FLASH NEWS: Islamophobia at Gallaudet University

A Deaf Muslim student at Gallaudet University is being threatened in the hands of white silence.

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Ted Baran: A Calumny of His Duty

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I would like to bring this message that Ted Baran, so-called Chief for Department of Public Safety (DPS) at Gallaudet University is still keeping his job even with his bullying tactics, and it does not make sense why he’s still the Chief for “PUBLIC SAFETY”—time for Ted Baran to be replaced with someone who is more understanding. No white supremacist ties.

“We want to make it very clear that we do not tolerate any form of hatred nor oppression. We believe that hatred and oppression have no place in Washington DC, especially on the campus. We aim to establish a safe space for all students to learn and grow within the city and campus.” You know what Ted say? EXCELLENT MESSAGE! Practice what Ted preaches—-remember that forever. Unbelievable.

I was forced by Ted to stand up front of classroom explaining why I was in jail —details must be explained—every day. Not just classrooms, but everywhere I walk around Gallaudet, I must explain why and if I do not explain what I was told, I would face expulsion from Gallaudet for good. It was actually a hate crime. It was never a safe space for me as a student to learn and grow within the campus. I never experienced so harsh like this in my life. I was never given a due process that I wanted to challenge Ted Baran.

Even today, I still deal with the effects of trauma on a continual basis. I guess one of the worst consequences of being attacked, murdered, bullied, and thrown at, should I walk around the campus with a label on my forehead. Yet, “we do not tolerate any form of hatred nor oppression” is the biggest insult to my intelligence and my journey to be better person. When I accepted into graduate school, I cried of joy. I cried because I thought there was a hope that I would get better.

When Baran was sharing his experience why he became a police officer through Registry of Interpreters for Deaf (RID) interview knowing that Deaf kids need help—it was unbelievable. I wonder those Deaf kids would feel trusted around Baran.

I was 12 years old KID asking for help. I was the ONE who asked for HELP. I cried! I cried! I cried! Columbia River Mental Health did not report this. State of Washington failed to report this. I was RAPED when I was ten years old. It was Spring 1983.

How? My female babysitter ordered me to take my clothes off in bathroom. She touched my penis. She put a wood stick up my ass and rough up couple of times. She got away with it. I could not understand. Did I understand it was wrong thing to do? I was naïve. I was clueless. I was powerless. It was perfectly normal. No one wanted to hear my stories. If I share my stories, I’d get threats. Hearing privileges at best.

Today, I still cry. I suffer more. I hurt deeply more. There are times I feel like giving up. There are times I feel like worthless. My life is very complicated—people throwing at me to live in the past over and over. It makes a trip for suicide attempts.

I really thought Gallaudet University would be very committed to provide a learning environment that is both safe and rigorous, one that empowers students the most, treating with the utmost respect and create a safe environment where students feels more empowered to learn with opportunities to reach their full potential as informed and knowledgeable students. Also, isn’t Gallaudet University supposed to be about learning, teaching, and make new meaning in anyone’s intellectual life?

Would I have encountered the same amount of ridicule, exclusion, and abuse at Gallaudet? Probably. Would I still have some of my self-esteem and self-image issues? I do not know. I write this post just to relate my experiences that I am still ostracized today and tomorrow until my life expired at final breath. I work extremely hard to change my life around. I had turned my back on the past I no longer wished to be part of.

I just cannot understand why Baran still keeps his job. Privileges. What affirmative steps that Gallaudet University claims that they advocate for oppressed minorities within in the Deaf population. That hurts the most. The fact that the law exists in the first place is the real problem. Any law that gives people freedom to kill others even if they provoked a fight is a flawed one, with such a perverse history of hatred and discrimination.

That is why we need to talk about institutionalized hatred and the subtle ways that Deaf returnee’s experiences impact our thoughts, our society, and our institutions including Gallaudet University. Supposedly, if Ted Baran murders me in real life, the jury’s verdict would be consistent with the law and Baran because he is Chief for Department of Public Safety. Unfortunately, the law is disgusting. Ted Baran is probably laughing when he reads this post because he thinks he’s untouchable. This guy is full of hatred.

One more time.

“We want to make it very clear that we do not tolerate any form of hatred nor oppression. We believe that hatred and oppression have no place in Washington DC, especially on the campus. We aim to establish a safe space for all students to learn and grow within the city and campus.”

You know what Ted say? EXCELLENT MESSAGE!

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Encouraging Suicide at Gallaudet University

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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

My name is Jason “JT” Tozier. I am a survivor of “encouraging” towards suicide tendencies by Gallaudet University because of my status as Deaf returnee. I thank you for your honest leadership, and commit to human healing to continue and share awareness about suicide prevention.

I am even more heart-broken that Gallaudet University is hosting Out of the Darkness Campus Walk sponsored by Gallaudet University, Office of Student Affairs and Academic Support and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention on Thursday, April 5th, 2018.

I was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. I was forced to explain why I was jailed 21 years ago front of my graduate cohort and faculty members every time I enter into classroom setting up for suicidal tendencies. Silence hurts. If I do not explain why, then I would face harsh punishment. Possibly expelled from Gallaudet University.

This is not because of oppression and bullying or even lack of trust; instead, the meeting I was in 2014 was one of the most oppressive meetings in my life, such of them do not acknowledge that they were bystanders because they do not think they were. Therefore, it is not enough to ask an individual whether he was oppressed from oppressors.

Society can reinforce the oppressor’s self-blame in several ways. When shaming and humiliation is discovered on Gallaudet campus, the oppressed is often removed from the truth. People who experienced severe oppression often tell the truth from experience.

The bullying allows even by Gallaudet University who would argue that shaming, bullying, and humiliation has nothing to do with their behavior, I am merely the most convenient target; I became powerless. Which explanation is more comforting to Deaf returnee?

Gallaudet University choose to stay in silence is a reversal of roles and identities. Here’s my story: Don’t know if I have really conveyed how hard it has been for me all these years, how I really struggle in there through lots of depression, sometimes no sleep, I would struggle more, some days I’ve dealt with crossing between honest concern, and learning.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, I hope you would hear my story. I have more to share. Just like this one, “Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”—Sue Monk Kidd.

I actually died for ten minutes. I’m back from death and ready to share more stories. I guess my sensitivity has become stronger, deeper, and smarter. Gallaudet University was not honest about it. How can we prevent another suicide if Gallaudet University was not honest about it? Is there a Mask of Benevolence there?

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-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Dwight Benedict: Stop the Practice of Discrimination, Shaming, and Cruel Punishment

Dwight Benedict’s Smirk

 

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It has been really difficult day for me because a year ago today, I was clinically dead for ten minutes on the campus of the world’s famous university for Deaf people, Gallaudet University. In the same room where Dwight Benedict was in, he was walking down the aisle with a smirk because he had the hatred towards me—it was really difficult for me to think that way. How can I forget that? It is impossible to forget something like this.

My story must be seen, written, and examined. I grow tired and sick of people telling me to live in PAST. People do not know my life stories what exactly happened. It has been always HEARSAY. People choose to ignore my stories. Especially when a lot of people do not know the facts cannot comprehend what they were listening or do not care what the facts are and make up their own stories.

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Do you think it was professional of Dwight to smirk when someone else is dead? Many of faculty members witnessed in that room what Dwight did and would vouch for me whenever I need support. He is still walking around campus with power and the same smirk he carries.

When you see the statue of Laurent Clerc on Gallaudet campus, this is one of the most iconic symbols of America—a beacon of hope and acceptance for Deaf people everywhere. So how did coming to Gallaudet University become a crime? Deaf returning citizens are bad news! Make them suffer! Give them the death stare!

If we look at the history of Dwight Benedict’s bullying tactics for the last 37 years, being “Deaf returning citizen” usually just means being “unwanted” and more often than not, that has to do with ignorance and hatred. There are plenty of widespread insecurities at Gallaudet University. As an intellectual community, we the Deaf now seem to exist in permanent fear of the oblivion in the top university leadership, worrying about whether we can survive Dwight’s leadership.

At the same time, at Gallaudet University, we the Deaf appear uncomfortable with the hatred of Dwight’s leadership. The same leadership, so often the means to our advancement, now finds itself under a cloud of power that it falls under a wrong agenda. Disenchanted with Dwight’s past history yet fearful of our future, why are Deaf people—especially people of color and marginalized group struck in Dwight’s leadership where a mood of fear, hatred and low expectations influence our discussion and discourses on many fronts—where our higher education continues to be seen as the problem rather than the challenge.

I worked extremely hard to change my life around and I made an ultimate goal to be a professor. I even made name tags as a personal identification when I arrived in DC and put it around my neck to remind myself. I was so determined more than anything.

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This irrational insight against the grain of oppressed Deaf people on the campus, which teaches that hatred and bullying by Dwight does not lack human compassion. Deaf people in their struggle for social justice—are ignored because Dwight gets away with it. There have been many stories from Kendall Green about Dwight’s 37 years of oppressive leadership. A great many of damages were done, and many Deaf people were hurt.

My constitutional rights has been violated of due process and amounts to Cruel and Unusual Punishment, Eighth Amendment under United States Constitution and Dwight made it very difficult for me to receive higher education and set me up for harassment, public humiliation and bullying long after I served my time.

In February 27, 2014 meeting I was in, the most oppressive meeting ever I experienced in my entire life, he loved the idea very much where his buddy, Ted Baran, Director for DPS whom Dwight calls Ted in the meeting, “Ted is a good man” front of four other people brought up that I must be required to notify my graduate cohort, and walk around the entire Gallaudet campus and must tell everyone why I was jailed for with ugly labeling on my forehead. I was shocked. I already experienced humiliation and harassment at times when I would be at Gallaudet. No doubt, Dwight Benedict opened my old wounds. Dwight and Ted acted as Judge, Jury, and Executioner. The bald faced truth is that they should held accountable.

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Even though it has happened 30 years ago, still, I am set up for extreme public shaming and harassment. I had been a good returning citizen more than 20 years and paid no more than $100,000 in counseling and worked very hard to change my life around and graduated even though I had been experiencing thousands and thousands of times being humiliated in my life. I’ve dealt with hearing counselors who do not understand my journey as Deaf person. I realized it was total lie and waste of money and time. Until I found Deaf-centered counseling, I cried and….

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Did I deserve “scarlet letter” for the rest of my life? Am I allowed to become a productive member of society? I am really sick of people telling me to live in the past and live with the stigma. Horrible lies about me, making me look really bad and I lost almost everything. It’s really hard for me. I cry. I cry. I cry. I suffer more. I suffer more. I suffer more.

Dr. Pernessa Steele, author of “Stand Up to Stigma: How We Reject Fear and Shame” writes: “Stigma” is a simple two-syllable word, yet it carries the weight of negative and often unfair beliefs that we hold about those who are different from us. Stigmas lock people into stereotyped boxes and deny us all the right to be our authentic and whole selves.

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I already had been ostracized from Gallaudet community. Dwight made sure to do more harm than good, with my commitment to turn my life around. I lost my scholarship, I lost my dream job, I lost networking opportunities, I lost pretty much everything and I became the scapegoat on the campus. That is exactly the cruel and unusual punishment. That was the sign of death.

When I woke up on the floor that day, I cried. I still remember being carried out of the room on the emergency stretcher and saw people hand waving at me and I put both of my thumbs letting them know that I’m still strong. Then I was rushed into emergency surgery and carried to an intensive care unit (ICU). The television on right side was turned on—and the presidential election results were still pending.

The worst part was….I was still in extreme shock wondering how I survived from massive heart attack. The election results—did not finalize until 3 AM and became even more heart-broken that Trump was elected. The rises of hate crimes begun. Then I finally fell asleep for only three hours until the nurses woke me up and said, “Time for injections”—my first reaction when I woke up hoping it was only a dream. Only I find it was not a dream. I stayed in the hospital for ten long days. Longest stay in my life.

Do you all remember how you felt when you woke up on November 9th of 2016 morning?

Many people who walked around from Gallaudet University have caught up and suffered in the idea that Dwight thinks he is always right, and that the way Dwight acts is best. But he was wrong in Gallaudet University. What happened with the due process? Why I was not informed with required due process?

Due process means that Gallaudet University cannot give me a serious punishment, like suspension or expulsion, without first having followed fair procedures to determine if I am “bad news”. Fair procedure would include: telling me exactly what I was “bad news”, telling me exactly what the punishment will be, and giving me a chance to tell my side of the story before punishing me. If Gallaudet chooses to punish me, it must punish all others the same. I was never given a chance to do due process. I felt numb.

When I woke up from death, some people who are loyal to Dwight, told me to shut up and stay in silence. Right now Dwight is walking around freely with a smirk and will not apologize for his actions what he had done. It was the most incompetent decision Gallaudet University chooses to keep Dwight in his office. I was targeted by Dwight’s openly discriminatory policies and the discriminatory policies will be always remembered for abuse of power and corruption on the wrong side of professionalism.

For the last 365 days since my death, I wonder if I actually die, the truth would not be seen.

On November 8, 2016, in SAC 1011, the event, “Deaf in Prison Screening & Discussion” sponsored by Gallaudet ASL & Deaf Studies, the very same department I was part of which was very ironic, and the reason they sponsored this because Dirksen Bauman wanted to do this to cover his ass. Complete bullshit. I asked a question for the audience that will be always remembered for long time, “Why Gallaudet University promote FEAR targeting Deaf returning citizens?” and Dwight was in the same room standing in the back giving me a death stare and that was where I had massive heart attack. Dwight was walking down the aisle—slowly and a smirk. Cool, huh?

My death experience has made me stronger than ever. I recently learned that there has been some “talk” around Gallaudet campus that Dwight might retire early—well, there is no way he would walk away with it. My death does not give him full satisfaction and sit in the sun with a smirk. Will Dwight ever experience death for ten minutes and wake up and realize that he is asshole? It was all about personal attack against me as a motivation to new heights of fervor. Master Yoda said: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Why I was Rejected A Future Doctoral Degree

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I had experienced plenty of subsequent financial hardships for the last 20 years and the likelihood of getting a higher education was much difficult with receiving threats and harassment and I also experienced adverse consequences including stigmatization and differential treatment by BIT (Behavioral Intervention Team) and the university, not only that but I experienced great deal of depression, anxiety, or fear at best.

My family experienced the unintended consequences as well that it has impacted my family’s ability to support me in my effort to avoid recidivism and successfully reintegrate. As for getting higher education at a university, I was seeking for; I already marked as “high risk” to the campus because of something happened almost 30 years ago.

They became a social disorganization for my future and the biggest reason I seek higher education is the economics, so I can pursue further education to earn my doctoral in the tentative field of Deaf Inmates as Forgotten People” but in the very meeting with the BIT (Dwight Benedict, Carl Pramunk, Ted Baran, Lauri Rush, Dirksen Bauman, and Carol Erting) I was treated like a criminal and got characterized by their own neglect, the stress was so great that it affected my health and my family, they also experience similar stigma what I was going through with greater social isolation even my family are afraid that my safety was at higher risk due to public disclosure at an university very much to make sure I kept out from engaging into an university community activities.

My professional intention is clear: to enter the world of higher teaching and learning and immerse myself in the community of my own—Deaf community where the need is. There is a point that they treat me that I am a criminal to the bone and cannot be rehabilitated even if it was not my fault or I had a rough childhood life. In the end, the university made sure that I am liable for my consequences for my actions no matter what happened to me in my past. Their ignorance and makes the public much harder to see what they profiled me around.

When I was accepted to enroll into a graduate school and received full scholarship, I cried of joy. I cried because there is a hope that I would get better. I was so enthusiastic to meet professors and students at a university. During the new graduate student orientation week, I was made to think about doing my thesis. I wanted to write about Deaf inmates as the forgotten people.

The university has offered to threat my fair education. I never got any open and frank polite communication, but it is no secret that the university is very one-sided and they eluded my dignity from becoming a normal human being again. I was sitting on my couch and felt great length of pain in my heart and my eyes were about to weep—then my mind tell me to stay strong and keep my head up.

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There is one of my favorite stories, Odysseus, a warrior leader who got lost while sailing home. In every landing, he experienced many unthinkable incidents. Upon his arrival at home, he was alone and the home is not the same place where he left some 20 years ago. He had to fight to win back his wife and the home. It was the toughest Odysseus had ever had. In my struggle for 20+ years of searching for help, I am Odysseus in my own name, my survival is my home, and Deafhood is my odyssey.

Here are the scholarship recommendations with two letter samples:

To the Scholarship Committee,

I am writing on behalf of one of my more impressive students, Jason Tozier. I first met Jason in 2007. He has been a student in some of my more demanding classes. He did great work in my Hate Crimes class (Soc 430), in which students have to conduct original research projects. His paper, “Negative Perceptions of Deaf Individuals in Relation to Knowledge of American Sign Language,” was an excellent piece of scholarship and gave me a taste of Jason’s commitment to the rights of deaf people. He also was an active participant in my Criminology class (Soc 418), where he was part of a discussion group on ID theft and wrote a wonderful paper on the subject. Additionally, Jason was a student in my Contemporary Theory class (Soc 302), in which students have to digest some rather dense material, review texts and diagram theories. In each of these classes, Jason brought his unique perspective to the class and everyone, including myself, as benefitted.

I have also gotten to know Jason in his role as an activist. He has helped me to understand the issues that deaf people face on a much deeper level. This includes the debate within the deaf community over the use of cochlear implants. In 2010, Jason (along with Carl Schroeder) presented to the Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crimes, of which I have been the chair since 2002. Their presentation helped the coalition to better understand how hate crimes affect people with disabilities. That presentation led to a meeting with Oregon Attorney General John Kroger to advocate for the inclusion of “disability” in Oregon’s bias crime statutes. In 2011, Kroger presented such a bill to the Oregon legislature. That bill was passed and the new expanded hate crime law went into effect on January 1, 2012. This was a direct result of Jason Tozier’s commitment to this issue.

Jason Tozier is a rare find. He mixes passion and intellect in a search for real world solutions. I believe he would do important work and Gallaudet and I would like to see him get every opportunity to attend. I am proud to recommend him for any scholarships or awards that would be appropriate.

Dear Scholarship Committee:

I first met Jason Tozier in my 2011 Methodology of the Oppressed course, and I am honored to have this opportunity to recommend him for support in his bright future at Gallaudet.  From the very first day I met Jason, I was extremely impressed with his intelligence, academic ability, passion, independence, motivation, and most significantly his fortitude through situations that have at times been challenging.  Furthermore, Jason is an extremely positive, personable, and humorous individual.

In class, Jason immediately impressed me with his ability to not just quickly comprehend the material, but also synthesize it with other academic theories, as well personal experiences. Typically, I am impressed with students who can synthesize complex academic theories at the Graduate level.  Jason’s thirst for knowledge and passion for reading complex texts gives him this ability naturally; without the training most advanced students require being capable of this level of comprehension.  To make this trait even more powerful and effective, Jason grounds his academic intellect in his personal experiences, which at times would make the average person give up.  He conveys this connection passionately and gracefully in the classroom, as well as his everyday interactions.  He is a critical thinker, grounded in the passion of his knowledge, and extremely capable as a scholar and future educator. 

Jason Tozier is not only academically capable, but also a very genuine and authentic person. I am confident that any investment made in his future that will aid him in continuing his studies and professional endeavors will be more than worth the time, faith, and investment.  He will surely bring pride and honor to you fine program given his natural talent, intellect, and life experiences.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if I may provide further information in Jason s support.  Thank you.

ASL/Deaf Studies department was supposed to heal Deaf people from their wounds—yet, seemingly uncomfortable with actually leading Deaf returning citizen where they might not otherwise want to sponsor. The department were trying to find a balance of policies that will please both professors and the administration who hoped for so much from them and those who hated the minute I walk into the building which indicates both a streak of educational ignorance and a practical Gallaudet’s value of compromise.

It would be very symbolic when you join your precious faculty.

In the meeting with Dwight was one of the most hateful and bigoted I ever experienced, by setting boundaries on appropriate behavior, discouraging Deaf returned citizens, for example, from standing up for their beliefs, Dwight Benedict chose to justify the Administration’s decision to keep them from expressing the full range of their talents and sensibilities. Not only do Deaf returning citizens suffer, but also the Deaf community as a whole becomes more vulnerable.

Dwight Benedict has a propensity for turning the Deaf community upside down. He seems to explore the extremes and opts for hate speech and bigotry as a new-coming-into-a-true-power group when he claims Deaf returning citizens to be unstable for Deaf community. When Deaf returning citizens were able to express every part of their own beings with enthusiasm, Gallaudet University tapped the power of having me marked on black list in every department and thereby coerced into silence.

Deaf returning citizens have led lives of compulsion and necessity within an unforgiving. If not hostile, hate bigots in the environment where Deaf returning citizens are marginalized forever speculated. The oppression on Deaf returning citizens became evident that they were seen and treated as “animals”. Whatever directive it might be, it was wrong to rough them up under any circumstance whatsoever.

Hate speech on them were uncivil and unnecessary. Carl Pramunk asking the Buff and Blue to write about me in a threatening mode would be in full circulation to witness such an escalated level of hate and state of official denial on campus.

As an alumnus, I was mortified. I refuse to accept any behavior and indifference at Gallaudet University. This is a sad situation, which affects deeply all the Deaf returning citizens. They do not need to be visited, looked at, observed, examined, and even sprayed on. They are not animals! Gallaudet University is not a laboratory for hate-motivated behaviors. It is the community of Deaf intellectuals being constantly misinterpreted by the university administration that subscribes to Dwight’s philosophy of oppressing Deaf returning citizens.

Again, they are not animals!

As an archetype, Dwight embodies my life as a dissenter and by depriving my success from reaching a state of intellectual empowerment; Dwight becomes a bureaucratic oppressor at Gallaudet University. Hate crime is the most invisible mode anywhere even Gallaudet University.

To be continued…….

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://greekmythology.wikia.com/wiki/Odysseus