I wrote this on my Facebook status:
I take a stand against AG Bell organization, not because of my family. My family was free from the influence of AG Bell, which allowed my life to florish according to my parents’ wishes and intuition. I take a stand against the practices and the dogma which the believers espouse and conflict with reality. I take a stand because of what I have seen, worked with and what happens when quality of life is diminished because being deaf is a stigmata. I am many parts, being deaf is one. So are my friends and families.
In addition, I refuse to be a poster child/adult. I grew up with a strange reaction to who I am. Hearing people couldn’t believe that I am deaf; Deaf people couldn’t believe I did not come from a deaf family. I may speak as equal as a hearing person, but I will not give false hope to families to have their children emulate me. I got to where I am today because of my family, my desire to learn and use and the education I received which was unbiased.
Right now there is a battle for the children of Indiana who are deaf or hard of hearing. What the whole populace fails to understand is that bilingual avenue has a higher rate of success than a mono linguistic avenue. I mentioned in my blog “The Real World”, we will all be working together one way or another; just because one group is a majority does not excuse its attitudes towards ‘lesser’ ones. The Indiana government’s majority are the Republicans and boy! they are sure acting like lemmings and willingly forget their party lines of ‘less government’ and ‘fiscal independence’ to meet the needs of the other side which say ‘technology will change the face of deaf culture’. (I bet they have been drinking the dogma vodka).
Technology does make a difference but it does not change who we are fundamentally. What most people do not realize is Indiana is the bastion of what is to come. Y’all go ‘oh that’s California, oh, that’s New York, oh that’s Wisconsin’, but to tell ya – what happens here in Indiana will be the atomic bomb for America, no matter how hard Obama or Dems may try, when it comes to oppressed people, you can sure find them here. Indiana is the old guard, harboring the good ole days when the white guard had control over every single piece (except Northwest Indiana, perhaps). Not healthy, oh yeah deafinitely not healthy!
The Indiana government seeks to ‘fix’ what the problem has been through legislation, focusing their needles, electroshocks, and a dull spoon on a population easily visible compared to the rest of the state, Outreach Service, an agency that receives its funds through Indiana School for the Deaf’s budget at no extra cost to the state. Guess who will handle the removal of Outreach from ISD’s budget and determine staff placements, policies and who can run the new ‘agency’? The Office of Management and Budget.
Some of you may wonder, why we, deaf, have had not a loud voice – louder than the monolinguals and families. Do you know what colonialism? It is still alive and fresh today as it was 130 years ago. Denial of our true selves through languages and education, lack thereof, has allowed the majority to become masters…until now. We are seen fit through God and nature to be on this world and the majority still has yet to learn a lesson. We are quiet because we want to educate through reality.
Reverend Jesse Jackson said it well: “The problem is not that students do not hear. The problem is that the hearing world does not listen.” This was mentioned at the Deaf President Now rally. So true! We want jobs, we want education, we want both languages and we want what is given our due right as humans, no one is listening to us and the flame of truth lies quiet, flickering….
Do you think this will only happen to deaf people? Are we the only ones oppressed? The blacks had their civil rights but honestly, are they truly free? Latinos, like Native Indians, were here before Europeans and Africans. Are they truly free? The Latinos and Native Indians? Black, Latino and Native Indians deaf people suffer more than white deaf, admit it. I only have .1 percent of Native Indian in me and I’m damned ashamed! Perhaps that is why I am made this way. I remember reading about Jim Thorpe and the first emotion that angered me was the treatment of him not as Jim Thorpe but as an Native Indian. I was like maybe 11 years old or a bit younger.
If the Blacks, Latinos, Native Indians, Deaf, Disabled are not free from tyranny or oppression, does that mean White Americans are free? No, for the action that they do towards others, they will never be free. It is not the sins of the fathers, but the sin that we do against God and nature.
We fight this battle with heavy hearts for the future of those children are uncertain and easily swayed by dogma. We know….we have, we are, and we will.