Love vs. Fear: United We Stand vlog
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, I’m Patti Durr from Rochester, NY. I’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 “do you want to sign a petition, attend a march, do something?” The response is often, “no, I’m neutral.” Neutral? Hmmm, that’s a strange sign in and of itself. Where does the Ns back and forth come from – the sign for “nothing” – I have no opinion on that? Upon asking them further, why are you neutral – 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

– 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 – hmm? What bridges? What fire?- Don’t want to be labeled a trouble maker

– rather have false peace I ask myself – do I want trouble? No – I want solutions, answers…I want progress and equality for all. Let’s look at F-E-A-R – it’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. I’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.

“We have nothing to fear but FEAR itself.” 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 “if you’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 – it is giving power to the opponent by default.

You know the quote “United we stand, divide we fall.” This is what is befalling the Deaf community – 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 – equality and justice – this simple goal – 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 – such as women, Native Americans, African-Americans, and Gays and Lesbians – 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 – 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 – it was the right moment. She was not alone! Many others came together and said, “No, we will not stand for this” and formed a collective response, which yielded success. (Montgomery Bus Boycott, which lasted over 1 year – 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. “A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.” – Tecumesh Shawnee Chief

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

Thanks Ella and Katherine for giving me courage

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ella
    Nov 10, 2007 @ 12:22:21

    Wow! beautiful and inspring as always…and now in ASL as well!! wow! And accessible for others to view and continually reflect and to rid of the fear and take courage to act through love. Thanks.

  2. Oscar Serna
    Nov 10, 2007 @ 13:05:20

    To embed in DR blog the YouTube and other similar video players:

    1. Look up and click “Plugins”
    2. Look down the list and see “Anarchy Media Player”, check that the word to the right say “Deactivate”. If it say “Activate”, click it.
    3. Look up and click “Users”
    4. Click “Your Profile”
    5. Make sure the box by “visual editor [something like that]” is NOT checked. If it is checked, click it to take out the CHECK thing.
    6. Then when you write out your post, you should see the “Embed Players” box in your writing toolbar in “Write” area of your Dashboard.

    Hope I’m clear on that :).
    Take care!

  3. Katherine
    Nov 10, 2007 @ 15:00:28

    I am so happy to see this wonderful vlog by you! You have nailed it.

    Since 11 years old or so, I witnessed audism and those audists feel threatened by me. I saw right through them what they are up to and they try to stop me from taking a stand and empowering others, hence the backlash. Audists managed to paralyze them into fear for as long as they can.

    Too often deaf people say they’ll back me up and when time comes, I am the only one standing. Yet, they come to me in private with a lot of same issues that everybody talk about. Years of abuse and oppression by audists have brainwashed them.

    I love this twig analogy and how true!

  4. Barb DiGi
    Nov 10, 2007 @ 15:19:21

    What an inspirational vlog! What you said is so true! Your message is a great reminder to all of us that by being neutral is like being a bystander watching and letting things happen who are also guilty just like those during Holocaust. Thank you for sharing!

  5. pdurr
    Nov 10, 2007 @ 15:22:23

    oscar – u da champ – ur instructions were so clear so now the video is embedded – thanks to u

    ella – ur nudge was very important for me to have the courage to vlog – really hate to see myself up there as i have such amazing and eloquent ASL models such as urself and others – and thus i feel my signing is so inadequate and English / hearing influenced but it would be hypocritical to keep posting only in English – the dominant language – thanks for giving me the nudge and confidence and inspiration

    katherine – same goes for u and ur comments urging me on

    re: ur experiences since childhood – i am sorry u have been witness and have experienced audism first hand in ur life. i am thankful that u have not allowed it to beat u down or own/claim u.

    u used the term BACKLASH – yes, this is very true and a key concept to examine. Many under-represented groups (paddy would say subaltern? i would say disenfranchised) that began to assert themselves have experienced a backlash even from within.

    this “free to say and do in private” but “cant say and do in public” – is one of the parts of the BIG ELEPHANT in the room

    i do not want to see people take risks that will harm themselves individually – i want us to work together collectively – there is power and safety in numbers

    let the peaceful collective journey begin anew!


  6. pdurr
    Nov 10, 2007 @ 15:33:14

    Barb – edited out the glitch with the username – not sure why that happened

    re: ur comment about neutrality – inaction and the Holocaust – very true

    Reverend Martin Niemoeller’s quote comes to mind:

    “In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn’t speak up because I was a protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.”

  7. pdurr
    Nov 10, 2007 @ 15:35:39

    another quote on neutrality

    “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality”
    -Dante Alighieri

  8. DE
    Nov 10, 2007 @ 21:43:01

    WOW!!! WELCOME TO THE ASL VLOGSPHERE!!!! Thanks to Ella for alerting me to your new vlog!!!!

    Yes– absolutely, you are right, we gotta band together (and yes, that “glue” is Deafhood). We need to do more with supporting our fellow activists, leaders, Deaf subalterns, etc. Lately, I’ve been trying this method- every time one person complains to me about a certain vlogger, blogger, or activist, I would say (instead of attacking that complainer) stuff like, “Oh. I really like that person’s thinking. Maybe s/he isn’t to your liking, but s/he really has the community’s best interests at heart. By the way, are you willing to speak out like that person you just criticized? No? Guess we should be thankful for that wonderful Deaf activist speaking out for you and me.” That usually transforms the complainer’s initial negativism into something that is of a shifted paradigm- and even appreciation for the person they just criticized.

    It isn’t easy being an activist, but we could and should find solace in fellow positive people like you, Ella, Joey, etc. For me, you people are the engine that keeps me chugging.

    As for the professed “neutrality”, you totally ripped any value in neutrality— to shreds. I cannot believe people would feel good about doing nothing after complaining (clandestinely, of course) about an audist situation or incident.

    However, that is a challenge for us activists. While we might be confident to stand up every time we see an audist statement or whatever, we also need to refine our tools in galvanizing people out of their fear-based “neutral” stance. Vlogs like yours are a big step in reducing fear.

    ‘Sfunny. In my experience, I’ve seen Deaf people who were labelled “militant”, “troublemaker”, and/or “bridge burner”— these were principled people who wouldn’t maintain the status quo— gain MORE respect. Yes, MORE RESPECT. Yet, those who profess “neutrality” believe that the OPPOSITE would/ has happen/been happening. What gives?

    Molly Ivins, bless her, said that “dissent is fun”. E’body gotta try a little dissent once in a while, and we’d find it ain’t so hard. Then build confidence a bit after every dissenting action. Make it a crescendo into a big movement for ALL!

    Thank you.


  9. pdurr
    Nov 11, 2007 @ 08:26:11


    awesome post!

    in alice walker’s book “The Secret to Possessing Joy”

    u read the whole novel about an African woman who suffered intensely physically, emotionally and spiritually due to genital mutalation only to end with her discovering/reclaiming herself again – how through RESISTANCE

    walker proclaims that RESISTANCE is the secret to possessing joy

    this is way i think activism and activists are NOT angry or bitter people but rather those in search of true JOY, LOVE and PEACE


  10. pdurr
    Nov 11, 2007 @ 08:36:11

    re: criticizing of “bridge burners”

    i have gotten chastised numerous times – i have been told i need to be schooled in diplomacy and the art of tactfulness etc

    i have been told that i am a person of principles but over time i will abandon them in order to work in the system and thus be more successful

    i have listened to any an all criticism directed my way (most have come to me via others through the back door but some has come to me via Deaf and Hearing superiors sitting me down for a chat)

    i believe criticism is healthy and i take it very seriously – i also have been able to screen out that which is REAL and that which is a technique to try to squalish me and to stop my fire / passion

    some nasty things have been done to me for sure – it its like “sticks and stones”

    i have to screen out the real from the unreal

    i have to always examine my intentions and my motives – is it for the issue and greater good – YES then it is worth all the pain that will come my way

    last year was a VERY PERSONALLY PAINFUL and lonely year for me

    much of it revolved around RIT bringing Lisa Lampanelli (an insult comic to campus)

    i get sad thinking about it now

    i have turned over every stone to make sure my intentions and actions were just and on the side of justice – this is important to always honestly examine

    our actions must ring true so that when others (from outside or within) try to stop us, we can stay firm and keep our eyes on the prize

    so no i have not abandoned my principles yet – nor do i hope i ever well

    (sorry to post so personally with “i” – i do it as testimony that i really do know first hand that it is not easy or comfortable to take a stand)



    DE big thanks – yes we need to glavinize others – united we STAND

  11. Kim Cook
    Nov 11, 2007 @ 10:03:29

    Very intersting subject I need to learn about that kind of issues “fears” It help me alot to understand through your vblog God bless you ~~

  12. KG
    Nov 12, 2007 @ 12:12:20

    Beautiful! We need to know that we are not alone!


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