Rethinking ASL Justice & AGBell Colonialism

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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.

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Dealing with Plantation Mentality. WHY?

Written English Transcript in the video:

 

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

 

 

 

ACLU: Hate Crime Exist in Deaf Community

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As a Deaf person who had supported American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for years had walked through ACLU’s conference 2018 in Washington, D.C. with thousands and thousands of people, after I walked through and met some coolest ACLU state chapters, and national members you’ve ever seen.

This is what it feels like when you understand your rights feel worth every minute, when the conference starts, when there is an opportunity right there. This is what it feels like when you feel empowered. In the last 22 years of being a Deaf returnee, has been shackling to a cruel and unusual punishment in the eye of United States Constitution, Eighth Amendment.

I was a Gallaudet University graduate student with full scholarship. I was expelled from Gallaudet University for my 32 years ago wrongdoing and mistake. That is when I was 12 years old kid. Just a fucking kid. 32 years ago. I was wrong what I did. Come on! How can it be in the name of truth by figuring out the solution, second-chances upon a potentially far more healthy discourse for Deaf community?

How come the cruel punishment continue to fail to meet the lowest acceptable standards of human fairness, why Deaf community in America spent decades in defending and speaking out against injustice, Audism—when is a hate crime a hate crime? When it is a crime of hate, or when the media say it is not?

And if the society are to be the arbiters of what is, or not, a hate crime, who will judge Deaf people without bias? Is Deaf community the last hope resort?

When society took the dominance over Deaf people’s turfism, the screaming pain in the early days of cruel punishment, Deaf people became the target for the society that could not escape the hate. Whether Deaf people’s traumas can ever truly overcome. The answers offer is in denial, deeply rooted in lies and empty my heart out. The name of truth will ever be seen.

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There are two important amendments to the United States Constitution that help to explain the rights of Deaf community.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Here is the breakdown: freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom to petition.

The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; or shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal when accused of wrongdoing. Due process means the Gallaudet University cannot give you a serious punishment, like suspension or expulsion, without first having followed fair procedures to determine if you are guilty.

If you are found guilty of something, the punishment cannot be more serious than the misconduct was. If Gallaudet chooses to punish you, it must punish all others the same. I continue to “speak up, speak out!” Gallaudet needs change now. Be bold, be changed, and be heard!

In Gallaudet University, most of the people around are totally unaware that there is any problem at Gallaudet University. Talk about it more! Get other interested and concerned for the Deaf in their struggle for social justice. One day to complete my dream to give lecture for ACLU about hate crimes in Deaf community.

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Art: Understanding Hate Crimes Through Deaf Eyes

 

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I was invited to give a lecture at Gallaudet University on April 9, 2018. My lecture, Public Art: Understanding Hate Crimes Through Deaf EyesI was thankful for giving me the opportunity.

The lecture was about the sighting of invisible hate crimes through public art and the need to understand the concept of community accountability to challenge hate crime through art world. The sight of hate and the surge of denial and struggles that spreads through the Deaf community can be painful to behold. I strongly believe in social justice that promotes the critical examination and higher learning we all should join hands and stand against hate.

My past lectures from DC to California to Oregon to Canada to New York and many more:

Journey Through Hate Exploring the Survivorship of the Deaf

For Your Eyes Only: Hate Crime is Real in Deaf Community

Change the World: The Meaning of Social Justice for Deaf Returning Citizens

Deaf Returning Citizens as Forgotten People

Composition in Values: The Art and Deaf Studies of Leonardo da Vinci

Audism Theory: Racism and the Hidden Meaning

The Faces of Audism

Hate Crimes in the Deaf Community

And more.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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