ASL Video: For Donalda Ammons

Advertisements

DHF: Ten Years Ago and Now

As a student in 2009, Deafhood Foundation (DHF) was founded ten years ago that time, opened my eyes and still finding the meaning in Deafhood journey.

Invisible Hand: Did Melissa Elmira Yingst and Socorro Garcia Experience Hate Crime?

181018_HateHoaxedit-385x200.jpg

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Was it a hate crime what Melissa Elmira Yingst and Socorro Garcia experienced at Detroit Airport because of their state of being Deaf? Sexual orientation? That they are not white? Even though the gate agent is Black. It’s most likely the person who called police on Deaf couple is White. Who knows? The agent was mocking Deaf couple because…..you know.

Think about the consequences Deaf people face daily even though it’s invisible hate crime. For example, a Deaf male got attacked by two white Hearing men and stole their laptop because they knew he was Deaf. How? He was chatting with someone through American Sign Language (ASL) on the table outside of a coffee shop in Riverside, CA. Police doesn’t think it was a hate crime.

A Deaf lesbian couple in CA got severely beaten with baseball bat by someone—a hearing person who doesn’t like them as Deaf and hated sign language and as lovers. Hate crime? Nope! Why?

Seven days ago or a week ago in January 2019, a hearing gay couple in TX were severely beaten by baseball bat. The attacker was hearing. Why? Think about it. Hate crime? Yes! Why not?

Spring 2018. Two gay men who are American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters in Washington, DC got attacked last April because of their sexual orientation. Hate crime? It was said to be possible.

See the point? Hearing people who experienced hate crime more—As for Deaf survivors of hate crime, “too bad and live with consequences” attitude.

I could go on more, but the whole point is there are many unreported hate crimes against Deaf people is a factor because there is not enough sensitivity training about the appreciation of Deaf lives. Hate crime is the most trivialized subject when it comes to target Deaf people. Do you agree that Deaf people have been trivialized along those times in our lives? Can hearing people dare to see in the eyes of innocent Deaf people that they are also the most marginalized group?

How could the society dare to tell Deaf people who experienced hate crime even though it’s not reported to go on with lives, as it never happened? It is because it is highly publicized culture of denial and culture of fear. Hate crime teaches the society to be liars, and allows to dehumanize innocent Deaf people.

We need to remind that when hearing people calls police on Deaf people is something—a dangerous framing that could be a new norm in the future. We need to watch out for that. A ‘hate crime’ is when crimes as in ‘action’ preventing truth, that often results the most is hostile and prejudiced in a manner when being targeted, for example, “DEAF”—is very difficult to challenge.

“How often are the perpetrators of hate-crimes discovered to be self-loathing? Valued individuals do not strike out against strangers.”—Harvey Fierstein

Do you agree that Melissa Elmira Yingst and Socorro Garcia experienced hate crime? Why or why not?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

The Illusion of a Poll: Fact and Fable in Deaf Community

shutterstock_463656533.1478625714.jpg

What would it like not to live without history that reflects all of us who Deaf people are? The history of idea of creating “poll” goes back to George Gallup who defined the American information to give voters the right to democracy, and most importantly, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) gives any person has the right to seek access for information at the request including the right to poll.

Guaranteed. Deaf people have seen the Gallup Poll sharing national news with anchors talking about it on national television, there is no way to miss this. It has changed the history of American politics including our own Deaf community.

It is a poll that Deaf people have right to gather their opinions for the fact of the matter is voting that creates truth to understand the power-struggling experiences and should not hide the emotional suffering in denial, and somehow suffering and does not know it.

Remember the times where there would be a tent with pollsters asking someone to taste the hidden drink which it would be COKE or PESPI. If you are right with the chosen drink brand, you get a prize. Come on, we cannot forget that. I did that. I like Pepsi. It is a simple and democratic poll. We are created as statisticians because we have the right to vote even for a poll.

We are strong believers in polling, too. When someone Deaf writes: “Deaf Life is abusing its powerful influence in the Deaf community.” That’s far fetched.

That is a one-sided perspective and never read diverse variety of information chewing influence away, and the poll created by DEAF LIFE is simple, harmless and a human right for anyone to vote in a poll when it comes to LEAD-K and Alexander Graham Bell. Would you react differently if it was George Veditz partners up with Alexander Graham Bell? What about truth partners up with toxicity? Would it go quietly deliberate and depend on the information to create their own viewpoints in polling? Do Deaf people have right to get Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), too?

IMG_7378-1.jpeg

There is the subscription in truth for freedom of information act and Deaf community should not deal with Alexander Graham Bell getting away with the fear of having a different opinion from the rest of Deaf community like us. Within polls like this one in Deaf community, we would want to fit in society without fear and hatred from Alexander Graham Bell. That kind of thinking does not develop social justice that shows many survivors who experienced language deprivation from the biggest oppressor, Alexander Graham Bell.

That is the kind of justice that is rightfully important to all of us and we need more people like us that are courageous enough to vote in a poll to stand up against what is wrong in society we deal with every day, and it starts with us to make a better place for all of us to live safely as much as possible, and that starts with a poll that is historic enough.

It sends a wrong message with final answer: Because Deaf community continues to live in Alexander Graham Bell’s America where its American citizens gets their news from known-sided organization like AGBell filled with propaganda and disinformation which best option for a language to learn other than rejecting American Sign Language off the book to control Deaf people’s use of the powers of emotionalism to allow modes of communication like Cued Speech, Oralism, Cochlear Implants all are Alexander Graham Bell’s favorite tools that will improve English in listening and writing far skyrocket…..the very same fear in and of themselves that ASL is powerful and best choice of all languages.

It should concern all of us that we continue to ignore the facts and follow our emotions when it comes to give Alexander Graham Bell the crown like a king. What should public opinion like this poll be based on? Should it be based on forgotten experiences? What would it mean to us in the eyes of educational polling? It also abuses its powerful influence of journalism that is often not enough discussed in Deaf community.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

Rethinking ASL Justice & AGBell Colonialism

woty-justice-2018-5930-eb57eec534ce5401d7d6a7b1ae4b6f31@1x.jpg

Without question, 2018 has been emotional, heart-breaking, heart-crunching, heart-wrenching, hurt, being lied to, being deceived, confused, showing the culture of bystander, denials, and lost souls for Deaf community. Where is justice for American Sign Language (ASL)?

LEAD-K. It was never about data. It was about Alexander Graham Bell. With our help, we need to stand up for justice and stop Alexander Graham Bell patronizing Deaf people down. In fact, the word of the year for 2018 by Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice”—how fitting it is.

In New York Times by Dan Levin, writes that:‘in choosing the noun, Merriam-Webster said that it was looked up on its website 74 percent more often than in 2017’

 LEAD-K was never about justice. It was more like travesty. What is travesty? Representing in a false or distorted way and that is how Deaf community felt about being represented in a false picture that it is all right to team up with Alexander Graham Bell.

LEAD-K helped Alexander Graham Bell gain more prejudice against ASL in our Deaf community. They are allowing Alexander Graham Bell to gain access to hate and Surdophobia in Deaf schools and mainstreaming schools.

Two years after LEAD-K formed, there are two things are absolutely clear: Alexander Graham Bell’s words and actions reflect the Audism, Surdophobia, and Hate Speech that had been at the face of the LEAD-K campaign. Now Cued Speech is forming in Virginia and Illinois—and wants to spread all over America with the help of LEAD-K. It was never about data or improving literacy in reading and writing.

A coalition of activists had been spending a lot of time, energy, and passion to bring the truth about Alexander Graham Bell’s hateful ideology. There are plenty of Deaf artists who drew pictures of how Alexander Graham Bell are dangerous proves effective, with survivors of Alexander Graham Bell gaining greater understanding through their own artwork.

There are plenty of Deaf writers who took it to the streets, social media, and public, showing the truth about Alexander Graham Bell and sends a message onto the platform to distribute truth and challenging the lies that makes Deaf students “successful” with Cued Speech, listening and speaking, and cochlear implants, and the list goes on, making Alexander Graham Bell for the message.

LEAD-K claims that it would support the foundation of Deaf children, and help protect young lives from the destructive effects of Oralism, but Deaf community got fooled badly.

The educational materials would help and empower Deaf people with the facts they need to live healthy, Audism-free lives. We need to continue and stand up against Audism and Surdophobia practice and conquer the language hegemony or oppression.

Now it is time for us to spread the truth. We stand up for social justice! We stand up for ASL justice!

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

Dealing with Plantation Mentality. WHY?

Written English Transcript in the video:

 

Deafhood Foundation: A Criminal Record Shouldn’t Define Your Entire Existence

Stages+of+Deafhood+1.+Oppression+2.+Examination+3.+Liberation.jpg

Deafhood Foundation writes, Your donation will help end the economic exploitation of Deaf people, support anti-audism work, and create a society where everyone experiences full humanity and celebrates American Sign Language and Deaf culture.”

I have had been thinking about this for a while. For the last eight years, I have had invested a lot of heart and believability in Deafhood Foundation after reading Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood written by Paddy Ladd. The book arrived at my apartment in Portland, Oregon in April 2010 and I finished that book on the same day. It was mind-blowing experience. As soon as I finished that book, I remember calling up a friend who was one of certified Deafhood presenters and had brief discussion about it. I understood the magnitude of healing. That was the goal.

Two weeks after finishing that book, I was walking on Hawthorne Street in Portland, one of the famous streets, most laid-back streets, and there was a tattoo shop, and I decided to walk in and asked them to give me a tattoo, ‘Deafhood’ on my left arm where it ends up being first Deaf person to have ‘Deafhood’ in America. I was very proud of it.

Fast forward. June 2011. I was awarded with three degrees with honors. I worked very hard as Deaf returnee. I remember that day when I was released from jail in 1996, I told myself; I will never look back and make a huge difference in future. Day after day, year after year, I had no guidance, no space to call my own, or where to go. It was very difficult to deal with. I was separated from friends and Deaf community. I refused to be the scapegoat.

Couple of years later, a Deaf person informed me that the board position was open on the same day, and I immediately became interested in board position. I contacted one of the founding board members for Deafhood Foundation, and the board member said to me that I would not be welcomed on the board and I was devastated more than anything in my life all because I am a Deaf returnee. WITHOUT due process or screened—nothing just like that. Just right on spot right there. I was completely surprised and hurt, too.

It was a major discriminatory. I was surprised that the founding board member signed to me that I’d be “frustrated” and knew that it was discriminating against its own Deaf member in Deaf community. It was a huge blow. It shows that Deafhood Foundation does not support recidivism in Deaf community.

When I had to re-read the book by Paddy Ladd, I realized that the book does not support Deaf returnees either. If less than 0.00000005 percent of Deaf returnees suffering today—the truth supported by lack of awareness, the support matters, and goes a long way, How can we improve this conscious?

Think about emotional and physical impact that has gone deep enough to deal with struggles, with the capacity to think strong that has stored enough. Thought-provoking adventures. I live by reading books doing everything I can to make a living on the streets, and effectively deal with a world that most of us would never understand would never understand what it is like or known about. I often wonder about discovering the origin of life.

It will make a big impact of the overall quality of life. Can we articulate the specific needs of empowerment by building bridges to Deaf community? Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them”—that’s where it starts right there.

So, why not Deafhood Foundation supports Deaf returnees? The “philosophy” of Deafhood Foundation in the broadest sense, ignoring a barrier repertoire—stories, literacy expressions and the like—against Deaf returnees whose forms of expressions exert upon them.

prisoner-addameer.png

Where are the tears of joy—and tears of pride? Having being “incarcerated” since my early teen years, I had ever experienced a pursuit of happiness before and never thought I would have that opportunity, my young adulthood forever lost. Deaf returnees do not given a second chance as “productive contributor” to Deaf community.

Deafhood Foundation, where is the compassion and willingness about Deaf returnees to put their lives on the line for others is deeply rooted in their own struggles for being given the opportunity for redemption and for being welcomed back into society?

In Paddy’s Corner: Dr. Ladd coined the word “Deafhood” to describe positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression, and to present a framework to understand our past, work within the present, and plan for the future.”

What about the positive framework to understand Deaf returnees’ past, work with the present, and plan for the future to focus on positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression every day?

170410_r29679.jpg

Few months ago, when I attended as lone Deaf attendee for ACLU National Conference in Washington, D.C.—I saw a powerful image that says I believe a criminal record shouldn’t define your entire existence”—sadly, Deafhood Foundation does not see that way that it would always define your entire existence forever because Deaf community is small–and quickly judged by its looks and books.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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