“The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.” ~ Ruth Benedict (famous Deaf anthropologist)
The leading sentence in a news item from Gallaudet’s PR office is:
The Gallaudet campus brings together people who are hearing, deaf, native signers, new signers, and many others in between.
The article is about a campus wide dialogue – Communication at Gallaudet: Building an Inclusive and Respectful Communication Climate initiative
So lets look at what gets communicated in the very first sentence of this press release which if not actually written by Catherine Murphy (formerly of AG Bell Associations) (remember the AG Bell letter to Pepsi folks?) must have passed her desk as PR chief at Gally before it was unleashed.
What is being COMMUNICATED in that first sentence in terms of priorities?
and i aint the only one asking
and a couple of other questions cuz we be thinking chaps –
Would Howard University release a statement that said:
- The Howard campus brings together people who are white, black, ebonic users, new to ebonics, and many others in between.
Would Brandeis University (a predominantly Jewish College and Jewish Centered) release a statement that said:
- The Brandeis campus brings together people who are gentile, Jewish, Hebrew speakers, new speakers, and many others in between.
would Haskell Indian Nations University release a statement that said:
- The Haskell campus brings together people who are white, native, native speakers, new native speakers, and many others in between.
Would Spelman University (a historically Black college and a global leader in the education of women of African descent) release a statement that said:
- The Spelman campus brings together people who are white males, white females, black males, and black females and many others in between.
And its kinda odd how the Gallaudet news item mostly seems to be talking about racial and ethnic diversity and not about communication “options” despite how the opening statement wants to spin and frame the event.
There are some quotes from folks that actually say very little at all. Odd eh? but the gist of the WHOLE write up is of human diversity more than “communication diversity” soooooo???
why the prioritizing of HEARING in the first sentence?
I ain’t got no problem with Hearing folks – i come from them, i sleep with one of them, i created some of them. They are GOOD folks. I do have a wee problem with:
– why a Hearing person was hired as PR specialist for Gally when she was formerly paid to propagate AG Bell’s oral-aural-ONLY stance and when there are many Deaf folks who would do mighty fine for the job of PR. Certainly they would do better than Catherine has done thus far. Also, there is that wittle notion of “Nothing about us, without us” so who better to be the SPOKESPERSON for Gally than a DEAF PERSON hmmmmm – is it because some Deaf folks dont speak that one was not chosen? Is the administration and board still so loyal to the notion that to be Hearing (see the first type of folk listed in the news release) and/or to behave as a Hearing person is superior to being Deaf? oh gosh i hope not. please oh gosh i totally hope not – cuz that would be Audism – yep the A word folks and that there is a #itch. In some quarters u r not even allowed to utter that word and if u do – u can only do so if u misspell it. I kid u not.
hmmmm lets see if Ms. Catherine Murphy ever covers anything re: audism for Gally – like maybe the film that Gallaudet produced called AUDISM UNVEILED – it would be mighty cool to see if she can spell it right. That would COMMUNICATE a great deal about diversity would it not (geez they could have spared the whole work that day and just shown the movie and had a rap session cuz that film is DIVERSITY personified and COMMUNICATION personified – that documentary features Deaf folks from ALL walks of life signing their TRUTHS – but nah lets pass out a bunch of bracelets and spin it to be progress! I am NOT dissing u the students who did so much organizing and leading and wanting and dreaming – i love u and im glad u did it. I am talking about the PRESS RELEASE and what it is communicating and how it is diminishing and undermining ur efforts and intents – that! u is fine Students – keep shining and keep pushing. Love the Hearing folks on ur campus and LOVE yourselves and Gally will get some where. Oh and Love Catherine and tell her to do the right thing and not misrepresent what u all are about.)
– why the news about Gally’s diversity efforts list HEARING first!
i dont want Hearing folks ignored, squashed upon, trod upon, spit upon but i do know that in Cultural studies and egalitarian systems folks work to prioritize the folks who have been the most oppressed so its just a very ODD choice by gally to be prioritizing Hearing as diversity
ya all do know u r the majority still dont ya?
and having one wee campus where u r not – is actually gonna help u cuz when we liberate ourselves we liberate u from being oppressors and then TRUE diversity can emerge instead of immersion
its a good thing
ohh and the other ODD item – the chopping of the Deaf Studies: Deaf History masters – that is mighty dangerous Gallaudet
we cant change our history if we dont know it!
(see Jeff Roberts’ excellent writing re: EMGallaudet and Clerc’s take on this decision)
ohh and the chopping of the Deaf Theatre major – that is mighty dangerous Gallaudet
cuz that there could be a honey pot – it could be the place (if coupled with media production) in which what is UNIQUE about Deaf ASL folks shines and spreads and wows the masses
heye – gally did u know that ASL is on its way to being the 3rd most popular language studied in colleges?
did u know that Deaf cultural studies is being gobbled up by the masses?
did u know that Deaf cinema is gonna break through soon (no thanks to u if u keep this up)
and where will u be gally – passing out braclets that mean NOTHING????
im sorry for my tone Gally
but i love ya and i really dont like how u r spinning things
I know dr. hurwitz and that there release is not what he is hoping to foster at Gallaudet
i know cuz i seen how hard he worked at NTID and i know he V A L U E S signing in public spaces – so Gally PR folks – why didnt u write that up, huh, huh, huh? Why didnt u explain that Gally campus is a DEAF ASL campus and all are welcome and “We Sign Here!”
plain and simple
dont take a bloody brain surgeon to state the truth
ahhhh hmmmm maybe that is the problem – they dont want to state that truth!