The Return of the Drs. IK Jordan, JK Fernandes, and
K Kimmels to Campus
I am posting my thoughts on the return of Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes, and Dr. Kimmel to teach at Gallaudet NOT because I want to create discord or see a protest emerge. Neither of these outcomes are desirable or effective.
I post because I cherish Gallaudet â€“ she is the birthplace of my Deafhood and my understanding of Civil Rights. Gallaudetâ€™s contributions to Deaf history, ASL development, Deaf education, empowerment, etc. are all very, very important. I do NOT want to see Gallaudet loose her accreditation.
Like the mother in Solomonâ€™s story I would rather give up my own baby and let the woman who falsely claims the child take her as her own rather than see Gallaudet split in two and in doing so be killed. I would do this. I would give Gallaudet up to them if I thought that it would spare Gallaudetâ€™s life. However, given the fact that it is their own poor decision making, incongruent actions and continual misinformation coming from these leaders to the public sphere that is actually contributing to Gallaudetâ€™s possible downfall and loss of accreditation â€“ we MUST take a peaceful and positive stand.
The controversy that has the campus in its clutches is largely caused by the very people who have been claiming they know what is best for the University and they themselves are the best suited to hold leadership positions within the University (dean, provost, president, president emeritus, etc)
Anyone opposing their claim is painted as being a fanatic.
I do not support any form of fanaticism â€“ I do not support any form of oppression or discrimination. I do not want us to become what they falsely accuse us of. I simply want to take a stand for that which is true.
I do not understand why Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes, and Dr. Kimmel continually choose to harm the Institution they claim to care so much about.
Dr. I. K. Jordan refusing to acknowledge his role in escalating the conflict (quotes in the press about â€œnot Deaf enough,â€ â€œmany ways of being Deaf,â€ implying that folks who support Deaf culture do not recognize that, ordering the arrests on black Friday, using inflammatory labels for protestors, holding naming ceremonies in his and his wifeâ€™s honor during a time of unrest yet canceling home coming, hailing the lockdown of the campus by protestors as civil disobedience and praise-worthy in 1988 but calling it unlawful, anarchy, and terrorist-like in 2006, refusing to offer a public apology, returning to teach on a campus that under his leadership was nearly destroyed
Dr. J. K. Fernandes continually misrepresenting what the protest was actually about â€“ playing the â€œnot Deaf enoughâ€ card when the protestors (Faculty, Students, Staff, Alumni and community members) always asserted it was about the search process and wanting a â€œGOOD enoughâ€ president for their beloved Institution, refusing to step down and resubmit her application to a new impartial search process, showing ignorance of what bilingualism is about and spinning support of ASL to mean a diminishing of English, and returning to teach in a field that she has been actively undermining.
Dr. K. Kimmel filing a lawsuit against Gallaudet University for the amount of $3,000,000 in compensatory damages and $9,000,000 in punitive damages on the grounds of discrimination based on her hearing loss making her â€œnot Deaf enough.â€ (see next post where I pick apart the lawsuit in detail). Yet she will be returning to teach on the campus that has caused her such costly emotional distress?
What can we do about the return of Drs. IK Jordan, JK Fernandes, and K Kimmels to Campus:
1. start a petition objecting to their return. One has already begun opposing Dr. Fernandes teaching in the ASL and Deaf Studies dept given her strong anti-Deaf culture and anti-ASL statements in the media.. Send the petition to President President, Dr. Davila, requesting a formal written response to the petition be sent to all the signatories. This may not change anything as they each have tenure but it will at a minimum communicate our concern and desire for the best instructors to be teaching at this cherished University as its academic rigor is being scrutinized and for all time. It also serves as a collective response to be on the record.
2. ask Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes, and Dr. Kimmel to consider creating a vlog or a public statement to the Deaf community responding to the contradictions listed above. I am very interested in their point of view and having honest and healthy dialogue with them. I really do desire that we can heal and move on. Unfortunately, because we have not been afforded an opportunity to process this whole experience collectively and because misrepresentation and damaging actions keep taking place by the three above â€“ public presentations, quotes in the media and lawsuits â€“ we are continually drawn back into the duty of addressing and opposing audism when it rears its ugly head. I myself offer my forgiveness to them for what they have done and also seek their forgiveness for any harm that I may have caused them. While I forgive and love them I still request that they stop their actions of harming Gallaudet.
3. Do NOT show hostility or aggression towards Dr. Jordan, Dr. Fernandes, Dr. Kimmel or any of the individuals who opposed the protest. I am being very serious here. No good comes from hatred. No good comes from evil. Gandhi and MLK, Jr â€“ the best known practitioners of civil disobedience and PEACEFUL resistance â€“ always advocated with love, peace and compassion in their hearts. They were FIRM in their positions and demands but they NEVER did so with hatred and venegence in their hearts. If we become that which we hate, then we give oppression the greatest possible victory over us.
4. If you feel angry and outraged â€“ vent it in safe places that will do no harm to others or yourself. Anger is ok â€“ its natural. We can show we are angry or frustrated or sad to any injustice we encounter but we must show it with love in our hearts.
5. If you believe in prayer â€“ pray. Light a candle, burn some sage, offer up their names at church or in shul when it comes time to pray for those in need of healing. I do believe Jordan, Fernandes, and Kimmel have been hurt tremendously. I do believe the protestors have suffered tremendously also. Post Traumatic Stress weighs heavy on our collective consciousness. Pray for wisdom and justice to manifest itself peacefully.
6. Other ideas????
Other blogs/vlogs on this topic to check out:
Ryan Commersonâ€™s Vlog: Paternalistic Gallaudet Leaders http://signcasts.com/node/134#comments
Patti Durrâ€™s response to Fernandesâ€™ quotes in the Chronicles of Higher Education article
Mishka Zenaâ€™s blog on Karen Kimmelâ€™s lawsuit â€“ has pdf of litigation http://blog.deafread.com/mishkazena/2007/06/06/kimmel-lawsuit-not-deaf-enough
Robert Johnson’s “Simple Lies and Complex Truths” Abridged version in ASL
Ridor Live â€“ will add URL later right now the internet says Site Temporarily Unavailable
I’m sure there are others blogs/vlogs on this topic that i have missed – pls add good links in comments
Note: I will post a sample petition soon.
Note: one poster made a suggestion that i not entitle this blog posting by referring to the three professors above as the Three Ks as it is a reference to the white supremacist group
thank you for this observation – i have now gone back and amended. I was not thinking in those terms but i did see some blog/vlog titles in Deaf Read suggesting such
that is inappropriate and i do NOT support any analogy to the three as being similar to such a group – i was simply looking for a catching title and that they all have Ks in there names but the way it can get signed – instead of signing 3 ks – KKK instead – i totally object to
thank u for bringing error on my part that to my attention