Nyle DiMarco: Do Deaf People Have a Disability?

 

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Today, December 3, 2019: International Day of Disabled Persons. 

When my state of being Deaf had been taught all my life, being told, and being controlled by the medical model of disability, I refuse to live in the negativity bias. Being Deaf is no longer viewed as a disability. What is negativity bias?

It was known as negativity effect (1), also known as the negativity effect, is the notion that, even when of equal intensity, things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than neutral or positive things. (2,3,4)

Do you tend to dwell on bad memories and experiences? It may be due to the negativity bias, because being colonized and taught that Deaf people are disabled.

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The Deaf community is powerful in the human psyche. Indeed, at this level of humanity, would the Deaf community understand the painful history of what the term “disability” define Deaf people? Have the Medical Model of Disability had caused enough destruction in the Deaf community?

‘Do Deaf People Have a Disability?‘ published by Harlan Lane:

“A disability is a limitation of function because of an impairment. Deaf people are limited in some functions because of an impairment of hearing. Therefore, Deaf people have a disability.” (5)

We already know that Deaf people who embody rather healthy traits of higher learning, the pursuit of happiness, and respect, but sadly, though, they are often being colonized by the disability model. Consider the plight of the oppressed of today. Lane writes in, Constructions of Deafness:

“As a social problem, deafness can be variously construed. Each of the primary constructions of deafness today – disability and linguistic minority – has its archetypes but most deaf children match neither of them.” (6)

Why must Deaf people come under a disability label, despite the vast differences, would the Deaf community stop being labeled by the disability model, would they do so with a commitment to developing a healthy task to overcome indifference, a show of human compassion, that plagues the Deaf community?

Nyle DiMarco writes:

“My Deaf identity is not an obstacle but an advantage — an asset.”

But….the confusion……the disability model has been taking advantage of the Deaf community as an asset and live in negativity effect.

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And, I learned that Nyle DiMarco and his twin brother are on a panel about disability inclusion sponsored by the World Bank at this hour. Will Nyle tell the world that being Deaf is not part of disability? I doubt so.

Will Nyle tell the world about The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public? I doubt so. Because Nyle thinks disability is a positivity effect. The opposite of the negativity effect. Does that mean Nyle DiMarco is also being colonized, too?

According to Paddy Ladd, Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood:

“The culturolinguistic model thus leads to the situating of Deaf community experiences within the rubric of colonialism. Although most people conceive colonialism as formed around economic power visited upon cultures less able to defend themselves, there is undeniably a case to be made for the concept of linguistic colonialism, and it is this which provides a bridge across which discourses between signing and other colonised communities can begin.” (7)

We must always remind ourselves as well as all others how our Declaration of Independence makes our country different from any other nation around the world. The Declaration proclaims that we have inalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Finally, Harlan Lane writes in the same book above:

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

REFERENCES:

(1) Kanouse, D. E., & Hanson, L. (1972). Negativity in evaluations. In E. E. Jones, D. E. Kanouse, S. Valins, H. H. Kelley, R. E. Nisbett, & B. Weiner (Eds.), Attribution: Perceiving the causes of behavior. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.

(2)  Baumeister, Roy F.; Finkenauer, Catrin; Vohs, Kathleen D. (2001). “Bad is stronger than good” (PDF). Review of General Psychology. 5 (4): 323–370.

(3) Lewicka, Maria; Czapinski, Janusz; Peeters, Guido (1992). “Positive-negative asymmetry or “When the heart needs a reason””. European Journal of Social Psychology. 22 (5): 425–434

(4) Rozin, Paul; Royzman, Edward B. (2001). “Negativity bias, negativity dominance, and contagion”. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 5 (4): 296–320.

(5) Lane, Harlan L. “Do Deaf People Have a Disability?” Sign Language Studies, vol. 2 no. 4, 2002, p. 356-379. Project MUSE

(6) Lane, Harlan L. (1995) Constructions of Deafness, Disability & Society, 10:2, 171-190

(7) Ladd, Paddy (2003) Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood, 17.

 

 

Deaf Community: Hate Crime as a Social Problem

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“History, despite it’s wrenching pain, cannot be unlived/But if faced with courage need not be lived again.”- Maya Angelo

From the local to the global, debates over hate crimes in Deaf community-what they are and what we should do about them–are all around us. A close examination of these debates reveals that hate crimes are not simply academic challenges, but social, political, economic, and even Deaf culture, as well. Perhaps nowhere is this complexity more evident than in current discussions over the meaning and practice of “hate crimes”.

Hate crime as a broad introduction to the interdisciplinary field of sociology and society interactions. We need to adopt a sociological lens to consider the causes, consequences, and responses to hate crimes–from global worries over political and legal change to local controversies over educational use and development. In my work, I will not be focusing on the political dimensions of issues per se.

Rather, I will examine how different social structures, processes and belief systems shape how hate crimes in Deaf community arise and get defined; how Deaf community experience and respond to these challenges; and how policy debates over what to do about them unfold. For decades and decades, hate crimes have used what they call “active measures” to destabilize Deaf community today and tomorrow.

We need to turn those tools to defeat them, through in that process that for example, Alexander Graham Bell (AGBell) Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing actually violated plenty of federal laws when they target Deaf community. It is rule number one of the hate crime: they will be caught.

AGBell is something that we have been for many years. Why do we want to claim our intellectual life? Well, let’s look at hate crime dimensions that we suffer from. We looked our across the educational landscape and saw this oppression practice and thought, “OK, what about American Sign Language (ASL) today?” a broad number of AGBell followers would say, “You know, let’s demonize them for the fuck of it” and this comment does explicitly refer to oppress Deaf people as in hate crimes. Serious.

It does because AGBell will expect money and lies with immediate solution. Deaf people and my name will be in it–what I care the most is if Deaf people had experienced hate crimes even when they do not know that they actually experience hate crime, then Deaf people will be always oppressed, too. You know, today is the day after AGBell’s death in 1922, he may be forgotten but at the same time, he must not be forgotten for what he had done.

After all, That is how AGBell as a narcissist think. He was basically defective in the brain. Broken.

Deaf people will be always target for academic freedom–ASL and the state of being Deaf. It is a branch of human ignorance. What should we make of it? Can Deaf people point to a greater language hegemony than we experience hate crimes? Is the difference between ASL and hate crimes just a matter of what AGBell or any particular group of human beings says it is? Soon, you will see something powerful….

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Gallaudet Wrote Star Wars: Jedi Bell Return

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A long time ago in galaxy far, far away…

There is a secret document that has been sealed inside Gallaudet University so deep enough to bury the hatchet—it is like the Federal Bank of New York on the behalf of Federal Reserve System. They hold the gold in there—they act as the guardian and custodian of the gold on behalf of account holders, which include to U.S. government—official organizations.

Gallaudet University is a property of U.S. government and home to many official organizations. Therefore, Gallaudet is home to Alexander Graham Bell Association, an official organization. AGB acts as the guardian and custodian of the Deaf oppression. Have you ever seen a Gallaudet president talk about Racism front of the world before our eyes before? How many Gallaudet presidents combined in total before Bobbi Cordano? I am not talking about text messages, but I am talking about a real-time video—the mother of Truth. That is the first time ever what a Gallaudet-elect president said that. That is history in the making, folks!

This is but one truly social problem, and that is educational ignorance. Whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or 12 categories, games are to be played. Racism does not including stories, one must first answer! Gallaudet University was built in 1864 for Deaf people first like Tatoonie with the picture above—where it had begun for Deaf people first. Same concept.

Alexander Graham Bell once said, “When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” Have you ever seen a picture of Alexander Graham Bell and a Black Deaf student together anywhere? No pictures can be found. It is important to know that Bell did write a memo (letter-alike) to Francis Galton in Britain who coined Eugenics informing him that AGB follows Galton’s philosophy then becomes a honorary president of the Second International Congress of Eugenics a year before his death. People look up to AGB as Jedi of Deaf people—the problem, Jedi was supposed to be good people.

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Darth Vader was a Jedi before the Dark Side took over his life—and AGB went into Dark Side and fooled many people including Deaf people.

Eugenics influences Racism—a learned behavior in higher education. Galton then writes a letter in return on his paper, “Hereditary Deafness” on his review of Bell’s Upon the formation of a deaf variety of the human race in a 1885 magazine—Review in Nature, Vol: 31, Pages 269-70. The opening paragraph:

The startling title of Mr. Graham Bell’s admirable memoir is fully justified by its contents. 

Finally, in late 2015, President-elect Bobbi Cordano shares her greatest concerns after being invited to be part of town hall by Black Student Union listening to stories about oppression, internalized oppression at best. Bobbi would like to stop Racism and systematic discrimination as long as Alexander Graham Bell’s name is out of the Gallaudet campus. AGB’s systematic discrimination practices Audism, the favorite cousin of Racism. The quote by AGB makes a perfect example why Gallaudet has ignored Racism for so long by allowing that happening inside the door being closed and opens to Racism any time they welcome so regretfully upon the door that white supremacy still practices at Gallaudet. Is that why they do not want us to see the ones, which open for us?

Now I can broach the notion of intellectual oppression at Gallaudet University. There is a real change. It has already felt what solution might be given. At this point the problem is reversed. It was previously questioned of finding out whether or not Racism appears a problem. It now becomes clear, on the contrary, that Racism is or not. Watching the campus unrest at Gallaudet University, a particular fact, is acknowledging it fully. Now, no one will live in this fact, not recognizing it to be important, unless AGB goes away.

It is not just about color skin, but it has a lot of codes in language racism and multicultural competence. For example, a provost would say, “I AM GALLAUDET! I AM GALLAUDET! I AM GALLAUDET!” using political power on a Deaf student in a private meeting is considered Racism. There is a star out in the far galaxy that actually named after Deaf person.

No kidding! His name is Oliver Heaviside, an electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist from 1850s from England. He invented several mathematical techniques to seek for the solution of differential equations and coined Electromagnetic eight terms. Deaf people do not need to suffer anymore and throw Jedi Bell into the Death Star for once and all. Bell is a death star to Deaf people’s Star Wars. Darth Vader would fry Bell like Vader did to Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, who planned to overthrow the Republic and the Jedi Order from with.

Being an ally to people of color in the struggle to end racism is one of the most important things that Gallaudet University needs to do that. Can there at least healthy way to be an ally? Racism needs to be overthrown out of Gallaudet University and the Jedi Order of Alexander Graham Bell. Why return again and again?

A wise Jedi once warned, “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

Hate crimes and speech does exist on the campus. A lot of Deaf people had been suffering.  Thank you, Master Yoda! That would become of healthy Gallaudet!

May the Force be with you!

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-JT

Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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

My Personal Struggles in Mainstreaming America

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After reading an article about Fausto Delgado, a Deaf mainstreamed kid who decided to take his life two weeks ago in California, and it hit me hard by bringing my memories back.

News flash: I never shared this with anyone but only two good friends know about it. When I was 14, I was so fed up with my life, I was a very unhappy individual, unable to express my own frustrations through sign language, and no one could really understood what I was going through. I grew up mainstreamed all my life and I could easily vouch that it was one of the most brutal experiences in my life.

One weekend in late April a long time ago, for example, I went inside the barn on my family’s property, I saw an opportunity by putting the rope on the beam around my neck, so I could commit suicide until my grandfather was walking up to the barn, I hid the rope right away and acted like nothing had happened. I could even remember my grandfather’s face, looking bit puzzled, and he asked me what I was doing there. Only that he did not know sign language. Home-signed “nothing” by shaking my head.

No one knew about this until now. That was in 1988, few weeks after Deaf President Now (DPN).

Why is it being labeled as the most misgiving in human life that being Deaf in mainstreaming is not normal? I had been subjected to limit ASL from being natural Deaf. My “sound-oriented” teachers, school administration, principals even most of my interpreters were deficit thinkers. I had one interpreter who was a Child of Deaf Adult (CODA) and she tried to help me so much she could then one day she moved away. I never knew what CODA meant until I was in my late 20’s. I can still remember my middle school principal, Mr. Hicks who was a mean-spirited bully, and he had one of the worst and poor flexibilities within Deaf Education that made my education to suffer. He allowed students to bully me as much as they could.

Mr. Hicks made sure that I was suffering from my own emotional insecurity and destroy my intellectual development within receiving fair education. From going through K-12, I was the target of bullies at the same time; I was suspended from school 18 times just for protecting myself. There were many stories to share.

Once, when I was in the third grade, I disobeyed an order from my interpreter “X” telling me to slow down because she did not like the fact that I was good in solving fractions so quickly in front of the other students making her look bad. But I was natural in mathematics then she actually slapped my face in the hallway and dragged my hand to go see my principal, Mrs. Gloria Pappas and I cried so hard asking, “WHY?! WHY?! WHY?!” and I ended up in detention for two days. My father never knew about this. When I was 17, I had a chance to visit Deaf school; I admit that I was shocked. I really wanted to go there, but I did not.

The mainstreaming system failed to release itself from the grasp of the bullying methods by permitting them to have as much influence in “power-struggling” Deaf students down in their faces. Once the bullying is granted to a fair and constant price more people will choose between bullying and intimidation. More Deaf students will have to suffer with their afflictions for lack of being to protect themselves, and lastly, more bullies will be able to find a way to belittle Deaf students that they are deemed to impossible to fight back. Mainstreaming schools for Deaf students will realize that the words of those bullies do apply to school administration and their families.

The Deaf body can be resilient but also frail and fallible and they are people, too. The mainstreaming is a dark pot into which activities that relates to many Deaf mainstreamed kids being bullied everyday. It is time to minimize aggression, bullying, threats, and distress. Why being hesitant by supporting bullying against Deaf kids that now are deeming to be ineffective?

It is evident that Deaf children in mainstreaming schools experience higher percentage of emotional abuses more than hearing peers. The safe haven in classrooms does not exist at all. The mainstreaming schools fails to make a cardinal decision by protecting Deaf students with public safety efforts and grant them freedom and protections. The problem is that the society is too ignorant. Will mainstreamed Deaf kids ever rehabilitate from emotional scars? Maybe. Maybe not.

One of my favorite authors, Barbara Perry wrote,

This historical example is a reminder that acts of discriminatory violence and intimidation—hate crimes—are not new phenomena in the United States. It is important to keep in mind that what we currently refer to as hate crime has a long historical lineage; the contemporary dynamics of hate-motivated violence have their origins in historical conditions. With respect to racial violence, at least, history does repeat itself, as similar patterns of motivation, sentiment, and victimization recur over time….”

It matches perfectly what mainstreamed Deaf kids experience discriminatory violence and intimidation—intellectual Audism. History does repeat itself…..

Remember that CODA interpreter I mentioned? Well, I bumped into her in Las Vegas in summer 2012 during World Deaf Expo, it was very nice to see her after 20 years and she said that I grew up so much and knowing I had very rough life and she said that she really wished she could have helped me out more to escape from dark rooms in mainstreaming schools. It was heartbreaking to see her say that. Maybe I could have better life. The society failed me. The mainstreaming system failed me. Even today they are still trying to make me a failure. The million-dollar question, what is the effect of dehumanizing Deaf students in mainstream classrooms?

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Third grade. Front row. Fourth person on the right with black watch (That is me) See first three boys in the very back on the left side. Bullies. In the second row, second person on the left, a boy who loved to taunt me. Years later we bumped into each other in high school at a wrestling tournament where we faced each other on the mat. Guess who won? By a majority score. Good times.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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