God Save the British Deaf
Colorado Springs – Lately, the recent furor over oralism and AG Bell Foundation within the Deaf blogosphere has created contradictory statements and perceptions about Deaf culture and deaf people themselves. In fact, many anti-oralism advocates seem to be primarily ex-oral deaf people who have succumbed to peer pressure and signed up to be “jumped” into Deaf culture.
In American street gangs, to become part of a gang, one has to abide by certain rules and requirements. More importantly, before becoming a full-fledged member of the gang, males will have their asses kicked (called “being jumped in,” or in some instances, “blood in, blood out”) for about 5 minutes before everybody group hugs the bloodied-and-beaten-up kid. As for women who want to enter the gang, they only need to have sex with certain members of the group to be involved, along with the occasional cheap trick.
In Deaf culture, some formerly oral deaf people tend to do the same things to be included within Deaf culture. They reject any and all things related to oralism. And they must have their asses kicked by Deaf people – especially when mistakes are made. Or, in most cases, if the former-deaf-and-now-Deaf person is not perfect, they will be kicked out of the gang and sent to live with homeless people in England.
But really, the whole criticism against oralism is the fact it doesn’t use ASL as a primary component of educating a deaf child. Additionally, this claim is further supported by charges that oral deaf people on the whole, reject ASL and Deaf culture by and large because as children, oral deaf people did not choose to learn ASL while in preschool.
Recently, a young Deaf woman published a vlog, criticizing a deaf school for catering to oralism. She was upset because she signed to a young oral deaf boy that she presumably wanted to save from the oral monster at that school. Later, she would publish another vlog, this time with a Deaf teenage girl testifying that she tried to include oral deaf children into a Jr NAD extracurricular program at the same school.
And then later, a third Deaf woman published a vlog, in which she appeared obviously angry and animated towards the NAD for not taking action on the supposed exclusion of oral deaf children into the Jr NAD program. She also stated the NAD was not a good organization and that another political entity needed to do something to save the oral deaf children, again, at the same school.
So, what’s with all the saving of oral deaf children by Deaf people?
The reason, it seems, is because some Deaf people view oralism as a form of child abuse. To teach a child via oralism is child abuse, they claim, because it deprives them of access to ASL. This, apparently, is what drives much of the anti-oralism and anti-AG Bell Foundation crusades.
But, if there was such a need to save oral deaf children, then why are oral deaf adults viewed as outcasts – or even foreigners? (One Deaf blogger suggested deaf people were the same as being British.) And here lies the contradiction and hypocrisy shown by many of those Deaf people: save deaf children, but reject deaf adults unless they conform exactly to certain Deaf people’s requirement to gain entrance into Deaf culture.
This is how it works: they try to save oral deaf children from being ostracized by other Deaf adults who will insist that deaf adults are foreigners. That’s what all the fuss relating to oralism and AG Bell Foundation is about – Deaf people are trying to save oral deaf children from other Deaf people, mostly ex-oral deaf people who have become Deaf peons.
Some people would label those Deaf gangbangers as thugs. Thugs run around the country, intimidating any and all people who might disagree with them. Instead of selling drugs, or pimpin’ bitches, Deaf gangbangers pimp themselves with wanton abandonment.
And like kids in street gangs, these thugs want a place to call home. They want to belong to a family of people like them, too. Above all, they have spent years being socially isolated, and like street gangs, desire to fit in anywhere that they can be accepted, even conditionally. They find their “belonging” to be in Deaf culture, but that is still a conditional status.
If a former oral deaf-and-now-Deaf person commits any type of infraction or sin pertaining to certain Deaf people’s perception of the world, they are kicked out of the gang. They are shunned and vilified. And in the case of Jane Fernandes, political lynchings are never enough until the offending party disappears completely from all Deaf ghettos around the country.
So now we have One-Eyed People cults and Deaf thugs demanding all oralism practices to be curtailed. As for the AG Bell Foundation, they still provide links and information for parental consideration – something we rarely see with these Deaf fringe groups. And much like street gangs wearing certain colors of their cliques (or “sets”), these Deaf people wear their “Deafness” as both a badge of intimidation and a knife to backstab unsuspecting deaf people (and quite often, hearing people as well.)
And since reality dictates most parents’ decisions regarding their deaf children, to blame and vilify adult oral deaf people for not learning ASL and jumping into Deaf culture is counterproductive and hypocritical. If oral deaf children are worthy of saving, then why are oral deaf adults not? And I’m not implying or suggesting that oral deaf people need saving, either – I’m suggesting that too many Deaf people are hypocrites with regard to oral deaf people in general.
The old adage is true: a child who has been abused will more than likely repeat the patterns of abuse as an adult. Think of the oppressed becoming the oppressors. Mike McConnell describes this as “Crab Theory,” which is applicable here, especially given that many ex-oral deaf people will deride and ridicule any oral deaf person who might disagree with them.
And if they’ve got a complaint, it shouldn’t be against oralism – it should be against their parents. As anyone who is a parent can attest, making decisions for children is sometimes the most complicated and emotional part of parenting. And if this paragraph makes you angry, you may want to consider forking out some good dinero to lie down on a shrink’s leather couch whilst you work out your issues with your parents.
So, the next time you see Deaf people bashing oralism and/or the AG Bell Foundation, try to remember that it’s not the organization’s responsibility to make the parent’s decisions – it’s the parents who ultimately decide what they want for their child. And when hearing parents see Deaf thugs and One-Eyed People cult members bashing other Deaf and oral deaf people, can you blame them for running as fast as they can from Deaf culture?
If people really want to help educate parents on which educational system may be most appropriate for their child, then they may need to start acknowledging the hypocrisy that is both harmful to deaf oral children and Deaf culture itself. And if you need to see the proof of the harmful effects, you need not look further than the whole farce called, “Deaf education.”
Frankly, you know, there is a reason why the AG Bell Foundation continues to thrive – because of Deaf thuggery and one-eye peephole focuses on saving the British deaf.
Finally, if anyone needs saving, it’s Deaf thugs and One-Eyed People cult members who need it most – from themselves.
Be good .. or be good at it.