Renaming the Deafhood is Sinful!

ImagePaddy Ladd by Nancy Rourke

The book, Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood is the best bookseller in the Deaf community without question. The book has offered many positive contributions. This book is significant as it highlights the process of naming Deafhood as it shapes an identity of a Deaf individual. In this book, Paddy Ladd, in his own thoughts and ideas, tries to convince the Deaf world that he is already embracing the name for us, Deaf people.

Each of us, Deaf people, is the owner of Deafhood. We must insistent upon yet another name change. The book highlights depths of subjugation which has faced Ladd and other Deaf people. Ladd has an ability to carry his culturally based birth name with him throughout his Deafhood journey. The history has been attempting to erase the language and culture of the Deaf. Ladd simply wishes to continue his Deafhood journey to which he has grown accustomed and preferred. Ladd prefers to be called by his birth name, which would have restored individual autonomy to him. The process of renaming personhood by calling it Deafhood in his Master’s thesis, reinforcing his ownership of the Deafhood by postulating it with the sphere of personhood.

Renaming the Deafhood is sinful and it functions to further degrade Ladd from a person to a chattel status. Renaming in this book can be seen as a counterpart of the strategy of colonialism by hearing people. Justifications for hearing colonialism have demanded a suspicious vantage point of Deaf people as heathen and immoral, and imparting this consciousness into the minds of the enslaved. This reliance upon their captors more firmely entrenched them in subjugation.

Renaming attempted to erase Ladd’s past, for example, his cultural roots. In essence, renaming ultimately a function of rejecting Deaf culture, a fundamental crux of personal agency. Ladd’s initial resistance to hearing colonialism is a paramount testament to the level of forced assimilation as a subtle byproduct of colonial slavery. The author wants to see Deaf people get successful moving forward to create an positive environment where everyone in the trenches of Deaf community are all looking at the big picture to stand up against the problems and obstacles.

There is no better time than the present–right now. The Deafhood book is the international largest provider of truth for Deaf people, but it is being gutted by lawmakers who dismiss the value of Deaf people’s lives under the dogma of prohibition. Again, the book is delightful to read, many of readings in there has spanned life-changing thoughts.

It will strike you and turn your life around. One of my favorite comedians, Conan O’Brien said: “Let me leave you with the one last thought: If you can laugh at yourself and hard every time you fall, people will think you are drunk.”

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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

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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.