There is no room to feel state of shame as being Deaf to please the system of Audism around the world.
Credit: Limping Chicken
What makes Paddy Ladd a scholar? He might be the world’s coolest Deaf hippy scholar you would meet. I learned that today is his birthday. What makes things more special on the date of February 11th? Astronomer Tycho Brahe was offered to own an island of Hveen offered by King Frederick of Denmark on this day in 1575.
If you win Powerball ticket worth $600 million dollars, would you buy an island that would be the world’s Deaf-centered covered with a golden knowledge, and one cannot see what is there, beyond, on the powerful eyes? Gain knowledge in Deafhood studies. Look in the mirror and see in your life you see clearly, precisely, consciously and with empowerment. And give Paddy Ladd to profess the master ceremonies that makes the island so unique. Ladd sets the mind to begin your journey and understand your process. Let’s name the island. Anyone want to throw a creative name?
On this day in 1790, Society of Friends made a petition for Congress to abolish slavery.
Can Deaf community set up a petition for Congress to abolish Audism? Ladd writes in his opening introduction of his powerful book, “What is Deaf culture? Why is it of such importance in the Deaf liberation struggle? Does it have anything to offer to majority societies, anything to teach them? And why has the world heard so little about it hitherto?
Deaf communities too might ask these questions. But they would also ask: ‘Why does the burden of proof fall upon us? Why is it we must strive to raise funds in order to accumulate evidence which “proves” that our sign language are bona fide languages, and that the collective lives of Deaf people are bona fide cultures? These questions represent a major challenge, which this book directly addresses, and which, by its close should have come into sharper focus.”
The key statement: Why does the burden of proof fall upon us? The burden of proof falls on Deaf community, there are many fragments of oppression coming from the broken mirror should you see one, this society permitting Audism upon Deaf people and Paddy coined Deafhood to reduce the attitude and the burden of proof falling upon Deaf people, yet there is no wind. There is silence. Above, the search of Deafhood which Deaf people have the strength to say that they are happy and proud to be Deaf!
Here is cool history fact. On this day in 1861, United States-elect Abraham Lincoln takes the train from Springfield, Illinois to Washington, D.C.; Three years later, Lincoln would be the world’s first patron for a university now known as Gallaudet University.
If you have not gotten a chance to see Paddy Ladd’s trilogy on British Sign Language (BSL) Zone, please do so and watch three parts. Childhood, Manhood, and Deafhood. Ladd gives us the train of thought to believe in yourself and the state of being Deaf, believing definitely with your passion, body and mind hold the pursuit of happiness.
Alexander Graham Bell moved into Washington, D.C. in 1879, couple years later in 1895 today, the name of Georgetown formed being part of Washington, D.C; Since today is Ladd’s birthday, it fits to challenge Alexander Graham Bell’s ideology as Ladd writes in his book, page 214,
Ideology as the site of cultural struggle is important on two levels. The first concerns “external” struggles, in the domains where the Deaf community contests cultural meanings with majority society. The second is “internal” and is crucial for this study. Oppression results in a perception of minority cultures as homogenous entities; yet the reality is that divisions within these cultures may have even greater significance than in majority cultures.”
Exactly and how fitting it is! Majority and minority cultures are continue to struggle in many forms, and I believe Deaf people shall recover strength from being oppressed daily.
Today in 1916, Emma Goldman was arrested for lecturing on birth control. No Deaf people should be arrested from gaining their knowledge for Deafhood studies where Ladd loved to teach, empower, guide and build them into leadership of the Deaf.
When University of Bristol decided to close down Deaf Studies Centre, Ladd was heart-broken because of his seeds in the program has been impossible to replace. In his skills of being a lecturer on Deafhood studies, we should be happy and empowered with knowledge what Ladd had given us.
As I understand that Ladd enjoys music in his own free time, I would not be surprised if he is a fan of Beatles. Today in 1964, Beatles first live appearance in America, Washington, D.C; Remember REI, the new one right next to Harris Teeter, it is the same place where the Beatles gave their first American concert there. 1960s was a hippie movement. Ladd has very much influenced America.
Oh, this is interesting. In 1978 today, China decides to lift a ban on readings of Aristotle, the same philosopher who started bigotry about Deaf people. “Those who are born deaf all become senseless and incapable of reason.”
Not on Ladd’s watch. The reason Ladd writes a book to lift a ban to let people know that Deaf people are capable of empowering their lives. No question about it. Be grateful that Ladd was born in right time—hippy era with bright minds.
In 1993, President Clinton selects late Janet Reno to be first female United States Attorney General. Is there possible we might see the first Deaf female United States Attorney General in the future? Ladd writes in page 212, “Addressing the questions of how cultural, economic and political divisions and hierarchies are reflected in daily life, and seeking to replace notions of passive absorptions of culture;”
I believe it can happen if Deaf people really believe in themselves and overcome the adversity of how cultural, economic and political divisions and hierarchies are reflected in their every day life to crack the status quo.
Mr. Paddy Ladd, thank you for your wisdom! Happy birthday, mate.
Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
First part: Childhood
Second part: Manhood
Third part: Deafhood
I just completed watching Paddy Ladd’s final and part three. When I first met Paddy Ladd in September 2012, in my birth state, I remember seeing some Deaf people who gave me dirty looks when I showed up there. There were ugly names throwing at me. One Deaf interpreter showed a great deal of displeasure when I was walking down the aisle to meet Paddy, the very same Deaf interpreter was attempting to block me because of malicious rumors the interpreter received from deficit thinkers. I realized that the very same person who supports Deafhood journey does not want me to succeed in my own journey. I refused to let them stop me.
Living in Pacific Northwest those years have not been kind to my journey. From the collective grief I shared my childhood life as a lost kid, I remember when I was 19, I received a full scholarship for two years at ITT Technical Institute, free tuition. They saw great potential in my skills and I was good at math.
For the next few days, it has been really rough time for me then on a Friday afternoon, I made a phone call through Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) to talk with a representative who came to my grandparents house a week ago where I signed the agreements under peer pressure. I informed the representative that I was no longer interested in pursuing my education there because I was not ready in my own core. I dealt with a great deal of confusion.
A year later, I got a letter from Oregon State University offering me a full scholarship, and again, I had to turn down because I was not ready. I felt more confused. I was not sure where I would be doing with my own life. Then my life completely changed when I was jailed at age of 21, and hit a bottom rock. I was jolted back into painful journey. You know, an eagle’s nest has fallen from the cliff’s edge, crushed by a rock fall. Each day, layers of systematic oppression gain more, another layer of hatred I deal daily.
Then I got a job at a hotel in Portland, working in line cook, and the executive chef liked how fast I was, and the hotel chain and executive chef has encouraged me to enroll at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and it was a huge honor, but I was on probation and I was heart-broken, and had to turn down the offer. It was tough time. So, I continued to work there for couple of years, struggling to find my own identity as Deaf person. Boy, I was really lost. I became the target from my own community, Deaf community.
I decided to enroll at a local community college, just to do something about my life. Then I became a serious student and ended up getting good grades and pushed me all the way to enroll at a university, that would forever change my life in many ways. I graduated with three degrees, all with honors at the same time.
Within few months after graduation, I got an acceptance letter from Gallaudet University for MA in Deaf Studies with emphasis in Cultural Studies in 2012. I had to hold that spot later. After meeting Paddy in Seattle, the next day, I immediately wrote him an e-mail, showing my passion to sign up for Deafhood Studies at University of Bristol under Centre for Deaf Studies and saw course descriptions, and I was so ready and eager trying to find a way to get there.
Deaf-centered academic studies–Deafhood thoughts. It was perfect! Then I learned that University of Bristol administration did not think Deaf Studies was important anymore. I was surprised—I remember that day well. I said, “Why? Why is it happening?” and then I felt even more lost.
The very next day after arriving in DC in October 2012, I visited Gallaudet University with a big smile.
The same year when it was shut down in 2013, I enrolled at Gallaudet University on a graduate scholarship in ASL/Deaf Studies, the course descriptions was not the same. It was not Deaf-centered philosophy. The ASL/Deaf Studies department was running erratic priorities, rumormongers, and saw great deal of favoritism, corruption, abusing powers, cheating grades, and an oppressive system continues to target Deaf returning citizens. It was not even Deafhood centric.
I lost scholarship fast enough and became the student of four days journey. I became the pariah at Gallaudet University. They do not support the idea of processing a Deafhood journey. They live in culture of fear, reaffirming its commitment to the society’s oppressive core values and norms.
One Deaf professor from ASL/Deaf Studies department once told me that the department is not the same anymore. I agreed. When I first saw the idea of Deafhood Studies, it was all about investment in the future. It was an integral part of one’s move toward compassion as the state of being Deaf. All the scholarships I turned down until I received a scholarship from Gallaudet University, the world’s only hub for higher education for Deaf people—was taken away. I was even more heart-broken more than anything in my entire life. They invested in hate and humiliation.
I could go on more, but the final question of Paddy’s interview: “What do you feel you’ve given to the world?” Paddy then answers, “What a question!”
Paddy has given my world a complete change and gave me an extra motivation to write a book—the most challenging task I ever done in my life. After reading Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood, the knowledge of how the constructed balance of power across levels of oppression affects the capacity and opportunities for Deaf people today and tomorrow. I learned much about myself by seeing thousands of Deaf people being oppressed daily. Even at Gallaudet University, too. It is not Deaf-centered university….not yet.
Seeing their stories invariably shows me much about their struggles and makes me think of my own. I have found Paddy’s contribution of coining Deafhood, an invaluable to think in terms of healthy and healing process, goals and expectations every time when I would suffer emotional pain; it is difficult to explain this. It is complicated. There was a huge difference between Deafhood Studies at University of Bristol and ASL/Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University.
When I think of Deafhood, I empower myself more. From my bottom of my heart, I thank Paddy Ladd for all compassion as a way of life and appreciate being state of Deaf. In one of my recent blog posts, Deafhood: A Journey of Greater Thinking—I wrote:
To master positive thinking, active learning is a core element of their learning. Deaf people would benefit a lot from their Deafhood journey to identity their freedom, bound, and inflectional, derivative, or obsolete environment and they shall design the goal and assessment for understanding of their journey just as much as building a high view of confidence. They would master the basic content and also express in creative and challenging ways. They feel the true growing of pain. They are taught content but process, the methodology by Deafhood journey is generated.
Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.
Jason “JT” Tozier shares his raw experience while working for IKEA from 2007-2010 in Portland, Oregon. His stories shows plenty of Audism. Two weeks before he walked out of IKEA for good, he was reading a book, “Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood” that gave him huge eye-opener thanks to Marvin Miller who suggested him to read the book. It is part of his Deafhood Journey.
This is my sweet and loving Mother. In this picture on the right, my mother was 20 years old while on the left, my 21 years old father. It was taken at a park in Woodland, Washington on July 22, 1976. My mother was pregnant with my brother Steven.
Today is Mother’s Day. All the mothers are also survivors of Alexander Graham Bell’s lies and promote human crisis to challenge their own democracy including my mother’s child as the state of being Deaf and the rights to use American Sign Language. Alexander Graham Bell Association has fooled many mothers into treating of his anti-democratic actions as “normal”—not only that, but also intimidated and silenced my mother through a human threat. I am sure that it has happened to many mothers of Deaf children.
Five months later after the picture were taken; my mother became a human subject of a survivor on the same day when I was taken to Tucker-Maxon Oral School and examined like a lab rat. I have been thinking about this all the time, realizing that my mother also had a moment of courage, this is true for everyone, but it is particularly true of emotional and human abuse survivors.
The fact my mother were fooled and she managed to survive is in and of itself a tremendous act of courage. My mother still believed in me, and she also discovered Deafhood that would become a positive step through my journey. It is a light at the end of the tunnel.
In order to call out Alexander Graham Bell Association to apologize for all those lies and hatred, all the survivors, realize that hope is a powerful motivator and a great antidote to fear. Unfortunately, AGBell does not believe in hope—they believe in practicing hatred. That is what they do.
My mother said to me in person, “I am sorry, honey, that I did not learn ASL long time ago” while she was crying and that breaks my heart. Damn you, AGBell for tearing up my relationship with my own mother. Crisis is part of the healing process. When survivors dig through, the pain of their childhood, and struggle to reclaim their lives, their experience uncertainty, fear, and turmoil. Crisis is part of the change process. It is necessary to continue and fight against AGBell.
One of the things we need not to allow AGBell spread lies and hatred 365 days, we need to embrace for change! It teaches us to look to the work we can do on ourselves—repair, maintain, build, and grow—so we can better deal with change that is certain to come. Growth may mean that as Deaf people we must be the ones who to proactively instigate change that is long overdue.
My mother’s hands holding that 1976 newspaper she has not seen in 20 years. Heart-breaking for both of us.
Mother’s Day, for example, is now ready to change and grow for love and defeat hatred from AGBell bullshit practices. We will be warmed by change and growth. Our Deafhood will continue. To all the mothers, Deaf and hearing, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day!
I love you very much, Mom!
Additional blog posts about how AGBell destroyed my family:
Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely coped in its entirely only, including this copyright message.