Why Library of Congress Matters Ever in the Age of Deaf Education

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Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.: Guardian of the private collections. There is nothing better than this unique place. The principles at play are much larger than this. I believe in mother of all libraries. Indeed, growing up where I usually carry library card with me all the time, the experiences as a library supporter, my experiences studying in libraries, and by researching, reading, and writing has informed my belief in the ideal that library system, that will greatly benefit of, in the ranks of information that has often quickly forgotten how important it is.

It is with a heartfelt debt of gratitude that I grabbed for the vote of confidence in electing to do this opportunity. I was helping out a friend for PhD dissertation, and I am humbly entrusted with the responsibility of helping out this. Access to private collections is generally limited to those engaged in higher learning studies.

All the books I’ve read about Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Sophia Fowler Gallaudet, Edward Miner Gallaudet, Laurent Clerc, and others long before I moved to DC, but nothing will ever replace this. Now I got to witness hand-written letters by the very same people above. Incredible experience!

Until today, walking into Library of Congress to do academic research for the full day, has advanced issues of importance to Deaf community for truth results why American Sign Language (ASL) shall kept strong, vibrant, and resilient who care about the safety and wellness of where Deaf community live and about each other and how we can grow.

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The collections of documents about Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Edward Miner Gallaudet papers with hundreds and hundreds of letters goes back to 1806 to 1847, was incredible experience. I got to see the old letters written by Sophia Fowler Gallaudet whom she wrote a letter to T.H. Gallaudet had possibly made a history changer in Deaf Education. Sophia was born Deaf, and there was no Deaf schools in America that time. Sophia was a great writer, beautiful writing, indeed! Intellect. She was a matriarch in Deaf Education.

She writes: (keep in mind, it is not exactly accurate words, but I’ll do my best)

I love Laurent Clerc. I really loved [learning or seeing?] signs”

That might be the earliest birth of bilingualism (ASL/Written English) proficiency in my opinion. Sophia was definitely a thinker after reading the handwritten letters to T.H. Gallaudet and she knew that the importance of sign language in Deaf Education would be much needed in the sustained, systematic, and reflective thinking about the language and Deaf culture.

Laurent Clerc must be an amazing signer, that brought concepts and beliefs in any subject to see what is good and reasonable to believe about it, and why. That must have gotten Sophia to invest in love with sign language to understand expression, and shows that ASL is empirical and observable than ever today.

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That letter written to Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet proved that sign language tends to examine data and evidence already available, usually trying to put ASL into a clear and reasonable perspective, rather than to seek new data.

After all, bilingualism is the best thing. Modes of communication are considered to be a waste of mental energy, for no useful purpose. Bilingualism is a path that can be embraced. It might be a process quite foreign to many of us, but today, the peer pressure of western medical and technological science has pursued a path of restoration of hearing through amplification and cochlear implants, but they do not produce healthy path for Deaf people.

It is best to learn ASL and written English will make ALL the difference. Early life of bilingualism would begin great storytellers and create their layer inner richness as human beings. It develops an understanding of sign language, which makes a better human being.

In Sophia’s words to T.H. Gallaudet about Laurent Clerc is the most powerful means by values of Deaf culture are passed on. The formation of Deaf child’s identity is so important with ASL and written English where the stories that both mirror and appreciate that language and culture, and it is our responsibility to push for stronger bilingualism principles.

That is what Sophia wanted.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

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The Stories of Racial Segregation in Deaf Black Community in Washington, D.C.;

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Today (May 24) in 1951, racial segregation in Washington, D.C. restaurants ruled illegal. It became a big deal. The history in Deaf community, I am sure that there are stories by Deaf Black people who experienced racial segregation in D.C., even as Gallaudet students. The stories of Deaf Black Gallaudet students would deliver to the Deaf community, as to the rest of the world. It was the wave of racism made the weak weaker, and most of the strong weaker.

The reason I write this blog post is because I am an ally. I oppose the structure of racism, and that is where I follow W.E.B. DuBois philosophy, “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”

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I cannot fathom the idea of racial segregating Deaf Black people in DC, the home of Deaf Utopia, hence Gallaudet University. The term of “Utopia” is noun. I looked up the definition, “an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.”

Is Deaf community perfect? Is Gallaudet community perfect?

A while ago, in one of my previous posts, I explained the history of “ugly laws” that would target Deaf people. It actually existed. The last city to repeal ugly laws was in Chicago, 1974. When I took course called “Images of Disability People in Film and Literature” in 2010, my professor had instructed me to read a book called The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public, Susan M. Schweik.

I am sure that there were stories in nation’s capital where Deaf Black people would walk into restaurants and would get targeted, attacked, ridiculed, and ostracized between racial segregation and ugly laws makes it triple alienation and oppression against Deaf Black people. The meaning of alienation: “the state of experience of being isolated from a group or an activity to which one should belong or in which one should be involved.”

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At the height of the culture wars in Deaf community, it is time to learn and respect Black Deaf community stories that would make things the consistent responsibility of life. Deaf Black people continue to be in the circle of language minority just like Deaf community goes through the phrase.

It would be nice if there were any surviving Deaf Black Gallaudet students who experienced racial segregation in restaurants would share stories. I have not read any books or articles that would share their experiences prior to 1951 or in this matter, the very day today when it became illegal, how would they react to the change of life?

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

Honoring the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. Washington, DC.

When I was living in Portland, Oregon—I visited Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr statue called The Dream just right outside Oregon Convention Center. That was where Deaf People of Color Conference was taken in 2010. I was blown away with each of presenters. I see dream in the conference theme “Hands Joined, Signs United, Colors Flying”—with the main objective to heal from Racism, one of the society’s most venom letter in the English language. The quote by MLK continues to inspire as well as struggle to overcome hate, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”

That quote was mind-boggling—and we must continue to honor MLK’s legacy. When I visited National MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C; the statue of MLK had reflected many values that unite all of us to continue to fight against hate. Especially in the Age of Trumpism, we need to continue to fight for civil rights, and the legacy what MLK had done made us to be socially responsible to be on the front lines to make a radical change to overcome hate.

I remember one day when I visited Lincoln Memorial and stood where MLK gave the most famous speech, I Have a Dream front of the largest audience—no way you can ever take that away like that. Moving from Portland to Washington, D.C. is a huge difference.

Portland, the whitest city in America, to DC, one of the largest Black populations in America, I see oppression every day around the city. This is 2018. For example, I remember standing outside in the back of the apartment in Trinidad area, my next-door neighbor was hosting a party, so they asked me to join the festive and appreciate the DC life. I was only living in DC eight months that time…and saw something surreal what I saw. It was hot summer.

Maybe one of the hottest summers so far and there were couple of Black people sitting, standing, and drinking a bottle of water and all of sudden, the police was driving around and decided to make a power trip and got out of the car and decided to grab their water bottle and emptied right front of them with laughter and one of the mothers became so upset and had bravely confronted them and the cops laughed and drove away. I saw the whole thing—I was like, what the fuck? Of course, the police officers—who were white.

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The language is different from Portland and DC. It has been a lot of experience to understand the problem of Racism, and I have seen the stereotype and full of hate. One of the best examples that Donald Trump said about Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries, “SHIT-HOLE”—what a SHIT HOLE PRESIDENT. As for Deaf community, we have to be thankful for National Black Deaf Advocates for its leadership. I’ve met few Deaf people from Haiti, and few African countries and they are incredible people!

As for Trump, you cannot fix a personality disorder—Trump is mentally nuts. People with personality disorders do not think there is anything wrong with them, and Trump is one of them. Trump will never acknowledge the fact that he has a problem even when he spewed hate as an American President—just wrong to see like this.

The growing of white supremacy in America is alarming, and the President of the United States creates the big picture about Racism and encourages violence against Black Deaf people. Remember the way he encourages harsher police brutality front of police officers and they all laughed. It was an alarming experience to see this. Perhaps there is a racist angle in there somewhere if we look hard enough.

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MLK day—the reflection about “soul searching” is important for us in the society. The book you see on the left side is one of the best books I ever read about MLK.

Please honor MLK’s legacy and celebrate his life. Oh, yes, please reserve a ticket in advance should you visit in DC to see National Museum of African American History and Culture.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

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

 

 

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/

 

 

 

Did AGBell Take the Possession of Deaf Community Out of Lincoln’s Words?

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Fighting hate. Teaching tolerance. Seeking justice. All those years I’ve read books about Abraham Lincoln. I visited Lincoln Memorial many times. I visited Lincoln’s summer retreat. I’ve visited Ford Theatre. I’ve visited Petersen House. The only place I did not get to visit Springfield, Illinois, the birthplace of Lincoln. Not yet.

Few days ago, I just completed reading a book about Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, the great debate between them. Douglass was Lincoln’s personal adviser that Lincoln himself had the biggest change of heart all because of Douglass. Thanks, Douglass!

First, I would like to talk a little more about Alexander Graham Bell. He was a professional thief. He stole the phone idea. He stole written lines from influential people, for example, stealing the line from Helen Keller. Look between Keller and Bell’s lines. Disclaimer: Keller said it first WAY before Bell claimed it was his. So easy to see this!

Keller’s line: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

Bell’s line: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

So obvious!

He stole Deaf people’s life. How? Did AGBell copy the idea from Lincoln’s 1858 quote? Let’s take a serious look at those similar speeches between Lincoln’s 1858 hate speech and AGBell’s 1883 hate speech. First, let’s take a look at AGBell’s hate-filled words first:

Those who believe as I do, that the production of a defective race of human beings would be a great calamity to the world, will examine carefully the causes that lead to the intermarriages of the deaf with the object of applying a remedy.”

I must warn you this that the quote by Lincoln you are about to read will be graphic that may make your skin crawl. This quote was the most racist and hate language you would see anywhere from Lincoln [seriously!] and I was very surprised what I read with my own eyes. I was in total disbelief. Lincoln’s words:

I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races—that I am nor ever have been in favor in

making voters or jurors of negroes, or of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”—Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President.

Yes, yes, yes, Lincoln really said that! Were you surprised? Admit it.

Source: Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858. [The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, pp. 145-145]

I am sure that Lincoln may be very much regretted to say this. Few years later, Lincoln toured several Civil Wars, he saw the great pain in Black soldiers who were severely injured, killed, became whether North nor South soldiers became Deaf and the hollow ground that fights for democracy. Stories became Lincoln’s stories. I am also sure that Frederick Douglass who stood strong and believed that Lincoln would have the change of heart after realizing that being a racist is not the pivotal answer and he knew that hate do not win at all costs.

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Douglass saw a great potential in Lincoln who took the greatest power to overthrow hate. That took a REAL MAN to stop being racist and believed in equality. You do not see that like that often. That is why Lincoln supported the idea of 13th Amendment—and abolishes slavery for good all because of the mistake he said in 1858. It shows that Lincoln believes in returning the favor out of love. That’s really big! Love trumps hate. (Tsk. Tsk. Wonder who it reminds me of?)

AGBell loved Lincoln’s racist idea to make him fame and infamous and saved for the best to attack Deaf community. Did you ever wonder that AGBell may get the idea from Lincoln? Just sharing thoughts on this.

AGBell did not own up and apologize and show that it is important to continue practice hate against Deaf people. Did you ever wonder why there is not a single photograph of AGBell and a Black Deaf person together in same photo? Was AGBell a hardcore Racist? That is exactly why AGBell believes in continuing slavery. Same way. Again, hate does not win. Lincoln was honest about his mistake. AGBell will never admit his mistake. Can Racists become better people in the future? Who was better person? What about Audists?

We need to fight hate against AGBell. We need to teach tolerance against AGBell. We need to seek justice against AGBell. Every inch of human cost. The bottom line is that Lincoln overthrew Racism. AGBell did not overthrow Audism because he was at the level of false hope. That’s where it went the wrong way. Oops.

Whenever you visit Cap City for the first time or visit the city again, be sure to visit Tower of Books. Since Lincoln’s death in 1865, about 100 books every year has written about President Lincoln, the most popular president in American history. That’s over 15,000 books already written about Lincoln. If you want to see the Tower of Books, you need to visit Petersen House first before see it. Let’s write 15,000 books about how AGBell fucked Deaf community up.

 

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-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

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

References:

http://www.vanguardsculptureservices.com/Content/Patina/Patina.htm

https://texaspolitics.utexas.edu/archive/html/cons/features/0206_01/slide3.html

http://clumsyphotographer.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa Lampanelli: Queen of Hate-Monger in Deaf Community

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Look at the date and the namesake of the theatre. 

April 8th. The theatre named after President Lincoln. It is the date when President Lincoln signed an important history to give Deaf people a new life to breathe for higher education by establishing National Deaf Mute College in 1864. I saw the sign when I was waiting for Metro train to come by and realized something about it.

Who might be Lisa Lampanelli? She is the Queen of hate-monger. She is a mean comedian on HBO and other TV series promoting hate speech. In 2007, she was in Rochester, New York for stand up show and made very hateful comments about Deaf people. I mean, really hateful.

Lampanelli: “God hates Deaf people. What’s wrong with you?”

Lampanelli: “Don’t you think Deaf students could be maybe just retarded, and they’re trying to sneak by saying they’re Deaf?” Oh, there are many more what she said about Deaf people. Where is the humor in these statements? In what way are these acceptable? NONE. NADA. ZERO.

Link: http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/11524000.html

For Deaf people in Washington, DC, the home of Gallaudet University, the world’s only university for Deaf—they have been as an agent of change, and in many respects, an awakening in politics and Deaf culture. Deaf people are still reminded that that they are collectively still in pursuit of happiness, freedom, justice and equality in the land of America.

Lisa’s words supported mob attacks, medical genocide, cultural genocide, discrimination, hate speech, culture of fear and most importantly, Audism. How would Deaf people feel if the hearing peers approve a show of a hearing person mocking and degrading them? What kind of message is that sent to the Deaf people and their families who struggle discrimination and prejudice on a daily basis? What about the self-esteem of those Deaf people who already demoralized by the extensive Audism?

To add the salt on the wound, their money via public and private activity fees might finance the show. Lampanelli can practice her hate speech/literature elsewhere, but to do this in Washington, D.C.; with the major Deaf university sends a very negative message on the value of Deaf people and students. There is no going around this message.

Lampanelli still have not apologized for her hate speech ten years ago. She cannot get away with it. We need to remind her that it is not acceptable. Stop hate speech against Deaf people. I feel those Deaf people in 2007. I cannot imagine and I do not think it was funny at all.

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No wonder where Trump got this from Lisa for calling Deaf people retarded. 

April 8th is very special for Deaf people with the BIG help of President Lincoln. Bless his soul! Lisa Lampanelli knew that it was an act of hate against Deaf people, as well as an attack on them as the state of being Deaf.

I think that Lincoln Theatre needs to realize and have the show cancelled and respect Deaf people first. I wish Deaf people would protest there and make a difference.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

The Unreal and Real: Stories From Deafhood Journey

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Four years ago the day before today, we were selected to give a play called The Deafhood Monologues written by Ella Mae Lentz held at Atlas Performing Arts Center, one of the oldest theaters in District of Columbia that night. It was special for all of us. I was very proud to be part of the cast—despite that I am from Portland, Oregon.

That night was truly special. I was a product of Tucker-Maxon Oral School in Portland, Oregon—every oral school for the Deaf proudly proclaims that it teaches its students how to speak. Every such school proudly advertises that it does not teach sign language, nor do its students use it. Every residential oral school has traditionally had a clandestine signing subculture.

It is far more difficult for this to occur in day schools, where students are shuttled between their families and school, which is why Alexander Graham Bell thought they were the best solution to the problem of educating Deaf students. His ideal was schools where there would be a single Deaf student in the midst of the hearing majority.

It goes without saying that he never considered Deaf children’s linguistic, social, or cognitive needs. Much less than their feelings.

Denial is the first law of healing. It is the first practical step toward getting rid of your mind the mistaken beliefs of a lifetime. The word, “deny” means to “declare not to be true that that appears true.” It is important that the first law of healing, the best way to get rid of negative beliefs from your mind and rid of toxic that eats up your body. Deaf community was taught to use self-hate when growing up in a society that is in a great deal of denial.

Self-hate is a disease and the truth is that the disease is that it is also self-inflicted. Deaf people inflict their own diseases upon themselves by their fears, resentments, hate, and belittlement. Self-hate in the Deaf community is probably the number one in the circle that it carry a gross injustice, which destroys our community, sabotages democracy and it is linked to many of our social problems.

The Deafhood Monologues changed my life. Self-hate is a form of darkness that flees in the presence of light and enlightenment. The Deafhood Monologues gathers up in a circle and used ASL as a breakthrough to stop politically correct society that Deaf people should not be oppressed.

It was part of healing for The Deafhood Monologues cast how to break trough self-hate from their childhood before discovering their true Deaf identity.

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-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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