heye all –
Note: i type on behalf of me and not as AFA rep. right now but what i got to say is shared by MANY good folks on the ground so know in this – i do not STAND alone.
¡Ya basta! AGBAD (note: ya basta means “enough is enough”)
did you know that the AG Bell Association has sent unwanted and insulting
temporary membership cards, letters and emails to folks falsely and incorrectly identifying them as “hearing specialists”? (staff from four schools have thus far reported receiving this junk mail – Rochester School for the Deaf, Kansas School for the Deaf, Indiana School for the Deaf, Fremont California School for the Deaf. Others???)
NOTE: added 9/3/2011 – 10 confirmed schools and most likely all have received it. link to listing of confirmed 10 scroll down
not cool on many levels not cool (u can see the blog entry on infiltration and propaganda for a big picture frame of mind)
so what can u do about this? how can you voice your discontent and ur objection to this misinformation and unwanted solicitation????
u can send them an email and call them (see sample below) – tweak the wording as u see fit
u can post a note in ur facebook
u can tweet and twitter
Alexander Graham (CEO) email@example.com 202-204-4671 x 107
Susan Boswell (director of communications and marketing) firstname.lastname@example.org 202-204-4687 x 127
Sample letter (note you can substitute out Deaf professional for Deaf community member, Deaf survivor of Oralims, or hearing professional or ally etc) – SAMPLE letter objecting to AG Bell temporary membership card and letter mailing
Dear AGBAD: I am a Deaf professional not a hearing specialist. Do not send me any unwanted and insulting solicitation. I do not support oppressive organizations and have no intentions of becoming a member in promoting Oralism, Linguicism and Audism.
Let Freedom Roll.
(Your name here)
Audism Free America made copies of one of these AG Bell temporary membership cards with the recipient’s name blacked out and gave to each person who was at the AFA Vigil at the Volta Laboratory and Bureau on July 22 Friday evening and after each person shared their personal experiences with audism and Oralism they were invited to burn their temporary membership card. Every act of STANDing up against oppression counts folks. (note: it was VERY SAFE and PEACEFUL folks. Police rolled by and lawyer was present. it was POWerful and good. and for folks who dont know about how and why folks burn things during civil disobedience events pls see Gandhi’s burning of the passes Indians were forced to carry in South Africa, Alice Paul and others’ burning of Woodrow Wilson’s words in front of the White House in their effort for democracy for women too via suffrage rights, anti-war protesters burning of draft cards, feminists burning of bras and note AFA did not do any burning of an effigy of AG Bell or anyone else that evening unlike the Deaf President Now protestors who burned effigies of Spillman and Zinser and the Unity for Gallaudet protestors who burned an effigy of Jane Fernandes. I personally oppose the burning of effigies because it is violent imagery but it is still within folks right to do so – im just saying aint it interesting how some folks get upset when other folks do things fairly and justly and rightly)
so for those of u who can not burn a card or wish not to but still feel it is objectionable – pls at the very least make a call and/or send an email and post on ur facebook etc.
AFA communicated to AG Bell Association in advance that those cards were not cool and received no reply.
AFA also asked the Convention of American Instructors for the Deaf (CAID) if they could take some action re: the mailing of these cards / letters and emails by AG Bell to unsuspecting teachers of the Deaf etc – their representative said he would bring it up at their next monthly council meeting.
Now for the blue tape – there has been lots of ruckus over some folks putting a wee bit of blue tape over a few words on an AG Bell plaque at the Volta Bureau – u can see the info at: http://audismfreeamerica.blogspot.com/2011/07/nad-apologies-to-afa.html and NAD rep, Sean Gerlis’s tweet on July 22, 2011 “On behalf of Bobbie Beth Scoggins, Prez of NAD & myself, we NAD do not condone this behavior from @endaudism to desecrate AGB’s building.”
Facts about the tape on a plaque at the Volta Laboratory and Bureau – AG Bell Association head quarters
1. Fri July 22, 2011 temporary tape was put over the words “Deaf and Hard of” plaque on the Volta Bureau so that the TRUTH could be told
“AG Bell Association for the X X X X Hearing.”
2. Police passed by several times. No complaints. A civil rights lawyer was present and consulted during the vigil and all was cool.
3. The blue trim tape came down easily and without disfiguring or harming the plaque at all.
4. desecration applies to holy places – AGBAD headquarters is not a temple
5. defacing requires destruction or damage – there was none.
6. NAD representative, Sean Gerlis, said that AG Bell Volta Bureau was a federal building. A young Deaf person called AG Bell Association to ask if in fact it is a federal building to which they said it is NOT, NOT, NOT a federal building.
(knowledge is power folks – follow the example of this smart young girl and pick up ur VP and ring a ling ling AG Bell. The plaque that a few of our leaders were so eager to protect says AG Bell Association FOR the Deaf and Hard of Hearing so since the building is FOR you – you might as well give them a call and say not cool as u see fit cuz they are e/mailing your professionals and making them members against their wishes)
7. the VIGIL at the Volta Laboratory and Bureau of AG Bell Association was POWerful folks. Truths were told – many folks have been HARMED by linguistic and cultural oppression
8. falsehoods frack, audism sucks while civil disobedience rocks, truth force and soul force soar
we be making the invisible visible folks
-STAND folks and be seen
so now here i patti d do STAND and i got a few things to say from my heart
i hope u all will heed them and if the twisters try to spin ’em no worries. i do not go to that portal, i do not read any of their funky junk cuz they have NO as in ZER O as in nada credibility and to all the good folks who still frequent those bad places of misinformation and get all worked up about it – it is not a good use of your time. i speak from experience. i love them but they gotta crash. they will do it quicker and firmer if we STOP feeding them and fanning their flames. they gonna burn out. it is pitiful to behold so dont – dont watch. dont feed. dont fan. dont comment. dont email. dont say look look over there. just love them from a far.
re: the NAD apology – i personally accept it and AFA has accepted it. NAD has made it clear in this letter that:
1. they support ASL for Deaf children – from NAD letter – “It is imperative that all deaf children grow up with and benefit from American Sign Language in their education…” this is huge and continually worth repeating. this position makes the NAD STAND firmly on behalf of Deaf children’s right to a natural and fully accessible language which is the opposite position that AG Bell takes
2. NAD President Scoggins states “I sincerely apologize for any confusion that may have resulted from the unintended use of “desecration.” Yes this could be worded more strongly but to me it is clear that she is apologizing for what was stated on her behalf in the twitter tweet cuz wrong is wrong folks and she knows it. So i personally appreciate this acknowledgment. Does it have wiggle room? could it be read as a hollow apology – “sorry ya all got confused by the unintended use of the term desecration” – sure it could be my read of it (and im a hoper girl) is that Dr. Scoggins is sorry cuz that there tweet was not sweet and the top and bottom paragraphs are WHAM strong and CHA important.
3. Now the next line is a bit of a pickle and Deaf folks have been quick to pick up on that. Geez ya all can read can’t ya! Odd, AG Bell folks and some of those statistical studies that folks like to throw in our faces say that ya all cant read past a 4th grade level hmmmm. So in this sentence NAD president has affirmed AFA’s right to exercise free speech while asking that AFA “respect the NAD and its position that we do not engage or participate in any activities that will affect the property of others.” Folks have noted that NAD did participate in Deaf President Now and the Unity for Gallaudet protests which both resulted in some destruction of property.
AFA has not asked the NAD to engage in any such activities but we are hopeful that some day if the occasion presents itself to peacefully and harmlessly to lay down a bit of blue tape vs. spreading a bit more red tape – that the NAD will go with blue.
4. NAD apologized. AG Bell Association has NOT –
AG Bell must apologize for the offensive Pepsi letter (NAD, AFA, DBC and some of their own members condemn that letter and AG Bell’s response was ya all didnt read it right – ha!),
AG Bell must apologize for making people temporary members of their organization against their wishes and for mislabeling them as “hearing specialists,”
and AG Bell must apologize for its role in the reign of Oralism (Oral / Aural Onlyism)
Tell them u aint a child of a lesser god – cuz u truly aint
Now i know that many folks are skeptical re: the sincerity of NAD’s apology – it is what oppressed folks often do – have healthy skepticism and also react to things closest too them cuz the BIG BAD BOYS are too far out of reach (but they aint folks we can reach them if we STAND). its important that we keep hope faith and love ever present. Not blind trust, not false faith and not limited love – we say what we got to say and we WATCH as the NAD continues to re-grow its roots.
We also shall not deviate our eyes from the prize – ie showing what AG Bell Association is up to and challenging it. do not allow this to disintegrate into a fight about what one person mistakenly tweeted and do not make this be about him. AFA and the cherished and beloved members of our commUNITY were in the sweltering heat of DC for three days rallying, meeting with the Dept of Education, hosting a vigil, and conducting a sit-in to combat systematic and institutionalized audism. Remember the octopus folks. (so dont ignore NAD but dont divert ur attention from AGB – see see? cuz if we make this be about the NAD – AG Bell wins and is slap happy chappies)
And lastly – one of the greatest things i learned last week was how little we understand about the power of direct confrontation and civil disobedience. every oppressed group i have ever studied has already employed civil disobedience in their struggle for equality. We may be slow to the take because our very own have been so QUICK to chastise and admonish US and not THEM.
It is interesting to note that a hearing lawyer, a hearing patrol officer, and hearing neighbors all SAW what we were doing and no one SCREAMED desecration. But within minutes of seeing one wee pix via twitter the NAD denounced this very very very benign act.
So just something to look at folks.
it is as if some folks have internalized the myth that Deaf folks are rude – please u can not believe how polite we have all been. what has sitting quietly with ur hands folded waiting ur turn EVER gotten u except the slow and rude awakening that your turn never does come? Dont u think its odd that folks are holding conventions ABOUT you, giving presentations on cultural and linguistic competence but you are not at the table, have erected HUGE monstrosities of buildings and systems to “serve” you but they do not want to hear what you have to say. and still you say “ask nicely, behave, be nice, try the back door, lets get so and so into power and then s/he will change things from the inside” dont u see that you are still waiting? dont u see that the “in a minute, ill tell you later, its not important…” transcends just the family room and rules the board rooms. arent you tired of it? cant u see how beautifully the Deaf folks and allies on the ground rose and shown and soared on July 21, 22, 23 – ahhh i guess some of you couldnt cuz u were too busy to rush to judgment over one tweet – all credibility lost by whom?
huh? by the folks that refuse to STAND against oppression me think, by the folks who refuse to have the “spiritual audacity to assert our somebodyness,” by the folks who continue to twist and spin, project, reject, deject, etc and still have no EFFECT while the waves of the 2nd wave of Oralism crash on our shores.
It is unjust folks – it is utterly unjust for some of u to sit back and preach and not do. It is utterly unjust for some of u to choose to scold rather than be bold. and it is a PATTERN.
We are moving on without u but when and if u do come – ill be the first to welcome ya. I am a forgiving and loving chap. I just want us to do right and not diss the very folks who have lived this hell caused by A G Bell.
yep – i just got meself all emotional thinking about a few of u who r so quick to undermine any measure of progress. The vigil was powerful and u no like it. So u distort and contort. No worries. We on the move
its ok – its part of the process of waking up and STANDing up.
And just for the record folks – AFA did send out info re: our rallies and events in advance to the media repeatedly but we have been told by MANY activist groups that it is nearly impossible to get any media attention in DC unless you take over a building, lock down a campus (hmmmm destruction of property??? unlawful assembly????), or get arrested. That is just how it works in the capitol cuz on a daily basis someone is protesting something somewhere. So u dont need thousands cuz even if u do u might not get any fan fare and pssssst the media rarely represents things honestly these days and we were not really there to get our pictures in the newspaper – we were there to make the invisible visible to the professionals who pay big money to be trained and certified and gold starred by an exclusionary and oppressive ideology and practice and to let the general public know and see. We were also there for US.
you should have seen us – gosh and golly Deaf folks have mighty songs to sign-sing and we be doing them even up on the steps of the place that laid out our fate.
Now aint that beautiful?
now send in those emails to AG Bell Association or…. do nothing. the option is all yours.
NOTE: Thank you to Barb DiGi for sharing the unwanted and unasked for membership card and letter.