Dr. Angela McCaskill has been returned to her Chief Diversity officer post at Gallaudet – see Washington Post article
Im glad the matter is finally resolved.
I’d feel better if there was some kinda statement coming forth from Dr. McCaskill acknowledging and SUPPORTING marriage equality and denouncing Tony Perkins of the Family Resource Council, which has been identified as a hate group and Perkins having White Supremacist group affiliations. Previously McCaskill had thanked Tony Perkins of the FRC and Rev. McCoy of the MD Marriage Alliance (another anti-marriage equality group). (ie unpacking)
Dr. McCaskill was put on paid administrative leave to determine if her personal actions of signing a petition jeopardizing marriage equality in MD indicated that she held beliefs and values that would compromise her ability to perform the duties of her office http://www.gallaudet.edu/Diversity/About_ODI.html.
It is assumed that by virtue of reinstating her, Dr. Hurwitz has determined or been given assurance that she can adhere to the duties of her office.
I am hopeful the campus will engage in some type of dialogue re: diversity and intersectionality and marriage equality because out of a hard and painful time, there is much to learn.
I am also hopeful they will do a screening of Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin (check the DVD as the captions dropped out a bit from time to time at the RIT Screening) http://rustin.org/
I know folks have lots of criticism for Gallaudet and i know no community or campus is perfect. I also know that Gallaudet has tackled a lot of VERY difficult conflicts largely by employing civil disobedience, peaceful activism, Gandhian and MLK Jr principles and percepts. So I am hopeful they can come from love on this issue.
I recently read a long article in the NYTimes about Restorative Justice and while it relates to a horrible and hard criminal case – i have experienced the powers of the restorative justice circle after a Swastika-shape was burned on a street in our neighborhood and the young men apprehended. The restorative justice process was painful yet very healing so I am hopeful that more places will explore it as I think it gets to core issues more deeply than other systematic approaches and allows for true reconciliation.
The article while long is very powerful and reminds me greatly of the words Felix Garcia, a Latino Deaf man in prison for 3 decades for a crime his brother has since confessed to with no release date in sight. Felix had recently written in a letter to me:
“Unforgiveness clogs the faith channel and keeps you powerless against the mountain’s in our lives.”
The recent situation at Gallaudet is not on par in scale or intent to the article’s example nor Felix’ situation. Yet they give me a great deal of hope of what can be achieved if and when folks confront with love and compassion injustice, prejudice, hurt, and inequality.
And I’ll close with a GREAT chart that Dr. John Bosco Conama of Ireland sent me. Dr. Conama is a scholar in Equality of Condition and this chart, while not comprehensive & pretty U.S. centric, gives a great visual representation of parallel struggles and the evolution of equality as well as interesectionalities.
And while i know its very easy for me to preach forgiveness to the folks at Gallaudet – pls do know that i have lived my life trying to practice it. That while i do not know if i could ever be as good and as amazing as the parents in the article or Felix in prison – that the times i have forgiven fully and freely, good things have returned to me.
I look forward to the day when all the states of this union say – no govt (local state or federal) shall deny Americans the right to marry the person they love.
May the healing begin.