This is Why We FIGHT + Why We Stand

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~ MLKing, Jr

as most of ya know – im a pacifist.  i dont support war or violence

so why would i be attracted to this song “Why We Fight” by the Decemberists?

Come the war
Come the avarice (excessive or insatiable for wealth or gain)
Come the war
Come hell

Well cuz it came under my radar when someone created a video using images
specific to the fight for Deaf Equality and i thought cool beans. (scroll down for the link to the video)   There has been a war against ASL and other natural signed languages for a mighty long time folks – Before and After ICED Milan 1880 and AG Bell.  See Dr. Douglas Baynton’s Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign Against Sign Language and Dr. Lane’s When the Mind Hears and his Mask of Benevolence for ample evidence of the systematic attempt at linguistic and cultural gencoide against Deaf folks in the U S of A.  See Edwin Black’s War Against the Weak.

Yes, i am recommending u get ye self to a library and read a BOOK by a true Dr. versus some pseudo doctor / guru / 2nd coming revelation wanna be or lame a## pundits spouting out b.s. as facts and getting it carried on Deaf aggregators.  You can even check out AG Bell (the man) own writings or the association’s Volta Review – they have not been shy about their aim, desire, ambition to remove ASL from the hands of wee things and to caral all the Deaf children into the sink-or-swim stream of life.  They proclaim their cochlear implant & AVT revolution with great pride and strides.

Come attrition
(A gradual diminution in number or strength because of constant stress.)

 Come the reek of bones
Come attrition
Come hell

Attrition is still going on folks. 

– check out how the NIH and CDC write about Deaf folks 

– check out how AG Bell Assoc and co. aim to make it so Deaf kids dont even know they are Deaf

– check out how Graeme Clark (founder of Cochlear Australia) aims for 100% implantation of all Deaf babies and children (get them before they can resist)

– check out the stats in Denmark 

– see the mainstreaming mandate (the creations of solitaires in society)

– see the remote control CIs turned off and on by parents, teachers, and professionals

– see stem cells and genetic engineering

– see the competition for a 100% implantable cochlear implant

Re: the reek of bones – see CI surgery and yes despite a representative of Cochlear Americas trying to give us the impression that the implant is all just under the skin and no biggy until i said “they do DRILL through the skull” and her colleague (a graduate of Gallaudet, former interpreter, and former audiologist but now marketing person at CA did confirm the fact that there is a drilling through the bone) Not to mention all the wracking of the knuckles with the ruler during the reign of Oralism (oral / aural ONLY mandate)

re: Hell – ask ANY Deaf person who has endured hearing test, cold earmolds, audiotory training, speech lessons, AVT , etc etc and they will say it was Hell. Yep, i’s know some will say it was worth it and some love to yoddle (i do too) but i dont know one who said it was fun being TRAINED.   We aint dogs folks.

This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
And this is why
This is why we fight

Yep, we do.  We do fight and now that their masks of benevolence are coming down more and more folks are waking up and shaking up.  Finding our feets and taking a stand.  making some mighty REASONABLE demands like…. 

– dont demote and degrade a TRUE language to a systems of gestures and mimes – geez that AG Bell-like Italian Oral / Aural ONLY association – we see u! 

– dont appoint three utterly UNqualified board members for a bilingual-bicultural Deaf school.  Not only do these folks support and patronize programs that EXCLUDE ASL from the life of a Deaf child, they have the audacity to tell the Deaf community – we dont care what you think, know or want – we are staying put.  Wow Wee.  We shall see see.

– dont think u can fool us by chopping off the “without sign language or lipreading” in your AVT guidelines but still practice the hiding of lips and banning of visual acuity and sign language in your THERAPETIC practices!

– dont think u can fool us by silently removing Cochlear Americas and Advanced Bionics from your Circle Alliance founders partnership but still have them be major sponsors for your conferenes. 

– dont think we dont see all your lobbying efforts in various state legislatures to mandate insurance coverage for the VERY expensive and UNreliable cochlear implants and a push to route the parents and babes to the oral / aural ONLY track via EHDI and other efforts

– dont think we dont see you setting up oral / aural only professionals training programs all over the country

– dont think we dont see you trying to rip down all the pillars of the Deaf community

no worries

Cuz this is why we fight

Italy LIS folks we are with you in spirit

Indiana IDS folks we with you in spirit

and more… and more

When we die
We will die
With our arms unbound

and if we did not fight – we would die with our arms bound.  and even if we live to be 80 if we have had a death of the spirit at 30 or so we aint good to nobody – most especially the folks to follow.  (See MLK and Ella’s translation). 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN6sypbhJAc

 The civil rights movement was about 30 years of activism folks (and a couple of centuries in the making) – plenty of disunity and disagreement but when common ground was struck folks engaged in DIRECT peaceful civil disobedience and kept their eyes on the prize and OVERCAME.  This is why…

 And this is why
This is why
Why we fight
Come hell

This is why folks

Bride of quiet
Bride of all unquiet things
Bride of quiet
Bride of hell

Deaf folks have been rendered SILENT due to the fact that the majority culture has so long been DEAF to our pleas and calls.  We have been rendered invisible.  The injustices lobbed against Deaf folks, the shackles and the chains, the yoke of the oppression have all been done in the name of restoring us to society – well, aint that the pickle?  I thought we all have been living in society and who ever said we wanted to be restored if it meant having to annihilate that within us which makes us diverse, unique, and divine? hmmm Bride of silence no more

Come the archers
Come the infantry
Come the archers
Of hell

They have new weapontry now and their aim may be more aggressive but their mark is the same.  Mouths and ears.  Its all about speaking and listening to make u (in)dependent.  truly – think on it folks – it requires all the kings horse and all the kings men to try to restore the wee thing back to a “natural” state via UNnatural means and still most folks return to the fold – they come with REGRET, with UPSET, with ANGER – why wasnt i given natural signed language as a pup – why did i have to forever work for my words – why doesnt anyone in may family even learn to sign NOW NOW NOW after i have done all the labor of jumping through all the hoops to meet them on their side of the bridge – why wont they venture just a wee bit in my direction so im not forever having to work for my words – why cant i ever get a measure of equality of condition?

The infantry and the achers r mighty big boys these days folks ohhh and they are wealthy and comfy – dont get all worried that we is picking on them.  they r doing just fine, driving nice cars, having big houses, nice portfolios, etc, they be fine.

This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
This is why
This is why we fight

It may seem hopeless but we must remain steadfast.  we must keep making the invisible visible and pulling down the mask for all to see.  Oral/aural ONLY + CI mandate are crimes against humanity.  Their intent and design is for a cultural and linguistic genocide – they are not shy about it. 

And when we die
We will die
With our arms unbound
And this is why
This is why we fight
Come hell
Come hell

We got a long haul in front of us folks – this aint gonna be no picnic but remember: we aim for the greatest good for the greatest number and in this case that means the right to a natural and fully accessible language (they can throw in all that extra jazz if they so desire as long as – they dont ban ASL or other natural sign languages, they do not oppress the child, it is not given more priority than that of cultural, critical and functional literacy)

This is why
Why we fight
Why we lie awake
This is why
This is why we fight

So folks we fight how?

PEACEFULLY, ENDLESSLY, JOYFULLY – yep we do have fun.  U should see us – we really do shine when we get together and that really does make ’em fume and fuss and take out the water hoses via webwires denouncing the first amendment right to assembly and free speech and makes ’em throw lots of money after security when we is a peace loving people.  oh well.

No worries – they will come around cuz the truth and love always prevail.  think of it always

When we die
We will die with our arms unbound
And this is why
This is why we fight

So folks u must do do – not just sit, not _itch and moan, not REact to the banterings of nutters, not same ole same ole.

Yep, Deaf folks have been disenfranchised for a might long time but now is not the time to sing to the tune of “woe is me” – nope – now is the time to stand and deliver.  Stand tall, stand long, stand in love and in peace.  This is why …. this is why we fight

So come to me
Come to me now
Lay your arms around me
And this is why
This is why
We fight
Come hell
Come hell
Come hell
Come hell

We got nothing to fear but fear itself and the fear of doing nothing!  Cuz the 2nd wave of Oralims (Oral / Aural ONLYism) is here folks.  Be Aware, Be Awake, and Be Busy!

(info re: UN Convention on  Genocide http://www.hrweb.org/legal/genocide.html)

This is WHY! 

<a href=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/mzlTK0n2jBE“>

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Deafhood Discussions » This is Why We Fight & Why We Stand
  2. Michele Westfall Ketcham
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 00:20:05

    I’d have said as an answer to “why we stand/fight”: we are stubborn as hell. 😉

  3. patti
    Jun 10, 2011 @ 13:46:16

    michele – BIG smile

    one of me bestests just got a Deaf rescue dog and when folks ask “how is he?” she says “well, he is pretty stubborn” “Deaf ya know” and everyone bursts out laughing and nods their heads as if “yep, i’s know”

    smile

    but i think all disenfranchised groups develop a mighty strong STAND and FIGHT instinct – those that dont succomb and give in that is.

    i often think on Colonel West’s Prisoner of Hope essay – helps to sustain me and something in what u wrote above reminded me of that: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0111-35.htm

    keep having the resolve to assert our somebodyness – we need ya michele

    much peace

    patti

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