some of the what is Deafhood and what isn’t Deafhood information and disinformation (and the link being at the end of one of Deaf Pundit’s thread) made me recall a comment i made in Deaf Pagan Cross roads a year ago that was so long she made it into a blog entry – smile
u might need to read the original blog posting sthat i was responding to for the full context
Deaf Pagan’s Original post
Hearing person’s inquiry
thanks again Deaf Pagan Crossroads for fostering that dialogue back then – miss ya
DANCING AND DEAFHOOD
posted October 8, 2007
“No culture can survive if it attempts to be exclusive”
– Mahatma Gandhi
I don’t think Deafhood is about enforcing who is big D Deaf and who is not. If folks read Paddy Ladd’s book where he introduces the concept of Deafhood – you will see that it is actually the opposite – it is about inclusivity… it is about examining that each of us have different points of entry into our spiritual journey as Deaf people.
It is not about denying, rushing, harassing, or shoving anything in anyone’s face.
It is however about evolution, empowerment, discovery and advocacy… and often advocacy gets chalked up as being just a bunch of ungrateful and unhappy folks.
So I’m really struggling as to how to respond to the above post – I feel saddened by it because it makes pretty broad sweeping assumptions about deaf people as a whole
I think if we examine ANY movement by disenfranchised people we will see that there was a period the people passed through where they said “NO! We will not take this anymore!” and as some of the folks transitioned and transgressed into activism others said “No…don’t make trouble, don’t make noise, leave well enough alone, don’t look so angry and hostile.”
African-Americans, Women, Native Americans, Japanese Americans, Gays and Lesbians have all faced disagreement in approaches in their effort for equality. That is why I’m uncomfortable with the poster suggesting that there is something bizarre about Deaf people that they insist on wallowing in their misery. I don’t think that is the case at all and I think it is a natural evolution process – read Fannon, Friere, Lane, Ladd for references of how disenfranchised groups pass through various stages in their effort for liberation (post-colonialism theories, etc.)
What is the cause you ask? This puzzles me that you cannot see it yet for yourself – the cause is EQUALITY plain and simple – this largely comes in the form of language rights.
The cause – not to be treated as second class citizens
The cause – not to be dismissed, minimized, wrongfully institutionalized, etc.
But if my review of history and movements is accurate – most disenfranchised people must pass through a period of shaking off the yoke of the dominant culture’s definition of who they are and what they can be before they can adequately come together and advocate effectively. It’s a messy process.
There is a bit of in-fighting in the Deaf blogosphere – it saddens me greatly but it is a very very very small amount considering the diverse backgrounds, educational experiences, belief systems, language use, etc that folks have had access to.
So if the cause of equality is not yet clear when we all know, breath and feel it – then we need to more clearly articulate this.
Re: can Deaf people dance? With great abandon, with great soul, with great enthusiasm.
They dance when they come together to protest injustice, they dance when they attend the funeral of a beloved community member, they dance at the wedding of two members, they dance at the birth of another Deaf baby into the world, they dance at almost every social gathering where they chat long into the night
I believe that we can embrace sadness and recognition of oppression and advocate for positive and peaceful change while at the same time acknowledging all the beauty that surrounds us.
Emma’s response to “the cause being thrown in her face” was more in response to someone trying to impede her joy and even perhaps to get her to act more like a lady and more like a revolutionary.
She chose instead to act like herself.
It is my hope that we will each try to stop popping holes in the groundswell that is Deafhood and our collective consciousness and instead plant flowers and shower it with love and positive intentions.
Emma never interpreted the chastising she got to mean she should not continue to be an advocate or a radical.
Deafhood is being tugged in both directions –
Camp A abusing it to mean Big D Deaf police
Camp B abusing it to mean bunch of angry #$%&@#!
Really Deafhood is neither.
We need to form an Camp X where we all decide – Deaf is BEAUTIFUL and Deaf people are born with the unalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Emma’s quote was not to be applied to folks who tried to stop her from being an advocate but rather towards advocates who tried to stop her from having fun at the same time.
There is a big difference.
Would that people try to stop me from having fun instead of trying to stop me from being an advocate – I really can do both really well but I have gotten much more grief for the latter than the former.