Can we start with ourselves in Deaf community to make it happen for first Deaf person to win United States Congress in history?
I know that we do not want to remind ourselves today—it is important that we need to continue to grow strong and stand up and challenge hateful ideologies. Today is Alexander Graham Bell (AGBell)’s birthday.
In Trump’s speech last Tuesday standing before United States Congress, he praised Alexander Graham Bell’s name. Couple of years ago, the same United States Congress recognized that AGBell no longer as an inventor of the telephone. The White House needs to know that they did not report the full story about Audism influence on Deaf community, AGBell’s organization attacks on Deaf Education, the environment, and human rights.
The books, The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling the Deaf Community, When The Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf, Never the Twain Shall Meet: Bell, Gallaudet, and the Communications Debate, Made to Hear: Cochlear Implants and Raising Deaf Children, The Deaf Community in America: History in the Making, Everyone Spoke Sign Language: Hereditary on Martha’s Vineyard, The Deaf Mute Howls, Signs of Resistance: American Cultural History, 1900 to World War II, and many other books.
Those books are part of long line of truth-telling stories. Deaf community continues to resist hatefulness by AGBell and struggle for justice. Across the nation, Deaf community will not honor AGBell on his birthday that has been attacking our society, working to dehumanize public institutions, and demonizing all of us who are different from the society.
Deaf America has overcome such challenges before. We will fight for economic rights, environmental rights, human rights, and social justice and the right to use American Sign Language (ASL) at all times. We must remain vigilant.
After AGBell’s damaging speech in 1883 and 1884, the next 38 birthdays celebrating AGBell had shaped the future of Deaf Education and Deaf people today in a damaging society. No more!
What kind of Deaf America will we leave future generations? We must continue to resist against AGBell, no matter what.
Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message
There was a quote by a Black student at a historically white university, “Everything, everywhere I look, everywhere I turn, right, left, is white. It’s lily white, it’s painted with white. And it’s funny, because I was reading this article about how America is synonymous with white people. I mean, I’m sure when Europeans, or Asians or Africans for this matter, think of America, they think of white people, because white people are mainstream, white people are general. “White is right,” as my daddy tells me. White is right, at least they think it is. So, if you’re a black person trying to assert yourself, and express your culture, there’s something wrong with you, because to do that is to be diametrically opposed to everything this country stands for. And everything this country stands for is what is white.”
Is Gallaudet a historically white university? Remember, Gallaudet University is a federally funded university through United States Congress, the founding fathers and its documents stand for democracy, liberty, and justice around the world. The United States Congress: Appropriations Committee gives Gallaudet University around $115 million, maybe little more than that—not enough money for awareness. What are the psychological consequences, if any, of an educational government like Gallaudet University and society discrimination against its Black Deaf students? There is not much information on the character and breadth of the discrimination faced by Black Deaf students on the campus.
There are PLENTY of stories that are not told—and that is where the administration is responsible for covering up lies, and do nothing. Ignorance is indeed bliss, as the administration tends to react more in fear than in education when it comes to Racism; however, the primary concern would be liability. Gallaudet does not want to face litigation and public scrutiny and make sure there is restricted access to Racism. On the one hand, certain strategies such as an community accountability or limiting truth access may be the balanced approach, addressing Racism and largely invalidates the concepts of community accountability, creates fear which gives great scrutiny to the Black Deaf students may hinder the efforts at minimizing Racism at great cost.
In a 1989 ABC News/Washington Post survey 37 percent of black respondents agreed that blacks generally face discrimination in getting a quality education. There is no question that Black Deaf students face discrimination in getting a quality education even in 1989 and now in 2015—no doubt. How does higher education influence Black Deaf students’ social and political distrust at Gallaudet? The administration denies access for the “easy way out” and least likely to cause dissention in the ranks. However, in failing to address Racism to begin with, there are a number of bad consequences, including the reputation of a closed-door policy, a rejection of Racism calling to admonish the racists, and the false sense of security of never addressing Racism, which will last only as long as a white racist is caught in the act.
Ultimately, Gallaudet University must make up its own responsibility as to the course of action to take. In the event Gallaudet wishes to develop a “restricted access” plan that is why the administration could not handle truth. In spite of educational laws banning discrimination, Gallaudet University remains bastions of Racism. In the late 1980s a report of the National Commission on Minority Participation in Education and American Life, One Third of a Nation, found a significant decline in black participation in higher education. (American Council on Education and the Education Commission of the States, One-Third of a Nation, Washington: The American Council on Education, 1988).
Given Black Deaf students’ discrimination experiences in almost every aspect of life, even at Gallaudet University, one might wonder why Black Deaf students would even trust at all.
Again, is Gallaudet a historically white university?
Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only including this copyright message.
The picture in Library of Congress (LOC)-Thomas Jefferson Building sends a message. Gallaudet covers pretty much what literature is all about. Congress had the fundamental source of “community and continuity” that made Gallaudet the most powerful society. It reminds me of a quote, “We Americans like to think of our revolution as not being radical; indeed, most of the time we consider it downright conservative”–Gordon S. Wood. I’ve taken few good friends to visit LOC and see the message and let them think. I love doing that!
This room is dedicated to those who cannot help (procure) themselves. I often wonder if it is part of learning refutes old ways of thinking. It also cancels all wrong concepts. Is there a reason Gallaudet scripted in same room as the quote scripted? That is how Congress educates itself into viewing the Deaf. We cannot procure our own instruction ourselves. See the picture below. Gallaudet represent the body of knowledge. Let’s look at the sign of GALLAUDET to imply an ongoing power struggle for the Deaf. Gallaudet is appropriated by Congress so it is never Deaf-centered. From Merriam-Webster: Procure appeared into Middle English, from Anglo-French procurer, from Late Latin procurare, from Latin, to take care of, from pro- for + cura care. “To Take Care Of”—is kind of insulting for Deaf people.
Humiliation will always present. It is how you handle it makes all the difference. As far as I could remember, Gallaudet University is federally funded, private university. It is a privilege, not a right. This is what the administration loves to assert: you rock the ship, and they’d best had you removed. There are hidden volumes in the library, for example, Gallaudet Archives protect the most important term on the seal. Why not? There is a vacuum in the university leadership to raise or find funds for them as long as the religious leaders are happy to see the term running on the seal today. Speaking of appropriation (budget), Gallaudet University belongs with Congress, not the Deaf. Thus, it is a privilege for the Deaf, never the right of the Deaf.
The “those who cannot procure it for themselves” statement you see the photo above from Library of Congress begs for a greater development, a head-on challenge. In the other word, we can branch out our intellectual life by setting up Deaf-centered, Deaf-controlled, and Deaf-oriented University so it becomes necessarily that Deaf people can continue to make new meanings. What is the truth? In the case of “waving our language”, the truth is what we need to be proactive about our condition, namely, DEAF.
The word, “DEAF” belongs to us Deaf people in the same manner that the word “THINK” belongs to IBM, and the phrase “Just Do It” belongs to Nike. I do not understand why GALLAUDET was scripted in the same room, “those who cannot procure it for themselves“. Is it an evocative of oppression the Deaf community could easily and readily identify? Perhaps it could not evolve in the university mission for the matter because of its hidden agenda that defines Gallaudet of so called “new order of Deaf people”–and it is Orwellian utopia where the Big People are watching, isn’t EPHPHATHA part of those who cannot procure it for themselves to hear? (The funny thing is that LOC is one of my favorite places to hang out and study).
Copyright © Jason Tozier
This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.