AGBell: The State Of Shame


I am still sickened by Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Executive Director’s letter for Alexander Graham Bell Community comparing Deaf community to Orlando shooting—Mr. Emilio Alonso-Mendoza. In his letter, he editorializes in favor of hatred towards Deaf community—specifically American Sign Language (ASL). This is hatred; “On paper” is a quote mark trick—probably the best substitution of an indirect expression for AGBell’s letter of support, which is extremely unethical and unprofessional. Alonso-Mendoza informs AGBell Community that he agreed to write to support his views that Deaf community is a perfect example of Orlando shooting. —His support is “on paper”—more favorable, less neutral.

Throwing hatred in Deaf community is one of the most de-motivating things we have ever experienced. This hatred refers to when Alonso-Mendoza appears to be treated better than all other candidates for the position. The end result is that Alonso-Mendoza’s application appears to be better than all others “on paper” and for no valid reason. Whether or not the Deaf community felt pain is legitimate and proven-able might be the biggest obstacle. If the hate speech Deaf community is experiencing from AGBell Association and we feel that it is based on illegal reasons—hate speech—we might need to consider legal action but we would obviously need to be strong to have a case.

The state of shame what Mr. Emilio Alonso-Mendoza has done! Shock was first. Denial followed. Anger arrived. Numerous illegal labels were made out to media to describe the Deaf community by the AGBell Association who is suggesting that their education has been a kind of anarchy and terrorism. Alonso-Mendoza qualified those labels by telling about an unwarranted threat of being shot or being compared to Orlando shooting, “yes, by a gun” which is an angry and false accusation.

The executive director for AGBell is a modern-day he-Adolph Hitler. He has a recipe for using propaganda, fear, and scapegoats to convince AGBell followers to go along with his plans. He has a gift for crafting negative labels for Deaf community by accusing them for arousing anarchy and terrorism. I have seen none more strikingly similar to Hitler than Alonso-Mendoza. His accusations seem more acceptable in media today when compared to attack the Deaf community because they do not directly attack any one particular group, but instead attack Deaf community that has long been known to hold the interests for many diverse groups in Deaf community as well.

I am not even sure I understand Alonso-Mendoza’s points about anarchy and terrorism since I am not aware of the monopoly of AGBell Association that controls all media. Yet as an AGBell survivor, I cannot sit idly by when false accusations about activism are made. Apathy seems cool in an “ignorance is bliss” kind of way, but it is very risky not to disagree with opinions inside AGBell Association. It is therefore important to take a stand against AGBell’s ignorance, hatred, and false accusations.

The truth of what is happening with AGBell Association is obvious to most of us the AGBell survivors, but we must not take that for granted. There are many out there who are now in the state of shame—we are ashamed of mistrust of what we see on the news outlets about AGBell Association whom killed the LEAD-K bill in Rhode Island. There is no doubt in our minds that AGBell, Meredith Sugar, and Emilio Alonso-Mendoza will still continue to blame weak-kneed Deaf community for destroying the morale of their educational leadership and making Deaf community what it is today. They are angry people, and we are ashamed now. Please make a notice that Meredith Sugar and Emilio Alonso-Mendoza have something in common: “Lawyers are”: perilous mouths.

As William Shakespeare once wrote, “Measure for Measure”: To whom should I complain? Did I tell this, who would believe me? O perilous mouths, That bear in them one and the self-same tongue, Either of condemnation or approof; Bidding the law make court’sy to their will: Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite, To follow as it draws!…..”

The key word: O perilous mouths, that bear in them one and the self-same tongue.

*****Perilous definition: (adjective) full of danger or risk.******

Shame on Meredith Sugar and Emilio Alonso-Mendoza!


Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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Shakespeare’s Sonnet XXIX: Deaf People?


Folger Shakespeare Library, home of the world’s largest Shakespeare collection in Washington, D.C. from my iPhone. Hint: They do provide ASL interpreters!

Today I am in mood to write about William Shakespeare. He was an icon in English departments worldwide. In my old town, I would ride my old Schwinn road bicycle to attend summer play given by the company that also provides ASL interpreters. It was a blast! I grow to appreciate his writing by taking couple of courses about Shakespeare. 400 years ago, he passed away on his birthday, April 23rd. To begin off with Renaissance Literature, a book I was reading loaded with sonnets, Shakespeare writes in Sonnet XXIX (29):

When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes

I all alone beweep my outcast state,

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,

And look upon myself, and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,

Desiring this man’s art, and that man’s scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings

 That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

This sonnet has been always on my mind for a while and it is challenging to analyze what Shakespeare really meant by that. There were so many interpretations in there— Could Shakespeare possibly write this about Deaf people he had seen what they had been going through? There is a valid reason I would think of this because with the first sentence, “when in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”—that carries a picture of subject into the picture. “I all alone beweep my outcast state”—treat Deaf people within outcast state and weep alone.

Then why would Shakespeare have said, “And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries”. I have a hunch feeling that the sonnet was about Deaf people for some reason. As is well known but quickly forgotten, this sonnet might make history. Who knows that Shakespeare was a fierce supporter of Deaf people? Shakespeare became both iconic and historic.

With collective support in English literature which earn him a legend. Again, this sonnet might as well as recognizing marginalized perspectives of Deaf people to light is therefore a revolutionary act of some importance. It can subvert dominant understandings, it might inspire us to raise our voice and support Shakespeare’s sonnet XXIX, and it also forces us to rewrite old histories to include or at least respond to the vision of social oppression today in media.

What if this sonnet had the effect of creating a series of false images about Deaf people? The most important being that the dismissal ignorant in that time period meant the complete collapse of Deaf people. Shakespeare understood the false images of Deaf people that they attempt to had triumph against great odds of the hearing oppressors and had succeed in bringing about linguistic and cultural claims that being Deaf belongs in higher education. It may or not whether it is knock-on effect.

In fact, Deaf people who appreciate Shakespeare’s writing, they are looking out for the ripple effect of the historical sonnet. Personal, social, and cultural rationalizations concerning ourselves as Deaf people and the world around us are Shakespeare’s sonnet XXIX that have to be broken. Again, this sonnet is the greatest mystery.

This is only free-writing. It was fun to do something like this even if I may be incorrect about this sonnet from Shakespeare scholars.



 Bought both items from Folger Shakespeare Library shop.


Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

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

Thank you, Nyle DiMarco!


Dear Nyle DiMarco,

I would like to offer my congratulations for you to win America’s Next Top Model, the highest award you can bestow in the industry that is known for failure in presenting hard facts and expert opinion to be brought in Deaf education. To be quite honest with you, I am no fan of modeling myself for couple of reasons, for one, the industry is so inflated with misinformation, emotion, and a complete lack of basic public health information that no wonder the media are such an impressive train wreck.

However, you walked through the hall of Audism in each episode you had encountered with. Much of the social history of the Deaf, over the past three centuries, has been a history of replacing spoken language with signed language. It got worse after the 1880 Milan resolution banning the use of signed language for instruction of the Deaf.

I was so impressed with the show’s determination that did not allow Alexander Graham Bell Association to take over and throw you out—like what they did to Bob’s House about two Deaf guys driving in a truck looking for the right house and realizes that all the houses are all in dark and the driver uses the horn to see which the house where Deaf person lives and realizes the house did not flinch lights while all other houses did during a television commercial in older Super Bowl games—it was pure bigotry what they did!

AGB folks—those people who have encouraged the creation of, or have refused to denounce, witch hunts that target Deaf people for harassment, in the tradition of AGB’s witch hunts, modern government myths are unfair and un-American. I mean, look at those Deaf people were celebrating all over America—it is very rare to see this so much happiness through social media in long time. Smiles were like, impossible to replace. Try to imagine a day without smiles. Never mind a day; try to imagine getting through the first hour without smiles: no time, no date, no TV or newspapers, no bank accounts to check. It is not clear exactly where you are waking up either, for without smiles, the show from last Friday, December 4th would not exist.

What you may have had taught the media and the industry that the history of failure and disaster of Deaf education has neither discouraged Deaf people nor discredited them—thank you for your hard work and courage to make media THINK! There is a need for Deaf people to take up specific, clearly defined models of Deafhood, to live with them!

There is a Sonnet 60 that William Shakespeare writes,

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

So do our minutes hasten to their end;

Each changing place with that which goes before,

In sequent toil all forwards do contend.

The key word in this above passage is “toil”–hard and continuous work…to strive to make yourself understood.


Copyright © 2015 Jason Tozier

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