Just What is Their Insidious, Evil Agenda?

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Every time one of these v/bloggers tells of their “concerns” about one of these three subjects of focus: Gallaudet, American Sign Language or Deaf Culture, I just get the feeling that they actually do have an insidious agenda to destroy the credibility of Gallaudet, American Sign Language and Deafhood.

Before I go further, I am speaking for myself as a concerned Deaf citizen and not speaking for any organization such as NAD, any Deafhood-related group, or Gallaudet. I know that I will be attacked by some of these individuals who are spinning, twisting or focusing on the small fraction that is not part of the big picture that the Deaf citizens in the community care deeply about.

Since 1880, Deaf people’s right to use natural visual language was taken away and the emphasis was put on monolingualism, with spoken English language only here in America, with the big help of Alexander Graham Bell when he traveled around the country visiting the Deaf schools and preached to the superintendents that they must stop using sign language and promote verbal speaking ability for all Deaf children and told teachers they should teach speech. This led to many Deaf teachers losing their jobs.

I was born deaf and learned speech skills to the point that I became a model to show to many naïve parents of newborn Deaf children, supposedly so that their deaf child can learn to speak like myself. At that time, I was successfully colonialized by the assimilation approach of the ideology of Alexander Graham Bell’s vision for all deaf babies and children in school.

Then I began my Deafhood journey when I met Deaf people in Mississippi and then at Gallaudet. Gallaudet saved my sanity and sense of who I really am with my journey of Deafhood and I became a normal person with the ability to communicate with other human beings without misunderstanding, and with the rapid flow of data in interacting with others.

The three things I most cherish that is so important in my life are: Gallaudet, American Sign Language and Deafhood.

Now go back up and read my first paragraph about my deeply felt concerns of the possibility that a very few deaf bloggers who seem have an insidious evil agenda.  One blogger seems to enjoy focusing on destroying the integrity of Gallaudet by digging up tiny flaws to tarnish the overall positive big picture. This blogger is also well known having an insidious agenda to suppress any efforts by the Deaf citizens to speak up their civil rights.

And another blogger’s insidious agenda is to destroy the Deafhood’s mission to help many, many Deaf people on their journey to discover themselves who they are and why the subtle movements from the monolingualism-oriented organizations that marginalize bilingualism: ASL/English (reading/writing/speaking).

And there is another blogger that does not believe that bilingual method will help Deaf children and citizens to learn and improve the auditory language: English (reading and writing).  This blogger really does have an insidious agenda to destroy the credibility of American Sign Language and promoting Pidgin English Sign (PSE).  PSE is a form of code switching between two languages, ASL and English, being interlaced as part of bilingualism.  Many bilingual European people speak by interlacing with two language and there is no movement by anybody in Europe to degrade one language to make the interlaced form of communication to be official. Nowadays sign language linguists stopped using the term PSE, and instead use the term “contact sign”.

Many people have said we should all just ignore those three stooges, but the ramifications of ignoring them could hurt the well-being of all future Deaf babies and children in schools like it has and still has been happening since 1880.

Deaf and Hearing allies could decide to ignore them, or speak up, it is up to us to decide for your heart to lead you what is right.

John F. Egbert

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