Handwritten Letters From Jail Uncensored

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When I received a package from my mother and it had contained many letters from 23 years ago writing to my mother while I was incarcerated, the letters proved the greatest driven in my mission to break the impossible. The fact my state of being Deaf returnee had made me the strongest asset to my survival and defy the odds.

While I was reading those letters last night, flashbacks were meant to teach me how to learn how to walk through the harshest punishments, defining my life who I am, and learned how to manage to crack the code of bullying. Finally, if there is not the triumph of hope, what will it be like?

I should explain that sometimes I find myself seeing life without its reasons. It is kind of experience, one where the compassion melt away, and it is most often when we are in denials. Ever since I was incarcerated, there was a part of me that has been searching for the story-telling purpose behind it all with the goal to become repentant and rehabilitated. I became the first family member to graduate from university.

I helped passed the hate crime law to protect Deaf community in state of Oregon. It was one of my greatest gift ever. 

I worked very hard to defy the odds when people said I would have no chance at all instead of sending me threatening e-mails, in person, and you name it all.

Whenever I was writing letters, I look beyond the walls of hope. I did not give up. It was not something you would see everyday. Because of the letters I wrote, I’ve overcome each obstacle–including the critical goals I set and show what I can do when I come together from walk of life, challenging the differences, and that makes me far stronger than what I was instructed by the very society to divide my life. Not in this life this time.

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I do not believe in the pursuit of individuality where I suffer life long imprisonment for the rest of my life. I share my own experiences, some of the most painful experiences I’d ever endured. To make matters worse I had dealt with naysayers who turn my suffering into financial gain. I refuse to let people define who I am. No one.

After all, the handwritten letters to write is not the one that thinks for me, but the life which makes me think. In some of the letters to my mother that I will share few details that proved a serious change in my life:

Dated: February 25, 1996:

“Like I said, I’ll probably will have long hair by that time!”

Dated: Friday, March 29, 1996:

“There are so many things I would like to do on the day when I get out.”

Dated: May 18, 1996:

“I just wrote 10 goals when I release, these 10 goals are important to do.”

I could go on more, but let’s stop right there.

I miss my hair.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

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As Speechless As You Are

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After collecting and reading archived letters from Gallaudet University about EPHPHATHA in my previous blog with 12 different posts, (I could not upload all the images at once, so I had to split different posts and I apologize about that) it is still blurry and very limited information. We the Deaf need to report Audism, language aversion, our language, and our culture. Removing EPHPHATHA will design to empower the Deaf community to prevent these religious “bad omen” or “witch hunt” to heal and minimize the false beliefs and negative feelings that people have about the Deaf. What does Deaf people feel like when they drive by, walk by nor walk around Gallaudet and see EPHPHATHA playing behind the fence? Deaf people on display?

EPHPHATHA is driving Deaf people out of their state of being Deaf and only sees the world of action to make sure that Deaf people do not think and desire their own culture because EPHPHATHA is an everyday influence on Gallaudet’s seal which has a huge power-playing and that is why Deaf people do not talk much about it. Talking about EPHPHATHA is an opportunity for us to learn about ourselves as Deaf people and I think it is very important to know that we need to reclaim our lives back in good conscience. Not only that the term also fragmentize the Deaf community into quattuordecillion pieces.

Deaf people must fight against the religious belief to heal us in order to preserve our language and our culture for future generations. Gallaudet needs to know that every Deaf citizen’s rights to be rooted in the free pursuit of happiness. “Be Thou Opened” has nothing to do with the opening of mind, knowledge, education, learning, whatever, but we must look at the very ORIGIN of the term: healing ears and speech. That is very much hidden message. Every English word always has the ORIGIN meaning of it. We must remember to recognize the origin meaning first. The term itself taught the university how NOT to tolerate diversity.

From one of my favorite books, Cultural Studies in the Future Tense by Lawrence Grossberg wrote Cultural Studies describes how people’s everyday lives are articulated by and with culture. It investigates how people are empowered and disempowered by the particular structures and forces that organize their everyday lives in contradictory ways and their (everyday) lives are themselves articulated to and by the trajectories of economic, social, cultural, and political power..This is, seeks to understand not only the organization of power, but also the possibilities of survival, struggle, resistance, and change. It takes contestation for granted, not as a reality in every instance, but as an assumption necessary for the existence of critical work, political opposition, and even historical change.”  

It is time to make a substantive democracy and work for real change. EPHPHATHA is divided. We, the Deaf people, are united. It is pretty much evident that Audists are holding large claims on Gallaudet’s property, including a fair amount of government debt. President Hurwitz is not the president we need. He is not doing his job. We have to let him ago. We need to get back in shape. It is pretty easy choice when you compare two circus clowns, I. King Jordan and Alan Hurwitz that lie at the drop of their teeth every time they speak, worship only the greed of EPHPHATHA and never tell us what their plans who allows the obstruction of Audism on the Gallaudet seal. Both are members of Alexander Graham Bell Association. No character and heart for the Deaf community at all.

It is time to propose to the Gallaudet administration that it is enough to play mind games with Deaf people’s emotions. We need to get ourselves involved in this hidden term and remove it. Our activism needs to make a loud statement and let them know that our conviction that EPHPHATHA is wrong. Why does Gallaudet fail Deaf people from not succeeding their hearing abilities? Deaf people should not been criticized and their biggest liabilities are to be succeed and get a fair education from Gallaudet without the term wringing their necks around. EPHPHATHA does not contribute to the cultural diversity of this Deaf community and makes us invisible in this world. Removing the term off the seal will bring Deaf people a place of belonging, but if the term is still there, then Deaf people will deny their sense of belonging. Simple.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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