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Tag Archives: The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community

The Hidden Hand: Hate in Deaf Community

 

 

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Every year, on Saint Patrick’s Day, my grandparents would watch their favorite movie, 1952 “The Quiet Man” because Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne were their favorite actress and actor. Plus, it was filmed in Ireland. As they say, “Erin Go Bragh!” [Ireland forever]

Then I learned later that John’s name was not his birth name. He was born as Duke Morrison. I also learned that he was hungry for supremacy. That does not fit Hollywood’s image. I learned that the other night about a year ago that it has happened in California, a Republican congressman was attempting to make a special honor called “John Wayne Day” held in May and the Democrats came out protesting strongly against the idea. The bill failed because they hold zero tolerance policy against Racism and hate. That is what we all should do the same thing. How do we feel about white supremacy?

When you see an image below, John Wayne actually said that in 1971 Playboy magazine interview below. University of Virginia wrote about John Wayne, “Wayne has grossed more than $400 million for his studios–more than any other star in motion-picture history. But because of his uncompromising squareness–and his archconservative politics–he was still largely a profit without honor in Hollywood.”

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Now, can we do something about Audism and hate? What about those hearing actresses and actors who are pretending to be Deaf in the big picture front of Deaf eyes? Why are Deaf people rejected as an aspiration to a world in which all forms of inequality and dehumanization among ourselves that allows a society to oppress Deaf people who have plenty of talent out there?

Some people would say that a degree of “diversity” is a wonderful thing, but within certain demographics it has continue to practice the old, dirty politics, and there are plenty of people in this or that minority culture for whom the old-fashioned non-cultural politics is more relevant. For most people of any group, including the minority groups, the specifically diversity issues are actually a small proportion of the actually important yet invisible issues affecting Deaf people anywhere.

Should Audism be “extinct” in Deaf community, in the sense that the public eye of Alexander Graham Bell is quite welcoming to anyone Deaf. This is not always true. Struggle with sign languages everywhere, communication and personal appearance exists in the term subtle diversity in the society. In Canada, more specifically, Nova Scotia “NS” in ASL— 12 years ago in the legislative Act of 2005, the honor created “Alexander Graham Bell Day” where they celebrate his achievements on March 7th every year ever since and it has became a personal insult for the Deaf community.

While the only Alexander Graham Bell Day in the world, Canada is the front runner and they should get rid of it. One day they will. Do not wait too long. Celebrating Alexander Graham Bell Day is like creating a massacre filled with laughter! What do you think when you see “education” first thing? It may be most complex noun of all. It means, “to train someone for what?”—And it is a teacher-centered, not student-centered. If a teacher thinks a Deaf pupil is better off speaking, then the pupil is really stuck.

I strongly believe in student-centered learning and teaching (peer-teaching) is best of the best for the Deaf as they often teach each other. That is what a Deaf culture is supposed to be. Paulo Freire once said, “The teacher acts and the students have the illusion of acting through the action of the teacher.

Deaf people are not part of inventory or investment! Is ASL suffering language bigotry? What do we mean Audism when we say that an oppressor usually a hearing person believes a given proposition about the Deaf? We all need to be outspoken promoters of social justice and  defender of the oppressed! We need to follow a good example what California did and support Deaf Canadians to get rid of AGBell’s Day! So, do you think we should remove all the ranks of Audism in public eye? Alexander Graham Bell’s 1884 hate speech:

We should try ourselves to forget that they are deaf. We should try to teach them to forget that they are deaf.”-Alexander Graham Bell, 1884.

Cite: Ladd, Paddy. Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood. Page 129.

Isn’t Bell doing exactly the same thing what John Wayne said about, I don’t believe giving authority and positions of leadership and judgement to irresponsible people…—AGBell’s speech was instructed to teach Deaf people to hate their own “identity” and forget their existence as the state of being Deaf and lose all the ranks of leadership just because Deaf people are viewed as socially inferior and ‘irresponsible’ people. AGBell was really afraid. The dark side of AGBell has been revealed. His leadership is now weak. The evolution of FEAR begins.

After all, that is the worst massacre created by Alexander Graham Bell and its followers. There may be more reasons behind that. On the left bottom corner, the postage of Alexander Graham Bell–look at his fists. He was so charged to attack Deaf community. That’s the hidden hand, folks!

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Lastly, Wayne’s words, “Our so-called stealing of this country from them [Native Americans] was just a matter of survival.” What an asshole! Generally speaking for “matter of survival” would be any incident where Deaf people would be oppressed by another and the perpetrating group has the control of power.

The stories told by Deaf people becomes the collective journey and how their struggles and circumstances meet with the full use of force. In other words, if people agree that AGBell created a massacre for power, politics, hate, and the oppression ranks, then it meets our criteria.

It makes him less human. His primary goal was to destroy the survivorship of ASL and Deaf people. That makes Bell a bigger asshole. What is so funny right now? Well, I have this book, A**holeolgy The Cheat Sheet: Put the Science into Practice in Everyday by Chris Illuminati sitting on the bookshelf; I saw a perfect introduction from the book: The Ten Demandments of Being an Asshole.

  1. The asshole cares about the asshole the most.
  2. The asshole is always right.
  3. The assholes rarely apologizes.
  4. The asshole never accepts the word “no.”
  5. The asshole is always in control.
  6. The asshole always has a plan.
  7. The asshole takes what he wants.
  8. The asshole always look good.
  9. The asshole learns from his (few mistakes)
  10. The asshole is always evolving.

I rest my case. 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

References: https://www.pinterest.com/janeenweddle/the-quiet-man/

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/alexander-graham-bell-day

http://www.ibtimes.com/was-john-wayne-racist-california-democrats-refuse-honor-film-star-because-white-2361754

https://anydayguide.com/calendar/2860

https://simpsonswiki.com/wiki/Alexander_Graham_Bell

https://pages.shanti.virginia.edu/Wild_Wild_Cold_War/files/2011/11/John_Wayne_Playboy_Int2.pdf

 

 

 

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The Lack of Jury Duty for Deaf People

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On Friday, July 21st hot afternoon–I decided to meet a friend and gave a tour at Library of Congress. Great times! However, when we walked into a room, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations.” and I saw something that caught my attention and share this with you fellows. It makes me wonder if Library of Congress, the mother of all libraries, is known for research skills, the leadership of literacy, and a complex web of  higher knowledge, makes me think if this message is filled with mixed thoughts, when you notice the picture I took below:

to the rights of the deaf to sit on juries; from a courtroom filled with people wearing masks fearing….”

How do you feel about that when you saw this? Were Library of Congress aware of very little stats about Deaf people to sit on juries? Did they research that, too? Truth: How many Deaf people sitting on juries? Come on, really. Why cannot they tell the truth? Number will make all the headlines. That’s Mask of Benevolence, folks! Europe: Number? Australia: Number? New Zealand: Number? South America: Number? Africa: Number? Asia: Number? America: Number? Right, after the passage of 1990 ADA law, again, how many Deaf people serve on juries? Yes, there were few Deaf people who were selected. Most recently, a friend of mine who was selected to be on jury few months ago in DC. It was very interesting experience for her.

Why did Library of Congress do that? To make them look good for enrollment purpose? Selfish acts? Were Deaf people aware about Library of Congress planing to use them in public eyes? I am sure that there are many questions behind that. Some may not able to answer and avoid the reality. Deaf people were banned from serving on juries for years and many centuries, there is a good article to read:

http://theconversation.com/deaf-or-blind-people-cant-serve-on-juries-heres-why-law-needs-to-change-67418

No courtroom should be wearing masks fearing Deaf people. There are thousands of stories around the world that Deaf people would end up in courtroom with no interpreter at all and struggle for information. They often end up pleading guilty by threatening them or found guilty even without evidence, they fail to recognize Deaf discourses in the courtrooms. For example, recent Thursday evening, I attended an event at Embassy of the Philippines, Washington, D.C; to watch a private screening of Change of Signs, an powerful 35 minutes film. Discovering Deaf Worlds, Inc; (DDW) did an excellent service to help out Deaf community in Philippines and support the stories of ten members of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. Extraordinary work!

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See that hand waving with the watch on on right side? That was me.

The film talked about the lack of Deaf people have the rights to have an interpreter in courtrooms, struggle to be recognized as a human being, and have the human right to sit on the jury as all other people do. I learned that it was 121,000 Deaf people living there and only few interpreters available. That’s major crisis. A lot more to that film that I hope it will show to the public one day.

Before wrapping up for this post, how do you feel when you see, “to the rights of the deaf”? Why lower “d”? Why not “Deaf people have the constitutional right to sit on the juries” Or, “From a courtroom filled with Deaf people’s rights to serve on juries” that would help the visitors from all over the world visiting Library of Congress for the first time and see the truth what Deaf people are really going through a lot. What do you think?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References: https://www.loc.gov/item/prn-17-022/drawing-justice-the-art-of-courtroom-illustrations-opens-april-27/2017-03-07/

 

 

 

The Long Silence of Forgotten Audism

Since Tom Humphries coined “Audism” in late ‘70s for his Ph.D., his vision of seeing a lot of Deaf people being oppressed so frightening that as Tom did not give any professional lectures about it. Almost four decades later, Humphries does not believe in it to pretend that Audism exist. Is Audism controversial? I remember reading a book, The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community that was published in 1992 while I was a sophomore in high school, I did not read the book until 1999.

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Harlan Lane, Carl Schroeder and I had a private meeting in 2010. He signed the very same book I read in 1999. 

There are millions of poor Deaf people, any kind of color in America that are suffering from pain and exploitation they all had in common, as a lover of freedom and liberty for all Deaf people to enjoy, I believe that efforts to build a law that recognizes Audism through stories, hard facts, and professional opinion, basic elements that are commonly missing when discussing “Audism” in the society.

If I coined a term whatever it is, I would make sure I educate the country, no matter what how long it is because it is my social responsibility and civil duty to continue educates Deaf people.

Let’s face up to it, Mr. Tom Humphries, there are millions of Deaf people who might look up on you, in a sphere of heavily steeped emotionalism, political struggle, power struggle, and human struggle that are completely ignored and continue to ignore Audism that exists today and tomorrow. I was one of them who look up to you. I own a painting of your face done by Nancy Rourke along with 12 faces in my personal space that was supposed to make all difference.

Is Tom Humphries still a scholar today? As in a book chapter called Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression by hearing chair of ASL and Deaf Studies department at Gallaudet University, H-Dirksen L. Bauman writes:

However, it is was not until 1975 when a Deaf scholar, Tom Humphries, decided it was time to name the discrimination against Deaf persons and to coin a term that would be part of the currency of discussions on human rights, deaf education, and employment.”

Audism did not discuss until 1992. Why long silence? Funny thing that I was struggling in schools, home life, and personal life because of long-silenced treatment that Audism exists. Talking about Audism has often occurred in the context of angry words, hostility, accusations, and divisiveness.

This coming Friday and Saturday, April 14th and April 15th, there will be rally sponsored by Audism Free America (AFA) celebrating 200 years of American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf Education and their stories through the power, freedom, and justice to fight against Audism to let the society know that it is a permanent movement.

Where is your empowerment, Humphries? That was 42 years ago—and Deaf people would be empowered by now instead of being in silence about it. Since 1880 Milan Resolution, Deaf people have been survivors of the longest hate crime in American history. We refuse to live in hearing superiority. They need to respect Deaf people—the more respect, less Audism. In Humphries’s words:

The notion that one is superior based on one’s ability to hear or behave in the manner of one who hears. It is the bias and prejudice of hearing people against deaf people, it is the bias and prejudice of some deaf people against other deaf people.”

Although, the society that I envision is one that maximizes freedom and liberties for ALL Deaf people coming from walk of life—the concept of ignorance is what completes the loop of full justice even at Gallaudet University.

Yet, Bauman writes, “The term now appears at all levels of the Deaf Studies curriculum at Gallaudet University, from Introduction to Deaf Studies to Deaf Cultural Studies.”

I was asked to give a lecture at Gallaudet University a month ago and found that Deaf students who comes from mainstreaming schools, some of them are juniors and sophomores at Gallaudet has no idea what Audism stands for or do not know who George Veditz is, or Alexander Graham Bell, even the story about Milan. It’s very serious problem. I call it “Social Problem 101”.

Gallaudet University needs to bring stronger ethics and require ALL Deaf students to take at least 12 credits in Deaf Studies and Deafhood courses even though if they are not ASL/Deaf Studies majors.

Perhaps we should re-frame the question: How can Audism protect Deaf people from future social problems? In this case, the answer probably lies in higher learning and lectures. How would you answer this, Tom Humphries? Deaf people who are survivors of Audism do not need to be forgotten even in long silence.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Humphries, T. (1975). Audism: The Making of a Word. Unpublished essay. 

Lane, H. (1992). The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community.

Bauman, H-Dirksen L. (2004). Audism: Exploring the Metaphysics of Oppression.

Why Not AGBell in the List of Hate Groups?

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[https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch]

There are now reported 21 hate groups in District of Columbia released by Southern Poverty Law Center’s HATEWATCH. The only missing group is Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. How come SPLC did not list AGBell in this group? Well, there are few reasons that I will do my best to write and explain why AGBell should be classified as a hate group. Perhaps SPLC would learn from this for a start and go from there.

First of all, it is a sound-oriented world and SPLC does not really understand what Deaf people had suffered in their lifetime experiencing hate. Bell’s action equaled “Audism” of denying the linguistic minority such as Deaf signers such privileges and societal rights to the use of “natural language” Audism should really a logical term to describe AGBell’s eugenics movement for imposing linguistic and cultural superiority and eradication upon Deaf American signers of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

More appropriate terms are linguistic imperialism or attempt to “linguicide” the sociocultural minority, ex. Deaf signers of the post-Milan Conference period from conveying and expressing their own thoughts in practical and efficient language usage. “Linguicism” could be also an acceptable term to describe AGBell’s misguided ideology of assimilating or centralizing the sociolinguistic minority into the society at large on so-called equal basis.

Deaf Americans and other Deaf people everywhere, could enact the strategic multilingualism policies to ensure the protection and preservation of our beloved and precious language (ASL, LSF, BSL, and many others) from possibility of linguistic extinction/loss and sociocultural genocide or undermine the existence of minority language usage. Deaf people everywhere ought to call for the non-intervention policy to make our natural language of the Deaf to the protected status to the listing of endangered language usage in the United States and other countries.

Beginning with the work of AGBell in the late 19th century, Deaf people have been frequent and prominent targets of the eugenics movement. It is not widely known by the general public that, in addition to his work as an inventor, Bell was also a leading figure in the education of the Deaf in the late 19th and 20th centuries. In order to put this issue into context, it is important to consider AGBell and the educational and social programs he promoted.

As it was indicated, the primary characteristic identifying a member of the Deaf community, as opposed to a hearing-impaired person, is the use of ASL. It is a matter of great importance to members of the Deaf community that AGBell was a leader of the movement to “all-oral” education of the Deaf, in which ASL was banned from the educational process and discouraged in ordinary social intercourse.

AGBell and other oralists seem to have been motivated by two major beliefs. First was a belief in the “progressive” idea that American should have a single “official” language, spoken English, and that everyone should acquire in the same way. Signing was thought to result in the failure to have an adequate command of English, which would condemn the Deaf person to a life of poverty and impaired intellect. The use of ASL in the educational process was felt to impede the development not only of speaking and lip-reading but also reading and writing.

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The second motivation for the oralists was eugenic in nature and had to do with the supposed genetic bases of the state of being Deaf. The reasoning went like this: AGBell, in an influential monograph titled Memoir Upon the Formation of a Deaf Variety of the Human Raceasserted that sign language and those residential schools where it was used led to the formation of a separate Deaf community.

He noted, further, that the state of being Deaf is primarily heredity and that if Deaf people congregate and intermarry, the state of being Deaf, seen as a severe disability, will increase in the general population. Both of these lines of reasoning are know known to the without foundation-sign language has never been shown to interfere with the acquisition of spoken English skills, and, as is known to all of you, the state of being Deaf has many causes, generic and nongerietic.

In fact, most Deaf couple have hearing children (Lane, 1999) this can be attributed to a wider social awareness of other cultures in general in the United States. Even though awareness of Deaf culture has been perpetuated, the knowledge of the condition is not wholly agreed on by individuals in the hearing community, as evidenced by the results of the true or false portion of community how they view of Deaf people.

That is one of many reasons why SPLC did not really understand how much pain Deaf community has gone through the series of hatred. One day, AGBell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will be recognized as a hate group. Time will come.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Lane, Harlan (1992). The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community. Dawn Sign Press. 1999.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Memoir-formation-variety-human-race/dp/B000J0OV24