Deaf, Black and a Victim of Police Brutality

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David Prater: Badge of Audism

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Badge of Audism: the lack of media that has been covering Deaf Latino man by the name of Magdiel Sanchez who was murdered by a police officer. Why not? Because in America, the majority of country is sound-oriented and looks at Deaf people as invisible. Police officer who killed Sanchez used his uniform, his badge, and his loaded gun, to stop, intimidate, and murdered him right front of his yard. And oppressors wonder why Deaf people do not trust cops. Why?

20141004_USD001_0.jpgDeaf people are the most vulnerable and voiceless people. David Prater, Audist and a district attorney for the state of Oklahoma, knew that Deaf people had no social power, and had no chance to speak out because they are voiceless. The media continues to exploit Deaf people on the parts of white “silence” who came to control Deaf people in Oklahoma.

Who hold the highest badge of law enforcement? David Prater. Yes, the District Attorney. Not the judge. Not the police officer. It is a privileged white system. District Attorneys actually have more power than the judges today in the courtrooms. Believe it or not.

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Two summers ago, when I read Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness and discovered that the prosecutors or district attorneys have more power even than the judges in the courtrooms, I was blown away!

If the media covered this story well, especially the culture of police authority, they ignore Deaf people because in Prater’s oppressive words, “being Deaf is irrelevant.”–is being taught in the society. Totally wrong!

Like a cop killed Magdiel Sanchez in cold blood, life moves on but the pain continues. How can we breathe and stay alive? That’s the badge of Audism. It’s always relevant. Deaf people are irrelevant…..That’s the face of media today in America where Deaf people are easily oppressed. Including the members of Oklahoma Association of the Deaf.

The United States Constitution —First Amendment that holds the five highest principles for human rights: Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Petition, and Freedom of Press. They all are entitled to assemble, exercise their speech through lawful petition in the eyes of press.

Isn’t it time for a bigger protest this time? We need more Deaf faces in the process of developing a new consciousness to overcome fear, ignorance and humiliation and we will not be silenced. Prater’s words are now irrelevant. It has already become too painful to deal with this crisis. The power of oppression has been taught to ignore discrimination, no Deaf people may be neglected for their own loss.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

Are Deaf People Being Certified to be Killed in the Public Trust?

In Memory of Magidel Sanchez: Who Says Deaf Was “Irrelevant?”

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The state of Oklahoma has decided not to charge police officers for the murder claimed that it was justified aka “good or legitimate reason” shooting. In Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindess:

“Most striking, perhaps, is the overwhelming evidence that implicit bias measures are disassociated from the explicit bias measures. In fact, studies indicate that people become increasingly harsh when an alleged criminal is darker and more “stereotypically black”; they are more lenient when the accused is lighter and appears more stereotypically white. This is true of jurors as well as law enforcement officers.”

It is a real tragic what happened in Oklahoma City where Magdiel Sanchez, a Deaf Disabled Latino man were killed by police which its job was sloppy and unprofessional. It was all about about stereotypes because Magdiel was Latino and Deaf. It could have been avoided. It could have easier for all of us. It could have better compassion. It was unbelievably, without question, what David Prater, District Attorney for the state of Oklahoma, created Audism, by saying: “the fact that Sanchez was deaf was “irrelevant”….you don’t need to hear to know what these officers are saying to you.” OUCH! That’s really low! Maybe one of the lamest excuses ever coming from District Attorneys anywhere. The definition of irrelevant:

Adjective. Not connected with or relevant to something. Of course, Deaf people are not connected with the social acceptance! Seeing Audism is not the problem, how will we accept and learn how to care for the people we see which people would see it as a problem? Why is that? How can it be irrelevant? Mr. Prater does not know what it feels like to be Deaf. That is not his place to say that. Totally not necessary. Not so cool.

Do you think David Prater is a Audist? It is not the first time he said that. He said same thing about Pearl Pearson, a Deaf Black man. He does not even care about Deaf people. The letter Prater writes about Pearson, “he was either hearing impaired or that he couldn’t hear due to the loud traffic noise…” shows that he lacks awareness about Deaf culture. That is the problem that there are not ENOUGH awareness training about Deaf people in police academy. They’d fuck you over.

Suppose, if we follow the quote written by Jose Zalaquett Daher:

If you close a wound without cleaning it, it will fester and reappear.”

How can Deaf community heal a wound when a Deaf man who was unarmed and completely innocent was shot several times when he cannot hear the commands? Will it re-appear somewhere in America when a Deaf person gets killed by police for being “Deaf”? It is a high probability even if it is unpredictable in the hidden statistics, yes, it will be. The double oppression in this police brutality, it was also added Racism played a big factor in this scene.

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Ready for the bigger problem? In Oklahoma, if someone wants to be a police officer, they’d have to pass psychological evaluation by licensed psychologist in the state of Oklahoma, and that was the iceberg of the ignorance. So, if it comes to psychological evaluation, was there a question mark down, “How would you deal with Deaf person?” It is critical! They cannot IGNORE that question. Deaf people cannot be left out of the social acceptance. We must not forget sensitivity training.

What works to get Deaf community to build trust with police by having a policy from Deaf community to make a statement, “our policy is take four years ASL classes, Deaf Studies, and Deaf Culture as a requirement for police departments.” It would keep build better awareness. It is not that hard. Deaf people have lived enough to deal with the fact they are living in strong-dominated hearing community. Is that not hard to see that?

We do not need Trump’s policy to beef up harsher police brutality and harm Deaf people. Police brutality is one of the greatest social problems; we shall explore the social position of oppression (Audism and Racism) in Deaf community and discuss how Audism and Racism intersects with Deaf community, and what is involved to talk more about Audism and Racism? Then we can consider the position of oppression in the institutional areas of Deaf people. We can conclude the awareness with an examination of social movements and social change.

As for the police officers and David Prater, who refused to accept the fact that they created Audism and Racism—isn’t that a double standard? The American spirit: the history of hidden Audism as a way of looking at life? Whatever happened to the circle of freedom? Such questions like that were necessary because in the case of Deaf community, pain is seeded as originated from the viewpoints. Do American spirit define Deaf community as a people and nation? That includes immigrants, too. Any one.

Seeing Deaf people gets killed by police—may have caused us all to deal and suffer at what a long way we have come. It is not the first time that police got away with the murder of unharmed Deaf people. It could happen to one of us.

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Blink. Blink. Blink. Tick. Tock. Forgotten soul. We must not forget Magdiel Sanchez. We must remember this from Magdiel’s family initial press statement dated September 22, 2017:

“We are devastated by Magdiel’s death and the fact it occurred at the hands of OKCPD even though he was not a suspect for any crime, was not breaking any laws, and was standing in his own front yard with his trusted walking stick.”

***OKCPD stands for Oklahoma City Police Department***

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindess. Page 107.

 

 

 

 

The Word of “Kneel” In a Poor Judgement

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I would like to write this out of my heart that I would like to apologize for using “Kneel” from one of my recent blog posts. The term of “Kneel”—inspired from professional football players in the National Football League (NFL) to make a statement to stop police brutality, racism, and targeting people of color people (PoC). I realized that I should know that after 20 years of police brutality I’ve seen in newspapers and Internet targeting PoC, I used “Kneel” for the wrong reason even as a white man with lineage in Cherokee and I realized that I still have not completely unpack white privileges yet.

It is true that the majority of Black people who has suffered the most. For so long, do we even realize that the Deaf community, “us” and “them” may never touched the same ground in many corners of American society. Because of those people like who kneel in NFL games, the healing is encouraging. The truth is far more critical. That is exactly why we should be supportive of social justice.

As eager as I recognize the cause, we all do need to analyze ourselves a crucial question. I would like to thank this person who found time and talked about it in person and wrote a text to me, “As for injustice of POC against anthem” and we need to accept the fact about the police brutality and injustice of PoC, we need to use kneel against anthem. The anthem is not represent for PoC, too. Community accountability is desired.

As compelling as the stories out there who survived through police brutality, racism, and PoC including Deaf PoC, Deaf, Deaf-Blind people, the question to be seen, why we did not seen enough of never-ending human struggles with us until we stand up against the bigotry? Why does just how far we still have to go?

Again, I used “Kneel” out of poor judgement and realized that it was particularly hurt to PoC, for whom this image is a symbol of hatred and struggles and would like to commit to make a change.

With my apologies, I take full responsibility for not taking myself serious enough to understand those stories out there.

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Fire Chief Paul Smith: A Disgrace to the United States of America

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The other day, Paul Smith wrote a list of “list of no-good n……..” Yes, he admitted that he said that. “Yes, I said that” on his own post. That time, he was the Chief of the Cecil Township Fire Department, about 20 miles outside of Pittsburgh. He does not serve the community and United States of America. He is a disgrace to the public. He’s a Trump supporter, too. Go figure! Racism is a social disease—and he needs help. It is no excuse at all. He is no longer fire chief with the Fire department. Good for people to stand up! I support with all the NFL players who kneel all the way! Injustice, Racism, and police brutality—do not belong in America. Also, we do not need firefighters or EMT who are racists, haters, or liars. I happen to know one.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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