AGBell: Friday the 13th

Is Alexander Graham Bell the reason he brought a curse to the Deaf community on Friday the 13th?

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LEAD-K Open Video: Will AGBell Ever Condemn Hate?

Remembering Milan 1880: Light a Candle Against Hate

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September 7, 1880—has addressed the Deaf community worldwide—before I get into the urgent necessity of this post. Let’s start with some painful memories. Imagine the day after September 7th, let’s think about Deaf children’s skills to use sign language as human right, they would have been great leaders—to embark on journey through uncharted territory, and to change the image of Deaf people within painful energy into the world that sees before us.

It was not long though, before Deaf people were pounded with human threat, and deal with Oralism from every direction—slammed doors and angry looks wherever they use sign language. That’s hate crime, folks.

Today, the surge of Oralism, for example, listening and speaking, Cued Speech, and cochlear implants, Deaf children are forced to face with a world that feels extremely fragmented and hostile as much as possible. That is not the way of a human life that was supposed to be safe.

The challenges Deaf people face are far—the rise of bigotry and hate crimes, and the huge gap between the richest and poorest are just the tip of the iceberg and that is even scary part.

Do not be intimidated by power. Deaf community is in the making—and stop in the name of hate! We need to resist in the age of hate crime. Imagine how Deaf community felt the day after September 7th, 1880. It’s just mind-boggling. We, the Deaf people have the power to make a change—and start off by digging deep into our identity as the state of being of Deaf.

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”

There are plenty of Deaf people who survived who dealt with Oralism ideology, they are also humans, who got the same number of hours each day as others on Earth—we must continue to resist against Alexander Graham Bell’s hate practices.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

Powerful Diversion in Deaf Community

 

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Deaf against Deaf that causes diversion in our combustible present, we all need to reframe the conversation about pain we must continue to have, chronicling the powerful forces that have long oppressed progress in Deaf community.

The problem is that the majority of Deaf people do not know what 8th Amendment in the United States Constitution stands for. At the same time, the 8th Amendment was, in important ways, lacks greatly in Deaf community to hold the truth to be self-evident that exposed Deaf to Deaf to be extralegal violence and widespread violence.

Deaf against Deaf as the enemy makes for a failure of humanity. In May 2015, I wrote a post, For Your Eyes Only: HATE is Real

I am talking to you. DEAF to DEAF. You and I have the same identity: DEAF.

HATE—we have been led to believe that it does not exist in our life. Hate produces ignorance, discrimination, and prejudice. We know some Deaf who rejects being DEAF, deny American Sign Language and their signed languages as languages and culture….

Is it time to support DEAF community and stop hate speech? We all know what Audism means. Is it also time to advance our knowledge that hate speech actually exists in our life?

Is America Surdophobia? Gary van Gils, a social worker who lives in Holland and is highly respected as Deaf Studies lecturer, coined it. The term is well defined academically and it makes sense to me. In the meaning of Surdophobia, “a hostility, intolerance, or fear against Deaf people, Deaf culture, and the Deaf community and that resistance toward the sign languages used. It can consist of a range of negative attitudes toward Deafhood, the idea of Deafpositive and Deaf rights.”

It was 1880. The infamous Milan Conference—the world’s original sin in the midst of global language war to make Deaf community suffer in its horrors. Alexander Graham Bell, the original sinner is the story of America to begin hate. It is foundational.

AGBell dominated lives of Deaf people in America from his hate speech in 1883 and 1884 well into the 20th century. From hatred to coffin, there was no nook of a Deaf person’s life that it did not touch.

Today, Deaf people suffered the most: Employment, higher education, and the rights to the pursuit of happiness for ALMOST 10 decades—10 decades! Both of your hands in FIVE. The same states had constantly failed to provide good jobs and treat Deaf people “equal”—where is the Achilles heel that National Association of the Deaf (NAD) stand up and sign out? It is not enough. NAD is the oldest Civil Rights organization in the United States of America.

For example, how come Gallaudet University did not equalize enough educational opportunities and did not finance, create, and maintain law degrees and doctoral programs in Sociology?

Today, Gallaudet University is still not Deaf-centered, Deaf-controlled, and Deaf-oriented campus. The Deaf President Now (DPN) in 1988 was so much more than everything. The biggest mistake is to allow hearing students at Gallaudet in early 1990’s. That is why it is also much diversion in Deaf community.

DPN was a series of hard-fought, locally and nationally organized campaigns, shining the lights of the media to challenge hearing privileges and employment that hearing people took away from Deaf people who are highly qualified for the jobs.

Also, DPN skillfully used the media to expose the horrors of overt discrimination, Audism, and hatred they experienced from hearing people to the world. That was the soul of America. It saddens me to see that Deaf against Deaf. How can we make it feel like 1988?

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Why Not AGBell in the List of Hate Groups?

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[https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch]

There are now reported 21 hate groups in District of Columbia released by Southern Poverty Law Center’s HATEWATCH. The only missing group is Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. How come SPLC did not list AGBell in this group? Well, there are few reasons that I will do my best to write and explain why AGBell should be classified as a hate group. Perhaps SPLC would learn from this for a start and go from there.

First of all, it is a sound-oriented world and SPLC does not really understand what Deaf people had suffered in their lifetime experiencing hate. Bell’s action equaled “Audism” of denying the linguistic minority such as Deaf signers such privileges and societal rights to the use of “natural language” Audism should really a logical term to describe AGBell’s eugenics movement for imposing linguistic and cultural superiority and eradication upon Deaf American signers of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

More appropriate terms are linguistic imperialism or attempt to “linguicide” the sociocultural minority, ex. Deaf signers of the post-Milan Conference period from conveying and expressing their own thoughts in practical and efficient language usage. “Linguicism” could be also an acceptable term to describe AGBell’s misguided ideology of assimilating or centralizing the sociolinguistic minority into the society at large on so-called equal basis.

Deaf Americans and other Deaf people everywhere, could enact the strategic multilingualism policies to ensure the protection and preservation of our beloved and precious language (ASL, LSF, BSL, and many others) from possibility of linguistic extinction/loss and sociocultural genocide or undermine the existence of minority language usage. Deaf people everywhere ought to call for the non-intervention policy to make our natural language of the Deaf to the protected status to the listing of endangered language usage in the United States and other countries.

Beginning with the work of AGBell in the late 19th century, Deaf people have been frequent and prominent targets of the eugenics movement. It is not widely known by the general public that, in addition to his work as an inventor, Bell was also a leading figure in the education of the Deaf in the late 19th and 20th centuries. In order to put this issue into context, it is important to consider AGBell and the educational and social programs he promoted.

As it was indicated, the primary characteristic identifying a member of the Deaf community, as opposed to a hearing-impaired person, is the use of ASL. It is a matter of great importance to members of the Deaf community that AGBell was a leader of the movement to “all-oral” education of the Deaf, in which ASL was banned from the educational process and discouraged in ordinary social intercourse.

AGBell and other oralists seem to have been motivated by two major beliefs. First was a belief in the “progressive” idea that American should have a single “official” language, spoken English, and that everyone should acquire in the same way. Signing was thought to result in the failure to have an adequate command of English, which would condemn the Deaf person to a life of poverty and impaired intellect. The use of ASL in the educational process was felt to impede the development not only of speaking and lip-reading but also reading and writing.

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The second motivation for the oralists was eugenic in nature and had to do with the supposed genetic bases of the state of being Deaf. The reasoning went like this: AGBell, in an influential monograph titled Memoir Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Raceasserted that sign language and those residential schools where it was used led to the formation of a separate Deaf community.

He noted, further, that the state of being Deaf is primarily heredity and that if Deaf people congregate and intermarry, the state of being Deaf, seen as a severe disability, will increase in the general population. Both of these lines of reasoning are know known to the without foundation-sign language has never been shown to interfere with the acquisition of spoken English skills, and, as is known to all of you, the state of being Deaf has many causes, generic and nongerietic.

In fact, most Deaf couple have hearing children (Lane, 1999) this can be attributed to a wider social awareness of other cultures in general in the United States. Even though awareness of Deaf culture has been perpetuated, the knowledge of the condition is not wholly agreed on by individuals in the hearing community, as evidenced by the results of the true or false portion of community how they view of Deaf people.

That is one of many reasons why SPLC did not really understand how much pain Deaf community has gone through the series of hatred. One day, AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will be recognized as a hate group. Time will come.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Lane, Harlan (1992). The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community. Dawn Sign Press. 1999.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-formation-variety-human-race/dp/B000J0OV24

Thank you, Nyle DiMarco!

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Dear Nyle DiMarco,

I would like to offer my congratulations for you to win America’s Next Top Model, the highest award you can bestow in the industry that is known for failure in presenting hard facts and expert opinion to be brought in Deaf education. To be quite honest with you, I am no fan of modeling myself for couple of reasons, for one, the industry is so inflated with misinformation, emotion, and a complete lack of basic public health information that no wonder the media are such an impressive train wreck.

However, you walked through the hall of Audism in each episode you had encountered with. Much of the social history of the Deaf, over the past three centuries, has been a history of replacing spoken language with signed language. It got worse after the 1880 Milan resolution banning the use of signed language for instruction of the Deaf.

I was so impressed with the show’s determination that did not allow Alexander Graham Bell Association to take over and throw you out—like what they did to Bob’s House about two Deaf guys driving in a truck looking for the right house and realizes that all the houses are all in dark and the driver uses the horn to see which the house where Deaf person lives and realizes the house did not flinch lights while all other houses did during a television commercial in older Super Bowl games—it was pure bigotry what they did!

AGB folks—those people who have encouraged the creation of, or have refused to denounce, witch hunts that target Deaf people for harassment, in the tradition of AGB’s witch hunts, modern government myths are unfair and un-American. I mean, look at those Deaf people were celebrating all over America—it is very rare to see this so much happiness through social media in long time. Smiles were like, impossible to replace. Try to imagine a day without smiles. Never mind a day; try to imagine getting through the first hour without smiles: no time, no date, no TV or newspapers, no bank accounts to check. It is not clear exactly where you are waking up either, for without smiles, the show from last Friday, December 4th would not exist.

What you may have had taught the media and the industry that the history of failure and disaster of Deaf education has neither discouraged Deaf people nor discredited them—thank you for your hard work and courage to make media THINK! There is a need for Deaf people to take up specific, clearly defined models of Deafhood, to live with them!

There is a Sonnet 60 that William Shakespeare writes,

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end;

Each changing place with that which goes before,

In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

The key word in this above passage is “toil”–hard and continuous work…to strive to make yourself understood.

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

Social Media vs. My Personhood

ImageMe and My Father (2011)

“We tell the public which way the cat is jumping. The public will take care of the cat”Arthur Hays Sulzberger

Being Deaf is personal for me and I believe that it is like my right to believe in any way. The problem is when the media and politics got into my father’s mind.

I did not know about Milan Resolution 1880 banning sign language until three years ago and it took me to realize that from the time we all were being indoctrinated with Oralism as well as Cochlear Implant (CI) today when we did not know why they imposed the Milan 1880 resolution.

Eight years ago, for example, my father asked me during our lunch outing at famous Carol’s Café, and we were about to order our food from the menu when my father said to me in some of “home” sign language that he had found some good news.  He heard from other people as well as saw the television advertisement that cochlear implants (CI) is the best tool for me to hear. He thought that if I get CI it would make me happy, get a job, and even to hear all the things I could ever imagine. He thought it was great.

By looking at my father’s face with high hopes, I realized that my being Deaf is not good enough for him.  I was 30 years old that time. I had been Deaf all my life since I was a baby. I was devastated and decided to walk away from the table and unlocked my bicycle so I could go home alone.  It was raining that day.

My father was puzzled why I left all of sudden. He tried to call me several times that day but I did not pick it up. I did not talk to him for a couple of days. I realized that it was one of my earliest stages of understanding the dynamics of Deafhood.

We need to bring stronger ethics and philosophy back into our Deaf minds and, especially at an early age.  We the Deaf need to stop negative media. Do not let negative media degrade us by offering us the Deaf those Cochlear Implants  (CI) because they are filled with the false hopes.

Perhaps we should re-frame the question: How can society protect Deaf children from being implanted?

This dangerous “CI myth” is what nearly all the media are selling false hopes. The CI myth is also pushed by media sources that has fed my father into thinking that CI is equated to “happiness,” “job” and “information access.” I did not blame my father for it. I am blaming the social media that exploited my father into believing so.

It has concerned me that the media continues to IGNORE the facts and follow our emotions when it comes to public policy. We the Deaf are people, too, for two things: the state of being Deaf is human right and using American Sign Language (ASL) is our legal right, too. We have the hard facts because we are the breeds of Deaf blood. Why should the public policy by getting cochlear implant be based on? Should it be based on anecdotal experiences?

When Deaf children are being persecuted as in those caught up in Alexander Graham Bell Association of the Deaf (AGBAD)’s stupid policy, which is the first thing that they want to do by eliminating being Deaf right off the face of the Earth, making sure Deaf children are breeding and acting like hearing people. Deaf people do have human rights and basic legal rights, but AGBAD breeds the myths and fictions which had driven my father to think that CI will bring me happiness. It is a legal train wreck.

We the Deaf need to challenge those AGBAD politicians who have only their careers to watch out not for the public good.

Dad, it is not your fault! The media took our love away! They want you to love CI. You might be a turd, but damn it, I do love you, Dad!

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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