Encouraging Suicide at Gallaudet University

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

My name is Jason “JT” Tozier. I am a survivor of “encouraging” towards suicide tendencies by Gallaudet University because of my status as Deaf returnee. I thank you for your honest leadership, and commit to human healing to continue and share awareness about suicide prevention.

I am even more heart-broken that Gallaudet University is hosting Out of the Darkness Campus Walk sponsored by Gallaudet University, Office of Student Affairs and Academic Support and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Thursday, April 5th, 2018.

I was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. I was forced to explain why I was jailed 21 years ago front of my graduate cohort and faculty members every time I enter into classroom setting up for suicidal tendencies. Silence hurts. If I do not explain why, then I would face harsh punishment. Possibly expelled from Gallaudet University.

This is not because of oppression and bullying or even lack of trust; instead, the meeting I was in 2014 was one of the most oppressive meetings in my life, such of them do not acknowledge that they were bystanders because they do not think they were. Therefore, it is not enough to ask an individual whether he was oppressed from oppressors.

Society can reinforce the oppressor’s self-blame in several ways. When shaming and humiliation is discovered on Gallaudet campus, the oppressed is often removed from the truth. People who experienced severe oppression often tell the truth from experience.

The bullying allows even by Gallaudet University who would argue that shaming, bullying, and humiliation has nothing to do with their behavior, I am merely the most convenient target; I became powerless. Which explanation is more comforting to Deaf returnee?

Gallaudet University choose to stay in silence is a reversal of roles and identities. Here’s my story: Don’t know if I have really conveyed how hard it has been for me all these years, how I really struggle in there through lots of depression, sometimes no sleep, I would struggle more, some days I’ve dealt with crossing between honest concern, and learning.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I hope you would hear my story. I have more to share. Just like this one, “Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”—Sue Monk Kidd.

I actually died for ten minutes. I’m back from death and ready to share more stories. I guess my sensitivity has become stronger, deeper, and smarter. Gallaudet University was not honest about it. How can we prevent another suicide if Gallaudet University was not honest about it? Is there a Mask of Benevolence there?

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

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Denial of Audism/Hate Speech: More Power

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/

 

 

 

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.