The World is Waiting For You

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Gallaudet University website: Commencement Day 149th Ceremony

Commencement is the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory for our graduates and their families and friends. It is the day to celebrate our graduates’ hard work that goes into the achievement of graduating…..”

Friday, May 17, 2019:

Live streaming.

EPHPHATHA as seen on huge black Gallaudet seal banner on the wall behind people’s back while signing front of the audience, it is a political satire of Deaf people at least.

When those Deaf graduates go home carrying a degree with the same seal you see would make a political satire in your space even as the story about EPHPHATHA who espouse false hopes make the news, those very same Deaf graduates are granted rights in the Amendment VIII to push for justice. What is Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution?

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

What we saw was absolutely horrible and inhumane. It was a poor taste of showing large banner “EPHPHATHA” in spelling. Again, it was supposed to be the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory.

No, it is not just “be opened.” It is ABOUT “ears be opened”—they should not be facing “excessive bail” just because they are being Deaf—connected to the cruel punishment inflicted. Deaf graduating students as always shall be protected even in educational system, Gallaudet University, always shall eager to overcome Audism what little remains of the privileges that limit Deaf students by mocking them, frequently justifies what it shall be ordered by saying that EPHPTHATHA wants the power to prescribe serious effects the state of being Deaf and therefore comes under Congress’ power to regulate this.

When Deaf graduates restore and gave confidence to countless hours and their consequences are very real and with the systematic Audism, trying to make the most of each and every day, but Gallaudet University had the nerve to show the banner the power of hearing privileges on the most important day for Deaf graduates, why cannot they restore their confidence as state of being Deaf?

Gallaudet University also said: There is no other place like this in the world.

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Then the huge banner should not be shown at graduation day again because it is where Deaf students connect their world with the rest of the world and Deaf community we once knew as home.

The Commencement Day is about deep respect to step out and thrive on Deaf community behalf. Without being insulted. Gallaudet University needs a positive approach. When Deaf students growing up, they might be appeared to be happy to graduate, you would never guess how many of them would suffering through some dark times. Imagine from K to 12th grade, they would get bullied, physical and emotional times. They end up feeling worthless and think they would treat that way for the rest of their lives.

Gallaudet University, the beacon of healing and hope for Deaf people, seeking mental health help, they either are more or less tried to act like it never happened. The hope should be provided all the times. This month, May: Mental Health Awareness.

So, in 2019, EPHPHATHA should not hold the power and did not choose to empower Deaf students to prohibit oppression even in public accommodations. The banner shows the greatest invisible Audism on Gallaudet campus, properly acting under the rules. Then why is it continues to construe—to flagrantly oppress, to its advantage—a higher educational oppression problem?

With the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as the rights to the state of being Deaf—First Amendment, written to protect the rights of “speech” to use American Sign Language (ASL), EPHPHATHA authorizes Gallaudet University to oppress Deaf students with any goal that it asserts in a way, however struck, with an order to practice the reverberation of Audism.

Supposedly, there is no banner showing EPHPHATHA, would Deaf graduating students more vocal about their mental health and what they were going through with those around them as Deaf identity to be proud of? It would be a huge help on those roads to healing in all. Would it be nice to see with a smile on their faces that their lives is a precious thing with state of being Deaf without punished, I am sure that we all would not want to steal that away. Right?

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

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Concern About Rep. Tom Cole as Gallaudet Commencement Speaker

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Dear Gallaudet Community:

While I also am aware about members of our community are gravely concerned about Rep. Okla.—Mr. Tom Cole as the Commencement speaker. That is the very important line and yet, Gallaudet University chose to ignore and disrespect graduating students’ safety. It is reported that there are plenty of Deaf graduating students who are still hurting either formal and informal settings. The future of Gallaudet depends on graduating students. President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano was in charge.

Deaf graduating students are our number one priority. They had lost faith in Gallaudet’s ability to lead the university, and where is exactly the respect from Deaf graduating students? Where is the leadership change of this magnitude that has been deeply felt across Gallaudet campus? It also affects alumni and alumnus, too because they were once students and understood the governing board to remain committed to the success of Deaf students, to the face of Gallaudet University.

The selection of Mr. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, is a poorly choice. It does not even meet the values of Gallaudet University. Is it losing its ground to understand the magnitude problem of hate crime and hate speech? When Mr. Tom Cole said that he was not very concerned with the appointment of Steve Bannon in the White House, and that was something to be concerned of. The biggest question on the meaning of higher learning—not higher learning, as we know at Gallaudet University, but our own learning.

That raises a concern that Gallaudet University went ahead and put their self-interest ahead of the Deaf graduating students, and engaging in conduct that affects Gallaudet University’s reputation, and had been misled the Deaf graduating students to a false hope.

We need to remind ourselves that Deaf graduating students comes first before the selection of Mr. Tom Cole, had led lives of necessity with an unforgiving, if not hostile, political and hearing social hierarchy in the environment is a big social problem and does not meet the values of Gallaudet University.

Whatever directive it might be, it was wrong of Gallaudet University to ignore Deaf graduating students under any circumstance whatsoever. What is the professionalism with these people, entrusted with private money, that they did not respect their feelings?

“One of the most difficult issues for the victims of hate crimes is wondering how widespread the bigotry is. How many of the other people on the block want them to leave the neighborhood? How many other students on campus resent their presence?”—Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt, Hate Crimes Revisited: America’s War on Those Who are Different 

It is clearly showing poor performance and be done with it, in a dizzying tumble of words about Deaf graduating students’ objection that has left the Gallaudet University community uncovered, something such as a leadership is missing—the bottom line is that Deaf graduating students had to listen with a knot with fear in their stomach. Generally the Gallaudet administration was highly hostile toward Deaf soon to be graduates, and pain on the campus is not even funny. It is painful!

While the selection of Mr. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma who failed miserly to stop the white supremacy in the White House, the hate crimes had been highly recorded than ever, and the numbers of hate crime incidents does not lie, and those Deaf graduating students who protested the selection of Mr. Cole was so important to the university it represented academic freedom, and it is now becoming a central theme in the history of Gallaudet University graduation inviting a congressman who did not support the idea and did not vote YES in 2009 for H.R. 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act:

The passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) would expand the federal hate crimes law to include crimes that are based on sexual orientation, gender, or physical or mental disability.”

No wonder why Gallaudet University fails to be hate-free campus. What if one of those Deaf graduating students end up as a survivor of federal hate crime that is often forgotten, marginalized, under-reported and swept under the rug? It starts with community accountability at Gallaudet University. The stories of invisible hate crimes are once again reverberating throughout Gallaudet campus.

Did Gallaudet University fail to recognize the problem of hate crime and ignore the implementation efforts to support students, stimulate learning and awareness, and promote inclusion and intercultural knowledge and experience about diversity and cultural differences and how to be fully knowledge about the magnitude social problem of hate crime in America?

When Mr. Tom Cole as inviting Commencement speaker failed to acknowledge the painful stories of Deaf people who would feel painful and violated and support the idea not to prosecute attackers for federal hate crime starts with his leadership and that affects Gallaudet University’s reputation:

“Media attention may also have educated a growing number of people about the occurrence and character of hate crimes.”—Jack Levin and Jack McDevitt, Hate Crimes Revisited: America’s War on Those Who are Different 

It is necessary for Gallaudet University; It is necessary for Gallaudet community; It is necessary for the quality of Deaf graduating students;

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=38&Itemid=828&nameid=C001053

http://www.ontheissues.org/House/Tom_Cole.htm

 

 

#GallaudetSolidarity: White Fragility?

#GallaudetSolidarity was a powerful event showing that Gallaudet University have serious problem.

Open Letter for Gallaudet President Cordano

 

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Gallaudet University

800 Florida Avenue NE

Washington, DC 20002

Dear President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano,

I voted for you as President of Gallaudet University because of the vision you presented. I even made a vlog in supporting of you and your wife where a certain Deaf guy preaching self-hate claiming that homosexuality is illegal.

You knew who I am. I was the one who had a massive heart attack and left dead for 600 seconds on November 8, 2016. When I became conscious again, there were many people being panicked in the hallway crying and cheering. I used both thumbs up to let them know I was all right carrying on stretcher on the way to hospital where I stayed there for a week. It was really tough week for me emotionally.

Last January 2018, I was hospitalized for heart condition, and an interpreter who works for Gallaudet University on a regular basis, informed me that you and certain people were discussing about discrimination to prevent Deaf returnees to receive higher education, and told me that I was the one who had been advocating for a change.

Finally, last April 2018, at an art show on the campus, we met each other, and you seemed very nervous to meet me. I wonder why. I introduced myself politely, but you knew who I am. I became the digital pariah forever. I asked for a meeting with you, and you said to me, “Sure, I will have my assistant get in touch with you once I am done with graduation, NAD conference, and all that and will schedule a meeting with you”

I had hope. I wanted to come home and finish my goals. I wrote an e-mail to your assistant, Patricia Thompson on October 18, 2016—few weeks before massive heart attack, no response. You said to me, “Yes, I got your e-mail” but why did you said to me after waiting for two years? I became puzzled.

After we met in April, then I waited for four months then I wrote an e-mail to you directly to do friendly reminder about the meeting. No response. Completely neglect. I had a lot of patience. I realized it is not going to happen. I felt completely fool.

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I give up. There is no point for me to return to Gallaudet. I do not feel safe anymore. I accept the fact that I am the most hated identity on Gallaudet campus. I accept the fact that I am banished from Gallaudet University. I accept the fact that I am publicly shamed. I accept the fact that I am barred forever. I wasn’t even a teenager. 32 years ago. No one wanted to hear my stories.

Most likely, I will never see a degree from Gallaudet University, I will be always cherishing the most by being an alumnus forever. I had a lot of academic ideas to make Gallaudet proud.

I give up. There is no point why should I return to Gallaudet built on fear. Labels hurt the most. Labeling does not contribute to public safety—instead my life was robbed of my own humanity. No employment opportunities. No networking opportunities. Gallaudet University was supposed to be healing and a safe haven. Earning a Master’s degree from Gallaudet could have improve the odds in trying to re-enter the workforce, but I had been unemployed for eight years and very difficult to find. I realized Gallaudet was not the right place to help Deaf returnees. They don’t even believe in second chances.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

The picture, the meeting between President Cordano and me does not lie. Photography is powerful even with words. I became the digital pariah forever. Although, I still love Gallaudet University. It’s the system that built on fear.

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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