care about Deaf people enough to want to know the truth?

Walking inside ASL/Deaf Studies is a complete and utter political perpetrated on the citizens of Deaf people by hearing privileges, anti-facts, hot-air windbags a.k.a. the hearing supremacy. The more you know about ASL/Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University, the more you understand the true meaning of oppression for personal gain at the expense of providing the academic discourses where Deaf people are easily oppressed today and tomorrow.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.–Khalil Gibran

Deaf people at the hands of the hearing privileges will always bear a vertical scar on their wrist, mottled. Deaf people has been going through a lot making a bit of difference in someone else’s life, then just maybe they could make some kind of difference in your life and if you are indifferent to it all, then do not waste your time because you are already oppressed. No close calls, but Deaf people are stronger than hearing people—always will be! They stay awake until that has passed and will always go on. It is all about political struggles Deaf people suffer today and tomorrow.

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

AGBell’s America: Who Would You Be?

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Remember that shithead? Art done by Zeppe Art. Bravo!

Bread-and-buttered for the first 23 years in Scotland, Alexander Graham Bell (A.G. Bell) relocated to Canada. In 2002, he was mistakenly credited as the “father” of telephone; it was later discovered that A.G. Bell was not the inventor; he had only been the first to claim the patient. There also exists plenty of research pointing to the fact that A.G. Bell stole the telephone idea from Italian inventor Antonio Santi Giuseppe Meucci.

In 1890, Bell founded the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf (AAPTSD), later the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBADHH) in Washington, D.C; Bell was a renowned manipulator of others, especially those close to him — his Deaf mother, Eliza Grace Symonds and his Deaf wife, Mabel Gardiner Hubbard were two examples.

Bell was a champion of eugenics (selective breeding), and served as the chair of the board of scientific advisors for the Eugenics Record Office. He also served as honorary president for the Second International Eugenics Conference a year before his death.

One hundred and thirty-two years later, AGBADHH is still attacking the Deaf community, claiming that oralism is the only way to educate Deaf children. In this same 132-year span, America has had 24 presidents.

Audism, and hatred of Deaf culture and ASL, has been a hard fact since the Second International Congress on Education of the Deaf held in Milan, Italy, when the majority of hearing attendees voted to ban sign language from Deaf education — largely due to A.G. Bell’s efforts. On that day, he became the happiest man in the world.

For the first 20 years after the conference, 90% of Deaf teachers were removed from their positions, replaced by hearing teachers who utilized the oralist method. A.G. Bell was responsible for the greatest fraud, and the biggest case of language bigotry, in Deaf Education that continues today.

AGBADHH followers have committed countless acts that could easily be labeled as hate crimes. But standing on the souls of A.G. Bell survivors — there are thousands, if not millions, of them — while trying to find souls they once knew to remember the pursuit of happiness, is repulsive to normal people.

Why would anyone doubt the veracity of AGBADHH’s claims? After all, who would want to “remain” Deaf, if following the organization’s misguided perspectives? A.G. Bell supporters have constantly stooped to the lowest common denominator to continue AGBell’s legacy of hatred toward Deaf people. His supporters constantly mock sign language, demean people who sign, and undertake efforts to make oralism the only method in schools again. The list goes on.

We — the Deaf community — need to depend on each other to heal. In healthy discourse, we must not lose our sight of the value of ASL — a human right that is not only beneficial, but also absolutely vital for Deaf people’s well being.  AGBADHH supporters have been taught to be attached to Bell’s original anger and make sure they continue to dwell on or recycle this anger.

Today, Deaf people — those who sign, and many who also speak — are united in full force to protect the community. The mere existence of AGBADHH has caused a cognitive dissonance among the Deaf community. The organization has promoted un-American values, especially among those who sign.

Just take a look at what outgoing AGBADHH president Meredith Sugar said in April 2016:

“It is our hope to dispel the myths about deafness and spread the word that deaf children can hear & talk. What it means to be ‘deaf’ has changed.”

That is what Alexander Graham Bell’s America looked like to him. Bell and his followers have done unimaginable damage, and left in its trail an astounding number of survivors still struggling to recover. If you are part of AGBADHH and trying to get out, it’s not your fault. Simply turn to those who have been there — and discover the truth.

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Laughing at AGBell aka shithead above–I am freed from AGBell! Sitting behind me is the painting of Nancy Rourke’s Mask of Benevolence

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

Milan Conference 1880 Would Be Horrified By Nyle DiMarco’s Letter

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My name is Nyle DiMarco. I am Deaf. I’m the fourth generation and I have over 25 Deaf members in my family. I am now in the semi finals towards the Mirror Ball on Dancing With The Stars. I am writing this letter to let you know how much your song “Sound of Silence” means so much to me and my Deaf community and that I would love to dance to your song for the finals. I feel this is important for you to know that we the Deaf people underwent a terrible history and we are still stuck in the darkness. The darkness of oppression that your song truly reverberated to me.

Before the year 1880, we the Deaf people lived normal lives. We were perceived normal. We held political positions. We joined the army. We had jobs. We had an education through sign language that greatly benefited to our visual eyes and silent ears. It was until the Milan Conference in 1880 that led to language deprivation and… ultimately our culture, our job opportunities, and our intelligence. We were tortured. Our ancestors underwent electric shock chairs, surgeries (without anesthesia), and so many torturing methods just to help us regain our hearing. We were also punished if we used sign language. We were whipped. Slapped with our rulers. Abused. We were required to try and learn to speak (and that always, always miserably failed).

We also lost jobs. Many now perceive us as disabled, that we can’t serve the army, hold political positions, nor teach.

Because of the conference that almost led to the death of the Deaf culture (and was basically genocide and cultural-genocide), we are still trying to get out of the dark. I just founded Nyle DiMarco Foundation and our focus is on Deaf kids. We are working with state and U.S. senators to write and pass the bill that requires bilingualism (American Sign Language and English) because it was recently proven by science that it will benefit the Deaf child a lot more than just English only. I am using my celebrity platform and especially on DWTS for good cause.

With your song… we are planning on showing my history’s terrible times through dancing… and to your powerful and moving song. We feel that with you, your song, and us, we will make/change history and help people better understand our history, and build allies all over the world to help better Deaf lives.

Help us resurface from our darkness, from the systematic oppression. There is power in Sound of Silence.

We hope you will grant us the permission. Lets change history together!

Nyle DiMarco

My Reflection: Deaf People in Havana

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Cochlear Implants Coming to Cuba.

All Deaf children deserve a bright future and access to high quality early learning environments that put them on the path to success in education and beyond.

In the coming months or so, with the “better” relations between America and Cuba will face a huge challenge what equates to a cultural backlash with the cochlear implant makers from America to demonstrate how many Deaf children can be targeted, for example. Cochlear implant makers through American relations will target how Deaf children in Cuba carry out tasks such as following “social rules” and such. The rules give America an important snapshot of the Deaf child’s social, emotional, and cognitive skills.

I am very concerned right now. After watching a free documentary Deaf People in Havana produced and presented by Deaf Nation’s No Barriers signed by Joel Barish last Sunday. I have a legitimate reason to be concerned. Very concerned. Domino Effect begins.

IMG_3140Deaf Nation writes, “Cuba has a long political history that caused the country to become stuck in a time capsule, but that can soon change as the U.S. government begins to lift the travel restrictions. Joel takes you on a unique visual journey through Havana, Cuba and the beauty of Deaf people within its culture.”

Cuba is only 90 miles from America’s lands. The beauty of Deaf people with its culture is powerful—DEAF people—the REAL DEAF people. In this 90 minutes documentary, not a single Deaf person have a cochlear implant—and I often wondered why Deaf People in Havana did not film Deaf children—the critical backbone in Deaf community there.

This documentary is also critical in helping Deaf community and the state as a whole identify trends related to Deaf children who did not have adequate access to high quality education nor learning experiences. This assessment of Deaf children will be an ultimate test. There is no passing or failing. There are no blanks or bubbles for Deaf children to fill in. In fact, the majority of cochlear implant companies in America will target Deaf children in Cuba—based on replacing Deaf culture and follow American relations.

Will Deaf children and people in Cuba will struck in a time capsule as soon as the American cochlear implant makers begins to lift the restrictions to take their Deaf culture away? That is where the major concern should be discussed.

Cochlear implant makers and of course, Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AGBDHH) will use the data to gather information gaps in knowledge and skills and they also will use that information to target resources to ensure more Deaf children, particularly those representing Deaf community and navigating poverty, have a strong start to education.

As the future relations with 90 miles away from America’s social rules to begin its educational journey, we all should have a reason than ever before to be encouraged about the foundations laid in Deaf community to set the stage for educational access for our youngest Deaf children to preserve sign language and Deaf culture as well.

IMG_0852That is precisely why Cubans remember Ernesto “Che” Guevara, a revolutionary leader—and that is where Paddy Ladd achieved by David Call’s linocut [printmaking] art comes in with the picture. Deaf Cubans need to be a revolutionary leader through Deafhood discourses. They all are Deafhood Revolutions. A revolution from the Latin revolutio, “a turn around” that Deaf Cubans needs a strong fundamental change in power that prevents and turn around cochlear implant makers away to take over Cuba and invest a $100 million towards targeted investments to prioritize closing gaps on Deaf children.

From Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood championed by Paddy Ladd, in page 30, “In the days that follow, the marchers find out just how pervasive the mask of benevolence is. In vain, they search the media for film or printed evidence of the historical nature of their achievement. Instead they are confronted with the same media images they have had to tolerate on almost a daily basis for the last 10 years. ‘New Miracle Cure for Deaf Baby’ they read. ‘Wonder Cochlear Implant Operation Abolishes Deafness’.”

The mask of benevolence in this documentary, Deaf People in Havana…will become invisible sooner or later. Domino Effect.

****Special thanks to Joseph Artino, the owner of Zeppe Art for his hard work on artwork! Champ!

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

THE FLAG DAY: DEAFHOOD DIALOGUE

walkdeafunionNancy Rourke’s Everywhere We Stand

Today is the day we celebrate Flag Day. There are so many things I wanted to write about this particular day why it is important to recognize this meaning of the flag. I was born in America. For many years I had been bullied for being different. Why different? People in the society do not view Deaf as a normal human being. I am deeply concerned about the future of our country. The flag represents freedom for everybody with dignity and security. I look upon Mars in my 11th house, the house of wish fulfillment, to help me write. Here on the cusp of drama and criticism, my Mars attacks people and friends, and get super angry about power struggles. It is the crucial time of your life than ever because it will lead you into the world of intellectual freedom and empowerment.

Oppression presents sociology that helps people to transcend ordinary reality by creating a shift in perception that opens the study to the value of oppression in everyday Deaf life. This is real. It is beyond the truth! Deaf people must protect their quest to personify their health and wisdom into healthy discourses. A source of inspiration and when I first read Mask of Benevolence by Harlan Lane 16 years ago, my mind hit something important enough that I kept reading until I hit a passion.

Deaf people who have been survivors of many things had been on journey, most of part, rough journey after an incident. Part of this has been my intention to write a book, but I am not mature enough for the process, or maybe I am too mature! I look back on what I had written and it is pretty painful. I get hurt. I do not like what I had written. It is the stream of consciousness, but I do know the censorship of this stream that Karl White complains about Deaf babies that are not implanted enough.

I had gotten flashes of insight that comes up and I am thinking now that I do not want to talk about that. I had have gotten three pens working now and I simply change hands whenever my hands get tired. I can write whatever I want; I can write whatever strikes my fancy. Toothbrush. Wild beats. I can create a new sociological concept I think of what Deaf people had suffered in the hands of American oppressors. My mind fills in the gaps. It will start thinking. It is going to come up with something you still want to read and I have got to struck it out and keep writing. When my hands hurt, I have to switch to typing. I am interested in success.

What is success here, George W. Bush? I am not sure! Remember No Child Left Behind (NCLB) movement created by Bush’s administration. The function of Deaf education, under the banner of NCLB mandatory, is to reveal to Deaf children their great defeat because American Sign Language suffers the hegemony of English. At the same time, in today’s higher education Deaf people receive today, appears uncomfortable with the achievements of their own past. The higher education, so often the means to our profession and advancement, now finds itself operating under a cloud of oppression that it falls under a wrong agenda.

Deaf people who experiences severe oppression will get them there. I want 200 pages manuscript I can write down. Full pages. And I have to get to strip it down. I choose to celebrate Deaf flag. The idea was coined by Arnaud Balard, a Deaf fellow in France.

Nietzsche says I should want to cause as much as suffering as possible. If I want greatness, but maybe if that is the case, I do not want greatness. I do not know. I wrote a lot to myself. The evolution of oppression is interesting, and I have a whole bunch of stories to put in there. Passion! Passion! Passion! Once Deaf people are survivors of American oppression, they are not paid archivists. They are your enemies and keep that in your mind that they want you to lose some of them. Sure, because so many of them are dreadfully embarrassing. They are introspective, but only first draft introspective, like a high schooler that reads John Steinbeck. If it were impossible, you cannot do it.

Anyway, like, would you stick it out with a Deaf person who experiences an American oppression? How about not as successful as you are? How about if they have some pipe dream about a manuscript and their creativity because of their reasoning that Jupiter was in their 5th house when they were born? And what if one of them were just writing to you and you were not supposed at all but just reading something they wrote?

There is where I live! I am better at believing in myself and use my strength when I experience oppression in my life. In Deaf community, nothing seems alive to me. It does not scream at me to be known to be done. I have to find it. I have to jump in. The feeling of jumping into a cold pool. I wish I had a ton of money to donate to Deafhood Foundation. I will find good luck somewhere in this world.

This is my Deaf Flag Day….and……..this is my Deafhood dialogue.

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

A Perfect Mask of Benevolence: Vinton Cerf’s Ideology

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The image is what exactly happened yesterday. Click the image. Go ahead.

Today is the day after shock wave in the Deaf community—Vinton Cerf joins the ranks of all-time hate bigots along with Karl White, Dimity Dornan, Alexander Graham Bell and many more. Hate is a reasonable to many discriminatory interactions with Deaf people, so one must be prepared to forestall or deal with such a reaction. Realizing hate bigots are the problem, Cerf tries to stay in control and handle eugenics-oppression style by making it clear to those Deaf people who would mistreat Cerf that doing so carries with a significant cost for them.

Whether anxiety over societal change preceded or even gave birth to anxiety over intellectual change, or whether the opposite is true, is less important than the fact that, during Culture Wars, these two anxieties become grafted onto each other—to such an extent that it is in general impossible to define the point where one type of anxiety ends and another begins.” –Joan DeJean, Ancients against Moderns: Cultural Wars and the Making of a Fin de Siele

The graduation at Gallaudet University is a historical ceremony for each graduates—no consequences are allowed. Cerf was attempting to propose a cochlear implant wave in which those Deaf-ASL users are encouraged to act like hearing people for his own intrinsic satisfaction of higher learning. In the other words, within with university, throwing eugenics-theme speech is of a central importance. With high technology activities to make a final decision to support the eugenics of Deaf people, Cerf began the hate speech cycle right there. I got attacked being called a liar and asked to see the proof of his transcript. One of them who own a writing service asked for it rather believing the person who threw eugenics in our face instead of reading it from Deaf author like myself. Just because Cerf is the father of Internet and it would be impossible for a celebrity to say that. What does that tell you? IT WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENED WHAT VINTON CERF SAID!

Those who wrote trash have acted in direct contravention of values that we, as DEAF people who love this world, hold dear. It has been absolutely astounding how they have committed the most horrendous acts, causing needless tragedy in the lives of Deaf people, yet they wear their so-called I-am-better-than-you nonsense. Their hypocrisy is mind-boggling — and disgraceful.

Gallaudet University happens because Deaf people exist. Cerf knew about the success that needs to change to help cochlear implant makers rich and make Cerf getting some commission profit for implementing in his presentation. It is no seldom accident, folks! It is easy to recognize product of strained leadership. A skilled Sociologist would understand the propaganda what it would be like.

For example, Cerf is well-known Alexander Graham Bell donor, and he went ahead and used hate speech that become necessary because it is fun to deliberately confound Deaf people with the unknown and keep Gallaudet University to maintain the status quo, ensuring Deaf people remain disempowered while Vinton Cerf entertain a hate speech.

Some people would say that it is a degree of freedom of speech, but within certain demographics it has overwhelmed the old Gallaudet politics, before cochlear implant center set up there on the same building where ASL/Deaf Studies department is. I think that hate speech should be pretty much extinct at Gallaudet University, in the sense that Gallaudet is quite welcoming to anyone Deaf. That has not always been true. Audism and hate speech exists in the term of higher education at Gallaudet University.

I became highly disturbed by his presentation about restoring Deaf people to hearing people. It has been ongoing ill-advised and misleading term. No human being can restore anyone’s hearing; they can only amplify it. When batteries expire, Deaf people merges as an inevitable—a reality and Cerf refuses to accept the fact that the high technology is not always a reality. Clearly, everyday hate speech especially stereotyping and prejudice—makes little or no sense, in terms of either reason ore religion.

With the EPHPHATHA official seal of Gallaudet University on the podium before Cerf stood and spoke, is the best example of mask of benevolence that it is attributable to implicit efforts in restoring Deaf people to the hearing society. He may be the father of Internet, but promoting hate speech like the big jellyfish just the same as Internet is. No Deaf graduating students deserve the knot with fear in their stomach.

It does seem to me a circle of people, (strong oralists) and some other like-minded folks, like to have Vinton  around them and recognize his habit of badgering and intimidating smaller or weaker people.

Does Vinton Cerf dare to play G-O-D with new tricks front of Deaf people on their very special day? It makes a sad case study for hate speech and oppression. The same guy who invented Internet, of course, generates, with no intention to censor, the greatest noise that yields no information that Deaf people exist.

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

Behind Nancy Rourke’s Painting: Mask of Benevolence

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Nancy Rourke, a Deaf woman, painted the masterpiece, Mask of Benevolence. I saw there are many interpretations in it before that deciding to purchase it with a firm inclination (which means I am the OWNER of this ORIGINAL painting) to call it Mainstreaming Bigotry and Belittlement” What then is art? Is it more than just a clear-cut reflection of a vivid impression of life? I saw myself in this painting, Mask of Benevolence, because I was bred and buttered into a mainstreaming system within Deaf Education throughout my childhood.

On the surface, this painting seems to remind me of my life, to tell a history of separation from my own selfhood—my Deafhood–which has been scattered to the pieces. This was my childhood wherein ASL was lacking and my daily self-concepts—my ideas of the reality of life—were not the same as I had learned. I would still need to preface my considerable integrity that, first, I am 100% Deaf and that, secondly,  I must apply it to myself.  While growing up, I knew of no Deaf history and very subtle—little enough—about my own state of being Deaf for my background information and knowledge. Both strangeness and stigma had become a norm for me, and I just had to deal with “disability” and to develop accommodations for my life, acquiring necessary educational experiences which were always challenging to me.

However, I had learned always to make the best of my situation, yet always enthusiastic to learn and excel. Nancy Rourke’s painting is about conflict. Conflict within ourselves. It shows faces embodied with all of these other personalities; they are faces that seem to love themselves despite being callous to their own experiences. It is a strange paradox that screams of depth and the power in pure, unadulterated self-reflection. It is a raw statement about the internal individuals within us all. Nancy Rourke’s painting is a complete paradox of both self-love and self-hate.

The Deaf person who signs “STOP” in RED circle which is the most focal key of the painting is portrayed with passion and a complete feeling of apathy. Yet, that person’s face has scratches all over that forces the viewers to do two things: recognize the depths in the face and examine the colors and layering they suggest. These marks almost seem like a purposeful scarification that the person has applied to herself. Each scratch has a layer of contrasting paint underneath the first layer.

This seems to lead into the themes the outer face and personalities offer. To get from the original self to a new sense of self is not an easy task. Often, this task must be performed alone. It involves introspection to the depths of the soul and shatters the current connection between the heart and mind in order to forget a stronger link and a greater sense of self. This link is integral to inner peace and without it, life can feel like a veritable, inescapable sandstorm. I recognized about the personal nature of the journey the painting is all about. We all have a journey to take, and it is important to know our limitations, our abilities to surpass them, and the realization that we have a lot more tools at our disposal than we may realize (both internally and externally).

Now, at age 35, I had discovered Deafhood which has since become my prima facie—my face value, my face truth. In the book, Deaf Identities In The Making written by Jan-Kare Breivik quoting Milan Klara who says that has stood up to my reading eyes: “It is difficult to say who I am in a clear and single statement, because I have no deaf identification and no hearing identification. But I have a little story that says something about who I am—my identity.” Deafhood, coined by Paddy Ladd, has taught me how to see the clash and tension of cultural and social forces. Also, there are many contemporary indictments of the social conditions of educational and economical “poverties” faced by Deaf people as well as the repercussions that affect and break down the social roles of the Deaf world. In addition, fast forward, the people I meet on this journey can greatly affect my path, either for good or for bad.

True to its description, Mask of Benevolence, fundamentally changed and the Deaf person in the painting finds a purpose truer than any she held before. All the other people than the Deaf person, each outer face is sharply blocked into thick boxes who have opposing personalities as it is, with their different perspectives (profile shot and straight on) and expressions of darkness and playfulness. Nancy Rourke was very deliberate in her choice of material. The painting she painted on has an unusual effect that is able to startle the viewer upon closer examination. It is very reflective surface. By painting on this surface, Rourke literally forces people to see their reflection in the surface.

Is Rourke suggesting that these contrasting persons are hidden inside each of us? The cumulative effect of these circumstances produced anger, sadness, and grief, a feeling of isolation, worthlessness, and difficulty motivating myself in most areas of my life. I realized that I was self-medicating for the spiral of negative events that were plaguing me. I thank the word, Audism which appeared into my life and made me feel strong after that. Mask of Benevolence made a statement that Mainstreaming is not the right answer for Deaf children. Although my school teachers had made their classroom “a safe haven” even if one was to fail, I was treated as a fool of myself without judgment.

Where was my right as a student to receive a fair philosophy of reliance upon self-direction and freedom to lead myself to get a fair education? Being DEAF has no privileges in any mainstreaming system. I would like to share the quote, “The struggle of life is between memory and forgetting” by Milan Kundera—which clearly defines my life. That is what Nancy Rourke showed the true sentiments of this painting is all about.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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