The Discussion of Second Chances: Deaf Returnees

“Find ways of sharing the land, of achieving dignity without eradicating the other”- Naomi Chazon

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At the improving myself end of my life, I return home from a trauma stage: telling a story who dealt with an oppressed environment in the hearing world. The majority of the world: hearing. It makes Deaf community built into a minority gambling for human struggle and painful journey.

To the survivors of oppression, those Deaf valiant souls who fought for freedom their whole lives long and never lived to taste its pursuit of happiness; To learn awareness about Deaf returnees, who lived in this strange and cruel land, yet, dreamed more safe without ignorance.

Will Gallaudet University no longer safe because of bullying policies and social values? Where was I shut out of my trauma wiped from my memories of pain for 32 years and of my accomplishments to turn my life around and dealt with hate-mongers?

Labeling heavily regulated because they are federal employees. Regulated for collecting evidence, regulated for search and seizure and regulating on the ideas of profiling. These guidelines need to be followed but sometimes the federal employee does not want to follow the rules, sometimes they want to act like a human. Yes, human have biases and have histories.

In the personal tragedy of what it has happened to me, had been damaged to be enfolded and left to be a scapegoat at will in the eyes of ASL/Deaf Studies, whether our traumas can ever truly be overcome. The answers it offers are denial, deeply rooted in culture of fear, and empty my heart out. Truly broken. It is what it is called siege mentality. Us versus them rhetoric about Deaf returnees.

It is very radicalized—for example, oppressors “police” Deaf returnees, there are expectations that a person is an oppressor. They are considered flash points. If oppressing Deaf returnees on the campus of Gallaudet, what do you call it?

It is a Superman Syndrome. Oppressors are expected to SAVE THE DAY and do everything to everyone. Anti-hate mentality but when oppressors are in trouble and they need the idea of the dual relationships. It is senselessness of bullying. The problems with this type of policing—it is a masculine model, and old school stigma follow and lack of awareness is a big problem.

Let’s exacerbating this idea. Amount of awareness: 100% of educating themselves about Deaf returnees “paid dues to the society”, during the day, the “invisible oppression” and is not regulated, do not have to go by the books, but at night they are regular people by the books.

More about 10,000 Deaf inmates in the United States are invisible. When one let out of prison, only to find that landing a higher education at Gallaudet University is near impossible. In fact, they remain unemployed—often because of the stigma that they carry and concerns over what kind of higher education they would prove to be. It means the awareness of Deaf returnees is three times more invisible and marginalized.

Then lack of awareness goes back to their day job. The Allegory of Deaf returnees—stories that create a meaning that create a meaning beyond the literal level of interpretation.

The rhetoric of supremacism. What is supremacism? It “is an ideology of domination and superiority: it states that a particular class of people is superior to others, and that it should dominate, control, and subjugate others, or is entitled to do it.”

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When I took American Indian Literature for one of my undergraduate requirements, I was asked to read a book called The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living:

“We Lakota believe that the roads in life, but that there are two that are most important. The Red Road and the Black Road. They represent the two perspectives to every situation, the two sides of every person, the two choices we frequently face in life.

The Red Road is the good way, the good side, and the right choice. It is a narrow road fraught with dangers and obstacles is extremely difficult to travel.

The Black Road is the bad way, the bad side, the wrong choice. It is wide and very easy to travel. The Red Road and the Black Road appear in many of our stories, not as roads but as the personifications of right and wrong, good and bad, light and dark.”

That is something we need to think about. Can Deaf returnees be forgiven and give a second chance? The activity of entering or “invading” the awareness on the part of Deaf returnees is clearly one of struggling subversion. Intended by their visible presence in this clearly showed Gallaudet mecca is limiting between the allowable spaces for Deaf returnee’s search for healing and the rest of Gallaudet campus.

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Left unchallenged in such an action, however, are the hardest ways, besides the awareness about Deaf returnees, in which Deaf returnees feel alienated and excluded from Deaf space.

In the higher learning, it was the contention of oppressors to continue combat this stigma must be regarded as the same source of power that denied Deaf returnees access to higher education. Bullying—long tolerated as just part of growing up—finally has been recognized as a sociological problem.

In 1999, District of Columbia enacted anti-bullying legislation. In addition, research on the causes, consequences, and prevention of bullying has not enough discussed at Gallaudet University. However, major ignorance still exists in the understanding of bullying that could prevent the effects of bullying Deaf returnees. The form of social isolation is another sociological problem. With the right training, Deaf returnees who’ve been returned to the society thrive to hold hunger for higher education even more than your regular American citizen.

Higher education plays an important role in their lives. To empower the strategy of unity through democracy—and to teach them is the most peaceful thing. The spirit of peace and democracy that lacks the Gallaudet community-Deaf returnee agreement is gone, and there is no second chance for how to reverse it and how to cope with it.

Professors regarded as, Person who professes being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.” Harper, Douglas, “Professor.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-07-28.

Text defines “social movements” as collective attempts to bring about change….” Nothing. They originate OUTSIDE the established political system. Let’s emphasize on interlocking systems of oppression—however that is being conceptualized to it. Perhaps it seems surprising because the society have class, power and other issues to contend with. Deaf returnees are less likely to say that the society needs a movement because they continue to be oppressed.

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All for all, Deaf returnees have constitutional right to seek higher education at Gallaudet and change their lives around to make them better. 8th Amendment and 9th to the United States Constitution respectively: Bails, fines, and punishments“nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Rights retained by the people. “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be constructed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

What is something really important about the relationship between Deaf returnees and Deaf community that we have not discussed in higher learning, and why is it important? Can we find ways of sharing awareness, of achieving dignity without oppressing Deaf returnees at Gallaudet University?

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

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Open Your Eyes: Audism Talking

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I need to admit that it is not easy for me to write this. When you know someone who is a sound-oriented professor, who also “inspires” Deaf people, is extremely rare to see. Deaf students at Gallaudet University are referred to as the future of Deaf community, but without support and opportunities, some fall through the cracks. I am questioning a critical examination done by hearing privileges.

Now, more than ever, we, the Deaf must make a priority to share their experiences to challenge the issue of Audism. To see Deaf people being oppressed invisibility do not have the ground to discuss Audism when hearing people are given higher privileges to talk and use their voice. Is Audism, an invisibility cloak around Deaf people at Gallaudet University?

The state of being Deaf continues to be in the state of an object that cannot be seen. It does not take an expert to understand the detrimental effects that Audism are hurting Deaf people’s well being. From the public standpoint, Audism has provided a serious social problem in Deaf community including Gallaudet University to the point that it affects the way Deaf people learn and thrive.

When Deaf people receive positive academic experience, they should not fear for the oppression from a professor who is hearing, it undoubtedly has a huge effect on the success of Deaf students and Deaf educators alike.

The fact remains that Audism, so easily targeted as uninformed and misguided are becoming the stronger group that would lead the future. How do you feel about someone who used human voice with hearing spouse/partner and refused to use sign language in front of Deaf people? It is not the first time.

Audism Unveiled, Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression, Audism and Deaf-Gainseemed promising to me when I first read the book, I found a powerful statement: “The road less traveled, however, is still a road and is becoming more and more traveled as time goes on……the Deaf community faced the fact that the hegemony of the “voice” and “speaking” was precisely what they wanted to ‘speak out’ against.”—Introduction: Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking

Scenario one: Two hearing people walk into Gallaudet University, sit down, speaks with their voice and is allowed to oppress Deaf people and use the power of hearing privileges. Outcome: Audism.

Multiple reports of Audism occur on Gallaudet University campus. Outcome: Audism. No action against hearing people.

Scenario two: Two Deaf people walk into Gallaudet University, sit down, signs to each other and the outcome is unknown. Think about it.

Over the past decade when I read many books, watched presentations, lectures, and workshops about Audism even I had given my own lectures about Audism few times have changed my life and complete the cultural competency and inclusion. It is best to learn from Deaf people who experience Audism themselves.

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The world’s only Deaf Studies Department—-where did Audism begin? Audism begins and ends with language. That is how it is examined and discussed. Would the chronicle of higher education deny the existence and evidence of Audism because it has never heard Audism before? It can better understand the resistance of the Deaf if it understands the critical events of Audism and other oppression are very much part of language hegemony that supports the power of hearing privileges. Ignoring Audism is unconscious bias. Outcome? You guess.

The question, is what is the effect of Audism on Gallaudet campus? Vulnerability? Is it the vulnerability of Deaf people being oppressed by hearing privileges? Isn’t Audism a human resource to oppress Deaf people’s health and mind? The problem, however, Audism has never taken a clear position enough at Gallaudet University.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

Gallaudet University: Audism Still Exist in 2018?

After reading this book tonight, we need to bring up critical thinking and how we can challenge Audism and give Deaf students the quality of higher learning in ASL and Deaf-centered environment at Gallaudet University.

Harassment in the Deaf Community: Guidelines for Protection and Prevention

 

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…………………………………….So, I got harassed during Homecoming 2017 Saturday afternoon. I am getting tired of this. I was trying to have good time for a change. The person who approached towards me in a threatening mode signed to me, “YOU ARE SICK! SICK! SICK! CRAZY! SICK!” in the PUBLIC EYE. That is a hate speech as well, too. You know who you are. I did not appreciate being humiliated. The public perception is that in Deaf community is getting sick of that same person who continues to cyber-stalk my own friends because we all believe in support system.

It has been like this for long time. It is now pathological. I also acknowledge that person needs help to get rid of a spiraling depression or exacerbate the behavior the person was already exhibiting.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. The injustice of the situation is both palpable and maddening. There is a broken mental health service system and what we deal with in Deaf community is sad but not unsurprising result.

In the wake of this person’s harassment driven by hatred as well as hyper-vigilance, the detours and rumors will always chase after me. Does not matter anymore. And whether intended or not, the message sent by the person is that the value our culture places a human life depends upon community accountability as well as in Deaf community.

Can we examine this question, can this person understand the dangers of creating and maintaining an oppression environment of harassment? Can the person be expected to conduct itself in a form that accept the community accountability for causing harassment? Can this person understand the part as a community expectations not to violate someone else? Anger is not cool. The image above says it all. Anger becomes hatred. It is becoming immature. What kind of benefits would you get that out of it?

Finally, how can we foster an environment that harassment is being promoted in this society?

More to come.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

The Power of Positive Leadership

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When President Cordano wrote a statement:

“President Cordano has decided to place the position of Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement on hold. This will give us the space to engage in a deeper dialogue about what is in the best interest of the community. The ultimate decision about this vice president position will be determined, in large part, by the input gathered from the entire community. A campus-wide email message with a vlog will be issued soon.”

As immediately as I saw the statement, the members of Deaf community at Gallaudet University is increasingly tired of being marginalized including Deaf returning citizens. It is true that Foster auditorium was full house; I would like to thank Bobbi to make right decision that Dwight is not the effective person for the position: Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement.

However, I became puzzled the fact that Dwight Benedict has not been let go of the campus. When Bobbi said in her presentation, “I recognize a lot of pain.”—Where did the “pain” actually come from? Dwight’s policies are so oppressive that he would not able to give someone a chance to breathe for some air. Also, Bobbi’s signed,

Dwight Benedict is a victim of the system”

Hello? How can it be irresponsible excuse? Why did Bobbi need to say that? What’s up with that? Political cover-up? Lack of admitting systematic racism? Lack of institutional racism? Educational oppression?

Whose responsibility is it from the administration system? Should we believe that Dwight is a victim of the administration system? Where is the apology from Dwight himself on the stage what he had done to many survivors? Someone informed me that person has confronted Dwight sitting next to Bobbi in office this morning what he had done, Dwight admitted to the fact he did. Yes, he actually did. What does it mean to you?

Whoa, that was fast! Rome did not built overnight. It takes a lot of unpacking, I mean, the size of the Great Wall of China is so big that would stretch from Washington, D.C. to Wichita, Kansas. That is where Dwight needs to unpack his privileges that much for the last 37 years.

Was it good enough? Will Dwight ever “man up” or own it up what he had done to underprivileged Deaf people of color, Deaf people, and Deaf returning citizens?

I also asked the person if Dwight would happy to start unpacking his white privileges. Dwight gives the surprising answer—you need to guess the answer. If Dwight ever owns up and demand the apology from Gallaudet community, alumnus, and alumni through video without written script, but his own sincere apology, will it ever happen? The motto for state of Kansas: Ad Astra per Aspera which means in Latin, “To the Stars through Difficulties” and the motto for Washington, D.C.: Justia Omnibus which means in Latin, “Justice for All”

Where is the JUSTICE for ALL Deaf survivors who experienced Dwight’s power of oppression? I am asking for his apology including the fact that he did not quickly complete his civil duty when an alumnus faces a life and death situation last November 2016. The silence continues to understand the stars through difficulties for those people. We need to break down the great wall of silence. Not only the apology for I seek for, the apology goes to the survivors for the last 30+ years. Overstayed, overpriced, and overconfident is long due.

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All we are asking for a fresh change at Gallaudet in the healthiest environment as possible. We need Justia Ombinus. Positive Leadership. That is the kind of Community Engagement we are looking for. 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Gallaudet University: Whoever Reserve the Right to Freedom

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As an ally for Deaf people of color, the last 48 hours has been mind-boggling where I had received e-mails and calls, I was even more surprised to see the bigger hidden agenda of institutional racism remains bigger problematic at Gallaudet University more than we really understand, why hide in the dark? Deaf people of color students would experience the first signs of racism after they were enrolled. I would like to acknowledge myself that I am a Deaf white man with lineage in Cherokee world. I believe in human equality.

Are the stories too familiar or too ignorant to admit it in the Deaf community? The leaders at Gallaudet University—will they acknowledge the last couple of years that the Deaf person of color has subjected to institutional racism? We ask ourselves to hold Gallaudet University accountable for ignoring strides to solve the problem too long.

For quite time, do we ever realize that Deaf people of color students been subjected to hostile environment on the campus? Why all of silence treatment about this? The information shows that they do not need a reason to worry and often sweep the rug are difficult to fathom. No way we should been absolved in easy steps. Yet, discriminatory practices on the campus proving that institutional racism is difficult to forget and move on.

Can we convince President Cordano to hire an outside Deaf consultant “with expertise in understanding institutional racism in society” to make the campus safer? Gallaudet University is not the problem. It is the central problem that whoever in charge is running Gallaudet University. Will we ever put ourselves on the front line to overthrow institutional racism and whenever we hold ourselves accountable? The clear path becomes the central of failure.

Deaf people of color I signed with the last 48 hours, they were alumni and alumnus experienced institutional racism before the day was over.

Racism is real. It is also lacks of awareness. When Gallaudet administration officials receive a complaint about institutional racism, did they take the discrimination complaints seriously enough? I guess we need to admit that institutional racism today is often unintentional. I feel like we are constantly remind ourselves what it is like to understand the fox guarding the hen house.

So, the last question of the post: Do we have a choice but to conclude that there was never institutional racism at all? In my final thoughts, Gallaudet University would improve better and start a fresh start and overthrow old thinking dilemma. Chief Tawonka quotes:

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So, it means for Gallaudet community to understand the freedom that applies to Deaf person of color shall be bound to hold free. We do not need more infighting, it gets too old and tired. We need to set policies stronger to stand up against language bigotry.

When we see the selection of Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Enagement, walking by College Hall everyday in the open air, we can overcome old school thinking. So, the way we can have healthy thinking. We do not need to become tired of this. It starts with us. Leaving Gallaudet community members out of the dialogue is a problem. Leaving institutional racism out of the dialogue is bigger problem.

-JT

 

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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