I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. ~ MLK Jr
[note: all below is me speaking as me – not on behalf of anyone but meself yet many others share my sentiment and truths. and yes i know this is really LONG but i got a song that needs to be sung so just go get an cup a joe or a cool one or water – water is good – and get comfortable. its truth-a-telling time folks.]
to all the folks who came to the AFA rallies and stood long and stood strong and all those who couldn’t but helped out and chipped in in anyways u could long distance – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. U STAND and U GRAND.
i got a few things to say about all the falsehoods over blue tape and the AFA and the NAD but my main message is in the header of this entry:
Stand and Deliver folks (drop into google translator and get…
Wake the #uck UP!
yes i have read the “children’s book” – Go the #uck to Sleep – one to many times ; ) and times a wasting hence me be blunt as in direct (and of course it is the Deaf way so hey – what can i say : ) except Wake the #uck UP!
so for us – our people – i say unto u – i do not want u to go to sleep – i want u to awake and rise and STAND
language bigotry is NOT cool
deceit is not sweet
audism is NOT acceptable
soooo id like to SHOW u all just how crazed some folks get when u STAND
A wonderful good soul Audism Free America (AFA) person put some very safe – non-toxic, non-desecrating, non-defacing, non-destructing blue painters trim tape on a BIG OLE BRONZE plaque at the AG Bell Volta Laboratory and Bureau so that the sign would read more accurately – she covered up four words “Deaf and Hard of” so the plaque would accurately and truthfully read as “The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the X X X X Hearing”
because the AG Bell Association is dominated by hearing members, has a long history of hearing CEOs, panders to hearing industries that have engaged in fraudulent and unethical conduct (see:
- the FDA fining of Advanced Bionics,
- the Dept of Justice fining of Cochlear Americas,
- a court in Denver fining of Otologics to the tune of $5.9 million,
- the ADA’s lawsuit against the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- and see all the “settlements outside of court” – ie hush money to folks when things havent quite gone right with some of the hearing industries’ industries.)
so pray tell why are some folks making a HUGE stink out of the blue painters tape when during Deaf President Now (DPN) folks hotwired buses and slashed their tires and when during Unity for Gallaudet folks tore down some of the letters of I King Jordan’s name on a building and lets not even discuss the burning effigies [pssst IK Jordan actually hailed all those not very civil acts in 1988 DPN as being part of a civil disobedience movement but in 2006 for Unity for Gallaudet IK Jordan was calling the protesters anarchists, absolutists, terrorists etc and they didnt steal no buses and only locked down the campus for 3 days when he ordered the arrest whereas in 1988 it was 5 days before Zinser did the right thing and resigned. just saying denial and deceit aint sweet)
well why did some folks go a wee bit wild over a wee bit of blue tape??
FEAR – me think
Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul. ~ Gandhi
that is my guess. folks dont like the truth to be told cuz then it requires them to choose and to make and take a STAND and some folks will defend the oppressor over justice for a whole slew of reasons. In the case of Noelle Bell and her wee editorial that is riddled with falsehoods and inaccuracies, we can wager she takes her unjust stand because:
1. she is misinformed – well, tsk tsk do ur homework gal. AFA is not a militant group geez u r making the true militants feel pretty dang upset to be lumped with the likes of a group committed to civil disobedience and not road side bombs.
2. she is colonized – well if the shackles fit – so be it. i have no idea
3. she is ignorant – well, it does seem to be the case cuz she got a ton of things muddled in that there little write up of hers
4. she is a “have a little want more” gal and does not want the status quo shook up cuz when that happens maybe she will no longer have her warm and fuzzy place of “assimilation” – well, while i have compassion for ur predicament i can not save u from urself and we aim to do right by the folks who have suffered and ARE suffering under the oral / aural only onslaught. they are mighty important to me. id happily let u go off on ur own merry way and never have our paths crossed but since i am committed to being a b.s. buster and i am a bona fide truth seeker – i must sign/sing out these songs of freedom. ya done wrong ms. bell. ya done wrong.
5. lets blame it on the last name ; )
sooo rather than waste me time in debunking the bull#hit ms. bell has tossed at the NAD and AFA, let me tell u some other things that the AFA did while on the steps of the Volta bureau and during the AFA rallies etc
[pls note a civil rights lawyer was present during the vigil at the volta bureau and cop patrols rolled by from time to time and never said – MILITANTS!]
[see two videos below for images and footage from the events]
2. a few AFA cards were wedged in the door slats of the HUGE fortress like barricade doors of the Volta Bureau
NOTE: no nails were used although i was thinking of Martin Luther and his 95 Theses quite a bit before we headed out to DC
3. copies of the unwanted and offensive AG Bell temporary membership card were burned
(u wanna call this militant and extremist or bad PR folks well then just note that Gandhi burned the unjust “colored” passes in South Africa and Alice Paul and pals burned the words of Woodrow Wilson in front of the White House, Feminists burned their bras and anti-war protesters burned their draft cards etc etc etc. Deaf folks are not militant. But we may just be a wee bit behind the times in asserting our somebodyness folks and it is MIGHTY telling to see who is getting upset when we finally make our STAND – mighty telling. geez would u all just look around and SEE how various groups exercise their right to free speech and assembly. the fact that u all think we have to look pretty, talk pretty, dress pretty to make any progress when it has NEVER gained anyone any headway may account for the sorry state we all have been in for so bloody long. may i say it again – Wake the #uck UP!)
4. we burnt some of AG Bell’s famous words like “Let us forget that they are deaf, and teach them to forget that they are deaf” and the AG Bell Association letter to Pepsi where they said Deaf ASL folks r clannish and dependent and isolated [and then later defended their letter by saying we cant read properly – HA]
5. we lit candles – this was beautiful folks TRULY beautiful – yes i love LIGHT in the contrast of darkness. “it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” We have been cursing the evils of oral / aural ONLYism for too long – it is time now to ignite the light so folks can SEE the truth of what folks have and still ARE suffering under Oral / Aural ONLYism
6. after each person shared their testimony and things they have witnessed – we RUNG a mighty bell
Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. ~ Gandhi
For whom does the bell toll? AG Bell Assoc. it tolls for u – u must acknowledge what has been done in the name of pure Oralism which your founder foisted upon this country with a fanatical, relentless, unjust, militant, extremist devotion. Dont even get me started on the deceit u all used and still use to accomplish this task
the bell is ringing AG Bell and N. Bell – and we aim to help u hear it cuz projection is a killer and u all are the ones who have been militant and EXTREME for all these years.
7. during the rallies we held up signs that spoke the truth, we got folks to honk their horns, we handed out AFA cards and cards about AG Bell the man, we chatted with folks who had questions and comments.
Folks unfamiliar with the fact that there are systems at work denying Deaf children the right a fully natural and accessible signed language were SHOCKED to learn of it. they said “that is horrible” they said “i agree with you -they should have sign language”
yep it is that fundamental, folks – and that is so common-sensical that everyone immediately knows it EXCEPT for many of the “professionals” and “specialists” who have been certified and trained by AG Bell Association and ASHA (which is being sued by ADA… just saying folks. Deceit is not sweet. NOTE: even some of the folks who have been “trained and certified” do not agree or adhere with the philosophy and practice of oral / aural only).
Wake the #uck UP!
and seriously ya all are gonna make a stink over BLUE PAINTERS TRIM TAPE. well g-d bless ur souls. SERIOUSLY – did u see the film In the Land of the Deaf – see the boy with the big brown eyes at the end of it languishing under cued speech for spoken French – FRANCE the very country that gave us a big part of what we now know as ASL. Heavens or see the film Sound and Fury part II – not part I. Part II 6 years later – that there is an amazing bit of propaganda. Check out the sponsors who made that film possible and also check out how Heather really can NOT understand grandma fully and easily – nope grandma has to come around and face her and do that exaggerated talk of hers to comment on how Heather can UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING NOW. ha – wow who do u think u r fooling. wow wee!!!! and yes see the awful part where Heather is dissing her own dad to her grandmother (his own mother) in his presence but not signing it so he cant see what she is saying. Yep – CI breaking up families left and right. aint it strange that the very “cause” of why parents think they have to go for Oral / Aural only often results in the “effect” they so feared? ESTRANGEMENT? (see past two entries in this People of the Eye blog that covers testimonies of estrangements a la language deprivation and language bigotry)
it is mighty strange indeed
even when we talked to some folks who were attending the AG Bell Listening and Spoken Language symposium who said they dont agree with AG Bell’s oral / aural only push but they need the CEUs
(NOTE: AG Bell and the specialists now call oralism and speech – Spoken Language. That is just their attempt to insert the word “language” into their work in an attempt not just to abbreviate it to look like ASL – ie LSL but also really to try to legitimize their work – to try to make it look like they are doing something more than a clinical treatment of a “pathology” – they want the big bucks of early intervention and education so they play it up to be “LANGUAGE” when really what they are doing is what they have always been doing – trying to make the Deaf less Deaf and they do this by trying to keep u away from ASL and other Deaf people
yawn and oy – how terribly annoying, redundant and ineffective (not to mention destructive – yes see again the post on estrangement and the lawsuits and the language deprivation and the….)
same ole same ole – here we go round the mulberry bush – weeeeeeee
yeah they have fancier devices and more aggressive means of doing it and more subtle and slicky language and more glossy brochures and DVDs than in the old days but it still the same ole game
make ’em forget they are Deaf ….
why would this be their EVER-ending ambition?
cuz when the Deaf discover ASL they start to ASK some questions like why wasnt i given this as a pup? and why dont my parents sign and why didnt i have any peers i could chat with without having to worry about whether or not i understood them right? and why have i had to forever and forever more WORK for my access to words when i can see them perfectly clear flying of the fingers of my pals and teachers now – wow that is just so natural and nice. if only i had gotten it when i was younger, if only my parents were not married to making me the SAME as everyBODY else instead of accepting me as is, if only….
and soon we will come to a possible reason why THEY push the “parental rights” shield and it is way less than noble folks – it is horribly cruel – they may be pushing parental rights because in doing so the child raised under oral / aural only when they grow up and later find a 2nd home amongst the Deaf and when they want to scream out to the public about the injustices saddled upon them from the moment they were classified as having failed their hearing test – there is only ONE thing stopping them from signing/singing that truth and guess what it is?
dear ole mum and dad –
Deaf folks will tell us all EVERYTHING in pubs, in living rooms, in parks, at timberfest, at the Deaf club, in bedrooms, but they will not tell it on camera or to the media because –
“i do not want to hurt my parents”
“my parents are pretty mean and if they saw this they would be angry at me”
“ohhh i couldnt that would upset my parents too much”
“my parents meant well…”
i have SEEN THIS statement from people in their 60s all the way down to very young kids
folks afraid of their own folks.
it is more than odd folks – it is WRONG and it is disabling our community big time. I have seen the marks folks – the cutting on the arms and legs, the scars on the head, the tears on the faces, the wounds on the heart and each time when i say – why dont u tell them that – they deserve to know the truth – the answer is almost always – “i couldnt. it would hurt them too much.” or… “they would hurt me” or….”it will only make things worse” or “i have but they won’t listen” or “i did but i dont go home anymore – its just easier that way…” etc.)
I mean when a 60 year old educated oral woman with cochlear implants says she is learning sign language on the sly “in the closet” meaning – wont tell her mother because it will upset mum too much – well folks we have to wonder about this. we have to wonder about AG Bell’s false claim of “independence through listening and talking”
and for the brave folks who do tell their folks the truth – odd things have been known to happen – often the family is CLOSER, STRONGER, HONESTER, and more BONDED- cuz living a lie amongst the folks who r supposed to love u unconditionally is not good for the soul folks
now aint that the pickle – that when we tell the truth to our folks we often feel lighter and freer
and who pitted the parents against the children? who told the parents NOT to do what came naturally to them – gesture, sign, meet other Deaf adults, etc
who bound the children’s hands and the parents and siblings and in doing so destined familial bonds to be forever frayed, broken, shattered, hanging by a false thread, or hollow?
who did not recognize ASL as a true language until the DBC said we are coming to ur big conference in Wisc. and we are bring our people and we are bringing the TRUTH?
who sent an email to their members saying some crazy Deaf folks r coming – they r just bitter over the past and they dont know that we ALLOW Deaf folks to sign now
oh really – u allow it. well thank u but seems many of ur AVT (excuse us – u now call it LSL) certified practionares didnt get that memo – in fact at AFA meeting with ur CEO and other reps in 2009 the director of ur programs said u had to EXCLUDE ASL for therapeutic reasons and in fact some of ur chief rah rah fans still are saying ASL must be excluded from AVT so just cuz u quietly chopped off the “without signing or lipreading” from guideline #3 does not mean u r actually telling folks this nor are u revising ur TRAINING to foster visual acuity and sign language which if u really love the Deaf kids and their families, u would do. and mind ya all 4 international bodies said it is a NO NO to exclude a natural and fully accessible signed language from the education of a Deaf child so u r busted AG Bell and co.
also – if u truly thought parental rights were all the rage then u would have done a shout out when a judge ordered a Deaf father to make his Deaf daughter wear her CIs all her waking hours
and who sent out unwanted and insulting membership cards with the falsehood of “independence through listening and talking” to folks of whome many do not listen nor speak and a letter identifying teachers of the Deaf as “hearing specialists”
and folks – Wake the #uck UP!
seriously folks i could go on and on
i havent even gotten to the part about connecting alot of the dots for us all but they are there – it just requires looking at opensecrets.org various tabs re: AG Bell’s lobbying and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance lobbying and the cochlear implant industries profits, dirty dealings, and sponsorships as well as all the hearing industries “foundations” and their profits
seriously the Deaf-world is owed one of the biggest refund checks you have ever seen
because what have we gotten from this huge and systematic oppression called audism – this foisted upon erroneous belief system that said it is better to hear and/or behave as a hearing person than to be Deaf?
– well we have Deaf oral folks not doing so well in employment and if they do get a job they dont advance past the sound barrier – boo
– well we have some Deaf folks so dependent on artificial devices that if their batteries die or their CI is on the blink they are lost and in tears
– well we have families across the country saying “never mind, in a minute, I’ll tell you later” or developing very bizarre relationships and identities so deeply entrenched within and around their child’s ability to hear and “function” as a hearing person that the child can barely breath and the parent (usually the mother) can not breath without this relationship and we have Deaf children growing up trying to make a career out of being a poster child for cochlear implants and oral / aural onlyism.
– well we have oral Deaf folks who dont like to go home
– well we have oral Deaf folks who other folks will say condescending and patronizing things about to their face “oh you have such lovely speech. wow it is just amazing how well you can talk and hear” to then immediately turn their backs on them once the show and tell period is over and say things to other people such as “wow it is so hard to understand them. wow it must be a burden to live with them – having to repeat all the time. wow its nice they can talk but it really would be helpful if they learned to sign…. etc”
– well we have a HUGE PUSH to usher in a death of deafness
– well we have CI operated by remote control by parents, teachers, assistants and specialists
– well we have the quest for a 100% implantable CI so there is no hope or chance a child can sabotage the device or escape being “restored” to society
– well we have a company trying to develop the infamous PILL to cure deafness
– well we have stem cells on the horizon they say
– well we have genetic testing and screening and tossing of Deaf embryos
ahhhh eugenics and diversity
sooo i say unto u all – a wittle blue tape is OK
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result”. ~ Gandhi
and now do u see WHO truly is militant – who has slapped hands, put kids in isolation rooms at the age of 5 for signing, took off points for signing, pitted classmates against each other solely based on who had an aptitude to sing and who did not, grabbed, slapped, pinched, shhhhheed and much much more etc etc etc
so who is the extremist
but lets just call AFA militant? wow! – do u SEE how ludicrous that accusation is?
6. the other thing AFA did during the rallies – on July 23 Saturday during the very last sessions of the AG Bell symposium – some AFA folks walked into a session on Cultural and Linguistic Competence and did a sit-in. We figured if u all wanna talk about the cultural and linguistic competence of Deaf folks – u might as well have a few present. And we gave them an earful – especially when Ruthie Jordan decided to use her speech and sign out how she was THEIR oral F A I L U R E. it was powerful
very powerful. it reminded me of how some Gay and Lesbian folks had walked into a conference on the psychological illness of being homosexual back in the 1970s to say “lets talk.”
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Gandhi
Sit-ins require courage and love – not militancy. We did not push anyone even though we were pushed. A civil rights lawyer was present and did some advising of what might happen. the police (there were MANY there – started to attempt to carry one of the AFA members, Mark Myers, out – the only male amongst 5 females. This AFAer, Mark Myers, knew to go limp and the police got a bit tiffed. More negotiation between the lead officer with some tense and intense moments here and there but all the while civil.
After the sit-inners were escorted out of the hotel by the police – we recapped the events for the folks out on the ground and then we had a big ole group pix with some of our fav DC cops who happen to be excellent ASLers.
We be making the invisible visible folks. The general public is starting to learn of things they never knew were happening in this country – for them the word oral conjures up images of tooth brushes or some private matters. We gotta tell them the truth of what has been happening and what some folks (Hello AG Bell Association, Hello Advanced Bionics, Hello Cochlear Americas, Hello Otologics, Hello EHDI, etc) are trying to make happen all over again.
In history, sit-ins, boycotts, divestment, marches, hunger strikes etc etc have been used as forms of civil disobedience – to give attention to systems of injustice and oppression and as a Wake UP and SHAKE UP and STAND UP call, folks
“And right here let me say that the organized deaf do not understand their own might. It is in their power, if united, to dictate to the schools what methods of education should be pursued therein. Their cause is so palpably just that public, legislators and parents must in the end side with them.”
~ George W. Veditz
You have a say in matters that pertain to Deaf folks cuz these matters affect you and yours and you MATTER. You really and truly do – dont let them ever convince you otherwise.
We must have the spiritual audacity to assert our somebodyness. ~ ML King Jr
Someone told me there is a comment somewhere out in the blogsphere by someone with the name of “SPY” (yes yes i know they r lame) that reads as: “AFA is still trying to hold a finger in a dam that has long since broken loose.” to which my thought is – i am proud to be part of this finger – part of this effort – part of this hope – part of this faith – part of this love (see MLK Jr on being an extremist of love)
What about u folks?
If Deaf ASL folks are to become a “there once walked a people” people – i would much rather go down as one who tried to stop it and lobbied long and hard for righteousness and justice than to be the one who stood by and did nothing or the one who flung open the door and told everyone to get on board the bad-ship-oppression in the false name of “progress” and “inclusiveness” or spent my life in a word war in text and video boxes in the blogsphere.
its time to hit the streets to make things concrete folks. u be part of the solution or part of the problem? dont tell me u be neutral cuz their aint no such thing in this matter. u either think it is OK for parents or the govt or a school to deny a Deaf child a fully natural and accessible signed language or u think its not. pretty simple.
NOTE: more choices quotes from MLK below the video boxes – scroll down
Excerpts of AFA vigil at AG Bell’s Laboratory and Volta Bureau
Excerpts of AFA Sit-in at AG Bell’s conference
go to audismfreeamerica youtube account to see other AFA rally videos etc
subscribe if u like – dont if u dont
but what ever u do – do SOMETHING!
dont be afraid – as fdr said we aint got nothing to fear but fear itself
“Let no one say that he is a follower of Gandhi. It is enough that I should be my own follower. I know what an inadequate follower I am of myself, for I cannot live up to the convictions I stand for. You are no followers but fellow students, fellow pilgrims, fellow seekers, fellow workers.”
come be a fellow student, pilgrim, seeker, and worker – won’t u?
is it row row row ur boat time for u (off to denial isle u be?)
or musical chairs
or won’t u help me sing – these songs of freedom… and decide some things r worth STANDING for
the choice is yours folks
Vivir con miedo es como vivir a medias ~ Spanish proverb
…you’ll develop the inner conviction that there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true, that they are worth dying for. (Yes) [Applause] And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. [Applause]
This method has wrought wonders. As a result of the nonviolent Freedom Ride movement, segregation in public transportation has almost passed away absolutely in the South. As a result of the sit-in movement at lunch counters, more than 285 cities have now integrated their lunch counters in the South. I say to you, there is power in this method. [Applause]
And I think by following this approach it will also help us to go into the new age that is emerging with the right attitude. For nonviolence not only calls upon its adherents to avoid external physical violence, but it calls upon them to avoid internal violence of spirit. It calls on them to engage in that something called love. And I know it is difficult sometimes. When I say “love” at this point, I’m not talking about an affectionate emotion. (All right) It’s nonsense to urge people, oppressed people, to love their oppressors in an affectionate sense. I’m talking about something much deeper. I’m talking about a sort of understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. [Applause] – Martin Luther King, Jr
Image of some AFA folks with statue of Gandhi in Washington, DC after the the first rally at AG Bell headquarters in 2009