Gally’s Chief Diversity Officer Saga con’t.

…Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance… ~ George Washington borrowing a phrase from Moses Seixas

Governments should not restrict folks’ civil rights.

Just thinking about some commentaries on the controversy surrounding Gallaudet’s Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angela McCaskill, signing a petition to put LGBTQ marriage rights up for question on the Maryland ballot.  MD had already passed a just, right and good marriage equality law that ensured that LGBTQ had the same rights to legal marriage as other American Citizens.  It also ensured that religious entities would be exempt from having to recognize or perform such marriages.

Upon learning of its Chief Diversity Officer (CDO),Dr. McCaskill, taking this action that could result in the overturning of LGBTQ legal and civil rights, Gallaudet University put the CDO on administrative leave so they could examine if she could uphold the duties of her office.  See the Mission, Vision, Value and Goal Statements of Gallaudet’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion at this link http://www.gallaudet.edu/Diversity/About_ODI.html

Dr. McCaskill held a press conference in which she named two lesbian professors at Gallaudet as having made the Institute aware of her signing the petition to get question 6 put on the ballot on Nov. 6 putting LGBTQ Marriage equality into question and into jeopardy.   She also thanked Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council – a known hate group – you can see the horrible things Tony and his organization have done and said about gays at http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/family-research-council.  Dr. McCaskill also thanked Rev. Derrick McCoy from the Maryland Marriage Alliance, who spearheaded the anti-gay petition drive claiming religious grounds to justify advocating for state legalized discrimination.

Since her press conference, the Rev. McCoy’s group Maryland Marriage Alliance has made an ad using Gallaudet footage of Dr. McCaskill to spread fear mongering that if GLBTQ folks have marriage rights than those who speak out against it will be fired.

One – she has NOT been fired and

two – she is a chief DIVERSITY officer and this is the only reason why she has been put on a paid leave – because they have to determine if she can uphold the duties and spirit of her office if she is taking actions to obstruct LGBTQ civil rights.  Both Gallaudet and Dr. McCaskill have called upon the Maryland Marriage Alliance to pull the ad.  Rev. McCoy is also exploiting McCaskill’s situation further by hosting protest demonstrations in front of Gallaudet, while students are told NOT to protest by Gallaudet admin..  So much for free speech and press.

“Right now we’re seeing if you believe in something as simple as marriage and the fundamental fabric of the family unit in our society and in our culture, you will be attacked,” McCoy said.

To which i say to Rev. McCoy – wow – that is looking like a mighty big prejudice you are dragging around.  It is you who are attacking LGBTQ folks rights and everyone has the right and duty to stand up to such oppression.  The fact that you trying to use God as an excuse for such inexcusable discrimination and prejudice on your part is NOT COOL.  The Maryland law ‘as is’ PROTECTS you and your church and allows you to still be discriminatory in your practices – it simply says that the state should not practice such bigotry and injustice.  See quote at top from George Washington and remember MLK Jr’s words of “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
And now for the good stuff that has crossed my path – cuz we all need the good stuff and – calling all MD voters – get out there and vote YES for question 6.   Don’t let the haters win.

the Good Stuff:

There is a great ASL video letter to Dr. McCaskill by Adam Bartley, a married Gay Deaf man, sharing his heartfelt feelings about the situation.  It is powerful and i thank him for his courage, sincerity, and love.  If i can get permission to repost it here at PoTE i will – its making its rounds in FB and is very important me think.

Josh Swiller’s blog entry at the Huff Post College blog site is important.  I dont fully see everything the same as he does but i truly appreciate some of the things he is highlighting and stating here.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-swiller/the-real-mistake-at-gallaudet_b_2020046.html

Article from Inside Higher Ed http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/17/dispute-gallaudet-over-chief-diversity-officers-gay-marriage-stance#.UIhsVZAx2GI.facebook

A Few quotes:

“Anyone who works at a university has the right to espouse any viewpoint, assuming that’s done in a respectful way,” said Benjamin Reese, president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education and the vice president for institutional equity at Duke University. “But I think all of us in senior roles at colleges and universities recognize that there is not a clear demarcation between our college and university service and our private life.”

For diversity officers, Reese said, the line can be even fuzzier. Though he did not want to comment on McCaskill’s case without knowing the details, Reese did say that university administrators should recognize that often it is impossible to ever completely dissociate from their university role.

“At the end of the day, it begs the question of what was she thinking,” Windmeyer said. “It’s also important to recognize that she has done many things in her job that were LGBT-supportive. I think we need to look at this situation from the lens of a student – the student should be able to sit down with the chief diversity officer and say, ‘What were you thinking?’  and then they should be able to share what they felt.”

Reese believes most chief diversity officers are working to build a safe environment for all students, but adds, “It’s critical that chief diversity officers behave in a way that contributes to an inclusive environment, including the LGBT community.”

So even the leaders in diversity and inclusion are saying – YIKES re: what McCaskill did.

They are also saying that Gallaudet administration, McCaskill, and the campus should be allowed the time and space to work this out.  Lawyers and the anti-gay groups are not helping the matter.
I believe Dr. McCaskill is a good person who has gotten caught up in a bad situation.  She can right these wrongs.
Still hoping on those better angels of our nature.

Nobody should be thanking the FRC Prez

This is what hate, bigotry and lies look like:
“Since homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence, it too qualifies as a behavior that is harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large.”
— Tony Perkins, “Christian compassion requires the truth about the harms of homosexuality,” Washington Post, 10/25/2010

Yep Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC) – President of a group that spews lies, falsehoods and hate.  Totally NOT COOL.  And Angela McCaskill stated at her press conference “I want to thank Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council”

If you want to know more about the Family Research Council and see more unjust, and unfathomable quotes from Tony Perkins and co. visit the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) Intelligence page on the group – http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-files/groups/family-research-council

(the SPLC is an outstanding, reputable, and wonderful organization that has been combating hate and injustice in this country for a long time.  Visit their Teaching Tolerance program too as it is filled with good materials, information, and actions.)

YIKES!  Re: McCaskill thanking Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.

Hopefully she did not know he has associated with White Supremacist groups and has been using some Black churches to spew hate and falsehoods all over the state of MD (see the SPLC link above).
It seems odd that she wouldn’t be aware of this or wouldn,t have at least checked into the background of the various individuals and groups that were rushing to use her situation for their own gain.  As an expert in diversity and inclusion – it seems she should have known that the Family Research Council was a hate group and that the Maryland law already exempted religious institutions and clergy from having to perform or recognize same-sex marriages.
If you are unfamiliar with the controversy over a Chief Diversity Officer at Gallaudet signing a petition to put on the ballot on Nov 6 question 6 so that Maryland’s recently passed civil marriage equality for LGBTQ could be stripped away before it even had a chance to get going – well where have you been.

Yep Maryland passed a just, right and good law of marriage equality to stop the unconstitutional discrimination of LGBTQ and even had provisions to make it CLEAR that religious Institutions and clergy would not have to perform or recognize such marriages in their practices.

The truth

1. Dr. McCaskill had the legal right to sign the petition to get question 6 put onto the ballot

2. it was NOT the right thing to do.

Folks are not questioning her constitutional right to do so.  They are questioning her REASONING for doing so since it jeopardizes recently gained LGBTQ marriage rights and because other civil rights are not put up for question / popular vote.

If women’s suffrage had been up for direct vote, we wouldn’t have gotten the 19th Amendment.  If the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was put on the ballot in southern states, we wouldn,t have gotten it passed.  If the ADA was put on the ballot, it is unlikely it would have passed.  We elect our elected officials to represent we, the people, of the United States and also to uphold the constitution so….

But since different groups are trying to undermine marriage equality various courts have had to examine if these ballots or lawsuits are right, just and good – so far they have been ruling in FAVOR of marriage equality for all.  Most recent example:

Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional by a Federal Appeals court in NY after all!  Wake up folks equality for all means ALL.  (DOMA was a right-wing push to define marriage as between a man and a woman only)

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/10/federal-appeals-court-rules-doma-unconstitutional/58102/

4. Gallaudet had the right to put McCaskill on a paid leave to determine if she could uphold the duties of her office given she had taken actions that might result in removing other folks’ civil rights.  See the Mission, Vision, and Goals of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Gallaudet.  http://www.gallaudet.edu/Diversity/About_ODI.html

Dr. Hurwitz stated “It recently came to my attention that Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer; however, other individuals feel differently,” Hurwitz wrote in an email to students, faculty and staff. “I will use the extended time while she is on administrative leave to determine the appropriate next steps taking into consideration the duties of this position at the university.”

This is NOT a termination notice nor is an act of humiliation targeting Dr. McCaskill.

5. Nobody should be attacking anybody in this whole situation

6. My heart goes out to everybody involved in all of this.  May the better angels of our nature manifest themselves during this challenging and hard situation.

We will leave ya with another quote from Tony Perkins of Family Research Council below where he spews more Hate against the very important and good “It Gets Better” video campaign that is designed to let LGBTQ  youth of all colors know they are not alone and suicide is not the answer.

“The videos are titled ‘It Gets Better.’ They are aimed at persuading kids that although they’ll face struggles and perhaps bullying for ‘coming out’ as homosexual (or transgendered or some other perversion), life will get better. …It’s disgusting. And it’s part of a concerted effort to persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle.”
— Tony Perkins, FRC fundraising letter, August 2011

And some good quotes of truth from Bayard Rustin, who the FBI tried to classify as a pervert because he was a Gay African-American activist.  Bayard organized the 1963 Civil Rights march on Washington and was a close and critical advisor to MLK Jr.  When being pulled off a bus for refusing to obey segregationist laws before Rosa Parks did her famous sit-in, Bayard said:

“I cannot move.” The police came, and they started dragging Bayard out of his seat. And he pointed to a little white child across the aisle saying, “If I move, this child will not know that injustice is taking place here.”

Other quotes by Bayard:

When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.

and

“To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true.”

and near the end of his life:

“Twenty-five, thirty years ago, the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, [or] lesbian.”

Biggest thanks to the NAACP and the various African-American clergy who stand FOR civil marriage equality for all.

See Sept 21 article re: clergy http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/under-god/post/prominent-black-clergy-support-maryland-same-sex-marriage/2012/09/21/875731f8-042d-11e2-8102-ebee9c66e190_blog.html

See May 21 NAACP resolution in support of Marriage Equality http://www.naacp.org/news/entry/naacp-passes-resolution-in-support-of-marriage-equality

VOTE Folks! cuz H8 is not cool!

Vote Yes to Q 6 on Nov 6 = No 2 H8

Thank u Jan, Sharon, Candace, & Jehanne for your STAND. http://www.noh8campaign.com/article/about

A person i adore and trust and is GOOD GOOD GOOD, who is also a devote Catholic, said to me “a government has no right to restrict the marriage rights of adult citizens.  To do so would be legalized discrimination.  Religious groups can maintain their own right not to recognize such marriages based on their beliefs and doctrines but a government has no right to do so.”  Yep, he knows what “all folks are created equal” means and what the 14th amendment means (ya know the right to life, liberty and property)

and so too do more and more states by stating folks should NOT be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.

And that is what the Maryland law is all about – stopping discrimination against LGBT by allowing legal marriage – marriage equality while stating that religious groups can still do their thing.

MD passed marriage equality – allowing LGBT to have civil marriages but some anti-gay rights folks got thousands of signatures to have a referendum – vote put on the ballot to see if the people of MD support this law and if they don’t then they can get it tossed (think CA proposition 8).

NOTE: we have elected officials propose bill and vote on them and elected governors sign them into law or veto them every day.  Civil rights issues traditionally are not put on the ballot for the general population to vote on because many bigoted folks would try to maintain legalized discrimination.   The Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s would have never been passed if it was up to the people of the south to vote on the matter.  Women’s right to vote during a time when it was only legal for men to vote – would have never passed it was up to the general population to vote on it.  This is why we have elected officials – they r supposed to represent us and the greater good and to uphold the Constitution of the United States over corporate interest or religious institutions.

The media and conservative extremist wrong-wingers are quick to siege on the situation at Gallaudet to exploit for their own purposes.

All i got to say on the matter is:
1. A Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) taking steps to try to have discrimination legalized against LGBTQ calls into question her/his ability to support justice and equality for LGBT students on campus.

2. A University should examine how well a Chief Diversity Officer can perform their duties if they hold beliefs and values that say LGBTQ should be denied the right to marry legally (the MD law does not affect religious practices)

3. NOBODY should be attacking LGBTQ over this controversy
NOBODY should be attacking People of Color (POC) and Women over this controversy

NOBODY should be attacking Drs. McCatskill and Hurwitz over this controversy

NOTE: Oct 16, Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz released a msg to the community on this topic – it has been added to the comment section below or this link.

4. I hope and pray the better angels of our nature will manifest itself and reconciliation will emerge so that trust, respect, and justice can be fully self-evident in the Office of Diversity and through out the campus.

As a Holocaust survivor always told my classes – “Hatred is simply a waste of time.”

So please folks VOTE
if u live in Md or have loved ones that do – pls make sure they know what Question 6 on the ballot is all about.
VOTE YES to Question 6 on Nov 6
this is a vote of NO to H8

voting FOR the referred law means you want to keep LGBTQ marriage rights.

Note the law preserves the rights for religious groups to do otherwise so i have NO idea why so many religious groups are trying to get folks to be AGAINST the referred law.

Hence my big question as to why Question 6 is even on the ballot if not for bigotry: (bold added by me)

Question 6
Referendum Petition
Civil Marriage Protection Act (Ch. 2 of the 2012 Legislative Session) Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.
For the Referred Law
Against the Referred Law 
—–

For the Referred Law = supporting the current law above (LGBT can legally marry in MD but religious groups do not have to follow such practices)

Against the Referred Law = oppose the above law (wants the state of MD to discriminate against LGBTQ folks by removing their right to civil marriage)

VOTE FOR the referred law and…

stop the H8

Senator Schumer’s reply re: UN CRPD and V is for VOTE

I have been sending my Senators emails re: the importance of the Senate ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).  this is the response i received from Senator Schumer (D-NY) on Oct 3, 2012. (you can find your Senator and contact info here http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Audism Free America (AFA) has a sample letter at http://audismfreeamerica.blogspot.com/2012/07/urge-ur-us-senators-to-ratify-un-crpd.html
And dont believe all the bs some conservatives are trying to spin about US sovereignty.  We ratify plenty of UN conventions and treaties.  They just spinning.  And take a look at the first Americans sovereignty which the conservative wrong-wing is so eager to trample on.
And send your letter to your senators and get ready to vote on Nov. 6th.  Many hot races on the local, state, and federal level.  Everyday im amazed at what some folks are saying about my vagina and my rights.
Not registered to vote?  Check the listing at this link to see if the deadline to register has passed – if it hasnt then click your state and REGISTER – also has links for absintee ballots etc.
Rock the vote.  They counting on voter suppression to win the election – don’t let ’em.  Remind them that VOTING is what makes this joint a democracy and not a hypocrisy.  http://www.rockthevote.com/rtv_voter_registration.html?source=
peace,
patti
———–
Dear Ms. Durr:
     Thank you for writing to express your support for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  I wholeheartedly agree that people with mental and physical disabilities need to be protected from discrimination and we must ensure that they have the adequate resources to better their lives, which is why I was a cosponsor of the original Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
     Throughout my career, I have been a strong advocate for people with disabilities. Last year, I signed a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to fund at the highest levels the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in order to fulfill our promise of truly assisting our schools in the education of students with disabilities. I have also continued to urge the Senate Budget Committee to fully fund the Social Security Administration for Continuing Disability reviews in order to reduce the long wait times that many applicants face.  I am troubled by the long wait times facing New Yorkers who are in the process of applying for their disability benefits.  New York State has a backlog of more than 50,000 disability cases, and the average statewide waiting period for a decision is nearly a year.  As a member of the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Social Security program, this remains one of my top legislative priorities.  I will continue advocating for the rights and the needs of Americans with disabilities in the workplace, schools, and beyond.
     The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has the stated purpose to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.  This would include such rights as the right to health, education, work, inclusion in society and to vote.
     This treaty has been signed by the United States government, but must still be approved by the Senate.  While the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has held a hearing on the treaty, it has yet to be introduced in the Senate.  I do not sit on that committee but I will closely monitor the treaty’s progress in the Senate.
     Again, thank you for contacting me regarding this important issue. Please feel free to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance on this or any other matter.
Sincerely,
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

Indigenous People’s Day and A Reply is in Order

Monday October 8 is Indigenous People’s Day – dont know what that is – well check it out as it’s important and if u r surprised to know u were never taught about this day but know all to well the tale of Christopher sailing the ocean blue in 1492 – u will see see how things work.  The bloke didnt discover nothing cuz the lands were already found and founded and full of happy and healthy people until – BAM WHAM and NO THANK YOU Mam – in stomped racism, imperialism, nationalism, and militarism and GENOCIDE!

Yet its something we never talk about and most school kids don’t even know about.  You can bet your bottom dollar if it was done to u.s. (meaning the invasion and biological warfare (yes we did biological warfare on Native people) slavery, torture, murder to white folks, it would be honored every year with much ado but since our fore fore fore fathers did the doing to Native people – it is morphed, glorified, celebrated in schools as a GREAT THING and all the messy and horrible parts simply wished/whisked away from public view.
So maybe we can see if we can get a wee bit of things right.  Recently i learned that the Intertribal Freindship House sent a letter to CSD advocating for the removal of the Bear Hunt sculpture and in return they got…

Nothing

as in zero – as in no reply at all.

Well, that aint cool.  Especially since one of their chief concerns is the impact of the negative imagery on the children most especially the Native Deaf students at CSD.

So i’m thinking since CSD’s Superintendent Virnig has said that CSD is really down with multiculturalism, he would at least see the value in responding to the Intertribal Friendship House – especially seeing how Berkeley, CA. formally recognizes Indigenous People’s Day and the folks of the Intertribal Friendship House are Indigenous People and the statue they are objecting to is supposed to represent them aka Indigenous People.  So I am hoping (its what i do – try as i may to stop it i always come back to hoping for the better angels of our nature) maybe on this day OFF of school, Supt Virnig can show some respect and honor them with a reply.

this way Supt Virnig will be showing some respect for the folks who are the most affected by the misrepresentation unjustly prominently displayed in front of CSD to this very day.

To the Intertribal Friendship House – thank you very much for sharing your point of view and experiences and for reaching out to CSD.

A reply that actually explains why you, Supt. Virnig have sided with honoring Tilden (when he didnt even want CSD to have that statue) over honoring Indigenous people is in order.

To all the readers – please do SOMETHING today as a shout out against the genocide and injustices targeted against Native people yesterday, today and tmw.  Its wrong and we know it and must own up to it.  Don’t turn your back on what we done.

Bear with me please

3 October 2012 Patti Durr @ People of the Eye

“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” ~ Malcolm X

Yep – i’m revisiting the Bear Hunt – controversial statue at Ca. School for the Deaf by Douglas Tilden

why u ask – well cuz its important and cuz me friend delivered me a book while i was mending me broken foot.

It’s a good book – Engaged Resistance: American Indian Art, Literature, and Film From Alcatraz to the NMAI by Dean Rader and chapter 9 Roofs, Roads, and Rotundas: American Indian Public Art deals with how folks represent American Indians in art for their own purposes.  Ill feed ya a few quotes and then back to me thoughts.

“Context and backdrop, ideology and identity, all inform how we see public art.” p. 184

“Almost all Indian public art trades on the same stereotypical ideas of what an Indian means.” … invented iconography of the romanticized past” p. 184

“One of the great ironies of the twentieth century was the degree to which Indian semiotics came to symbolize the region of the country most notoriously colonized by white settlement, federal land policies, and missionary aggression.” p. 186

“One of the great mysteries surrounding contemporary American discourse about western culture is the absence of Indian issues, despite the overwhelming presence of Indian semiotics.” p. 186

In discussing ‘Indian action sculptures’ the author states “They depict a nineteenth-century Plains Indian either poetically communing with some aspect of nature, fiercely grappling with a wild animal, or craftily preparing to lunge into battle.” p. 191

While the author is describing Lincoln Fox’s Heaven Bound statue – the characterization of American Indian men is similarly portrayed in other statues by non-Indians – including Tilden’s Bear Hunt.  “Fox freezes a shirtless Indian warrior in time as he pulls back a large bow, magically, without a drawstring.  Six-packed and loinclothed, this hunter-marksman evokes the wild romanticism of poised tension just before an arrow discharges into the air – at what, we are left to imagine.  Oddly sexual, with ripped abs and thigh astraddle, the sculpture feels like a study in the kind of mythological behavior an Anglo imagines nineteenth-century Indians might have engaged in when not lurking behind prairie grasses.” p. 191

“In the case of these sculptures, one locates … the sexualized images, the overly romantic depictions, and, most saliently in the unspoken but clearly encoded lamentation for the glory days of fabricated yesteryear.  We fantasize about what we have destroyed, we embellish what we have broken, we replace what we have removed.” p. 192-3

(italic text added by me)  “We know what to feel because we have been taught how to see.  We have been taught to see Indians on top of buildings (or in front of schools) not as symbols of Indians but as symbols of all that is not Indian.” p. 196

And if all of that is a bit too academic-speak for ya i’ll share with you what a teenaged Hearing person happened to say when i was browsing pix of the Bear Hunt on the web when the controversy first broke out.

He asked “why are you looking at that?”

Me said: “Cuz some folks are saying its offensive and others are saying its not.  And im trying to SEE.”

He said: “Well where is that statue.”

Me: “In front of a school for kids 3 years old up to high school”

He: “Really.  Hmmmm”

Douglas Tilden’s Bear Hunt in front of California School for the Deaf in Fremont, CA

Me: “Hmmm – why?”

He: ” Well it is pretty scary for kids cuz of the way the bear is biting the man’s arm.”

My turn: “hmmm”

He: “Why is it in front of a school?  I’ve never seen a statue like that in front of a school before”

Me: “It’s a Deaf school and a Deaf man made the statue.”

He: “Ah.  But still.”

and as im clicking more images – he says

He: “Oh that kinda looks bad.”

Me: “What does?” then i look at the image he is looking at and wait to see if he will elaborate.  I don’t want to give leading questions and i dont want what folks have told me in the past to bias our chat.

He: “Well from that angle  it kinda looks like the bear is gonna rape the Native American guy.”

He: “this is in front of a kids school?”

Me: “yep.  yep it is”

So there you have it.

This is what greets folks at the curb of CSD.

So here you have it –

NOT COOL Supt Sean Virnig

Not cool, Supt Virnig, for not providing any (as in nada) explanation as to why he has decided that the Bear Hunt statue will remain as the main greeter and signifier of CSD despite being informed that the statue is offensive and misrepresents Native Americans.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwU4jEU2mYA&list=UUt6toBn-9Tx5NrLejcmKByQ&index=4&feature=plpp_video

While Supt Virnig’s ASL is clear and graceful to watch – his declaration that the statue is to remain AS IS WHERE IT IS without any explanation as to why & how he reached this decision is unfortunate and unjust.

Our community at large and in the bay area, which is made up of many DPOC, deserves much better than this autocratic non-response.  The issue of representation, respect, and racial justice deserve better than this.  Problems like these don’t “just go away” because a declaration has been issued.  Don’t believe me – just remember that the Bell Dorm name and plaque at NTID was a long standing continual issue in which even Deaf leaders said it was to remain but good folks on the ground said “not cool” and eventually truth and love won.  So the bear battle will be back simply because justice has not been served and will roll down like a mighty stream sure enuf – as it did in getting the Bell plaque and name down.

Some folks have been pretty nasty and mean when DYUSA set up a petition about the statue.  The petition was a fair and just one http://www.change.org/petitions/california-school-for-the-deaf-fremont-remove-douglas-tilden-s-the-bear-hunt-statue-from-campus-grounds

It really is unacceptable and uncool to be trying to repress and/or misrepresent DYUSA’s outcry about misrepresentation of POC people, their cultures and their languages.  Folks REaction and INaction in response to mutlicultural DYUSA & DPOC calling our attention to these injustices is very important.  Deaf folks are often lamenting about how the Hearing world does not listen to the plight for Deaf rights.  To see Deaf folks in power or with privilege ignore the concerns of DPOC & allies or to side with perpetuating a wrong is upsetting and should make us all wanna shout – Ya Basta.

Dont even get me started on the the Deaf Nation white savior imagery 1 and 2 and NAD and the Daugaard invite 1 and 2 when they never uninvited him in the first place (WOW what a waste of delegates time).

CSD keeping the Bear Hunt statue where it is without any explanation is just another signifier of how the oppressed at times become the oppressors.  It is disheartening and WRONG.

Now you can shower the comment boxes with remarks about – ‘why aren’t you out there fighting audism ‘

and ill be like – ‘whoa projection is not pretty’ (meaning why are you not out there fighting for justice – whether it be against audism and against racism instead of here in People of the Eye boxes fighting against the truth)

and ill be like -‘ what makes you think we cant multitask, what makes you think that some of this dismissing of DPOC & and multicultural Deaf Youth people’s concern is not a byproduct of the Deaf White male folks in power thinking they do NOT have to respect the concerns of DPOC’ – it may not be AUDISM per se but it is an oppressive “ISM” that has plagued our community, our culture, and our country for a bloody long time.

it really is a good thing – this discussion, this examination, and this RESPECTING of folks who have been horribly mistreated and misrepresented in this country.  In fact it is imperative that we undertake this task most especially for the wee things who will be arriving at CSD for the very first time.  What first meets their eyes and greets them should be just, right and good.  And that is how folks should identify HOME.

So in standing against racism and racist based representation and making progress by having folks remove such imagery from their organization and the doorstep of their school or the podium of their organizaiton’s platform, we are galvanizing an opportunity to work together to get there together.  Where you ask? Equality – Social Justice – True Peace.

Sweet, eh?
yes indeed.

so whatcha gonna do do?

stand for equality for ALL or keep being nasty to the truth seekers?

its your option

to Deaf Youth USA – i admire ya.  Keep standing.  I know im slow some times but i will catch up with good folks like u lighting the path.

to Supt Virnig – many administrators were not brave enuf to remove the Bell dorm name and plaque and they just “there, there” to the student discontent over the hall of shame in the past until the community rallied around the truth and said Ya Basta and then it finally came down.  Some folks came forward saying they were sorry that they didnt know enuf about Bell’s history in the past to have stood for having it come down and they were grateful for the folks who did.  I’m hoping you will not make folks wait 20-30 years to do the right thing.  I know the statue holds nostalgia for folks and i know change is hard but change away from imperialist nostalgia to social justice will put CSD further on the map as a super cool school.

THOUSANDS of Native Americans were relocated – where was the outcry for that.  Refusing to relocate an offensive and unjust statue without providing ANY reason for it to remain is a shame.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  Martin Luther King, Jr

forgot to add this gem from Leala’s wall by bell hooks:

“Native Americans have been deeply affected by the degrading representations of red people that continue to be the dominant images projected by the media. When most people see daily images of red people portrayed as cannibalistic, uncivilized, and savage, they do not think about the ways these images cause pain and grief.

While there is current interest in the way children of Jewish survivors are affected by the torture of their ancestors, there have been few attempts to understand how the horrors of genocidal assaults on Native Americans has affected the children of survivors. It is rare for anyone to publicly acknowledge that Native Americans are the survivors of holocaust, of genocidal warfare waged against red people by white imperialist racism.

Native American imagery is used as an entertaining spectacle for the colonizing white imagination. In any of its versions, imperialist nostalgia uses a pose of “innocent yearning” both to capture people’s imaginations and to conceal its complicity with brutal white domination.”  -bell hooks

Peace,

Patti

NOTE: other older vlogs on this topic (feel free to add links in the comment section)

Leala Holcomb’s vlog thanking Lavar and the Intertribal Friendship House Gathering for sharing their truths re: the statue and its impact and message and meaning to them http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaWp4k1YlmQ

tilden’s statue at CSD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCEOxE26Y0I&list=UUuZp0ZP3wIJfHbUDq6rrm_Q&index=9&feature=plcp

bear hunt & Deaf Youth USA & invest in justice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObFkbsUTr-E&list=UUuZp0ZP3wIJfHbUDq6rrm_Q&index=8&feature=plcp

never again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxwQzl_GYVs&list=UUuZp0ZP3wIJfHbUDq6rrm_Q&index=7&feature=plcp