Deaf Returnees: The Case of Language Deprivation

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There was a story about Deaf returnee settled down for $125,000 in Multnomah County Courthouse (Portland, Oregon). The reason: No interpreters were provided during his well being for the last two nights and deny his right to American Sign Language (ASL) in mind, heart, and respect. The root of respect defines in Latin, ‘respectus’ meaning “regard, a looking at,” what happened for the last 48 hours? Sure, it is not the first time anywhere in America. I’ve seen enough cases. Some were much worse.

We understand public relations and media, having spent time spinning with Deaf community. The county claims that the former Deaf inmate can read and write at own expert guesses. Accessible to ASL interpreters are important, no matter what. While Deaf community is being educated about general news like this story, we must pay close attention to stand up for our rights to access ASL interpreters without bias for communication in the legal system. Justice is being tested.

In Ancient Greek, dike as in ‘justice’ means something like behaving in accordance with nature as the former Deaf inmate reserves the right to behave in accordance with nature professionally and legally where he have the rights to access to ASL interpreters, no matter what.

Being neglected and rejected for seeking for ASL interpreters is considered a legal responsibility, becoming a challenging task. Deaf former inmates/returnees are as much a part of inclusive landscape as anything else and it is ridiculous to ignore our language, ASL. This is a language that needs to be included a lot of time to start and empower through training, because there is less space, Deaf inmates, legal rights to access ASL, more and more honest communication of what is needed. How do we combat it without a notion of what respect is?

Deaf inmates and Deaf returnees live our language, ASL. We can call it Deaf Culture but basically justice of the Deaf, been dealing with oppression of ASL–the lack of ability to respect language and culture with an important human meaning.

However, we need to take a hard look at it as a reality to be dealt with in terms of language oppression, which I realize, is a challenge, and then there is no mutual respect. We cannot forget Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution: Nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. Why should neglect knowledge of ASL interpreters and what would it benefit the legal system?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

REFERENCES:

https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2019/09/jury-awards-125000-in-damages-to-former-multnomah-county-inmate-who-is-deaf.html

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Constitution Day: People of the Eye

WRITTEN ENGLISH TRANSCRIPT:

Today, The Constitution of the United States is done and signed by a majority of delegates attending the historic Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia today on September 17, 1787. It’s a hallmark that in the Deaf community, we need to protect our rights.

The ASL/Deaf community has been dealing with very difficult social and economic changes and we need to address an aura of optimism among ourselves who see the possibility of making American Sign Language (ASL) a more dynamic force in communication and instruction for all Deaf people. Especially constitutional rights.

The Deaf community should be a public service—not a place of fear what is called ‘Surdophobia’, “fear of Deaf people” and take advantage of them because of auditory measures. That is beyond cruel punishment and that is exactly why oppression has since become a unique subset of Deaf America. Why? Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution that applies to the Deaf community today. That is a good example of language bigotry.

Can we dedicate ourselves to protect Deaf America? The Constitution of the United States of America—is an important asset that also dedicates to Deaf America, the quality is largely invisible that often overlooked a group of minorities, who easily targets.

Constitutional rights in local, state, and federal—and….their country. The Deaf community needs to restore citizen trust and empower through American democracy. A strong, Deaf community is vital to help the Deaf community to build resources.

If we do not know, with confidence, our part in the whole and our place in history, we can become frustrated by what we have to do. If we know what being Deaf means, our self-esteem and self-determination would be much surer. It is important to understand how much importance of the United States Constitution means for us to preserve our language and culture.

Gallaudet: Censorship & the Punishment of ASL

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Gallaudet University still have relationship with Alexander Graham Bell, a historical figure who owned Audist views or engaged in hate practices—his name have not been removed across on the campus of Gallaudet. The coat of arms by the name of Bell have been idolized a landscape symbol of Audism that honors AGBell that leads to a question:

Is it obvious that GUAA had cited any sentiments in Ella Mae Lentz’s work because of her views about AGBell and LEAD-K? The videos between October 2018 and March 2019 by Ella Mae Lentz should not be censored due to her “tone”–“tone” is part of ASL, too. Is there a reason to cite its decision by GUAA to take an award away with “very careful assessment”, the highest social justice award known as Galloway award, reserved for Ella who have made a lasting contribution to Deaf community?

“Tone” is also an amendment to the United States Constitution: First Amendment. Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Expression. It means any law that should not prohibited limiting Ella’s rights to the First Amendment. Did it mean Gallaudet University and GUAA violated Ella’s rights even if it is because of “tone” in her videos where it belongs at her own house in California? It is an United States Constitution violation. It is indeed, very serious.

Ella Mae Lentz is very much entitled to her linguistic expressions to share her own thoughts in ASL, yet, GUAA is a hell-bent on allowing censorship being shifted control to limit her own expression, so ASL can be sold or censored to the highest bidder.

If there are at least, three people on the GUAA board whom have significant stakeholders of LEAD-K, making the decision independently, would cite a huge role in favoritism, and then it is a problem. It spells out a well-planned effort to penetrate the Audism market, while being stakeholders of LEAD-K, then it is also a stakeholder as the behalf of GUAA to avoid being “controversial” and generate modes of communication to deliberately confound the Deaf.

Ella Mae Lentz’s lasting contributions that stands up against AGBell to stop widespread linguistic and cultural anxieties in Deaf America is a feat.

GUAA board decides it would be best to rescind the Galloway award, so to avoid the permanent fear of ASL-centered, for political reasons, there is a huge banner that says: “WE ARE GALLAUDET: A SIGNING COMMUNITY”

Why not “WE ARE GALLAUDET: ASL COMMUNITY?”

GALLAUDET: SIGNING COMMUNITY is all about promoting more speculative communicative pursuits—oppressing ASL, the language and culture of the Deaf. Is it good example of marginalization of ASL? Is it censorship at best?

GALLAUDET: ASL COMMUNITY is about healthy lifestyle, living by the values it teaches and to reflect ASL everywhere. Students, faculty, and the campus would benefit the profession of ASL as scholars and teachers depends on the First Amendment rights that ASL COMMUNITY belongs on Gallaudet campus.

Ella Mae Lentz, a defender of ASL rights, shall receive Galloway social justice award without retaliation. Her views of LEAD-K and AGBell should not be censored, with a direct contradiction of the practice of American democracy—freedom of speech. Censorship at Gallaudet University is not acceptable and appropriate.

While the answer to censorship of ASL, shall not be imposed from GUAA or Gallaudet University itself, it is also invoking the view of ASL literature. Rescinding an award has reduced to a symbol of ASL politics just because Ella publicly calling out objectionable views of LEAD-K and AGBell, has gone too far in the political climate on Gallaudet campus.

If GUAA board members have direct lineage with LEAD-K for political reasons to help AGBell thrive and grow the modes of communication instead of ASL-centered climate at Gallaudet, then it is a huge conflict of interest and fail to manipulate communicable trust between the leadership and the led.

That is where Ella Mae Lentz has every right to receive an award that fits the character of a social justice warrior. Ella’s work on consciousness about the oppression practices is a social justice award. Social justice is all about advocating for a change.

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Please take, as a liberty in embracing and appreciating the rights of ASL climate and Gallaudet University shall be a bias-free campus without retaliation.

Lastly, Gallaudet University and GUAA should not allow AGBell to engage in a decision-making about which mode of communication would be best thing, instead of ASL, is a pattern of derogatory ideologies. Questioning is another act of avoidance.

Please sign the petition to support Ella Mae Lentz to receive the Gertrude Scott Galloway, Advocacy and Social Justice Award.

Link:

https://www.change.org/p/gallaudet-university-alumni-association-social-justice-award-for-ella-mae-lentz

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

DELTA AIR LINES: Deaf Passengers Insulted and Humiliated

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The major airlines were supposed to treat people with respect, dignity, and professionalism. When it comes to Deaf passengers, it is the opposite of it. Like, Respect-disrespect. Dignity-dishonor. Professionalism-amateur.

At the center of viral video scandal, it is just a good example of the Surdophobia, a term for the fear of Deaf people. It also shows the hearing privileges where a hearing passenger calling police on Deaf people is a cheap shot: Hate does not win. Is it a new norm for hearing people to call police on Deaf people?

In American airplane industry, hearing privileges are allowed to call police on Deaf people when hearing people don’t have patience. It’s a cheap shot. It is known fact that Deaf people have a lot of patience dealing with this language hegemony in the past and present tense.

By the Powers of Audism dominating Deaf people to offend them, and falsely attack them, is a widely pattern of vulnerability and why were they really afraid of in the first place?

What Delta Air Lines did to Deaf people like Melissa and Socorro is a cruelty act which is a good example of violation on 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution, is a sign of psychological distress even for Deaf passengers out there who experienced this at major airplanes. THEY SHOULD NOT EXPERIENCE OPPRESSION AT ALL COSTS.

I understood the experience and pain. It has happened to me before. Delta Airplanes shouldn’t let this to victimize Deaf people without consequences. That will be a lifelong battle for Deaf people in the future. The fact that the society like major airlines could be easily warns potential Deaf passengers with the stigma of “DEAF”—is so callow and capricious. Why do they have to deal with language humiliation? The most painful thing for Deaf people when they face with worst humiliation was only pleasing hearing privileges at their own expense. It’s so wrong!

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It is a hate literature when someone with hearing privileges calls police on Deaf passengers and accused them of assault is low point. How could anyone do that to Deaf passengers, in the past and present tense to teach them the hard ways to live with consequences for the rest of their lives?

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

Celebrating the Bill of Rights

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227 years ago today, the Bill of Rights was shown to the public eye. The people of the eye are also protected by the Bill of Rights. As I wrote this column for DEAF LIFE: Our Constitutional Crisis in April 2018 Issue. Permission was granted to share this column.

“When Deaf people are facing a time of crisis, it is extremely important that they understand their Constitutional rights.

For the past five years, I’ve been asking Deaf people basic questions about the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution)—and considering what’s been happening, a basic knowledge of the answers to these questions could be life-saving. But during these five years, I found only one Deaf person who knew all ten amendments.

Only one? What happened to what we learned about democracy in school? Were we ever taught that the Constitution was written and ratified to resist the tyranny of the ruling minority? Were we taught about the Bill of Rights, discussing each amendment, so we could understand the principle of equal protection?

We can ask—but won’t get any answer—why Deaf students didn’t learn about this before graduating, or why Deaf schools or mainstreamed programs failed to teach them. How can we hold schools accountable for these results?

The U.S. Constitution is a “living document” that can be interpreted, as legal protection should Deaf people face excessively harsh treatment by law enforcement. Recently, one Saturday night, I attended a Deaf social gathering in Washington, where a Deaf woman was sharing her experience with me about an encounter with local police, and how an officer, who knew a little bit of ASL, told her, “I am cold, I need to come in,” and forced himself into her house without her permission. She told me that she felt violated.

Then I asked her if she knew anything about the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. She said, “No.” I explained to her what the Fourth Amendment says: Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any search warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

I told her that her Constitutional rights had indeed been violated. Certainly, it’s not the first time that a police officer entered a citizen’s house without a search warrant. It is perfectly legal to tell the police that they cannot come in without a proper search warrant. You have the right to say no, and they don’t have the right to barge in. It is your home. It is your property. (Even if you’re renting an apartment or saying at a friend’s house, you have your property with you.)

The key is better education about our Constitutional rights. If it’s impractical to enroll in continuing education classes, you can get access to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and study them carefully. And reread them every so often so you don’t forget. The text of the Constitution and Bill of Rights are posted online, can be borrowed, in book form with commentaries, from the public library, or can be purchased. It’s a good investment. Booklets containing the text and amendments can sometimes be obtained free of charge from nonprofit organizations.

Parents of Deaf children, Deaf members of locally elected Deaf school boards, teachers of the Deaf, Deaf advocates, and grassroots Deaf community members should recognize that we’re responsible for ourselves and our fellow Deaf citizens. Empowerment begins with education. We need to teach each other and educate the uneducated about why understanding our Constitutional rights is crucially important, and a survival skill we all need to know.

If we believe that our rights have been violated, do we understand what those rights are? Do we understand what the laws are?

Shouldn’t we?”

Subscribe: www.deaflife.com  

-Jason “JT” Tozier is a former Gallaudet University graduate student living in Washington, D.C; He was a scholarship recipient for ASL/Deaf Studies with emphasis in Cultural Studies at Gallaudet.

He is Chair of Deaf Political Action Committee—District of Columbia Chapter, Chair of National Deaf Consumers United, Director for We the Deaf People, Inc.’s District of Columbia Chapter, member of National Deaf Task Force on Police and Emergency Services, and Founder of Deaf Access Justice.

In his spare time, he loves to play cribbage and chess, reading books, lecturing, and blogging.

The Discussion of Second Chances: Deaf Returnees

“Find ways of sharing the land, of achieving dignity without eradicating the other”- Naomi Chazon

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At the improving myself end of my life, I return home from a trauma stage: telling a story who dealt with an oppressed environment in the hearing world. The majority of the world: hearing. It makes Deaf community built into a minority gambling for human struggle and painful journey.

To the survivors of oppression, those Deaf valiant souls who fought for freedom their whole lives long and never lived to taste its pursuit of happiness; To learn awareness about Deaf returnees, who lived in this strange and cruel land, yet, dreamed more safe without ignorance.

Will Gallaudet University no longer safe because of bullying policies and social values? Where was I shut out of my trauma wiped from my memories of pain for 32 years and of my accomplishments to turn my life around and dealt with hate-mongers?

Labeling heavily regulated because they are federal employees. Regulated for collecting evidence, regulated for search and seizure and regulating on the ideas of profiling. These guidelines need to be followed but sometimes the federal employee does not want to follow the rules, sometimes they want to act like a human. Yes, human have biases and have histories.

In the personal tragedy of what it has happened to me, had been damaged to be enfolded and left to be a scapegoat at will in the eyes of ASL/Deaf Studies, whether our traumas can ever truly be overcome. The answers it offers are denial, deeply rooted in culture of fear, and empty my heart out. Truly broken. It is what it is called siege mentality. Us versus them rhetoric about Deaf returnees.

It is very radicalized—for example, oppressors “police” Deaf returnees, there are expectations that a person is an oppressor. They are considered flash points. If oppressing Deaf returnees on the campus of Gallaudet, what do you call it?

It is a Superman Syndrome. Oppressors are expected to SAVE THE DAY and do everything to everyone. Anti-hate mentality but when oppressors are in trouble and they need the idea of the dual relationships. It is senselessness of bullying. The problems with this type of policing—it is a masculine model, and old school stigma follow and lack of awareness is a big problem.

Let’s exacerbating this idea. Amount of awareness: 100% of educating themselves about Deaf returnees “paid dues to the society”, during the day, the “invisible oppression” and is not regulated, do not have to go by the books, but at night they are regular people by the books.

More about 10,000 Deaf inmates in the United States are invisible. When one let out of prison, only to find that landing a higher education at Gallaudet University is near impossible. In fact, they remain unemployed—often because of the stigma that they carry and concerns over what kind of higher education they would prove to be. It means the awareness of Deaf returnees is three times more invisible and marginalized.

Then lack of awareness goes back to their day job. The Allegory of Deaf returnees—stories that create a meaning that create a meaning beyond the literal level of interpretation.

The rhetoric of supremacism. What is supremacism? It “is an ideology of domination and superiority: it states that a particular class of people is superior to others, and that it should dominate, control, and subjugate others, or is entitled to do it.”

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When I took American Indian Literature for one of my undergraduate requirements, I was asked to read a book called The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living:

“We Lakota believe that the roads in life, but that there are two that are most important. The Red Road and the Black Road. They represent the two perspectives to every situation, the two sides of every person, the two choices we frequently face in life.

The Red Road is the good way, the good side, and the right choice. It is a narrow road fraught with dangers and obstacles is extremely difficult to travel.

The Black Road is the bad way, the bad side, the wrong choice. It is wide and very easy to travel. The Red Road and the Black Road appear in many of our stories, not as roads but as the personifications of right and wrong, good and bad, light and dark.”

That is something we need to think about. Can Deaf returnees be forgiven and give a second chance? The activity of entering or “invading” the awareness on the part of Deaf returnees is clearly one of struggling subversion. Intended by their visible presence in this clearly showed Gallaudet mecca is limiting between the allowable spaces for Deaf returnee’s search for healing and the rest of Gallaudet campus.

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Left unchallenged in such an action, however, are the hardest ways, besides the awareness about Deaf returnees, in which Deaf returnees feel alienated and excluded from Deaf space.

In the higher learning, it was the contention of oppressors to continue combat this stigma must be regarded as the same source of power that denied Deaf returnees access to higher education. Bullying—long tolerated as just part of growing up—finally has been recognized as a sociological problem.

In 1999, District of Columbia enacted anti-bullying legislation. In addition, research on the causes, consequences, and prevention of bullying has not enough discussed at Gallaudet University. However, major ignorance still exists in the understanding of bullying that could prevent the effects of bullying Deaf returnees. The form of social isolation is another sociological problem. With the right training, Deaf returnees who’ve been returned to the society thrive to hold hunger for higher education even more than your regular American citizen.

Higher education plays an important role in their lives. To empower the strategy of unity through democracy—and to teach them is the most peaceful thing. The spirit of peace and democracy that lacks the Gallaudet community-Deaf returnee agreement is gone, and there is no second chance for how to reverse it and how to cope with it.

Professors regarded as, Person who professes being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.” Harper, Douglas, “Professor.” Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2007-07-28.

Text defines “social movements” as collective attempts to bring about change….” Nothing. They originate OUTSIDE the established political system. Let’s emphasize on interlocking systems of oppression—however that is being conceptualized to it. Perhaps it seems surprising because the society have class, power and other issues to contend with. Deaf returnees are less likely to say that the society needs a movement because they continue to be oppressed.

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All for all, Deaf returnees have constitutional right to seek higher education at Gallaudet and change their lives around to make them better. 8th Amendment and 9th to the United States Constitution respectively: Bails, fines, and punishments“nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

Rights retained by the people. “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be constructed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

What is something really important about the relationship between Deaf returnees and Deaf community that we have not discussed in higher learning, and why is it important? Can we find ways of sharing awareness, of achieving dignity without oppressing Deaf returnees at Gallaudet University?

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

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