Tag Archives: activism

some quotes to post & resistance rocks

cover of the book Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen. Photo at top of the punk protest band - women in colorful dresses and leggins and balaclava (ski masks) with black background and white text of title and author below)
cover of the book Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen. Photo at top of the punk protest band – women in colorful dresses and leggins and balaclava (ski masks). Two women holding a guitar, another a microphone, another a purple flag with a solidarity fist, several women doing the solidarity salute. Black background and white text of title and author below)

i just finished reading Words Will Break Cement: the Passion of Pussy Riot by Masha Gessen (thank you kc for feeding me the good stuff)

so just a few quotes to post so i dont loose sight of them later in life

“In all societies, public rhetoric involves some measure of lying, and history – political history and art history – is made when someone effectively confronts the lie.  But in really scary societies all public conversation is an exercise in using words to mean their opposites – in describing the brave as traitorous, the weak as frightening, and the good as bad – and confronting these lies is the most scary and lonely thing a person can do.” ~ Gressen from Words Will Break Cement

that passage is particularly important to me because i believe in peaceful direct confrontation in the quest for justice.  Confront the lies can be mighty lonely at times.  too many folks are colonized and fearful.  i have seen how public conversation has been used to promote misconceptions about the people who really are working for the greater good

Gressen’s book takes its title from Nadya’s closing statement in which she quotes from Solzhenitsyn “So the word is more sincere than concrete?  So the word is not a trifle?  Then may noble people begin to grow, and their word will break cement.”

this is really beautiful to me

Veditz signed of a noblest gift and Agatha Tiegel Hanson wrote of a noble hunger and Solzhenitsyn and Nadya talk of NOBLE people.

Speak up folks – they can not hear us as their minds and hearts are closed.  STAND and demand justice.

“Still, there was value in fighting for the sake of fighting.” ~ Gessen

which has been stated many times and many ways by believers in civil disobedience and direct peaceful confrontation yet many folks forget or know not of

From one of Maria’s trials she stated, “A philosopher name Heidegger once said that language is the house of being.”

to me this is very powerful especially for Deaf folks who are often denied a fully natural and accessible language from the cradle.  it is not the context and meaning of which maria meant it but it is poignant and again ties into the word and into one’s ability to confront the lies and to break the cement – via language whether it be written, signed, spoken, or visual (ie art)

and in another of Nadya’s trials, she quotes Joseph Brodsky from his Nobel lecture ” The more substantial an individual’s aesthetic experience is, the sounder his taste, the sharper his moral focus, the freer- though not necessarily the happier – he is.” She goes on to say, “We in Russia once again find ourselves in a situation where resistance, especially aesthetic resistance, becomes the only viable moral choice as well as a civil duty.”

alice walker wrote that resistance [to oppression] is the secret to possessing joy

so im mighty thankful to the folks who protested at Advanced Bionics headquarters – an over-the-top wealthy corporation that has engaged in unethical and harmful dealings by marketing defective cochlear implants that have shocked and harmed children

im thankful to Audism Free America for calling for an impartial and independent investigation into the safety of pediatric cochlear implants as too many of the “studies” are financed and conducted by cochlear implant corporations and LSL and audiologists who have a vested interest.  corporate deviance is real folks – check out the billion dollar fine against toyota and GM’s coverup (and many many others in the past and to be in the future) The cochlear implant INDUSTRY has gone unmonitored and unaccounted – time to do some community acCOUNTability where it counts folks

im thankful to the folks who DIVEST from the EHDI system until it cleans up its act and stops promoting medical “cures” that require EXPLANTING and oral / aural ONLY solutions that prohibit the use of ASL and get the govt to finance oppressive and abusive practices as “best practices” and “medical homes” and “tracking and surveillance”

folks who need to “see how” EHDI works by attending their conference actually end up supporting (with $ by paying the high registration fees) and by providing their bodies as walking-signing/talking Deaf beings to give the illusion of inclusion – this is not cool and folks need to DIVEST.  If they must go – they should be on the outside STANDING tall to make the invisible visible – DECEIT is NOT SWEET.

NOTE – Advanced Bionics and Cochlear LTD are big sponsors of the upcoming EHDI Conference.  Both Advanced Bionics and Cochlear ltd have been fined, had recalls, and had MAJOR million dollar lawsuits against them and LOST soooooo why would anyone go to an EHDI conference – DIVEST BOYCOTT DEMONSTRATE and demand change folks

Words have power.  Showing up and thinking u r gonna make nice and change one heart at a time just makes you complicit.  The hour is way past “show” and “tell” – it is time to do direct peaceful confrontation with love.

I am super duper especially thankful to all the Deaf View / Image Art De’VIA artists for they really do make the invisible visible and they use visual language (art) and words (via text, si5s) and ASL in art as a form of resistance.  Affirming the good and challenging the bad on our way to liberation

Most especially i wanna thank folks who are out there on the ground protesting the environmental destruction of our planet – of all the current woes facing humanity – protesting the destruction of our mother should be #1.  I think often of late on Pete Seeger’s words about how he had realized that his protesting war and nuclear proliferation would mean very little because soon there would be no world to protect due to climate change so he threw his activism into environmentalism and set up Clearwater.  I want a Clearwater – we need a boat – dont we? ; )

we really are killing ourselves fastly folks so i hope u will get involved with: Idle No More (they rock) or 350 degrees (champ) or the Occupy movement (the 1% are really the ones putting us on the brink of annihilation.  Greed breeds many evils – chief amongst them is not thinking even 1 generation out – Chief Seattle implored us to think 7 generations out!)

if u want to know how good and true Nadya and Maria are – you can see how beautifully they handle an attack on them when they went to a town to try to gain rights for women prisoners (remember they were sentenced to 2 years in penal colonies simply for dancing and singing in a church for a few minutes to expose how Putin and the Russian Orthodox church were in cahoots – in prison they were subjected to terribly inhumane conditions.  They engaged in several important hunger strikes and have won many improvements in some prisons and upon release continue to FIGHT for those who have no resources or recourse to do so.  They also staged a simple concert in Sochi (again to make visible the invisible of Putin’s dictatorship) and were greeted with whips and physical abuse

trigger warning – the videos shows aggression and hostility.  Note- it does not come from Pussy Riot

scroll down for the videos


LOVE is the answer folks.  Keep standing

oh and most especially thank you Nadya and Maria and the other members of Pussy Riot for being braver than brave and for living up to the creed that MLK Jr and Gandhi and so many others have tried to teach us.   see when folks use the term pussy in derogatoly way to mean weak. They are totally WRONG pussys are strong  – dont believ me – just learn how pussy riot got its start

“A man who does not have something for which he is willing to die is not fit to live.” ~ MLK Jr

thanks kc for giving me some new heroines



A bell that rings true

While i am not a huge fan of AG Bell and co. because of all the harm, destruction and oppression that has resulted from the oral / aural ONLY onslaught – i do know of a bell that i appreciate.  Bell hooks – she is an Black feminist Buddhist scholar, activist, and community member.  She rocks.

Ella Mae Lentz’s discussion of bell hook’s book on Critical Thinking and Alison Aubrecht & Ryan Commerson’s mention of bell’s Teaching to Transgress book in their “Transgressing the Object”- new Butterfly Effect Series (text / video) has got me remembering the first bell hook’s book i ever read – Killing Rage:Ending Racism by bell hooks

i dont understand or agree with all she has written but lots and lots of her stuff leap off the page into my eyes, my heart, and my soul to say ahh THAT – that is what is going on, that is what is going down, that is comin’ a round.

And as like many other STRONG women – when i finally saw a video with her, i was like wow she is so soft spoken and cherry cherry looking.  It reminded me of when i first saw Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas who is a GREAT advocate and scholar re: multilingualism and mutliculturalism and biodiversity.  I saw Tove present at Gallaudet and her power point was filled to the brim with text stating clearly and boldly facts and truths about linguicism, language rights and human rights and how they are interconnected while she herself was quietly presenting these facts wrapped in a shawl with biofocials on and her hair up in a bun.  Too cute.  It was just such a contrast – these pow pow pow truths -and this wee woman singing them for all with eyes open to see.

Its very cool to see some folks who are so AWAKE, AWARE, and ACTIVE

Its also cool to see they are super sweet folks – not crazy fanatic extremists.

When folks see Susan Dupor, De’VIA artist famous for “The Family Dog,” or Dr. Betty G. Miller, Mother of De’VIA and famous for “Ameslan Prohibited,” or Dr. Paddy Ladd who introduced the concept and construct of Deafhood – they are like “THAT is Susan Dupor?  THAT is Betty G. Miller?  That is Paddy Ladd?”  Its like they were expecting someone in camouflage carrying an AKA when these folks r pacifists and sweethearts.  They are just truth seekers.  and for some folks that is mighty scary and threatening.

so since a new bell (rather than AG Bell)  is on me mind today – i thought id share a few of her quotes that ring true.  bold added by me and my pov under each.

When she references race and racism, you can substitute in Deaf and audism and/or sex and sexism, class and classism etc

From Killing Rage:Ending Racism by bell hooks

“We experience the world as infinitely less hostile to blackness than it actually is.  This shift happens particularly as we buy into liberal individualism and see our individual fate as black people in no way linked to the collective fate.  It is this link that sustains full awareness of the daily impact of racism on black people, particulary its hostile and brutal assualt.”  p. 17

i think she is talking about denial and the me, me, me generation folks.  If we acknowledge the oppression of Deaf folks, of Black folks, of GLBT folks, of Deaf Black GLBT folks …. etc then we r required to think of the greater good and doing good.  If we minimize, deny, ignore, scapegoat, displace etc oppression then we can just look to ourselves and not attempt collective solutions.

“Racial hatred is real.  And it is humanizing to be able to resist it with militant rage.”

i think she is saying – righteous anger is just, right and good.  Racial hatred is real.  Audism is real.  What makes us human and humane is resisting those hatreds and discriminatory practices and mindsets with a righteous anger.  This does NOT mean to act in violent means but rather to be firm with love and truths.  Remember she has studied Buddhism so she is not calling for violent action but rather righteous anger to take the form of peaceful resistance.

Forgetfulness and denial enable masses of privileged black people to live the “good life” without ever coming to terms with black rage.”  p. 17

this is why folks say “move on” and AG Bell says ” We should teach them to forget that they are deaf.”  Forget, deny, and close ur eyes.  Its a lullaby for the disenfranchised courtesy of the oppressors.  “Trust in me…” they sing as they slither

“Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that self-recovery is ultimately about learning to see clearly.  The political process of decolonization is also a way for us to learn to see clearly.  It is the way to freedom for both the colonized and the colonizer.” p. 18

Well, hello – this is where i be at – i have begun to see more and more clearly.  It is slow going sometimes and surely some times i no like what i see but i have found it to be very true that when we assert our somebodyness and reclaim our birth rights, it is freeing for the colonized and the colonizer.

“What does our rage at injustice mean if it can be silenced, erased by individual material comfort?  If aware black folks gladly trade in their critical political consciousness for opportunistic personal advancement then there is no place for rage and no hope that we can ever live to see the end of white supremacy.” p. 19

if folks will be so easily lead to buy into the system for personal gain – they will not experience any indignation at injustice and thus will not STAND up and if they have self-silenced to get along and get opportunities and get by then there is no hope for progress and equality.

“It is the telling our history that enables political self-recovery.” p. 47

this is why folks tell us to move on – they do not want us to discover, examine, share and celebrate our own history because they do not want political self-recovery.

“Black people still feel the terror, still associate it with whiteness, but are rarely able to articulate the varied ways we are terrorized because it is easy to silence by accusations of reverse racism or by suggesting that black folks who talk about the ways we are terrorized by whites are merely evoking victimization to demand special treatment.”  p. 47

this is why you will see many Deaf folks from all walks of life venting in safe circles but when in positions of power or amongst the folks that oppress they say little or nothing of the oppression and terror they have felt at the hands of the SYSTEMS – for fear of being accused of reverse audism or playing the victim card.  Don’t even get me started on horizontal violence.

Critically examining the association of whiteness as terror in the black imagination, deconstructing it, we both name racism’s impact and help to break its hold.  We decolonize our minds and our imaginations.”  P. 50

this is why Deaf artistic and literary expressions are so important – they speak truths.  They are our visual testimonies and shout outs and they allow our imaginations / creativity to not be colonized by fear and terror.

some day may we all ring a bell of truth – in doing so we bring ourselves and our commUNITY one step closer to equality, justice, and freedom

and now i have to figure out how to respond to our daughter’s inquiry – “hey, mom why arent u at occupy wallstreet”

gotta look into how i can act locally as i have definitely been thinking globally

oy – my bells being rung – time to STAND



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). 


 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“>