HI all – click link above for vlog re: Love vs. Fear: United We Stand
ya hoo oscar’s instructions showed me how to embed the video – thanks! – u might need to pull out the website frame larger to see the whole thing and also it takes a while to load – not sure why or u click the link to you tube
I wrote a commentary on NEUTRALITY and the Deaf community one year ago which was posted in the ASL Community Journal – if you’d like to read that go to:
for those who dont know ASL or can’t understand me in the vlog above – see below:
Summary of Love vs. Fear: United We Stand vlog
Breaking of one twig.Hi, Iâ€™m Patti Durr from Rochester, NY. Iâ€™d like to discuss the importance of Deaf collectivism in advocating for Deaf rights. Over the past few years I have noticed when hot topics come up within the Deaf community like the recent protest at Gallaudet or the AG Bell Association, folks have plenty of opinions and comments to make about the controversy but if asked â€œdo you want to sign a petition, attend a march, do something?â€ The response is often, â€œno, Iâ€™m neutral.â€ Neutral? Hmmm, thatâ€™s a strange sign in and of itself. Where does the Ns back and forth come from â€“ the sign for â€œnothingâ€ â€“ I have no opinion on that? Upon asking them further, why are you neutral â€“ many comments are about FEAR.
– Fear of being labeled angry, bitter, a Deaf-power militant
– Fear of having name blacklisted
– Fear of family member(s) being picked on or outcast- Deaf world is small
â€“ if I take a stand will my Deaf wife who works in the system or my Deaf child be persecuted / harassed as a result of my activism?- Fear of burning bridges â€“ hmm? What bridges? What fire?- Donâ€™t want to be labeled a trouble maker
â€“ rather have false peace I ask myself â€“ do I want trouble? No â€“ I want solutions, answersâ€¦I want progress and equality for all. Letâ€™s look at F-E-A-R â€“ itâ€™s a very powerful emotion. It can overpower one and colonize our minds and our hearts. Putting us under its control. The opposite of F-E-A-R is L-O-V-E.
Can we shift our focus from fear to love? From imaginary dangers to enlightment, from paranoia to philosophical discussions, from being frustrated and upset to being content and happy? Love is the opposite of Fear. Fear has the power to consume and control us. Love has a power to help us control our destiny in a positive manner. Iâ€™ve noticed how fear can cause us to blame ourselves and each other whereas love allows us to love our self and others and come together collectively.
â€œWe have nothing to fear but FEAR itself.â€ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Fear can lead to paralysis, to become frozen and inactive. That is very dangerous. More dangerous than the threat of loosing ones job, friends or family. The FEAR of it is powerful than the danger one might encounter if they actually faced the problem before them. In the 1960s there was a popular slogan â€œif youâ€™re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. This meant that if you are working to solve a problem, we can make progress and improve. If you remain neutral the powers that be can grow stronger and exert more control over the group. Being neutral is not really neutral â€“ it is giving power to the opponent by default.
You know the quote â€œUnited we stand, divide we fall.â€ This is what is befalling the Deaf community â€“ where we have inaction and infighting, it makes it easy for audism to reign due to our divisions. Despite differing opinions, if we can come together for a common theme and goal â€“ equality and justice â€“ this simple goal â€“ then we can all join and come together. Thus, forming a collective and strong entity. Divide and conquer makes it easy for the dominant group to stay in power.
Throughout history many groups have experienced oppression and suffering â€“ such as women, Native Americans, African-Americans, and Gays and Lesbians â€“ all have experienced oppression from the dominate culture. Each has found a moment in their lives where they cannot accept it any further and decide to take a stand and DO something. Many have taken solitary stands but that is not as effective as when they do it in a group. For example many people commend Rosa Parks. I really admire this small woman who refused to give up her seat to a white person. She knew she desired equal rights to sit as white people. Was she the first person to refuse to give up their seat? NO! Many individuals had done so in the past. They were arrested, beaten, spit upon, and persecuted. At the moment Rosa Parks made her choice not to give up her seat, MLK, JR was in the same town and the Black Civil Rights had been on the move for some years prior. The momentum of social change had been building with the 1954 lawsuit against segregated schools â€“ Brown vs. Board of Education. The ball had already been set into motion and was gathering more and more supports, as it grew larger and larger. So when Rosa made her stand by sitting and refusing to give up her seat â€“ it was the right moment. She was not alone! Many others came together and said, â€œNo, we will not stand for thisâ€ and formed a collective response, which yielded success. (Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted over 1 year â€“ 1955-56). Alone it is easy to be broken down, together it is much more difficult to be broken.
If ur discontent, frustrated lonely, join with others until you have a collective. What binds such a bundle together is Deafhood. â€œA single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.â€ â€“ Tecumesh Shawnee Chief
â€œNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.â€ Margaret Mead
Thanks Ella and Katherine for giving me courage