A Change of Heart in Deaf Community


Yale Law School. 2014. 

It does not matter if Deaf returned citizen deserves a second chance in life. They focus on being good citizens and neighbors or yours and mine. The term “returned citizen” in the way the society is always in the ‘current tense’ and not the ‘past tense’—why is that? The answer lies in the greatest assumptions that formed in the rumor-mill community—Deaf community. That is to be said that it is trash in—-trash out. The society is a myth and bullshit had more weight than facts and forgotten stories on Deaf returned citizens.

Remember the old days in 1950s and 1960s, East Germany, a very highly police state—that was enforced into strict laws and codes for its citizens to follow such as early curfew, neighbors were actually forced to spy on one another, prohibition on foreign travel even free political speech was something that would get you killed. Back in that time, East Germany’s criminal justice system would get people killed even if they’re innocent or even for minor crimes as kids.

That is the old dilemma of the balance between dealing and understanding freedom and at the same time, minimizing crime. It is very difficult to understand this. Of course, I completely understand that in a society that a freedom is maximized. Deaf returned citizens are free to do good things. I’ve paid my debt to the society as a young and lost kid 31 years ago, and that is what a self-healing society is all about.

Of course, it is very difficult to understand that a free and healthy society that would forgive people who had committed a bad act. I know the feeling. I really do! Imagine a self-healing society that teaches freedom—for everyone, including Deaf returned citizens, at the same time, think about the self-healing society that has been interrupted by rumormongers—again at the same time, I deserve to resume a life of freedom.

I believe in the full circle of healing to occur anytime, anywhere. It is the forgiveness that is the missing component here in America with respect to help healing the wounds in the society. Do Deaf Americans do can better than to treat Deaf returned citizens with contempt and hate? It is about the matter of healthy society. Can we show the world that we are committed to understand Deaf returned citizens’ struggling stories where they are often ignored and rejected from the society?


Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Radicalism at Gallaudet: Big Questions to Ask

ImagePeter Gourfain’s Hen Eys Tru Ile

First and foremost, I think it is important to know where I was before I came to Gallaudet University. I moved to District of Columbia from Oregon where it is well known for radical students who meet almost every night during weekdays to talk about various social injustices.

I attended many meetings, often to pick up the handouts and took a great course called Revolution and Radical Social Change where I learned Landauer’s For Socialism, Day’s Gramsci is Dead: Anarchist Currents in the Newest Social Movements, and Holloway’s Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today, they were never secretive and, in fact, encouraged by the faculty.

When I first came to Gallaudet University, I soon discovered it to be closed, secretive, and almost obsessed with the status quo. Having lived in the neighborhood of Gallaudet University for almost one year before I was admitted in the graduate school, I had never, ever heard of a group of radical students on campus. Why are they silent or quiet about themselves?  Are they selective–who’s who?  Are they transparent about their fight? To be honest, I do not know. All I was told was that I did not understand the Gallaudet mentality.

Plantation mentality? Are Deaf people who moved upstairs in the administrative hierarchy at Gallaudet University like proverbial pigs in George Orwell’s Animal Farm that become like human beings to oppress other farm animals?

If you are really radical, then ask why you are a closet one?  Have you reached “two roads diverged” where you shall pick a road less traveled to make all the difference? Do you just want me to be a conformist who supplement the status quo, not to rock the ship? Does higher learning generate activism?

Do I really need to shut up so that you are safe? Is that democratic? I have yet to learn about your leadership.

In my younger life, I regret that I did not stand up and later discovered that radicalism has changed the truth in my life. It is amazing how much radicalism has so many hardships that Deaf people has suffered all these years. Time to find the legacy to stop.

All in all, if we are rebellious, we are very much alive. Gallaudet University is where we need to be activistic and rebellious! I am not putting down any of the students, but I simply resist those who choose to cop out on themselves. We are the meaning-makers and we want to make a change. President John F. Kennedy once said: “Change is the law of life.”  Ask then what the nature of Deaf life is? Let Gallaudet University serve the world with this type of knowledge about Deaf people and their language and culture, American Sign Language (ASL)–Change on!


Copyright © Jason Tozier

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