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.

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.

 

Fear-Rejection Thoughts Is Not Love

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We do not need fear-rejecting thoughts in Deaf community. If bystanders cannot find anything to recognize bullying, then they have committed a crime. Suicide is a tragic response to bullying. The problem is that it is very rarely discussed in Deaf community.

I am writing about Deaf returning citizens. They could easily take their lives away. Would it be a criminal act if Deaf returning citizens take their own lives if they are severely bullied daily in same Deaf community they live and breathe in? Deaf community loves to bully and would make up rumors that make it look true. Can Deaf community accept the fact that the suicides are the evidence of BIGGER problems than being bullied?

The fear-rejecting about Deaf returning citizens is a huge problem. The bullies would cruelly exploit that social prejudice, and got away with it. There are three important factors that we all need to know and be aware about it.

Number One: Oppression

Number Two: Dehumanization

Number Three: Exploitation

Remember the book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire? He once wrote about dehumanization in 1981:

Dehumanization, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though in a different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human….Th[e] struggle [for humanization] is possible only because dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed.”

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Deaf returning citizens have been subject of the oppressed. When bullies are not punished, did they also harm themselves that they intend to do? If a bully crosses the line between hate speech, invasion of privacy, or harassment, is it OK for the bully to harass Deaf returning citizens daily? There are many ways to address bullying, harassment, hate speech, death threats, and stalking.

In Deaf community, it is an international problem. Can we have conversation about the importance of educating love instead of hate? The importance of civility and respect would be more effective tool for Deaf community to heal.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Can We Stop Hate in Progress?

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Charlottesville, Virginia. The site of Heather Heyer. October 2017.

There has been a recent funded-study by federal guidelines, 450 human bodies that has been killed by the far right since 1990—the same year where Hate Crime Statistics Act has signed by President George H.W. Bush. That we must never forget.

Last October 2017, I visited Charlottesville, Virginia where ALT-Right movements killed Heather Heyer last August; the white supremacy must be brought up to have it rejected for the sake of humanity. I am all support to stop hate. We do not need white supremacy running our streets anymore. Not in my space. Do we have time to hate? Just yesterday, 13th of November, it was World Kindness Day. That we must never forget.

I remember in 1988 as a 14 years old kid, there was huge news about the murder of Mulugeta Seraw in Portland in the hands of skinheads, with hate ties to bad-ass white supremacy group. I was visiting my mother in Northeast Portland that time. I remember that day very well. I’ve really wished to keep that newspaper. In fact, it had happened on November 13th as well. It has hit Portland very hard.

Portland was put on an international spotlight on a map all because of this. Portland Trail Blazers might had won NBA championship in 1977. But, this one is 849,325 times bigger news than NBA championship. After Seraw’s death, Portland is not the same. Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) became the face of kindness. Morris Dees, the lead counsel for SPLC won the case in Portland. Talk about World Kindness Day! It will be always in my memory. It is a powerful trait. That we never forget.

When my hate crime professor talked about Mulugeta Seraw in a classroom in 2007, memories brought up. It was painful but at the same time, we need to remind that we must tolerate against any form of hate. It has opened my eyes to the endless of ideas and responsibilities to talk and write more about hate crime. It is part of my civic duty. We also need to bring up and discuss about hate groups and of course, far right and alt-right.

I am in solidarity with people of color, Muslims, Native Americans, and Deaf people where Trump’s support of white supremacy and its hate groups have in the tide wave of hate crimes. Recently with couple of hours ago, FBI announced that its hate crime report for 2016 has brought up with bad news that for second straight year of increasing—the first time it has actually happened in a decade. We were getting better until Trump showed up in the name of hate. Do we even realize that a decade is long time to heal from pain? We were just getting better. That we never forget.

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The total of hate crimes for 2016:

6,121 incidents. Ouch.

Stop FAR RIGHT and ALT-RIGHT. We do not need another Charlottesville. Anywhere. That is why we need to remind how to teach love, not hate. That we never forget. Let’s embrace social justice! Be sure to read the references below.

The wicked envy and hate; it is their way of admiring“-Victor Hugo

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://theconversation.com/threats-of-violent-islamist-and-far-right-extremism-what-does-the-research-say-72781

https://www.splcenter.org/news/2017/11/13/hate-crimes-rise-second-straight-year-anti-muslim-violence-soars-amid-president-trumps

https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2016/topic-pages/incidentsandoffenses

 

 

How to Stop the Avalanche of Hate

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I would like to express something off my mind for couple of minutes. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve received ugly postings about me from my own Deaf community. I am aware that I had been dealing with hate to make sure I disappear off the Mother planet. I come to understand the dangers of hate mongers than ever. Times I would be warned not to write about my experience as a returning citizen. This could not be further from the truth. If you have hard time reading the print in the picture on the left, I apologize for sloppy marker.

The questions I wrote down: Do we believe that youth who make horrible mistakes deserve second chances? Do we believe youth can develop character beyond their crimes?

I believe in resistance and challenge against hate, as a means of survival and hope. I did not create hate in the first place. You did. For 21 years, there are people had been threatening me and put me in human exile. That sucks because I had been working hard to change my life around. I refuse to live in someone else’s shadow.

For the haters out there, please understand this—TAUNTS just does not work. I do not need shame and disrespect, shows that hate STILL kills’ people and corrupt systems. However, I’ve reached the underlying reasons for the resistance and I believe in second chances. Sadly, due to institutional and societal barriers, once I entered back into community, there were challenges of employment, housing, and help for support and I’ve faced hardships where I had to deal with mental and physical abuses for telling truth.

Gandhi writes,

Many people, especially, ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still there.”

My journey as Deaf returning citizen as indirectly described, has been carried around with the educational champions of the Sociology world I fell in love with, and found my Deafhood identity. The hardships are claimed. Deaf Studies are claimed. It is a new birth: the “origin” of my stories. All the hard work of building self-confidence, all the bulwark in the face of hate that is often subtle, yet no less compassion, than hate in the community. I remind myself to live constantly in George Orwell’s “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations.”

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When I see this photo the other day, I see it as a metaphor for the intellectual decline of American people to understand stories.

Hate is virtually deserted, devoid of human life; surrounded millions of old souls, the stories will be unthinkable. Is hate an unforgiving society? Does that mean it also allows deficit thinking to build more fear? Even a single story of a Deaf returning citizen can change the world. Will we accept the fact that hate is a painstakingly back-up human error? Are Deaf returning citizens even part of Deaf Studies?

I just wanted you to know that I stand strong. Sure, I can be hard on myself for my imperfections and mistakes even my failures and I am aware of the haters who are obsessed with me as a Deaf returning citizen and try to pull my life down. I’m tired of crab theory. I am tired of rumor-mongers. The last words of this blog when I would like to say that I deal with hate a lot, I do not hide my face under a mask or nothing. Here is the thing: More and more people criticize it, but most likely shift the blame for who is responsible.

Last October 2015, I was invited to give a lecture for CSUN Social Justice conference sponsored by Deaf Studies Association, I felt very good what I’ve contributed back to the community. That matters the most to me.

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I continue to complete my ultimate goals. I will not be intimidated. Let’s remind ourselves this month of October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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