My Cauliflower Ears Story

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Wrestling tournament. Semi-finals. 1994. Me on the Top Right.

Be of good cheer about death and know this as a truth, that no evil can happen to a good man, either in lie or after death.”-Socrates 

I am sitting on a chair staring at computer monitor and write in pain. I live with the stigma for the rest of my life until my life is expired. Last night and this early morning, I’ve gotten two death threats or even wishing that I would die of a massive heart attack through e-mails and have my body thrown in the woods and eat up by the coyotes. The problem is that the haters do not know my life very well. I continue to become target by those people and their other friends.

I’ve survived a massive heart attack. In fact, I overcame couple of heart attacks and dealt with death for ten minutes. No one can ever take that away from me. I lived in a country on 400 acres and I’ve seen coyotes many times and we grow to respect each other. Coyotes and I’ve shared strong bonds as well as sharing the same language before.

When I joined wrestling squad for the first time when I was 12 years old, it was the best thing ever happened to me fighting demons out of my life. Surviving home problems and escaping from there was a perfect excuse to do it. The story of my cauliflower ears fails through human observation. The visual of the growing cauliflower is extremely slow at the same time, the pain becomes bigger and I choose to wrestle so I can erase my pain away, and the evolution of cauliflower begins to surface in my sophomore year.

Every year I wrestle to seek the answer to wash my mistakes away. During my ear surgery to reduce the swelling of my ears, the doctor asked me to hold the towel and sit tight while the doctor put a knife to open up my ear to begin the procedure to heal my ears. The forgotten blood has splattered all over on the wall; my father was hiding his face into his book while sitting in the same room I was in. My father was reading Dean Koontz’s book.

Although it has been visually ignored at times at home, my cauliflower ears do have a story. I was the talent of being a survivor. Even with cauliflower ears. I contend, instead, that it has everything to deal with neglect at home. Have I type something wrong? Either way I was born with talent or I am not. Either I have the gift or I do not. Actually, whether or not that I have talent do not really matter if I am a survivor. Many might disagree, but I contend that it certainly will not be the deciding factor in society.

In fact, sometimes having a cauliflower ear can be detrimental to a survivor. What you are not born with, you learn. While dealing with a cauliflower ear itself, it cannot be learned and the skills I to propel forward in this society that can be learned. In reality, it is the skills I develop, not the talent that I have would make the difference between the series of stories through oppression or build strength the way I want it to be. Is that no more than a fair credibility? One of the most positive things about sporting a cauliflower ear is that the ear mold for my hearing aids does not fit anymore.

I do not have to deal with headaches anymore. At home and school, the people with authority rather hack a dart than recognizing a problem. It amazes how much I was exploited into “battery” economics. I shall benefit nothing from my digital amplification as I point out headaches, but no words.

Along with my cauliflower ears, I dream in death, I dream in warnings and I dream in pursuit of happiness. The cars are passing in blinks, when I am trying to walk peacefully on the harshest roads and yet, I get questioned with a bottle that shakes for vengeance. Stress is often invisible in quad of important human oppression; I face death all the time even through attempted vengeance couple of times and I stand strong for a purpose. My mental life is always active and acute, both in private and public. I would never let anyone interfere with my life progress.

Umberto Eco in his book, The Name of Rose argues that: “Learning is not like a coin, which remains physically whole even through the most infamous transactions; it is, rather, like a very handsome dress, which is worn through use and ostentation.”

To show whether I do have a private mental life that no one else could peek inside it.

Stories of my cauliflower ears are the adversity that is forgotten in the strictest principles of English language, therefore strengthening my views and undermines my stories completely. The objection of a term I begin to recognize in my life through consequentialism, a procedure that leads to join of forgotten people.

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As President Lincoln and philosopher Plato as they were great wrestlers with cauliflower ears, I am in a position to know that their mind and can effectively annotate the life experiences of oppression. Doing this will be the “value added” that takes it out of being failed reports from people at home and school, and gives me a real ownership and rights to my life and prevents anyone includes Deaf people who wished that I’d die of massive heart claiming it as theirs.

I refuse to forget many incidents and things because I experienced them all before my life that was robbed by their lies. I was given many nuances of literature, and was told to accept bullying in analyzing my life. If all of my cauliflower ears makes from my assistance to my strength to better my life each day, I honor my presence to a cauliflower ear and make it a success one day by overcoming adversity.

Go ahead and applause. Yes, applause! I will not applause for anyone who send me an e-mail wishing that I would die of a massive heart attack or even die and leave my body to become rotten and have the coyotes eat me up.Will you applause for that kind of effort, too?

The death wishes comes from Deaf people, some of them are well known. I refuse to give up. No one ever knows my struggles what I’ve gone through. That is why I’m much stronger than you really think of me. You all do not know my pain. You all do not know my stories without listening my side. You all do not ever undermine  or mock my struggles. Go ahead and say the most evil things about me all you want.

A quote from movie, John Wick, that applies with my life, “In that moment, I received some semblance of hope. An opportunity to grieve unalone.” 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References: http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/news/Ancient-Roman-statue-of-fighter-shows-cauliflower-ear-being-drained

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3138328-il-nome-della-rosa?page=3

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Kat Brockway: The Making and Unmaking of a Perfect Bully

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It is very important to know that October is Anti-Bullying Month. The award goes to Kathleen “Kat” Brockway, so-called “Chair” for Deaf Culture and History Section with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and author of Baltimore’s Deaf Heritage and Detroit’s Deaf Heritage, is the perfect poster person for bullying. Since I can remember meeting her first time at Deaf Nation Expo in Washington, D.C; her energy was very negative—so negative that she does not know how to forgive herself. She is very angry person. So much denial she is in.

Then I realized that she had been targeting after me ever since by telling Deaf people through e-mail inbox, text messages, even VP calls that I am really, really, really bad person because I am a returned citizen. She does not ever understand where I came from. My childhood life was very painful to deal with. That is exactly why I am writing a book to clear my conscience.

Bullying is growing and Deaf community does not seem to be ready for it. With legitimate concerns about Kat’s bullying on one side, and equally legitimate concerns about the dangers of such conduct on the other, she attacked a friend of mine, Tamera Gaudet-Doody, a Deaf activist in Illinois who sent me copies of her text messages, I mean, she actually threatened Tamera with her new wave of bullying, Kat told Tamera all the lies that I came from Utah, well, no, I was born and bred in Pacific Northwest, and Utah is not even close, that is how bad she is. With false statements through texting, putting my life in great deal of danger, she actually encouraged to have my life disappeared. Then she became a weak substitute for bullying with false information that really involve psychological warfare.

Tamera became very alarmed and did not really appreciate what Kat told her. Sure, Tamera and I have talked about my life—not very often I can trust people like that. Tamera understood where I came from. There has been series of suicide attempts I have been given thought to end my life when I was younger then I realized that I will not tolerate like this anymore.

For the last 30 years soon I will be 42, I have been suffering way too much, my life does not readily reveal that I am restlessly seeking truth through a turbulent time for 30 years that shaped up. Most of all, what comes through is an attitude, an approach to life that begins in wonder–at the vast possibility the world offers me, and leads to joy in choosing my own way of partaking in this awe, finding my own place, and ensuring that it will be a location meaningful to others and to the world as a whole.

Kat’s bullying may motivate hatred attempting to take my life away, it is a form of homicide, it is only in the rarest form that bullying will be deemed to be the cause to suppress my struggles and my life stories what I had been going through. Not only that she attacked Tamera, but many others that had alerted me what Kat did to them, most recently, I was scheduled to give an academic lecture on West Coast, Kat found out that I was on the program, she also attacked the conference coordinators that they were turned off by her behavior acting in very cruel and callous manner is something we need to watch out from Kathleen Brockway.

In return, Kathleen thinks she professes a superior appreciation of not just the question of truth, but the whole nature of revenge. It is important to bear in mind that, in the Deaf community, truth is associated with a dualistic system—we exist in a higher transcendent realm (we are truthful) and the “think-in-the-box” world, inhabited by the others (they are false) by eliminating my name off the program, (it is not the first time every time I give a lecture, she would get in touch with coordinators and tell other Deaf people about me and attempting to destroy my knowledge)—I grow tired of her malicious attacks to seduce people and gives a false view of the truth campaign and provides unsuitable models of “bullying” to the Deaf community.

The lamentation found in Kathleen’s words encourages rage against Deaf people, not just me, but a lot of Deaf people out there had been attacked by Kathleen, too. Even attacking a well-respected Deaf librarian–that’s elder abuse, no? Her behavior is twice removed from the truth. Plato would consider her behavior deceptive.

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Let me give you a good example, during the 5th century B.C.; there was a painting competition between Zeuxis and Parrhasius. Zeuxis painted a bunch of grapes that is so lifelike that it attracted the birds. However, Parrhasius’s painting deceived people. The nation here is that the truth is the deception, and vice versa. Does truth use the concept of imitation as in the 5th century B.C. painting competition? That is what she likes to do by deceiving people.

Have we had enough of Kathleen’s modern day witch-hunt? Are we ready to push back from the table with her bloated bellies full of vengeance and hatred towards Deaf returning citizens? I doubt it will happen anytime soon. Deaf against Deaf? Enough!

That is a good example what Kathleen “Kat” Brockway is all about, but I have my doubts. She is so lowly that she is “the lowliest of all breads known to us” by telling Tamera and other people that she wanted to see my life disappeared for good. Funny thing is that she already subscribed to my blog with three different e-mail addresses including my YouTube channel stealing my knowledge for her own credibility. That tells you a lot.

-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

Gallaudet Students’ Pitfall and Administration Pitfalls

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In human hands, our intelligence has enabled us to overcome the restrictions of our biological heritage and to change ourselves in the process. We are the only species that does that.”- Ray Kuzweil, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed. 

Today is the last day (December 10th) of Clerc-Gallaudet week. Next year, it will be 200 years in celebration of their arrival from France for America. It is forever legendary! It means that there shall be a huge change in the face of Gallaudet University starting on January 1, 2016. Within new president-elect coming in, Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano already has been visiting Gallaudet campus and listen to the changes. 59 out of 180 faculty members showed up for a productive meeting along with Bobbi in the audience last Monday, December 7th afternoon that they are not happy with the administration that holds 90 people. 11 people in President’s cabinet. They voted for a change of administration. They are tired of status quo. They really are.

They say only the administration sit on their hands, happy with the status quo. With that in mind, they want to see Gallaudet change with the positive vision. No more bullshit. No more gimmicks. They do not want to have another president in line for another major hardships for Deaf students, but all that has changed now with Bobbi in the mix. I just hope she keeps it gone long enough to get out the vote. The administration is the worst I had ever seen.

As a Gallaudet alumnus, I have some questions I would like to put to some people in the administration who agrees with Donald Trump’s hate-speech policies. How do you think Deaf returning citizens will treat when they are students at the university? Do you think they will be rounded up and put on reservations that lack proper well being for Deaf returning citizens? Do you think Deaf returning citizens will be profiled around? Do you think Deaf returning citizens will be looked upon not being good enough to earn a higher education degree—whatever that means these days?

Why—we might ask—do the administration think they are qualified to belittle Deaf returning citizens whenever they are walking around? Do they, for example, train and tell professors how to perform oppression against them? They apply that reasoning to the teaching profession. The administration needs to stop hiding lies—they do not ever respectfully listen—all of us—to what the administration say about their profession and its many needs. Do they call it and continuing education at Gallaudet? That is why it needs a new blood in the administration.

To paraphrase Socrates in Plato’s Republic, Gallaudet University we have known can never grow into a reality or see the light of day. At Gallaudet, possibilities must be limitless. Deaf returning citizens who are strive to be students are limited. The research has shown that the returning citizens, who have turned their life around for the better, are the best students, because they value the opportunity.

Without an education, the path toward rehabilitation and economic security is far more challenging—they do not need cruel punishment anymore. This sort of action in support for Deaf returning citizens would provide education—adding their intellectual, experiential, and cultural diversity within the student body.

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-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

In The Name of Deaf Hate Crime: Time to Stop Silence!

10959729_895785043794508_3835896162778842013_nEllen Mansfield’s Art Work. “Deaf Hate Crime” was added to the jigsaw puzzle. Feb 2015.

The unfolding of history of the Deaf points to nothing more clearly than the vast ignorance of our language and culture; While I am fully aware that my message, be it factual or thinking, must be evaluated in terms of history as the uninterrupted welling of Deaf community in a multitude of currents and counter currents formed by our ever-changing society. My belief that our community must be renovated through the principles of happiness, that is deeply rooted in the American doctrine—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is our hope” as George Veditz, signed in the film, The Preservation of the Sign Language in 1913. It is very important that we must remember that it is each person’s right to know what being Deaf means. We also need to know that where it comes from as well as the activities and attitudes, which it describes. If we do not know, with confidence, our part in the whole and our place in history, we can become frustrated by what we have to do. If we know what being Deaf means, our self-esteem and self-determination would be much more sure. Today the world remains ignorant of Deaf people and their language and culture. Fact or myth?

I announce that my most important work shall restore Deaf Hate Crime (DHC) back to life. This time, it is in my own right. As an author of DHC, late Carl Schroeder has given me to go ahead and continue this important work before his unexpected death. The history of DHC establishment with Carl was in early 2010; we both realize that it would be very controversial and realized that it was not in right direction.

First of all, Carl wrote me e-mail in 2010 recognizing me as an author of DHC.

“Deaf Hate Crime is novel to me. I am basically a linguistics student, not a sociologist. Everything I learned about hate speech/crime IS from Jason Tozier. He IS my resource. He’s brought to my attention a vast knowledge of hate crime: academics, books and contacts. Jason does not come in any cheap! Deaf Hate Crime is now entertaining respect and attention across the nation and around the world. However, “Deaf Hate Crime” IS Jason Tozier, not me. I very much prefer to discuss languages….”

“…..I am forever in debt to Jason for bringing me to a national and international platform on Deaf Hate Crime, which is not my enterprise. Socrates had Plato; Plato had Aristotle…I have Jason, and I am not going to fail this.”

Back in summer 2010, Carl and I gave a presentation for City of Portland Office of Human Relations and Coalition Against Hate Crimes (CAHC), which has helped the coalition to better understand, how hate crimes affect Deaf people. That presentation led to a meeting with Oregon Attorney General to advocate for the inclusion of “disability” in Oregon’s bias crime statues. In 2011, the Attorney General presented such a bill to the Oregon legislature. That bill was passed and the new expanded hate crime law went into effect on January 1, 2012. That was a direct result of MY commitment to this issue. Oregon Association of the Deaf (OAD) NEVER had any part of it at ALL.

The question you would ask, where is my credentials in this? I signed up for Hate Crimes and Bias, a Sociology credit, in which students have to conduct original research projects and digest some rather dense material along diagram theories. My paper, Negative Perceptions of Deaf Individuals in Relation to Knowledge of American Sign Language was a scholarly paper and gave myself a taste of my commitment to the rights of Deaf people.

The intent of Deaf Hate Crime we need to recognize that has a long history, but it is not officially labeled as such. It is to subordinate and intimidate not only Deaf Hate Crime but also the entire community in which it is used. Deaf Hate Crime is therefore symbolic in that it sends a message to the entire world that Deaf Hate Crime is different and that DHC does not matter because it is socially constructed without self-evident definition.

It means different things to different people. Our challenge to DHC has not been in vogue because the majority of our world society holds that DHC seeks to cease language discrimination, language bigotry, language hegemony, and the layers of Audism.

My goal of DHC is to become a useful tool in the movement to fetch a better future. There are lots of us out there who are frequently silenced. What I am attempting here is to map out how research on DHC might be done. Deaf people cannot be forgotten and silenced.

Again, there were few books that have influenced my important work. For one, Barbara Perry in 2001, wrote:

…. Hate crime is a crime like no other…it is implicated not merely in the relationship between the direct “participants”, but also in the relationship between the different communities to which they belong. The damage involved goes far beyond physical or financial damages. It reaches into the community to create fear, hostility, and suspicion. 

The factors that stands in the way of effective DHC as following in a quote by Boeckmann and Turpin-Petrosino in 2002 set the tone by stating that:

There is no consensus among social scientists or lawmakers on definitional element that would constitute a global description of hate crime. Part of the reason for this lies in the fact that cultural differences, social norms, and political interests play a large role in defining crime in general, and hate crime in particular. 

In Solidarity,

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

Examine An Allegory of De’VIA Cave: From Present to Futurism

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De’VIA (Deaf View/Image Art) coined by nine artists in 1989 helps to create a unique learning environment by bringing out the creative learner in all of us. It is able to do this in three ways. The first way is by not only being a fun but also an interactive way to learn. Second it can borrow and bring in other methods of learning that have already been discussed seamlessly, and finally it allows is to teach each other in a more comfortable environment. Let’s first take a look at why it is healthy and that is where I am a strong believer in Deaf Art. Also, art does use a beloved childhood of mine, but it allows for learning rather than the construction of Deaf mind is to take place. All those De’VIA done by Deaf artists are real also we give things like names, name signs, minor back-stories, etc. We come up with inventive stories of situations that they are going through, or that one is about to die from, and then share these sometimes complex and imaginative stories. That is what exactly Edgar Degas’s quote above points out important phrase to see through inventive stories, “Art is not what you see but what you make others see” touches all the bases.

We share them with our fellow people, often times showing a new or forgotten message that the person is more than happy to learn. A New Wave needs to develop and grow a stronger event with all of this preparation to tell their stories they have created for De’VIA the people are using they may have forgot to realize that they are using the methods they learned from Deaf artists to tell a story about their artworks. To get the ideas of what will happen in the story they may have used the creativeness they exercised during their thinking session into Deaf art, resistance, liberation, and affirmation.

The use of De’VIA for these types of things is not separate from the other things we have talked about today but instead a culmination. De’VIA is what allows us to help teach and learn from another person. If they use art to express their mind you do not understand you repeat the message and then you examine it more. That is the beauty of art. Today you have read why De’VIA helps to create a unique learning environment by bringing out the creative learner in all of us.

First by learning how the use of art as a learning aid can be used, second by understanding how artworks use other methods of practice, and finally you learned by working together. Art can be used to bring everything together and teach people of any age in a fun way. From my observation with De’VIA artists, they construct their experiences with the validity of Deaf experience and address what we the Deaf know, value, and be responsible for our own intellectualism. Our knowledge as Deaf people is chiefly derived from pure reason, which is the final principle of reality.

Our being Deaf is real and true without consideration for emotions. De’VIA has awakened reasoning in Deaf mind and our search for knowing, our desire, and our enlightenment of this vast Art world are but the fabric woven in these strands for many centuries from Plato’s Cratylus to 1880 Milan to Deaf people in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries to Deafhood Foundation.

De’VIA must bring the philosophy of Deaf art, resistance, liberation, and affirmation to a sharp focus; Those current artists does the same for Deaf world with strong message of bringing an enlightenment of the struggle. Those people are known to be in the pursuit of arete, which means reaching the highest human potential in Greek, even at the cost of their own life. For next 30 years, the stories must be carried on and they all come from the beginning.

I would like to paraphrase Michel Foucault (1926-1984) statement by advising Deaf people to purse and recognize the supremacy of arts which has made a difference. It is powerful, the stories of lies and the attempt to redeem the nature of being Deaf through the hearing restoration or invention of cochlear implants must be told. Foucault’s quote, “My general theme is not society, it is true nor false discourses: let me say it is the correlative formation of domains, of objects, and of discourses verifiable and falsifiable which are assignable to them; it is not simply this formation which interests me but the effects of reality which are linked to it”–it is about the organizing principle of power wherein De’VIA can be studied through technologies of power–not progress, not education, not conflict, not struggle and not resistance.

Power creates truth, and this truth produces a function of power. De’VIA creates truth with a function of power. It is impossible to imagine without De’VIA and their influences are most often identified with their topics rather than a method. It will challenge people to question their assumptions about truth for their resistance and stop the power dynamics of cochlear implants, Audism, Oralism, and all. The truth is that De’VIA for the next 30 years is critical because Deaf people exist. It is not an accidental at all and a reason to believe that it is necessary to garner success. Since 134 years ago, the dark side of Milan 1880, De’VIA are the recipe for success to find their magic of many more truth. We must become more committed to arts in support of intellectual freedom, the search for social justice, and find the responsibility for the sake of Deaf people. The truth is that De’VIA has spoken.

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

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

Tucker-Maxon Oral School Teachers Are Blameless

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That’s me. 1978. Tucker-Maxon School Playground.

My mother was only 18 years old and my father was 20 years old when I was born in the same year President Nixon had resigned. The majority of my relatives are hearing. Almost all except one person who could communicate with me in sign language with me was my younger brother. At age two, I was placed into my very first school, Tucker-Maxon Oral School in Portland, Oregon. The school was not cheap! I was a product of an oral school where their school philosophy that does not promote sign language on the ground which makes my education accessibility harder.

They were trying to make me to act like a prize horse with having my own audiologists, teachers, and speech therapists policing me around and learn how to use my voice and not to use sign language and lose my dignity. That is where I became myself as “another” and loses my sense as an individual. I was only two years old that time!

I can remember my first teacher, Chris (Wolf) Soland who told my parents that everything will be all right. What a big lie! Chris Soland and Alice Davis lied through their yellow teeth and tried very hard to make me successful. Their plan did not work at all. I was glad that I was a rebel kid. A friend of mine told me a story last year that a student also went to Tucker-Maxon, for the take-home final, he wrote “I do have good hearing friends but somehow, I try to make myself act normal and that I wasn’t deaf”–it broke my heart! He was taught about “hearing” people but they were not taught how to be “hearing”. Can you see the difference? It is so unfair!

I was thankful that I was asked to read a book called Cratylus where Plato had Socrates question whether signs by the Deaf are equated with spoken and written names or words. The answer is aye. About 2,500 years ago, in and around the area we now call Greece, a philosopher who may have called himself Plato began an experiment in writing that would shape the world of human intelligence. Embarrassed and heartbroken by the death of his mentor Socrates, Plato left Athens and went to live in Alexandria in Egypt for 20 years. Upon his return to Greece, Plato founded The Academy–the prototype of today’s colleges and universities.

Plato had inherited writing from the Egyptians who were always mindful of the fate of Thoth, the name given by the Greeks to the Egyptian god of writing and knowledge–of intelligence, reason, and logical–associated with learning, language, and literature. After Thoth presented his invention in the court of Pharaoh, he was removed from the chamber so his masterpiece could be examined and deliberated. It was decided that Thoth should be punished to die because written words cannot be questioned for the answers to Pharaoh’s quest for truth. Although the written words are keys to doors leading to truth, the doors are not opened and the truth beyond the doors are not perceptible to Pharaoh’s eye, which means no prior knowledge.

The whole point is that Tucker-Maxon Oral School knows that Oralism is not even part of intelligence, reason, and logical–again, associated with learning, language, and literature. Tucker-Maxon teachers are too stupid to know that sign language is very much part of intellectual discourse, while Oralism has NO knowledge and is not perceptible in our eyes! Also, cochlear implant companies as well as late Mr. William House, the father of Cochlear Implant, heavily appropriated Tucker-Maxon. In fact, Tucker-Maxon was the first oral school in America to offer cochlear implant program. Oregon is the home of the cochlear implanted. I will not name William House as Dr. William House, I will call him Mr. William House instead because he does not deserve the title of Doctor. He said, “Deafness is a such a horrible thing”, he told an audience at Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1997. “If a person can hear in their last years of life, I think it is worth it. I recently put an implant in a 95 years old man. He got married after that” What a gelding! His wife was exploiting his life insurance. That was the bottom line. By the way, Karl White was his huge supporter.

Even my Individual Education Plan (IEP) reports said that I couldn’t be successful student if I did not learn Oralism right. Ha ha ha! Tucker-Maxon needs to be shut down for good because there are thousands of violations with no sanctions for the teachers with weapons in their hands. The fact is for the oligarchy and their servants, there is no law against teachers who cannot be blameless as well as their money donors and media trolls to suggest that the society should lynch Deaf children’s hands and be judged by a jury of Audists. Póg Mo Éireannach Thóin! (Kiss My Irish Ass!)

-JT

Copyright © Jason Tozier

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

References:

Plato, by Reeve, C.D.C. 1998. Cratylus. Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.

http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/scimedemail/la-me-william-house-20121212,0,271457.story

http://www.hei.org/stories/articles/william_house.html

Socrates Says YES; Aristotle NO

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This is one of my personal favorite artworks done by Nancy Rourke. I am a proud owner of this work. In this painting, there are two philosophers, Socrates and Aristotle. Socrates is seen with a sign “YES” and Aristotle’s sign “NO”!  According to Plato’s book, Cratylus, Socrates knew that Deaf people have intelligence while Aristotle disagreed. Evidently Aristotle had a lot of issues to be done in order to make it so that the Deaf people are exploited in social media by portraying and seeing the Deaf as unequal to individuals who are not Deaf. Being exposed to falsehoods, Aristotle made the world become aware that even with vast improvements in rights and advantages that the Deaf people entertaining, there is still a negative mentality that has not been eliminated from the Deaf.

Particularly, the belief that is held Deaf people are in some ways broken and need to be either assimilated or overcame with what is “ailing” them. They must be accepted into society by viewing themselves as “normal hearing people.” I have become more and more conscious of this fact that, with the visual nature of the state of being Deaf, it has become too easy for many people to view deafness merely as a puzzle piece that is being put into the world and to think that the puzzle piece shows an entire picture of a whole person. So they are trying to hammer out, to interlock edges of the puzzle of into the picture without considering Deaf people do not fit the puzzle piece for an obvious reason.

Humans tend to view most groups in stereotypes until they get to know them better. Some Deaf people within the groups represent a certain variation in population. Social media about Deaf people serves to introduce to these groups, and more often that not, this introduction perpetuates in an excessive exploitation.

Once we start seeing a Deaf president, a Deaf person dancing, a smart and a successful Deaf corporate executive our views of these groups begin to widen and move beyond the limits of typical. What is simultaneously hard and easy to grasp is that there is more movement to be done. The human consciousness is ready for an expansion and media is calling for it, having been calling it for quite some times.

Socrates knew about Deaf people and acknowledged their sign language. Through Plato, Socrates questioned whether Deaf people have intelligence by using sign language.  This culture was strong enough to continue Socrates’ legacy. Socrates served more than just encouraged a politically corrected vocabulary. Aristotle offered no apology for the atrocious acts he had committed against Deaf people’s intelligence. He referred to his integrity and principles and admonished his own peers for reserving judgement about the Deaf. His zealous beliefs had since created.

Nancy Rourke’s painting was a genius interpretation by looking at these two ancient Greek philosophers because the closer you look at it, there is some assuaging their moral outrage with true feelings of courage of Socrates and remorse of Aristotle. There is no real remorse as Aristotle believed that he was committed to a higher cause. In this sense, Plato cautioned his readers about Socrates’ “enlightenment” and revolutionary ideas when the outcome of such transcendence was bloodshed without culpability in the name of the Deaf. Socrates fought, protect and uphold the human rights of using sign language for Deaf people very seriously and also, seek to have Deaf people to proclaim a triumphant “YES” to human prosperity, knowledge, and happiness.

One quote I found was particularly striking written by Socrates:

        There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

Socrates’s simple quote seems to embody a lot that Deaf people seems to be seeking, which is to be portrayed with a parity that equals the sums of their parts and not in a way that makes them seem lacking or wanting. Socrates is my type of man.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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