Harlan Lane: CI Survivors

Harlan Lane was a fierce opponent of cochlear implants. His 1991 paper position against cochlear implants was the most important critical pedagogy in Deaf community that needs to be seen every day and discuss about it in classrooms, public discussions, anywhere. That’s the power of truth.

 

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My Meeting with Harlan Lane

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Harlan Lane lived larger than a life as a scholar in Deaf community. Deaf History cannot be defined without Harlan Lane. He was a great advocate on behalf of the human rights of Deaf people around the world.

I shall forever grateful for the book Lane published: The Mask of Benevolence: Disabling Deaf Community that taught me great deal concept of discovering Deaf history to become a fair game to understand information.

I first spotted that book in a laundry room at a RV park where I was living in a 6×8 camper for six months in 1999. Then I took the book and walked back to the camper and begun reading it in mini living room with my beloved three cats. Nacho, Lenny, and Penny. I was 24 years old. That changed my life forever. That was 20 years ago.

Fast forward. May 2010. The meeting with Harlan Lane at Northeastern University in Boston, MA in a private meeting along with late Carl Schroeder, and an ASL interpreter. That meeting that lasted an hour and half was a lot of greatest discussions and found Harlan Lane to be foremost advocate on behalf of Deaf people rights to receive publications and communications in the name of truth.

It was the same month I finished reading Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood by Paddy Ladd before meeting Harlan Lane.

That book was the very reason that generated my Deafhood journey to cover hate crimes beyond Deaf community. The book had energy of activism and began my activism in public speaking and education, what Deaf Studies is really about. It was one of biggest reasons why I was a graduate scholarship recipient in Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University in 2013. It was also a goal of mine to get Ph.D.

Before meeting with Harlan Lane in person, I was on airplane for Boston-bound from Portland reading When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf and brought great discussions in private meeting. My regret is that I did not bring that book to the meeting, and was not signed by Harlan Lane but I only brought the Mask of Benevolence book by Lane I first read had been the most meaningful that offers learning, resources, and information for Deaf people, simply creating safe spaces where Deaf people feel acknowledged is the major human right step is much necessary.

I explained to Harlan Lane how I found this book and why it has inspired me, and he signed my book. It is not something you would see like this every day. He told me to keep up good work and finish my goal.

I am grateful to know him. He was one of a kind. 1936-2019.

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

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

 

A Witch Hunt: America 1883

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Over the last couple of years, I have been meeting some of Deaf people who were colonized by Alexander Graham Bell’s witch-hunt. Words are too great to describe. The practices of Alexander Graham Bell Association bring in the climate of environmental hate. After reading a book, The Colonizer and the Colonized written by Albert Memmi for my Methodology of the Oppressed class in 2011, that day I remember sharing with the class about AGB’s speech in 1883:

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.”

One of the classmates I never met before said, “It is the problem that AGB lack human-consciousness.” and that was probably best answer I’ve seen from a hearing ally. Their attitudes do serve to juxtapose the consumptions of Deaf people to that of the inhabitants of Americans; however, I think a further look could possibly be taken.

Within millions of potential allies in America, how is it not possible to see people curb their ignorance about hate crimes? Is it because the Deaf people have a tendency towards more Deaf-centered way of life? The quality of hate depreciation is also real.

Where are hearing allies? We need more allies. The classmate whom I also never met before as well, came up to greet herself and said that she read a book, “When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf, one of Harlan Lane’s books for her ASL class years ago in California. The teacher was wise to recommend the book even though it was not required for the class. “Recommend Reading” really makes all the difference. Thank you!

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This line and many other examples in media and print reminds me of a Rubik’s cube that finds with hearing allies and those without, as if Deaf people gain a higher sense of self in their differences. We need more hearing allies to pass national hate crime law that targets Deaf people. After all, we need a big group of stronger human consciousness, too.

Friday, April 14th evening, there will be a vigil held at Gallaudet University around Laurent Clerc bust to share their stories what they experienced Audism in their lives.

-JT

Copyright @ 2017 Jason Tozier

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

Your Best Activity: Reading

ImageReading a book is an invisible thread that could change one’s life. It begins with a warning that “a book belongs to a very few”, perhaps to no one yet living. Warnings aside, be begins by sketching the idea of declining vs. ascending life and culture. An animal, a species, or an individual becomes “depraved” or “decadent” when it loses its instincts for that which sustains its life, and “prefers what is harmful to it”.

Life itself presupposes an instinct for growth, for sustenance, for “the will to power”, the striving for some degree of control and mastery of one’s surroundings. Deafhood journey sets itself up in opposition to those instincts, and hence Deafhood is an expression of defending your human right, an evidence of the will to life.

By building a value–indeed, the highest value-its depressive effects thwart those instincts which preserve life, establishing Deaf people as the standard of value. The rejection of Deaf culture and ASL does not proscribe generosity, magnanimity, or benevolence–indeed the latter are mandated for “higher” types what is rejected to allow the ill-constituted to define what is good. Reading a book is a hundred times wiser and more realistic and is the highest and learned class to recognize the instincts of the subjugated and the oppressed groups, for example, Deaf people.

It was the audists who first falsified the inner and outer world with a metaphysically complete anti-world, one in which natural causality plays no role. One might of course object that such a concept of Deaf person considerably predates Aristotle who said Deaf people are dumb. The audists did this out of hatred with a good reason: to belittle and shut out Deaf people out of society. Thus, the audists view the Deaf people as shrewdly inculcating guilt, resentment, and other values hostile to life among their oppressors as a form of ideological germ warefare, taking care not to become fully infected themselves.

The books, Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood and many other Deaf books such as When the Mind Hears: A History of the Deaf by Harlan Lane made a move to retreat into a state of extreme withdrawal from ‘the world’ undisturbed by reality of any kind. Also, to recognize the fear of pain even in infinitely small amounts, and the books itself are standing in opposition to every active virtue and ask yourself how can books like Inside Deaf Culture by Carol Padden have the dignity and accomplishment not feel ashamed to be called a proud Deaf person.

Not only do the audists deprive us of the benefits of Deaf culture, it was a culture from which audists could and should have learned much, it is their loss. So, reading books is the way of revolutionizing everything that crawls upon the ground directly against that which is elevated: the gospel of the lowly makes low. Deaf people are not the gospel of the lowly. Do we are able to forgive or forget what our enemies were the “intelligent ones” persons far more civilized, erudite, and accomplished than themselves, people who they felt more fit to rule and control Deaf people today.

That is why reading books is important to begin count time from the start of growing pain, the writing of Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood then I would now be writing those words in the highest honor that I get the wish to meet Paddy Ladd himself. It is all about self-sacrifice that allows people to continue to believe in their principles. Reading a book can be your best activity.

-JT

Copyright © 2013 Jason Tozier

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