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Tag Archives: Racism

Magidel Sanchez: How Can We Reduce Prejudice?

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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.

 

 

 

 

White People Are Dangerous Domestic Terrorists Than Muslims

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Yes, the shooter from church killing in Texas was white. His name was Devin Patrick Kelley. First and foremost, we need to be aware that White people are way worst terrorists than Muslims in America. That’s true! I am not kidding. We must never be ignorant in any way whatsoever. The white supremacy continues in the wake of shooting anywhere. Muslims are never more dangerous than white people. Never!

National Rifle Association (NRA) has been always stronghold of Republicans. Even Charlie Sykes said that the GOP is “in the thrall of the NRA”–and the majority of Republicans are White and racists.

What does “thrall” means?  It means the state of being in someone’s power or having great power over someone.

Can we become involved–becomes a real part of the process even at the greatest distance to stop the power of NRA? Gun violence has been the major problem in America for long time. Talk about it! Get other involved and concerned about gun violence. Follow the progress to stop gun violence. The most importantly, we should write letters to Congress.

In this time of crisis, it is us who should not hold out, by our very nature, the deepest vision of healing and peace that is possible for America. Time for all of us to enter into the collective unconscious because it is by our nature alone that we make a difference in stopping gun violence in America, but by our actions, our thoughts, in our coming together as Americans.

Trump needs a blow slap on the back of his head. With the money purse from NRA, they are appropriating gun violence in the wrong way. Gun violence, white terrorists and white supremacy are the problem, it is a death warrant, and ignoring them is a problem. How come we did not recognize the language that changed so much in its own frequency right after Trump was elected almost a year ago? The number of hate crimes has been on the rise more than ever. The majority of people who committed hate crimes since November 2016: White people.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Why We Should Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day

We need to resist against hate, xenophobia, and all forms of oppression against Christopher Columbus for what he has done to Indigenous people. We shall celebrate Indigenous People’s Day.

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.

 

 

October 3rd, 2017: Town Hall About Dwight Benedict

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Is Dwight Benedict Best Qualified for the Position?

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Le Toudjida Allara, a Deaf People of Color (POC) shares his concerns about Albert Dwight Benedict:

This is unbelievable to hear the unhealthy news stating that Gallaudet Administrators have decided to automatically promote Dwight Benedict as the new and historic Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement of our beloved Alma Mater–see the officially announced vlog presented by President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5CSaEX3FsU) without going through the national search process. This has been surprised us so big time.

As a POC, international alumni and former long student of Gallaudet University, I have sincerely so tired to hear, see, learn and receive that Gallaudet Administrators have not taken their serious action to change their institutional system for the good health of our whole community and eliminate the uncomfortable/unwelcome environment for FSSA (Faculty, Staff, Students & Alumna) because Gallaudet has:

1- Made us to increase our loss of trust toward its administration team

2- Continued to make POC members of Gallaudet Community feeling down with its decision to appoint Mr. Albert Dwight Benedict as the VP of Students Affairs & Community Engagement without going through job application process, national search process and various interviews process with the community AND even he does not have a good record of leadership toward international and POC FSSA during his recently long tenure as Dean of Student Affairs

3- Proven us that certain “Deaf” White Privilege (DWP) members as part of the Gallaudet’s dominant coalition do whatever they want unprofessionally and unethically in order to show us that we POC folks are like a garbage or worthless people to them

4- Disrespected its mission and vision statements that have a true intention to produce Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students to be great and professional because it has failed to provide fair, respect and chance to qualified deaf professionals to apply for the VP position through the national search

5- Clearly shown us that it is not for us, belong to us and through us

6- Encouraged the division and destruction of relationships within its internal environment

7- Continued to promote favorism, nepotism, racism and misleadership in its institutional politics and system

I can say more of what I have known about Gallaudet but the school has indeed a lot lot lot to work on fixing its hugely institutional issues since the 2006 Protest. If Gallaudet University especially its top-leaders, GUAA – Gallaudet University Alumni Association and Board of Trustees seriously care about us as valuable Alumni and other important members of the community, I would like to challenge them to seriously consider to reopen and re-advertise the VP position (then Mr. Benedict has to understand that he has to go through the application process with respect of other potential candidates and prove us why he is the right candidate for the VP position) and going through its formal national search process. Also, I hope they will take this matter so soberly for the GREATER GOOD OF GALLAUDET COMMUNITY. Sigh… What a sad and unacceptable news!

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

 

The Battle on Racism in Deaf Community

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Honestly, I do not know what to say after I saw so much movements the last couple of days and there are several Confederate monuments has been taken down like in Maryland and many other cities. We are witnessing history! How will the history books redefine in schools now? It is really big deal!

The battle on Racism centered today in the white supremacy organizations, has raised two concerns about my own community, Deaf community. Either has to do with the language and culture of the Deaf. I know some Deaf white folks who practice white supremacy. In fact, I know someone Deaf who idolizes KKK and Neo-Nazi with the words painted in the back yard years ago. I saw it with my own eyes. I remember that day well.

What has emerged is that the white supremacy is an organized racist group; powerful enough in lay terms, to practice and promote language hate. White supremacists hate the fact that love exists as the most important human tool. Additionally, and ominously, is what white supremacy knows how to “isolate” some of Deaf people using hate language. These concerns have their origin in a determination, which, if it had merit at its inception, also carried latent demands that Deaf people be taught to preach white supremacy in language and culture.

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Deaf people became oppressed, and their language and culture suppressed. They were target and became supplicants of white supremacy. We the Deaf people, it is safe to say, we will want our language and culture (which, significantly, ASL values above all other subject matters) to be broadly representative of our social whole. At all costs, we the Deaf people must not a caste set apart, neither drawn from nor informed by the white supremacy.

I would highly suggest reading great stuff called Teaching Racism: Using Experiential Learning to Challenge the Status Quo by Melody Aye Loya and Mo Cuevas. It has influenced me huge. The initial premise is prima facie discriminatory. Racism is dangerous; indeed, it can be countervailing. When it comes to communication, Racism does have n opt-in or opt-out practice. These rejected aspects of Racism drills at the root of the language racism we the Deaf face today and tomorrow.

It should not be surprise that in 2017 the white supremacy practitionists alleviate the language racism in such a way as to alleviate the immigration crisis across America. They would make Deaf people who use ASL aliens eligible for oppression and hatred. Remember, white supremacists and white nationalists are targeting minorities including Deaf people—no kidding.

The battle on Racism has been appropriated by white supremacy and white nationalists even some business organizations. Now is a good time to challenge these hate groups and to ask whether they continue to wage the language and culture war—especially Racism against the Deaf in the United States. White Deaf folks—do not go into white silence anymore.

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I see ASL as our collective community. This collective community turns on pieces of it and puts them in a box where we get to talk to each other and figure out how to rethink our of the box. If you could see love in your imagination, then that is all I got to write about the real power behind ASL. Love will always defeat Hate.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

How To Be a Better American

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America’s neighbor, Canada—someone from there left me a comment to tell me that I need to be a better American and leave Donald Trump alone. I’ve been bred and buttered in America since 1974. I’ve walked through school halls being constantly bullied by hearing peers everyday. I’ve been suspended several times just because I was standing up and protect myself from bullies. I was taught to follow American values—I’ve been breathing through thick air for 365 days a year for next 42 years.

Oh, I also remember growing up in schools telling me to respect American flag and yet I was mocked for being Deaf. That tells a lot, right? Oddly, I feel compelled to explain what an American flag is all about—today in current political climate under Trump, the flag is now seen as a taboo. When a person from Canada tells me that I need to be a ‘better American’.

What the person does not know that in 1970s, Trump and his father was constantly bully and discriminate Black people in several American cities when they were looking for a place to rent out for their human necessities as we all do to have a roof over our heads. They were profiled. The Department of Justice (DOJ) took them to the court for racial discrimination and the violation of Fair Housing Act. Was the person from Canada aware of this?

Oh, Trump has a huge list of history mocking Native Americans. In 1993, he was called out to testify front of congressional testimony and the true colors came out of Trump’s mouth when he said, “They don’t look like Indians to me and they don’t look like Indians to Indians.” Damn! That is a hate speech, folks! I’m part of Cherokee and I did not really appreciate what Trump said. Where did he learn that? His father. Hate is a learned behavior. You ever notice that Trump never talks about his mother? Tsk tsk. Wait, do not forget what Trump lied to the media that he was not aware of protestors at Standing Rock. That’s one damn lying sack of shit!

Back in 2013, I attended a conference at National Museum of the American Indian, Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports to fight against systematic racism. Is that not a better American?

For the last few days has been difficult for America to deal with Trump’s lies and he was the one who incited political violence. He is a rampant xenophobic, racist, misogynist and a very bad actor to cover up his lies. Now, that person from Canada tells me to be a better American. Guess what? I am—because I am fighting against all forms of hate, systematic racism, and we are witnessing increasing violence by angry racists who are targeting Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ people, minority communities and Deaf community as well. We are witnessing…invisible consequences. Seriously!

As a better American, it is my civic responsibility to inform Deaf community that we need to get Trump impeached, jailed, and out of the office for the highest treason and incite political violence. It is also all of our duties to put hate groups out of business, and of course, seeking justice for survivors of discrimination. As for the American flag we see everyday, old America was not built on faith, it was built on hate and violence and we do not need history repeating again. Trump is bringing old America back.

Hence, “America First”—that’s bullshit. My maternal and paternal great grandfathers were immigrants who fled from Ireland, Scotland, and Germany for safety and opportunity. They were granted immigration, and seek for better life for themselves and their families. My own families. Do not forget my Cherokee families, too.

I will not let Trump’s “politics” to corrupt my own American flag I was taught to follow American values. Back in 2007, as an undergraduate student signing up for Hate Crime and Bias course, that changed my life forever. A year later, I voted for Obama and was very proud to know that Obama was my president. The next day after Obama won the election, I remember showing up for a class, it was practically empty because everyone was partying so hard and cried for a change.

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That was the real America we are talking about because we were sick of systemic racism everyday and believed that it is change to erase hate because we have no place for hate anymore. When the white supremacists causing major violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, they wanted to “take America back”—OK, the real question, maybe make it a sociological question—take it back for what? From whom? Why? For what kind of purpose? I do not really understand this at all.  Trump does not represent American flag. No way!

By telling me that I need to be a better American and leave Trump alone does not sit well with me.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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