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Tag Archives: Society

A Change of Heart in Deaf Community

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Yale Law School. 2014. 

It does not matter if Deaf returned citizen deserves a second chance in life. They focus on being good citizens and neighbors or yours and mine. The term “returned citizen” in the way the society is always in the ‘current tense’ and not the ‘past tense’—why is that? The answer lies in the greatest assumptions that formed in the rumor-mill community—Deaf community. That is to be said that it is trash in—-trash out. The society is a myth and bullshit had more weight than facts and forgotten stories on Deaf returned citizens.

Remember the old days in 1950s and 1960s, East Germany, a very highly police state—that was enforced into strict laws and codes for its citizens to follow such as early curfew, neighbors were actually forced to spy on one another, prohibition on foreign travel even free political speech was something that would get you killed. Back in that time, East Germany’s criminal justice system would get people killed even if they’re innocent or even for minor crimes as kids.

That is the old dilemma of the balance between dealing and understanding freedom and at the same time, minimizing crime. It is very difficult to understand this. Of course, I completely understand that in a society that a freedom is maximized. Deaf returned citizens are free to do good things. I’ve paid my debt to the society as a young and lost kid 31 years ago, and that is what a self-healing society is all about.

Of course, it is very difficult to understand that a free and healthy society that would forgive people who had committed a bad act. I know the feeling. I really do! Imagine a self-healing society that teaches freedom—for everyone, including Deaf returned citizens, at the same time, think about the self-healing society that has been interrupted by rumormongers—again at the same time, I deserve to resume a life of freedom.

I believe in the full circle of healing to occur anytime, anywhere. It is the forgiveness that is the missing component here in America with respect to help healing the wounds in the society. Do Deaf Americans do can better than to treat Deaf returned citizens with contempt and hate? It is about the matter of healthy society. Can we show the world that we are committed to understand Deaf returned citizens’ struggling stories where they are often ignored and rejected from the society?

-JT 

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

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My Personal Struggles in Mainstreaming America

ImageNancy Rourke’s System Fails

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.

My New Deafhood Journey: Gallaudet University

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When I first visited Gallaudet in 2010, it was one of my life’s highlights on my journey. After reading many Deaf books and watching educational vLOGS has become significant as it highlights the process of shaping my individual identity as the state of being Deaf.

Gallaudet is about to carry on my next journey of the Deafhood which will carry the depths of subjugation. I hope to see my individual restraint, self-improvement, and model citizenship to expand. Gallaudet will be the allegory of my Deaf experience, first as the state of being Deaf, and finally the citizen of the Deaf world. I hope to see some tone of my personal initial rebellions, then one of authorities suggesting that our Deaf community need to return to its very type of institution as it is originally revolutionized in order to survive as a Deaf world.

Yes, there are Audists out there if anybody who is deliberately and deceptively destroying us Deaf people by omitting American Sign Language (ASL) and his or her desire to contain, through language, disruptive powers that would threaten a restoration of social and political order. I shall continue my Deafhood journey to which I have grown accustomed in many ways. The process of Deafhood journey has reinforced my ownership of my life as well as relegated myself back into the sphere of society. I will make an attempt to protest at those people who try to destroy me and make me behave like hearing people.

Renaming in my journey can also be seen as a necessary part of strategy of hearing colonialism. Justification of hearing colonialism demanded a suspicious vantage point of Deaf people as heathen and immoral, and imparting this consciousness into the minds of enslaved. I hope to see more strength in my cultural roots. In essence, renaming ultimately functioned to reject our Deaf culture is wrong. Our initial resistance by hearing colonialism is paramount testament to the level of forced assimilation as byproduct of hearing colonialism.

Gallaudet has many stories of colonialism against Deaf people around the world. Now I am about restoring political and social order. We need to understand that the ASL is the key in social order so controlling that the language could restore calm in tides. The Milan Resolution has since overthrown Deaf institutions and now needs to concern itself in the matter of forming their own. Finally, Gallaudet is about comprehensive system of relationships, values, symbolism and order which must be assimilated in order to become an individual and self-expressive, and the Deaf colonies need to restore comprehensive system in order to become a sovereign and develop a new social and political order. Individual and national autonomy is the effect of language. I am excited to begin my Gallaudet journey.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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

Deaf Stories Wanted

ImageWe need to collect stories in ASL to study socialization as well as the production of Deafhood. We need to illuminate how Deaf stories “depoliticizes” between each other from long-term conditioning and not the dynamics of Audism to define human socialization as the process in which Deaf people learn how to carry themselves both mentally and physically in accordance with societal expectations. They learn what hearing people are supposed to do and what Deaf people are not supposed to do through four domains: their families, schools, friends, and the media.

FAMILIES:

Through parents, infants, and toddlers obtain “listening and speaking” lessons via activities that they are enrolled in and direct instruction. ASL is the direct instruction of all languages. For example, many Deaf babies who does not learn ASL are more likely to be language delay with no guidance. Once the babies learn ASL throughout their developmental period, they begin to identity with ASL and the state of being Deaf are more likely to grow strong identity. This influence is significant because many Deaf children develop strong Deafhood identities right there. It will become their role expectations and promote and cultivate with their parents and themselves into personhood.

SCHOOLS:

We need to bring more stories and to discuss ASL/Audism as if they affect Deaf people and policies as well as practices which has governed their education. The purpose in this article is to discuss what constitutes “deficit thinking” and contrast it with the prevalent Oralism approach to Audism which patterns other governmental policies in its “denial of the Deaf”–

FRIENDS:

The stories are our biggest assets in these domains fostering the world in which Deaf people are not equal in income, prestige, power and life changes in the society. The stories need to take a biological and historical look at whether or not Deaf people are not sufficient to suit to be intelligent as hearing people are. The 1880 Milan Resolution, for the last 133 years, Deaf people has been the part of “developing oppressed societies”, and it has caused Deaf people to live as demanded by a hearing society  in order to survive.

MEDIA:

The account of travesties against many Deaf people in social media indicates that Audism is alive and well in its policy. Why does Audism prevail? Let’s look at the Deaf perception of observance of natural law, which higher than any human law, and governs how people view their interactions with other people, animals and plants on the mother Earth. In contrast, the politics of Audism has created thinking based on timelines and progression, and progression cannot happen without accumulation and consumption.

These values creates many things that are included sustainable living and reciprocity to all other living organisms. Balance, reciprocity, and cyclical thinking (all thinks natural are cyclical–moons, seasons, bodies, people, and time) and create a philosophy of knowing that Deaf people exist on a cyclical continuum, and what you do now will affect you in the future. In accordance, you do not take without giving and you take only what you need and leave the rest. Deafhood is built on these tenants, collected through hundreds of years of observation and practice and intimate knowledge of their Deaf stories and their roles as careful students and caretakers.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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