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Tag Archives: United States Constitution

From Rejection of Deaf People in Hollywood Industry

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Ah, people has asking me what are my thoughts about the latest movie, “Wonderstruck” from what I understand that there were hearing people who pretended to be Deaf– has shed light on what hearing privileges really mean when they attack Deaf people and steal the image from them as well as free speech, too. I am not writing about the law or the Constitution, I am writing about how hearing actors or actresses hijack the system and using it to amplify oppression as a message. The illustration above was drawn by Brian Selznik.

I continue to be amazed by the unnecessary cruelty of the Hollywood industry, which has again taken aim at the most vulnerable members of the society in the name of language hegemony. Isn’t Hollywood industry was supposed to be the “civil rights and human rights” safeguard to protect Deaf people from unequal treatment? Obviously not. It is not the first time what Julianna Moore has continue to be ignorant about the importance of Deaf Studies in recent memory.

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A graphic created by Amber Zion–Deaf person with plenty of talent!

This is the time to think about that there are plenty of Deaf talent can do to stop exploitation of Hollywood to hire hearing actors or actress to act as Deaf. We need to educate them in anti-bias and anti-bullying discourses. Can we educate them with effective tactics that defuse exploitation before they can trigger over time into the kind of systematic oppression?

When Deaf people show the world that they have talent in acting with better eye movements, learns of people with hearing privileges and deceit, they essentially disowns Deaf citizens and implore them to shut up and stay in the cell in order to allow them to beat their appearance up and harm their reputations. Again, when Deaf citizens learn that the oppression in Hollywood have been returned to be practiced, they are suffering in the hands of oppressors. Oh, the sentencing of their fate!

We are tired of the worst oppression over the past year that a well-known Hollywood actress has again stepped over Deaf people just like stamped out Audism! Did Hollywood really acknowledge their errors? No. Instead, in the days since, oppression of Deaf people in Hollywood scenes, they would probably refuse to acknowledge their mistakes. All evidence to the contrary, Hollywood have continued to insist on Julianna Moore’s false version as a Deaf person, ignoring the grief of Deaf community, who are trying to make an attempt to educate the society that there are plenty of Deaf people who can show their talents.

Even a Deaf administrator and moderator for Deaf Talent Guild News wrote, “I do not wish to see any more posts critical of Julianna Moore for taking the deaf adult role nor discussing plans for a boycott of the movie Wonderstruck, which frankly in my opinion would be counter productive. I know some of you may not have fond opinions of her after reading the news of what she did…she may have already realized by now she made a mistake; let her be.”

Umm, excuse me, what about the pain what Deaf community has suffered? Where is the compassion? This is a disgrace. We are talking about the opportunity—no longer in the invisible hand. Isn’t Hollywood supposed to be the land of the opportunity? Deaf people on Mother Earth have a reason–know no life other than America. Can we even recognize Hollywood’s America?

I want to make it clear that this is not hoax or an exaggeration. I have been personally embarrassed by this whole ordeal, but out of continued frustration, I find it now necessary to write about what occurred in Hollywood. I feel that least writing this post could help start healing process. When I had been chosen to as an actor for Deafhood Monologues in Washington, D.C.—I understood the importance of Deaf talent where Julianna Moore has twice oppressed the Deaf community—with the quote below:

You will know you are completely done with something when you give it up and feel freedom instead of loss”.—Emily Maroutain

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2012/januaryfebruary/feature/deaf-meets-wonderstruck

 

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Can We Hold Hate Accountable?

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I saw this banner somewhere in DC the other day.

As a Deaf returning citizen living in America I have to ask, “Did Deaf community protest enough against hate?”—Our country is based on freedoms that we were supposed to protect, including freedom of speech and the right of people peaceably to assemble.

Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a famous speech in Washington, D.C.—“I Have a Dream” that changed the history forever. George Veditz fought for ASL rights, Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights, and I continue to fight for Deaf returning citizen rights, and there are a lot of people who believes in causes fighting for their rights because we live in the land of the free and we all were supposed to be hate-free from discrimination and harassment.

Did we learn ENOUGH that we were supposed to understand the Bill of Rights under United States Constitution? Deaf people has been denied equal pay, got killed by the very people sworn to protect them with NO BIAS? The list goes on. What happened to liberty and justice for all—regardless of race, disability, religion, gender, or even economic status?

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

Can Deaf Returning Citizens Exist Without Deaf Community?

 

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Can Deaf returning citizens exist without Deaf community? I do not think so. I believe that is important for information, knowledge, and communication. No one can take away the attribution of success and breach human rights. Bringing awareness about the term of “Returning Citizen” would make all difference.

No more “felons”—no more “convicts”—no more “offenders”—no more negativity. Returning citizen is a positive term. Can Deaf returning citizens deserve to be let alone to resume their life without the haters breathing down their necks? It goes way too far in the continuous punishment. As a nation, I believe that the failure of ignoring hard facts and expert opinions to be discussed in many public policy issues even in Deaf community.

When you see someone bully a Deaf returning citizen, how will you react to it? Does it make it an impressive train wreck? Makes you feel good about it?

I can bully and make Deaf returning citizens ashamed….I bring hatred to their faces…I make them cover their faces by how cyber-bullying can solve problems. I am the greatest bully, and they are inferior. I can do a good job by teaching bullies because it is awesome feeling to do this!”

Have we forgot about the importance of liberty and justice for all? Remember, the society has been trying to teach us the awareness of how to stop bullying including cyber-bullying and end the same way: suffer and humiliation. Do we really understand the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution: Cruel and Unusual Punishment?  This is the real epidemic out there that needs to be addressed and examined. Break the stigma.

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Please be aware about October as National Bullying Prevention Month. If you know someone who is a Deaf returning citizen who is in need for counseling for well-being, please feel free to get in touch with Deaf Counseling Center for more information.

http://www.deafcounseling.com/contact-us/

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Beating the Online Bully: How To Take Action

 

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The Twitter account “Deaf Access to Justice” operated and moderated by a Deaf returning citizen, Maria Nicole Dollhopf has a strange message of her own—an “obsession” and that is not healthy. It is harmful. It does not mean she is qualified enough to make expert label about my life and claimed that I have “mental issues”. Is she qualified enough to be a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist? As cool Hollywood star, Will Smith, makes a strong message:

Never underestimate the pain of a person, because in all honesty, everyone is struggling. Just some people are better at hiding it than others.”

Judging and labeling people indicate that we are not doing enough to protect the basic right to life enshrined in our Constitution. There is also the problem of stigma associated to mental issues, and there is not even enough serious attempt to recognize this issue.

To understand the full “hate” terminology, it is not going to be easy. With her hatred, goals were launched on a grand scale to rip into pieces. The chunk of anger very much visible, the civilization of hatred is more powerful, and the fundamental problem of the hatred also help to avoid guilty by destroying the evidence of my life and stop my success story by turning my life around. Is an obsession a form of mental issue? When a Deaf returning citizen attacks a Deaf returning citizen is the reason why it leads the path of ignorance.

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My life struggles are not a mental issue. It is a human struggle. It is a huge difference. Who started the “war” in the first place?

As I had written in older blog posts, the word, “war” is derived from the Old English, “wyrre” which means, “to bring into confusion“–and that is the problem that leads to a psychological process under-minding my truth. When a Deaf returning citizen personally attacks my Deaf friends and tells them not to be supportive of my character and my hard-working to change my life around.

Obsession brings into confusion often that triggers for a war. The extension of compassion, Maria has lacked in this area. Her practice of hate remains of the past and present, triggered by anger must be seen, written, and examined. Continuing to do personal attacks against my character shows the weakness on her part and add more fuel to stigma by posting mugshot of me and leaving it there to have me suffer humiliation and pain by using my full birth name. It does not have to work that way.

Mental issues addresses one of the critical missing links identified by thousands of health advocates. I strongly believe the human ingredient for people with mental issues can lead productive lives by getting rid of hate. The success will be the best tool for human compassion. Maria has no right to say that my mental issues needs to be verified and stay away and protect for the sake. Hate is not cool. My energy is forwarding towards positive steps instead of living in negative environment. The first step is awareness, stand up, and acknowledge constructive and beneficial to stop the cycle of hate.

I wish to leave in peace and harmony. Sure, mental issues for Deaf returning citizens may not enough adequate, Deaf community struggle for more Deaf-centered mental health professionals, although the system is not funded or resourced accordingly. I leave the thought of the day below.

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

 

 

Did Trump’s Idea to Make Gallaudet University Worship God?

The Power of Positive Leadership

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When President Cordano wrote a statement:

“President Cordano has decided to place the position of Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement on hold. This will give us the space to engage in a deeper dialogue about what is in the best interest of the community. The ultimate decision about this vice president position will be determined, in large part, by the input gathered from the entire community. A campus-wide email message with a vlog will be issued soon.”

As immediately as I saw the statement, the members of Deaf community at Gallaudet University is increasingly tired of being marginalized including Deaf returning citizens. It is true that Foster auditorium was full house; I would like to thank Bobbi to make right decision that Dwight is not the effective person for the position: Vice President of Student Affairs and Community Engagement.

However, I became puzzled the fact that Dwight Benedict has not been let go of the campus. When Bobbi said in her presentation, “I recognize a lot of pain.”—Where did the “pain” actually come from? Dwight’s policies are so oppressive that he would not able to give someone a chance to breathe for some air. Also, Bobbi’s signed,

Dwight Benedict is a victim of the system”

Hello? How can it be irresponsible excuse? Why did Bobbi need to say that? What’s up with that? Political cover-up? Lack of admitting systematic racism? Lack of institutional racism? Educational oppression?

Whose responsibility is it from the administration system? Should we believe that Dwight is a victim of the administration system? Where is the apology from Dwight himself on the stage what he had done to many survivors? Someone informed me that person has confronted Dwight sitting next to Bobbi in office this morning what he had done, Dwight admitted to the fact he did. Yes, he actually did. What does it mean to you?

Whoa, that was fast! Rome did not built overnight. It takes a lot of unpacking, I mean, the size of the Great Wall of China is so big that would stretch from Washington, D.C. to Wichita, Kansas. That is where Dwight needs to unpack his privileges that much for the last 37 years.

Was it good enough? Will Dwight ever “man up” or own it up what he had done to underprivileged Deaf people of color, Deaf people, and Deaf returning citizens?

I also asked the person if Dwight would happy to start unpacking his white privileges. Dwight gives the surprising answer—you need to guess the answer. If Dwight ever owns up and demand the apology from Gallaudet community, alumnus, and alumni through video without written script, but his own sincere apology, will it ever happen? The motto for state of Kansas: Ad Astra per Aspera which means in Latin, “To the Stars through Difficulties” and the motto for Washington, D.C.: Justia Omnibus which means in Latin, “Justice for All”

Where is the JUSTICE for ALL Deaf survivors who experienced Dwight’s power of oppression? I am asking for his apology including the fact that he did not quickly complete his civil duty when an alumnus faces a life and death situation last November 2016. The silence continues to understand the stars through difficulties for those people. We need to break down the great wall of silence. Not only the apology for I seek for, the apology goes to the survivors for the last 30+ years. Overstayed, overpriced, and overconfident is long due.

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All we are asking for a fresh change at Gallaudet in the healthiest environment as possible. We need Justia Ombinus. Positive Leadership. That is the kind of Community Engagement we are looking for. 

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Protest and Kneel Against Dwight Benedict

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Dwight Benedict “Deaf Trump” wearing American flag tie

There are times that I seriously question the leadership by Dwight Benedict even many of my fellow Deaf citizens were ignored and marginalized. If the oppression and bullying by Dwight as an oppressor representing Gallaudet University and all that it truly stands for, then we should be kneeling down to defend an oppressed Gallaudetian right to higher education, bias-free, and pursuit of happiness.

I think it would be wise for all of us to protest Dwight’s new leadership role that which we see it as wrong, for that is a constitutional right even with our choice to kneel against the Gallauadet Administration in hand-picking Dwight without proper channels through Gallaudet community.

Dwight is not a true Gallaudetian—with the idea, I think Gallaudet community (faculty, staff, students, alumni, alumnus, and GUAA) should kneel and protest Dwight’s position. Stop favoritism, nepotism, and privileges. I think it would be wise for students to walk out of classrooms and protest–and kneel. We must remember our rights to freedom of speech under United States Constitution. Nothing is wrong with that.

Gallaudet University cannot punish students for that even Dwight will be in full charge of Department of Public Safety (DPS) starting October 1st, 2017. We cannot let Dwight’s “power trip” oppress students. Dwight knows better than that!

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Rightful Presence in Justice: Challenging ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620)

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I am writing this out of my great concern to respond what Congress wants to pass so-called The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Education and Reform Act of 2017 [H.R. 620] this coming Thursday, September 14th. From the moment of its passage in 1990, it has quickly reached an unprecedented global scope, overwhelming the human rights formed by Deaf people because of Deaf President Now (DPN) in 1988 to the waves of marginalized people from shore to shore in America upheavals of earlier decades.

ADA became important for everyone including Deaf people and Disabled people. The doors were open. They were left out for generations. It reminds me of a movie called Music Within based on a true story. Richard Pimentel who lost his hearing during war in Vietnam then comes home and became oppressed after that then he became a disability rights advocate. One scene where he and his friend in a wheelchair went into a restaurant in Portland, Oregon and the waitress asked them to leave because they were not “standard” people according to a law called “Ugly Laws” so controversial that made people hate people who had disabilities.

The law continued to practice for almost 100 years from late 1860s until 1970s– several American cities followed the law where people were “unsightly” or “unseemly” to appear in public then it was removed from the law books. ADA of 1990 recognized the growing pain of ugly laws and gave those people with disabilities to have rights. No more hatred. Sandra Fredman in her book, Discrimination Law in 2011, writes:

Individuals with disabilities are a discrete and insular minority who have been faced with restrictions and limitations, subjected to a history of purposeful unequal treatment, and relegated to a position of political powerlessness in our society, based on characteristics that are beyond the control of such individuals and resulting from stereotypic assumptions not truly indicative of the individual ability of such individuals to participate in, and contribute to, society.

Tyler Ray, Americans Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] Washington Legislative Office and Vania Leveille, Senior Legislative Counsel writes on September 6, 2017:

H.R. 620 would completely change the way in which a business is required to comply with the ADA. Instead of requiring that a business comply proactively, the bill would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access. This bill proposes that after an individual with a disability is denied she must first notify the business owner, with exacting specificity, that her civil rights were violated, and then wait for six months to see if the business will make “substantial progress” toward access, before going to a court to order compliance. 

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The key word: “would place the burden on the individual who is being denied access”—isn’t that the same thing that applies to so-called Ugly Laws? The civil rights would be violated in the highest sense of oppression. The disabled people are at a higher risk of rejecting in a bias-motivated attitude. Why should Deaf people and disabled people suffer and deal with Eighth Amendment “nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” in the United States Constitution?

As bad as Congress brought the idea about wanting to pass unlawful H.R. 620, we must remind ourselves that the old-school politicians have since the last removal of Ugly Law in 1970s, at least moved in the direction of making strongest effort possible, through the eyes of public policy, to reduce inequality for Deaf and disabled people. We must also be aware of 1964 Civil Rights Act, and ADA that has carried the legacy in our society to keep and protect the rights of all our citizens. No matter what the cost is. The H.R. 620 is unconstitutional and inhumane!

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

Fredman, Sandra (2011). Discrimination Law [2nd ed.]. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 96.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/disability-rights/congress-wants-change-americans-disabilities-act-and-undermine-civil-rights

 

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/

 

 

 

July 4th History Facts