Let’s begin in the beginning where we are on our own. When you are walking across Gallaudet University, you will see a rise of a gleaming memorial to discover your Deaf identity in this time line. The old bricks of great hands built Gallaudet University together, the ambitious effort to create a Deaf-space integrated, so connected, ASL continue to flourish. With the sidewalks that has hold the foot prints of Great Hotchkiss, Foster, Draper, Amos, Veditz, Tiegel, Fay, Hanson, McGregor, Clerc and list of game changers had found their home.
As Laurent Clerc writes, “A knowledge of history is extremely useful; it lays before our eyes the great picture of the generations that have preceded us; and in relating the events which passed in their time…it lays before us the precepts of the wise…of all ages.”
Just any time you see the flag of Gallaudet University, the welcome would be your entrance to your home. The flag flap in the wind at the at the entrance to each of our eyes–for the higher learning mecca in Deaf world. That is where the most attractive piece of human being and the state of being Deaf.
For the purpose of the journey for Gallaudet University, the most important Gallaudetian motto: There is No Other Place Like This in The World. By far came in the year of 1864, the search for home to empower Deaf people, no longer in the sullen silence of despair had found hope in National Deaf-Mute College now known today as Gallaudet University. What is Deaf Space and why should Gallaudet be your home? One of its key ideas, the creation of having Gallaudet as your home, helps to continue the future of Deaf stories there, and will not be forgotten. Let’s carry the flames of 1864 to today.
To make it even more real home, it would take a breathtaking in its sheer scope to make radical changes, for example, get involved and in repealing Audism on Gallaudet campus. Let’s end the witch-hunt. Funding is the name of the game. Tough-on-hate policies. Work to defeat fear-mongering culture. Ban hearing privileges.
Stop allowing propaganda style to infiltrate our common senses. Gallaudet University needs to bring ASL ethics and philosophy back into Gallaudet’s higher learning system. Today on the campus of Gallaudet University, I was told that it is only 50% of people who works there do not know ASL. Is there any validity why we should bring it up in this dialogue in a concrete reason?
If we do not take action above then why are we still creating a culture of fear? How would you pick to make Gallaudet your home? Even today, the energy of Gallaudet viewed as an important “cardinal” chapter in Deaf community, the glory years of ASL stories, and the old Deaf souls, still carry satisfying memories around Gallaudet community. Then it is time to think whether you should pick Gallaudet University as your home. Hey, are you home now?
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
David Call’s Ephphatha. EPHPHATHA! EPHPHATHAAAA! 2017.
After writing countless blogs about EPHPHATHA for years, I realized that it is also part of hate speech. “Excuse me? What did you say?” Yes, hate speech. The long struggle to give meaning about hate speech has established that freedom of speech and of the press is a fundamental value in American democracy. Do you agree that EPHPHATHA is a paramount value supporting religious bigotry and hate speech at Gallaudet University?
Deaf students have the right to have full protection away from religious violence demanding them that they shall be no longer Deaf is hateful speech. The safeguard of students comes first–not only that, but also the violation of their privacy, too. The case of EPHPHATHA was a ruthless exposure of pursuit of happiness to erase Deaf students’ character. Gallaudet University has no right to publicly scorn, ridicule and contempt as in injuring them at all.
The United States Constitution in the First Amendment, section one, “Freedom of Religion” may be one of the greatest trickery of all time within 14 words, Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press–what does it mean when it comes to EPHPHATHA at Gallaudet University?
Since National Deaf-Mute College created in 1864, EPHPHATHA has been blossomed the invisible mode as a way to connect the world of religious bigotry. But, at the same time, the “welcome” of Deaf students entering into Gallaudet University, has sadly allowed it to become a powerful and virulent problem targeting the pursuit of happiness for Deaf students whom have the right to be Deaf. The word, virulent means a disease of a poison.
The form of hate speech that are directly linked to religious bigotry to create the marginalization and targeting them, to the spread of falsehoods that threaten the generation of Deaf people today and tomorrow. Is that a political polarization, no? Is this a real-world religious bigotry, no? Is it hate speech, no? I could go on…….
PROTECTED CATEGORY= Gallaudet University.
EPHPHATHA attempting to make Deaf people hear again, but it is also mocking them–enough! Gallaudet University needs to remove the term of EPHPHATHA–no longer as the gatekeeper of hate speech.
Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
Every time I see David Call’s artworks–and gives me a lot of ideas to write!
As alumni for Gallaudet University and a scholar recipient for a graduate program in Deaf Studies, every vote counts. It is the key idea in the Deaf community we live in America, a belief that is easily forgotten about ourselves. The sizable chunk of the electorate does not put the vote in the ballot to heal Deaf citizens with prescriptions every day. That is the power, regardless of the wishes of the voters as a whole.
Like I wrote in my previous blog,
“the Deaf (with capital d) is an archetype within the conscious of all the Deaf that contains our awareness of being Deaf. It is the psychological component that we still think and react to our society like Deaf people, and it is the same component that we are fully aware that the society continues to keep from being able to embrace American Sign Language (ASL).
Of all the betrayals that we the Deaf suffer, perhaps the most poignant of all is the betrayal of ourselves. No example of this is more striking than we remain committed to our being Deaf, that archetypical force which will hinder us from becoming fully empowered users of ASL.
To better understand why we the Deaf betray ourselves, let me present the common patterns of this archetype found within the Deaf community. These patterns include behaviors, perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes of the Deaf. This exploration is intended to help us identify how this archetype force is still in control, and to understand how the Deaf adversely affects our daily lives. They keep us struck, disempowered, and isolated.” @ Jason “JT” Tozier, 2015
This force can be incredibly powerful, such as depicted by the biblical story in which a word make a Deaf man hear: EPHPHATHA. Gallaudet University has this Christian word in its official seal. The idea is that it “contacts” the Almighty. Very powerful, indeed! It is very discriminating! I, myself, could never associate myself with this word in the university seal.
In 1971, Frederick Schreiber, an executive director for National Association of the Deaf (NAD) coined ‘Deaf Studies’ in his quote, “If Deaf people are to get ahead in our time, they must have a better image of themselves and their capabilities. They need concrete examples of what Deaf people have already done so they can project for themselves a brighter future. If we can have Black studies, Jewish studies, why not Deaf studies?” (Note: Quoted in Charles Katz, “A Partial History of Deaf Studies, in Deaf Studies VI Conference Proceedings: Making the Connection (Washington, D.C.; College for Continuing Education, Gallaudet University, 1999. 120.
National Deaf-Mute College was founded in 1864—known as Gallaudet University today. Exactly 130 years later, Deaf Studies program switched the lights on and invited students in to study and research. That was when I was a senior in high school when it was founded. However, there was resistance involved with the idea of the program, “This is partially due to the fact that Deaf Studies was already taught across the curriculum at Gallaudet University and partially due to resistance within Gallaudet University, for fear that such a program would foment resistance and activism. In any event, the solidification of a department was an important moment in the field’s history, as was the formation of its graduate program in 2002” (the undergraduate program was founded by Dr. Yerker Andersson and the graduate program by Drs. Ben Bahan, MJ Bienvenu and H-Dirksen Bauman)
‘I am perpetually honored and humbled to serve as the only hearing member of the Deaf Studies program at the world’s only liberal arts university for Deaf and hard-of hearing students.” H-Dirksen Bauman
That is where the danger begins. That is a big hearing privilege.
Four years after the coinage of ‘Deaf Studies’, Tom Humphries coined the term, Audism, based on the Latin audire, meaning, “to hear”. In his original article, Humphries defined Audism as “the notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears”–Tom Humphries, “Audism: The Making of a Word”, unpublished, 1975.
Words have such power that they can bring respect or they can bring disrespect, as is shown by current Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) president, Alyce Slater Reynolds and its association/board. They have had nothing to protest the word, EPHPHATHA today. They had alienated Deaf people, and their words could never help us to concentrate on our own nature. Their words are associated with the charging of ongoing oppression.
There is another crucial point to make about words, which we do not wish to talk about. However, we need to talk about our nature. What is wrong with it?
Paddy Ladd writes a powerful chapter, Colonialism and Resistance: A Brief History of Deafhood—-that questions why EPHPHATHA is not being discussed in Deaf Studies, “We now face the challenge of bringing about the second phase, to search for more explicit Deaf epistemologies and ontologies that can frame these developments in a more holistic way, so that Deaf Studies can become a more conscious model for Deaf-centered praxis”
That is exactly why EPHPHATHA should be more conscious model to discuss in classrooms—and one of the reasons we may find nature of the Deaf hard to believe in—even when it has been demonstrated to us—is that we have lost our connection to nature. The lack of action from GUAA would be unlikely to hold true for most Deaf people today, for the way we think of nature has changed.
Flash: Bauman, the only hearing member writes in his own words, “Even within the field of Deaf Studies, perspectives of Deaf people are often not valued. Many programs call themselves Deaf Studies but are actually based on an audiological model…”
EPHPHATHA is an audiologically model that will not allow to discuss in classrooms or you get in trouble. Bauman has the power as a department chair that will not allow discussions about this at all. You know what will happen next? TROUBLE. For example, in 1972, there was a tragic day in my motherland, Ireland, dealt with ‘Bloody Sunday’ and within a year before; ‘Deaf Studies’ was created.
‘Bloody Sunday’ was a national tragic day for Ireland. British soldiers shot 26 unharmed Irish people during a protest march. The same idea that ‘Deaf Studies’ applies to oppression, hegemony, language racism, and language bigotry what was going on in Ireland.
“A better course for Deaf Studies would be to examine the situation in identity politics now, learn from the past, think about the beyond-identity issues floating in the public sphere, come up with flexible and nonhierarchical models of being, and lead the way out of the dead end of identity thinking”—Lennard Davis
13 yeas later after the graduate program was created, Bauman is in charge today. Think about it. Remember, resistance and activism.
Yet, Bauman writes, “From Desloges to Veditz to the formation of Deaf Studies, Deaf people have been defending the right to use sign language, the right to intermarry, and the right not to be subjected to medical and religious cures, the right simply to be left alone…while Deaf Studies has proven the existence of Deaf Culture, the cultural argument is often not enough to convince hearing doctors and parents to cease their endless search for a cure.”
“Why should society want to keep and promote Deaf people? What good are Deaf people to society? What good are Deaf children to a family? These difficult questions must now be explored if the Deaf world is to continue in the face of biopower institutions intent on the eradication of the Deaf community.”
As Gallaudet alumni, nature is considered part of the family. I recognize that every alumnus and alumni, they do not talk about it to hearing people, they do have their own guiding spirit. Isn’t that part of our nature of being Deaf?
In terms of language, let’s start by defining EPHPHATHA. The English language has a very strange inference of curing ears, and the speakers of English assume from their own inference that being Deaf is pathological. The English language dictionary defines EPHPHATHA: the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning “Be opened,” uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7:34). It is one of the characteristics of Mark that he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord’s lips. (See 3:17; 5:41; 7:11; 14:36; 15:34.)
Once again, Bauman writes, “How would the world be affected negatively by the loss of Deaf communities?” The speakers of English are very comfortable applying the word at Gallaudet University. It is a loss that affects Deaf community. Why not Bauman enforce and allow EPHPHATHA in the classrooms to be part of academic discussion? Remember Bloody Sunday 1972.
After all, EPHPHATHA is a Bloody Sunday.
Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirety only, including this copyright message.
“Ephphatha.” Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary. 13 Mar. 2015. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ephphatha>.