Why History Repeats

200 years ago (1819), Congress passed the law to civilize Native Americans. 100 years ago (1919), what was it like to be in Deaf community that time? What about now in 2019? Do we recognize the history that repeats to belittle ASL and the state of being Deaf?

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Open Letter for Nyle DiMarco

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This post is written for Nyle DiMarco:

First, I admire Nyle for defying the mathematical odds in Hollywood industry. That was really big. Math is your best friend but it can be your enemy where it can define your life overnight. Just like that.

Second, this is not about Deaf versus Deaf. It is about educating what Native Americans had been gone through. It can also apply to Deaf community whom they suffer as well what Native Americans do. I hope it would be learning experience for Nyle.

Please no harassing or bullying Nyle about this. Either should I be not harassed or bullied about this. Sometimes we have to remind each other and understand the stigma with open mind.

I was cheering for him on Dancing with the Stars show. That night, Mirror ball on a huge TV with full house of Deaf people were jumping joyfully when Nyle won the show. I was there and jumped joyfully because Nyle defied odds. And not only that, he had spread the message in Hollywood about language deprivation in Deaf community.

It is a huge thing.

And I appreciate his advocacy work in Deaf community. Not all I agree with, but winning two shows in Hollywood, as Deaf person understands the adversity and roadblocks matter the most. Especially the continuation of criminalizing Native Americans to be mock, marginalizes, and judges in Hollywood industry.

For years and years, Native Americans struggles with their lives, it is an unbearable journey. Go back to 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed The Indian Removal Act into law, where the law has targeted Native Americans for their skin and heritage to be bullied and removed from American society.

By 1890s, around 95%, less or more in 90th percentage, had shown that Native Americans were murdered, cut off their hair and such. The language deprivation also applies in Native Americans. It is no brainer.

Today, Native Americans suffer from unemployment, cruel and unusual punishment, one of the highest rates of fetal alcohol syndrome, and think about those Native American women being murdered at highest rate than ever as you can find the source to read online: Police in Many U.S. Cities Fail to Track Murdered, Missing Indigenous Women. It is still going on in 2019. The last two years has been worst, highest. Trump’s America.

Native Americans had also been mocked plenty of times in Hollywood. For example, Adam Sandler, sometimes funny, sometimes not funny, few years ago, there were dozen Native American actors walked off the set of his movie called, The Ridiculous Six because the actors felt offended that the portrayals of Native Americans continues to be mocked and degraded.

Few months ago, there was an article showing that hate crimes against Native Americans increased 63 percent in the first year of Trump’s policy. It has been dully noted in FBI’s data report. We should not ignore that 63 percent is nothing?

Often, Native Americans ends up invisible…and wonder why? “…Especially the hate crime data is notoriously flawed as a result of public under reporting of criminal victimization.” [Silent Victims: Hate Crimes Against Native Americans by Barbara Perry.] When Nyle as a Deaf white man pressed the button “LIKE” on Twitter that Elder Native American man by the name of Nate Phillips who got mocked by White Catholic Boys with MAGA “Make American Great Again” hats has shown the powerful image of mocking Native Americans.

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Nate was struggling with alcohol addiction where he was charged with possession of alcohol at very young age, and we should not judge him on that. That was four and half decades ago and we should not judge him. Nate’s childhood life was hard enough.

Nyle was not even born during that time either.

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Always.”

We must understand that in 1960s and 1970s era was really rough time for Native Americans. Especially for Nate Phillips. The society that time and today in 2019 continues to criminalize Native Americans.

There are some things we all need to reflect the history and the stigmatization of Native Americans cannot be ignored. Like in 1960s, Native Americans were the nation’s poorest minority group, and that was bad enough, imagine the painful journey, and in 1970, the unemployment rate were TEN times the national level.

The math when we know that TEN TIMES is powerful and bigger number like an exponent than we really understand, and what is more, 40 percent of the Native American population below the poverty line, and we know that Deaf community is also below the poverty line, too. No?

Native Americans with criminal record even if its 30, 40, 50, 60 years ago, continue to face several problems related to employment, income, education, media, and Hollywood industry. Why do we have to dig out old past about Nate Phillips? He is now 64 years old. That is a cheap shot. It is really a shame.

After taking Native American Literature, Environmental Education through Native American Lenses, and Native Studies had opened my eyes and understand why media continues to mock Native Americans.

Devon Mihesuah in 1996, American Indians: Stereotypes and Realities showing that Hollywood continues to frame popular perceptions of Native Americans. Hate crime against Native Americans is really a BIG problem. We cannot let haters bring Native Americans down.

Police brutality against Native Americans are really high and heart wrenching. I mean, high, high, high that is not even funny. Native Americans are most likely to be killed by law enforcement than any other racial or ethnic groups and they are most overlooked group of all. Like Daniel Sheehan, general counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project: “Native American people are basically invisible to most of the people in the country.”

 

 

We cannot forget Deaf Native Americans, too. Remember John T. Williams? When Nyle was featured on show called Full Frontal with Samantha Bee few weeks ago and it was good and I was very much glad that it has shared with the public eye to understand about Deaf people suffering in the hands of law enforcement. However, he signed: “your training has barely covered the importance of how to interact with America’s one million Deaf citizens.”

There is most likely a Deaf Native American might be as well as killed any time, any day in White America.

There are a lot of White teens and early 20s got away with it. We cannot deny that. No way. Please stop criminalizing Native Americans.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

MAGA HATS: Hate-Filled Literature at Native Rally

Are MAGA HATS making America great again? In the light of hate-filled literature mocking, and intimidating Native Americans is trying to make America great again is not even close. Whose land belongs to in the first place? Silence equals hate. We need to stop hate targeting Native Americans.

CORRECTION: IT IS NATHAN PHILLIPS. NOT RICHARD PHILLIPS. MY APOLOGIES!

Can We Stop Hate in Progress?

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Charlottesville, Virginia. The site of Heather Heyer. October 2017.

There has been a recent funded-study by federal guidelines, 450 human bodies that has been killed by the far right since 1990—the same year where Hate Crime Statistics Act has signed by President George H.W. Bush. That we must never forget.

Last October 2017, I visited Charlottesville, Virginia where ALT-Right movements killed Heather Heyer last August; the white supremacy must be brought up to have it rejected for the sake of humanity. I am all support to stop hate. We do not need white supremacy running our streets anymore. Not in my space. Do we have time to hate? Just yesterday, 13th of November, it was World Kindness Day. That we must never forget.

I remember in 1988 as a 14 years old kid, there was huge news about the murder of Mulugeta Seraw in Portland in the hands of skinheads, with hate ties to bad-ass white supremacy group. I was visiting my mother in Northeast Portland that time. I remember that day very well. I’ve really wished to keep that newspaper. In fact, it had happened on November 13th as well. It has hit Portland very hard.

Portland was put on an international spotlight on a map all because of this. Portland Trail Blazers might had won NBA championship in 1977. But, this one is 849,325 times bigger news than NBA championship. After Seraw’s death, Portland is not the same. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) became the face of kindness. Morris Dees, the lead counsel for SPLC won the case in Portland. Talk about World Kindness Day! It will be always in my memory. It is a powerful trait. That we never forget.

When my hate crime professor talked about Mulugeta Seraw in a classroom in 2007, memories brought up. It was painful but at the same time, we need to remind that we must tolerate against any form of hate. It has opened my eyes to the endless of ideas and responsibilities to talk and write more about hate crime. It is part of my civic duty. We also need to bring up and discuss about hate groups and of course, far right and alt-right.

I am in solidarity with people of color, Muslims, Native Americans, and Deaf people where Trump’s support of white supremacy and its hate groups have in the tide wave of hate crimes. Recently with couple of hours ago, FBI announced that its hate crime report for 2016 has brought up with bad news that for second straight year of increasing—the first time it has actually happened in a decade. We were getting better until Trump showed up in the name of hate. Do we even realize that a decade is long time to heal from pain? We were just getting better. That we never forget.

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The total of hate crimes for 2016:

6,121 incidents. Ouch.

Stop FAR RIGHT and ALT-RIGHT. We do not need another Charlottesville. Anywhere. That is why we need to remind how to teach love, not hate. That we never forget. Let’s embrace social justice! Be sure to read the references below.

The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring“-Victor Hugo

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://theconversation.com/threats-of-violent-islamist-and-far-right-extremism-what-does-the-research-say-72781

https://www.splcenter.org/news/2017/11/13/hate-crimes-rise-second-straight-year-anti-muslim-violence-soars-amid-president-trumps

https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2016/topic-pages/incidentsandoffenses

 

 

Indigenous People’s Day: Resistance in the Epoch of Christopher Columbus

 

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Please support Indigenous Peoples’ Day all over the cities and towns in the country, “Columbus Day” is a commonly used as a white privilege label to support to any bigotry, hostility, and discrimination against Native Americans and its use is often politically motivated. That is why I do not support Christopher Columbus’s legacy in secrecy, war, and violence in Native American lands. To date, if Columbus was alive today, hate crime charges without question where the trial is necessary for Columbus.

There are plenty of literature reviews on Native Americans and criminal justice, found one of the literature reviews focusing ethno-violence and found not a single case of Native Americans as victims of racially motivated violence. It makes them deeper than an invisible cloak. It is literally bad! What had Native Americans done to them? Kurt Vonnegut writes in his book, Breakfast of Champions: As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North American for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.”

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What is Indigenous People’s Day? It is about celebrating of the Indigenous peoples in North America to celebrate their culture, language, and arts. It is important to appreciate them as part of humanity and it is also difficult to imagine and understand the current strains of Indigenous peoples where they face the connections with colonialism. As for Columbus’ trial, according to the United Nations: 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

 a: Killing members of the group;

b: Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

c: Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

d: Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

e: Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (Article II)

Do we need to celebrate Columbus Day what he has robbed Indigenous Peoples lives? It should be student-centered, human-centered, and love-centered that we need to retain our knowledge about Indigenous People in schools. Also, it can be educator-led that we need strong educators to bring in stronger awareness that impacts learning. At a human compassion, we all need a healthy terminology such as Indigenous People’s Day.

Finally, it should be Hate-Free, as Indigenous People deserve an education without financial hardships. They deserve a chance to thrive in their lives, without facing hate and racism daily. We need teachers and learners clearly to share a common interest in positive meaning and we need to re-invest Native American literature more often in our public schools and universities. Can we channel our knowledge toward the essentials of teaching and learning about Indigenous People’s Day? Please visit this YouTube video with captions provided:

 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Hidden Hand: Hate in Deaf Community

 

 

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Every year, on Saint Patrick’s Day, my grandparents would watch their favorite movie, 1952 “The Quiet Man” because Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne were their favorite actress and actor. Plus, it was filmed in Ireland. As they say, “Erin Go Bragh!” [Ireland forever]

Then I learned later that John’s name was not his birth name. He was born as Duke Morrison. I also learned that he was hungry for supremacy. That does not fit Hollywood’s image. I learned that the other night about a year ago that it has happened in California, a Republican congressman was attempting to make a special honor called “John Wayne Day” held in May and the Democrats came out protesting strongly against the idea. The bill failed because they hold zero tolerance policy against Racism and hate. That is what we all should do the same thing. How do we feel about white supremacy?

When you see an image below, John Wayne actually said that in 1971 Playboy magazine interview below. University of Virginia wrote about John Wayne, “Wayne has grossed more than $400 million for his studios–more than any other star in motion-picture history. But because of his uncompromising squareness–and his archconservative politics–he was still largely a profit without honor in Hollywood.”

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Now, can we do something about Audism and hate? What about those hearing actresses and actors who are pretending to be Deaf in the big picture front of Deaf eyes? Why are Deaf people rejected as an aspiration to a world in which all forms of inequality and dehumanization among ourselves that allows a society to oppress Deaf people who have plenty of talent out there?

Some people would say that a degree of “diversity” is a wonderful thing, but within certain demographics it has continue to practice the old, dirty politics, and there are plenty of people in this or that minority culture for whom the old-fashioned non-cultural politics is more relevant. For most people of any group, including the minority groups, the specifically diversity issues are actually a small proportion of the actually important yet invisible issues affecting Deaf people anywhere.

Should Audism be “extinct” in Deaf community, in the sense that the public eye of Alexander Graham Bell is quite welcoming to anyone Deaf. This is not always true. Struggle with sign languages everywhere, communication and personal appearance exists in the term subtle diversity in the society. In Canada, more specifically, Nova Scotia “NS” in ASL— 12 years ago in the legislative Act of 2005, the honor created “Alexander Graham Bell Day” where they celebrate his achievements on March 7th every year ever since and it has became a personal insult for the Deaf community.

While the only Alexander Graham Bell Day in the world, Canada is the front runner and they should get rid of it. One day they will. Do not wait too long. Celebrating Alexander Graham Bell Day is like creating a massacre filled with laughter! What do you think when you see “education” first thing? It may be most complex noun of all. It means, “to train someone for what?”—And it is a teacher-centered, not student-centered. If a teacher thinks a Deaf pupil is better off speaking, then the pupil is really stuck.

I strongly believe in student-centered learning and teaching (peer-teaching) is best of the best for the Deaf as they often teach each other. That is what a Deaf culture is supposed to be. Paulo Freire once said, “The teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting through the action of the teacher.

Deaf people are not part of inventory or investment! Is ASL suffering language bigotry? What do we mean Audism when we say that an oppressor usually a hearing person believes a given proposition about the Deaf? We all need to be outspoken promoters of social justice and  defender of the oppressed! We need to follow a good example what California did and support Deaf Canadians to get rid of AGBell’s Day! So, do you think we should remove all the ranks of Audism in public eye? Alexander Graham Bell’s 1884 hate speech:

We should try ourselves to forget that they are deaf. We should try to teach them to forget that they are deaf.”-Alexander Graham Bell, 1884.

Cite: Ladd, Paddy. Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood. Page 129.

Isn’t Bell doing exactly the same thing what John Wayne said about, I don’t believe giving authority and positions of leadership and judgement to irresponsible people…—AGBell’s speech was instructed to teach Deaf people to hate their own “identity” and forget their existence as the state of being Deaf and lose all the ranks of leadership just because Deaf people are viewed as socially inferior and ‘irresponsible’ people. AGBell was really afraid. The dark side of AGBell has been revealed. His leadership is now weak. The evolution of FEAR begins.

After all, that is the worst massacre created by Alexander Graham Bell and its followers. There may be more reasons behind that. On the left bottom corner, the postage of Alexander Graham Bell–look at his fists. He was so charged to attack Deaf community. That’s the hidden hand, folks!

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Lastly, Wayne’s words, “Our so-called stealing of this country from them [Native Americans] was just a matter of survival.” What an asshole! Generally speaking for “matter of survival” would be any incident where Deaf people would be oppressed by another and the perpetrating group has the control of power.

The stories told by Deaf people becomes the collective journey and how their struggles and circumstances meet with the full use of force. In other words, if people agree that AGBell created a massacre for power, politics, hate, and the oppression ranks, then it meets our criteria.

It makes him less human. His primary goal was to destroy the survivorship of ASL and Deaf people. That makes Bell a bigger asshole. What is so funny right now? Well, I have this book, A**holeolgy The Cheat Sheet: Put the Science into Practice in Everyday by Chris Illuminati sitting on the bookshelf; I saw a perfect introduction from the book: The Ten Demandments of Being an Asshole.

  1. The asshole cares about the asshole the most.
  2. The asshole is always right.
  3. The assholes rarely apologizes.
  4. The asshole never accepts the word “no.”
  5. The asshole is always in control.
  6. The asshole always has a plan.
  7. The asshole takes what he wants.
  8. The asshole always look good.
  9. The asshole learns from his (few mistakes)
  10. The asshole is always evolving.

I rest my case. 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

References: https://www.pinterest.com/janeenweddle/the-quiet-man/

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/alexander-graham-bell-day

http://www.ibtimes.com/was-john-wayne-racist-california-democrats-refuse-honor-film-star-because-white-2361754

https://anydayguide.com/calendar/2860

https://simpsonswiki.com/wiki/Alexander_Graham_Bell

https://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/Wild_Wild_Cold_War/files/2011/11/John_Wayne_Playboy_Int2.pdf