Advertisements

Tag Archives: SIlence

Dwight Benedict’s Smirk

 

8.jpg

It has been really difficult day for me because a year ago today, I was clinically dead for ten minutes on the campus of the world’s famous university for Deaf people, Gallaudet University. In the same room where Dwight Benedict was in, he was walking down the aisle with a smirk because he had the hatred towards me—it was really difficult for me to think that way. How can I forget that? It is impossible to forget something like this.

My story must be seen, written, and examined. I grow tired and sick of people telling me to live in PAST. People do not know my life stories what exactly happened. It has been always HEARSAY. People choose to ignore my stories. Especially when a lot of people do not know the facts cannot comprehend what they were listening or do not care what the facts are and make up their own stories.

-11.jpeg

Do you think it was professional of Dwight to smirk when someone else is dead? Many of faculty members witnessed in that room what Dwight did and would vouch for me whenever I need support. He is still walking around campus with power and the same smirk he carries.

When you see the statue of Laurent Clerc on Gallaudet campus, this is one of the most iconic symbols of America—a beacon of hope and acceptance for Deaf people everywhere. So how did coming to Gallaudet University become a crime? Deaf returning citizens are bad news! Make them suffer! Give them the death stare!

If we look at the history of Dwight Benedict’s bullying tactics for the last 37 years, being “Deaf returning citizen” usually just means being “unwanted” and more often than not, that has to do with ignorance and hatred. There are plenty of widespread insecurities at Gallaudet University. As an intellectual community, we the Deaf now seem to exist in permanent fear of the oblivion in the top university leadership, worrying about whether we can survive Dwight’s leadership.

At the same time, at Gallaudet University, we the Deaf appear uncomfortable with the hatred of Dwight’s leadership. The same leadership, so often the means to our advancement, now finds itself under a cloud of power that it falls under a wrong agenda. Disenchanted with Dwight’s past history yet fearful of our future, why are Deaf people—especially people of color and marginalized group struck in Dwight’s leadership where a mood of fear, hatred and low expectations influence our discussion and discourses on many fronts—where our higher education continues to be seen as the problem rather than the challenge.

I worked extremely hard to change my life around and I made an ultimate goal to be a professor. I even made name tags as a personal identification when I arrived in DC and put it around my neck to remind myself. I was so determined more than anything.

-2.jpeg

This irrational insight against the grain of oppressed Deaf people on the campus, which teaches that hatred and bullying by Dwight does not lack human compassion. Deaf people in their struggle for social justice—are ignored because Dwight gets away with it. There have been many stories from Kendall Green about Dwight’s 37 years of oppressive leadership. A great many of damages were done, and many Deaf people were hurt.

My constitutional rights has been violated of due process and amounts to Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Eighth Amendment under United States Constitution and Dwight made it very difficult for me to receive higher education and set me up for harassment, public humiliation and bullying long after I served my time.

In February 27, 2014 meeting I was in, the most oppressive meeting ever I experienced in my entire life, he loved the idea very much where his buddy, Ted Baran, Director for DPS whom Dwight calls Ted in the meeting, “Ted is a good man” front of four other people brought up that I must be required to notify my graduate cohort, and walk around the entire Gallaudet campus and must tell everyone why I was jailed for with ugly labeling on my forehead. I was shocked. I already experienced humiliation and harassment at times when I would be at Gallaudet. No doubt, Dwight Benedict opened my old wounds. Dwight and Ted acted as Judge, Jury, and Executioner. The bald faced truth is that they should held accountable.

-12.jpeg

Even though it has happened 30 years ago, still, I am set up for extreme public shaming and harassment. I had been a good returning citizen more than 20 years and paid no more than $100,000 in counseling and worked very hard to change my life around and graduated with three degrees all with honors even though I had been experiencing thousands and thousands of times being humiliated in my life. I’ve dealt with hearing counselors who do not understand my journey as Deaf person. I realized it was total lie and waste of money and time. Until I found Deaf-centered counseling, I cried and….

il_570xN.819357901_ncwa.jpg

Did I deserve “scarlet letter” for the rest of my life? Am I allowed to become a productive member of society? I am really sick of people telling me to live in the past and live with the stigma. Horrible lies about me, making me look really bad and I lost almost everything. It’s really hard for me. I cry. I cry. I cry. I suffer more. I suffer more. I suffer more.

Dr. Pernessa Steele, author of “Stand Up to Stigma: How We Reject Fear and Shame” writes: “Stigma” is a simple two-syllable word, yet it carries the weight of negative and often unfair beliefs that we hold about those who are different from us. Stigmas lock people into stereotyped boxes and deny us all the right to be our authentic and whole selves.

-10.jpeg

I already had been ostracized from Gallaudet community. Dwight made sure to do more harm than good, with my commitment to turn my life around. I lost my scholarship, I lost my dream job, I lost networking opportunities, I lost pretty much everything and I became the scapegoat on the campus. That is exactly the cruel and unusual punishment. That was the sign of death.

When I woke up on the floor that day, I cried. I still remember being carried out of the room on the emergency stretcher and saw people hand waving at me and I put both of my thumbs letting them know that I’m still strong. Then I was rushed into emergency surgery and carried to an intensive care unit (ICU). The television on right side was turned on—and the presidential election results were still pending.

The worst part was….I was still in extreme shock wondering how I survived from massive heart attack. The election results—did not finalize until 3 AM and became even more heart-broken that Trump was elected. The rises of hate crimes begun. Then I finally fell asleep for only three hours until the nurses woke me up and said, “Time for injections”—my first reaction when I woke up hoping it was only a dream. Only I find it was not a dream. I stayed in the hospital for ten long days. Longest stay in my life.

Do you all remember how you felt when you woke up on November 9th of 2016 morning?

Many people who walked around from Gallaudet University have caught up and suffered in the idea that Dwight thinks he is always right, and that the way Dwight acts is best. But he was wrong in Gallaudet University. What happened with the due process? Why I was not informed with required due process?

Due process means that Gallaudet University cannot give me a serious punishment, like suspension or expulsion, without first having followed fair procedures to determine if I am “bad news”. Fair procedure would include: telling me exactly what I was “bad news”, telling me exactly what the punishment will be, and giving me a chance to tell my side of the story before punishing me. If Gallaudet chooses to punish me, it must punish all others the same. I was never given a chance to do due process. I felt numb.

When I woke up from death, some people who are loyal to Dwight, told me to shut up and stay in silence. Right now Dwight is walking around freely with a smirk and will not apologize for his actions what he had done. It was the most incompetent decision Gallaudet University chooses to keep Dwight in his office. I was targeted by Dwight’s openly discriminatory policies and the discriminatory policies will be always remembered for abuse of power and corruption on the wrong side of professionalism.

For the last 365 days since my death, I wonder if I actually die, the truth would not be seen.

On November 8, 2016, in SAC 1011, the event, “Deaf in Prison Screening & Discussion” sponsored by Gallaudet ASL & Deaf Studies, the very same department I was part of which was very ironic, and the reason they sponsored this because Dirksen Bauman wanted to do this to cover his ass. Complete bullshit. I asked a question for the audience that will be always remembered for long time, “Why Gallaudet University promote FEAR targeting Deaf returning citizens?” and Dwight was in the same room standing in the back giving me a death stare and that was where I had massive heart attack. Dwight was walking down the aisle—slowly and a smirk. Cool, huh?

My death experience has made me stronger than ever. I recently learned that there has been some “talk” around Gallaudet campus that Dwight might retire early—well, there is no way he would walk away with it. My death does not give him full satisfaction and sit in the sun with a smirk. Will Dwight ever experience death for ten minutes and wake up and realize that he is asshole? It was all about personal attack against me as a motivation to new heights of fervor. Master Yoda said: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

-3.jpeg

 

 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Advertisements

‘Bystander’ to the Deaf Community

1495789752720649.png

Yes, we can make a difference to stop hate. Is Deaf community as humanity as ever? Our impact on hate depends more on how we, as humanity, respond than as we the Deaf people do. Both are very critical right now—the question, which is more effective and community accountability? Hate is invisible to the Deaf community.

Stalking and harassment seems to be a perception among Deaf community. And, to be direct, it does show to verge on stigmatizing basically “normal” behavior. It may be even is true and sad, but Deaf community essentially using the scarlet letter of “harassment” to penalize Deaf returning citizen who they resent very much. We need to know that hate will not make us safe.

The biggest problem in the Deaf community: Bystanders—the context in which this occurs more often. They do not care about hate. They do not care about abuse their power, to understand that as soon as hate is created, it will be abused at least Deaf community who will wield it.

How can we solve this sociological problem: Bystanders in Deaf community and why they refuse to accept community accountability? Dividing into hate, separated by our own experience. Silence is not even cool.

1486536263642079.jpg

 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

In The Name of Deaf Hate Crime: Time to Stop Silence!

10959729_895785043794508_3835896162778842013_nEllen Mansfield’s Art Work. “Deaf Hate Crime” was added to the jigsaw puzzle. Feb 2015.

The unfolding of history of the Deaf points to nothing more clearly than the vast ignorance of our language and culture; While I am fully aware that my message, be it factual or thinking, must be evaluated in terms of history as the uninterrupted welling of Deaf community in a multitude of currents and counter currents formed by our ever-changing society. My belief that our community must be renovated through the principles of happiness, that is deeply rooted in the American doctrine—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is our hope” as George Veditz, signed in the film, The Preservation of the Sign Language in 1913. It is very important that we must remember that it is each person’s right to know what being Deaf means. We also need to know that where it comes from as well as the activities and attitudes, which it describes. If we do not know, with confidence, our part in the whole and our place in history, we can become frustrated by what we have to do. If we know what being Deaf means, our self-esteem and self-determination would be much more sure. Today the world remains ignorant of Deaf people and their language and culture. Fact or myth?

I announce that my most important work shall restore Deaf Hate Crime (DHC) back to life. This time, it is in my own right. As an author of DHC, late Carl Schroeder has given me to go ahead and continue this important work before his unexpected death. The history of DHC establishment with Carl was in early 2010; we both realize that it would be very controversial and realized that it was not in right direction.

First of all, Carl wrote me e-mail in 2010 recognizing me as an author of DHC.

“Deaf Hate Crime is novel to me. I am basically a linguistics student, not a sociologist. Everything I learned about hate speech/crime IS from Jason Tozier. He IS my resource. He’s brought to my attention a vast knowledge of hate crime: academics, books and contacts. Jason does not come in any cheap! Deaf Hate Crime is now entertaining respect and attention across the nation and around the world. However, “Deaf Hate Crime” IS Jason Tozier, not me. I very much prefer to discuss languages….”

“…..I am forever in debt to Jason for bringing me to a national and international platform on Deaf Hate Crime, which is not my enterprise. Socrates had Plato; Plato had Aristotle…I have Jason, and I am not going to fail this.”

Back in summer 2010, Carl and I gave a presentation for City of Portland Office of Human Relations and Coalition Against Hate Crimes (CAHC), which has helped the coalition to better understand, how hate crimes affect Deaf people. That presentation led to a meeting with Oregon Attorney General to advocate for the inclusion of “disability” in Oregon’s bias crime statues. In 2011, the Attorney General presented such a bill to the Oregon legislature. That bill was passed and the new expanded hate crime law went into effect on January 1, 2012. That was a direct result of MY commitment to this issue. Oregon Association of the Deaf (OAD) NEVER had any part of it at ALL.

The question you would ask, where is my credentials in this? I signed up for Hate Crimes and Bias, a Sociology credit, in which students have to conduct original research projects and digest some rather dense material along diagram theories. My paper, Negative Perceptions of Deaf Individuals in Relation to Knowledge of American Sign Language was a scholarly paper and gave myself a taste of my commitment to the rights of Deaf people.

The intent of Deaf Hate Crime we need to recognize that has a long history, but it is not officially labeled as such. It is to subordinate and intimidate not only Deaf Hate Crime but also the entire community in which it is used. Deaf Hate Crime is therefore symbolic in that it sends a message to the entire world that Deaf Hate Crime is different and that DHC does not matter because it is socially constructed without self-evident definition.

It means different things to different people. Our challenge to DHC has not been in vogue because the majority of our world society holds that DHC seeks to cease language discrimination, language bigotry, language hegemony, and the layers of Audism.

My goal of DHC is to become a useful tool in the movement to fetch a better future. There are lots of us out there who are frequently silenced. What I am attempting here is to map out how research on DHC might be done. Deaf people cannot be forgotten and silenced.

Again, there were few books that have influenced my important work. For one, Barbara Perry in 2001, wrote:

…. Hate crime is a crime like no other…it is implicated not merely in the relationship between the direct “participants”, but also in the relationship between the different communities to which they belong. The damage involved goes far beyond physical or financial damages. It reaches into the community to create fear, hostility, and suspicion. 

The factors that stands in the way of effective DHC as following in a quote by Boeckmann and Turpin-Petrosino in 2002 set the tone by stating that:

There is no consensus among social scientists or lawmakers on definitional element that would constitute a global description of hate crime. Part of the reason for this lies in the fact that cultural differences, social norms, and political interests play a large role in defining crime in general, and hate crime in particular. 

In Solidarity,

-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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