Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Deaf U.S. Supreme Court Justice

After reading last Friday's news announcement (May 1st) about David Souter, the U.S. Supreme Court justice announced his retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court this summer 2009.

Immediate thoughts about having someone deaf to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court right away after Souter's announcement.

Is the time for President Obama to nominate someone deaf, who is truly qualified and empathic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court? Definitely not "oral deaf" or deaf person with cochlear implant. I rather see someone culturally deaf person like Kelby Brick or Greg Hlibok to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Intentionally not to reject anyone deaf, who is an oralist or use cochlear implant. We must send out the clear message to the American people that the culturally deaf people DO EXIST!

What about Claudia Brown, deaf African American female attorney with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security? Not likely!

Kelby Brick would be the perfect fit to the U.S. Supreme Court from his past legal activities with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). He is currently with the HOVRS known as the 'Purple Team". Brick could be very passionate about laws being applied fairly to people in general.

Greg Hlibok with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) as a senior attorney. He is much an introverted type and usually keep his thoughts to himself. Not a bad quality at all.

President Barack Obama and his White House staff and the U.S. Senate's Judiciary Committee are under the great pressures of remaking the U.S. Supreme Court.

There are additional deaf attorneys across the United States -

Very encouraging message from the U.S. Senator, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Democrat - "Not necessarily someone with the robe to be nominated" (loosely figuratively phrased) -

Any Hispanic female deaf? Claudia Brown, deaf African American female attorney is from Jamaica which probably hurt her candidacy than being helpful. Her employment with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would leave nauseous stomach among the liberals.

Claudia Brown have not been frequently seen in deaf social circles so far in Washington, DC area as compared to Kelby Brick and Greg Hlibok.

We really need more female justices on the U.S. Supreme Court anyway to give the balance of perspective on the issues concerned the human sexes. That's what Ruth Ginsburg recently complained about lack of human understanding and sensitivity to the female issues - sex discrimination and forced strip-search for the 13 years old female teenager at school.

Kelby Brick would be not likely to give up his generous salary with the HOVRS and support his own immediate family, ex. children. Brick ought to take the lifetime opportunity to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Any deaf individual ought to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court? for helpful guide to ponder and root for.

The recent rumors about nominating the lesbain attorney for the U.S. Supreme Court among the gay community.

Perhaps our next time for President Obama to nominate someone deaf to the U.S. Supreme Court? We better get prepare and ready for someone deaf to be groomed to be truly qualified to be nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court seat. We really need more deaf individuals in the top governement posts affecting the deaf lives.

ASLize yours,
Robert L. Mason (RLM)


  1. Huh? Do I detect reverse audism in the third paragraph where you stated that you did not want to see an oralist or a deaf person using cochlear implant to be nominated for a seat in the U.S. Supreme Court? Then, in the next paragraph, it seems that you were contradicting yourself. A capital-D Deaf person can wear cochlear implant and remain as a member of Deaf culture at the same time, can't he?

    Joseph Pietro Riolo

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

  2. That is NOT the reverse audism! Probably the personal prejudice on my part toward deaf oralists and deaf individuals with CIs.

    I rather see the pure culturally deaf individual to be nominated to any government post without cluttering our own identity as deaf people.

    That is all about symbolism! Anyone deaf with CI should not have more advantages over culturally signing deaf.

    Who want to see anyone deaf oralizing at the public event? Plz! Pretty sore for our deaf eyes with accidential spits from deaf oralist.

    The entire world needs to see the naturalism of human beings without any artificiality on them. Comprendo?

    I don't want to give any satisifcation to deceased AGBell or CI proponents! Period! I hate deaf oralists pretend to be hearing to please the dominant society. F**K the hearing oppressors!

    Same thing with the CIs to divide the deaf community much greater!


  3. That's okay. It is your opinion and you have the freedom to express it.

    I would like to express my concern that intolerance toward other people who are different, be it cochlear implant, oral method or any other differences, is not what I would encourage.

    Joseph Pietro Riolo

    Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

  4. Joseph,

    I have no intention of doing any intolerant stuff, but the oralism of the deaf and CIs are forced upon us.

    Should I be submissive and do nothing about those evil and unnatural things.

    I do not care if I appear politically incorrect. Let it be!


  5. Joseph,

    I have no problems with ex-oralists and CI users if they denounce those artificality - oral training and CI devices and surgery. I would welcome those people and will take into consideration to root for them if nominated.


    That's what I have put up with the audism for so long at my former alta mater and everywhere.


  6. RLM,

    I am an oral deaf person...I can sign, and do sign. My oralism wasn't really forced upon me, and later in life, when I went completely deaf, I chose to learn sign because I knew it would be of benefit to me. If I were an attorney, or properly licensed to practice law, by your standards, I shouldn't be considered because I'm not "pure deaf" or "culturally deaf".

    I agree that it is your right to express your opinion, politically correct or not. Frankly, I'm sick of political correctedness. But Joseph has a point. Namely, by expressing that you would rather a "pure" or "cultarlly" deaf person over any other person with deafness is, in fact, prejudicial and isolationist. I have done nothing but advocate for ALL persons with deafness of any degree, yet my view would be discarded by you because of my lack of "cultural" deafness. This is not right, and I think even you know it. Having a CI or being oral is not evil or unnatural, it is a matter of choice, period.

    Having said all that, I would love to see ANY person with deafness, white, black, Hispanic, etc. serve on the Supreme Court. Irregardless of their level of cultural deafness, as long as they are properly qualified to serve on the highest court in the land, it would be a win for the deaf community in general. I don't always agree with you, but you are way off base on this argument with Joseph.

    Eddie (Thumpaflash)

  7. Eddie,

    I would not dismiss or discard you or your view because of your being a deaf oralist most of your life.

    I know better than writing such preference for culturally deaf, instead of being neutral and balanced.

    You, Joseph and other deaf oralists and CI users are all human beings.

    Qualification, Experience and Competence and Human Sincerity should be counted for someone on the bench.

    Personal experience and background really make much difference in our thoughts, personal conducts, etc.

    I would not object to anyone deaf, who happens to be the ex-oralist or use the CI user as someone have to denounce the hearing imperialism.

    Being on the U.S. Supreme Court is to represent the all races, creeds, ethnicity and political parties without any kind of personal prejudices and bias.

    Kelby Brick would be the perfect candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court, because of his strong personality and charms to sway other justices to the framework of discussions and decisions and votes, etc.

    Brick is very passionate individual, who is more interested in real justice.

    How sad of Kelby Brick being an another white male, but he do not grow up having same privileges as other hearing white males. No history of anyone on the U.S. Supreme Court have blond hair!

    Let me frame the discussion on the matter of choice -

    The Virginia legislature recently passed the statewide legislation to ban indoor smokings at the public places, ex. restaurants and bars for the sake of health.

    What about residents living in the multi-dwelling residences, ex. apartment and condo buildings? Does they have any choice about living at their own residences dealing with the secondhand smoking exposures consist of different 200 chemicals from pesticide and cleaning agents.

    People DO HAVE THE CHOICE of going to restuarant or bar by their own whims. They could not choose to patronize the dining or drinking establishment if some patrons or owner embrace indoor smoking.

    Not any residents of many multi-dwelling residences.

    For example, I recently got booted out of my apartment for standing up to the manipulative apartment management.

    I pointed out the questions - "What about babies and children living in the multi-dwelling rental and condo buildings being exposed to known harmful stuff?"

    Does babies and youngsters really have any choice how to deal with the secondhand smoking? Nope!

    Please do not tell me that is a matter of choice for deaf babies and youngsters having CI or being trained in oral education.

    I end up homeless because of other rental agents being wary of renting the premise to me due to the court records being falsely filed against me.

    In the end, the apartment management's lawyer privately begged me not to go ahead with the court's order for legal eviction. They promised me that they will not bring any charge against me.

    Unbelievable! I am lucky to print out the copy of phone relay conversation. People think that I am really stupid or easily scared. F**king no!

    Yes, I am still stand of calling oralism and CI surgery somewhat inhumane and abusive.

    Why you end up learning sign language in the first place? I do not meant to sound like the stubborn type.

    You would be very surprised how nice and pleasant person I am.

    Just rheotrics to rally against hearing imperialism. Nothing personal with you or other deaf oralists and CI users.

    Deaf hugs,

  8. For deaf babies and children, no, it is not personal choice always. But I suspect it happens more than people think, and parents often have to make a decision for a child in medical cases, and they do the best they can. Sometimes the child may be resentful as they get older, sometimes not, but often people forget, the parent has to live with that choice too. AS a parent, I would explore EVERY available option for my children if something like this happened. Not to say I would make the decision without talking to them, but ultimately I may make the decision they disagree with if necessary. Let me give you a little background on me:

    In 1984 (Christmas Eve, to be exact), I began noticing that I was very suddenly having a lot more difficulty hearing. I thought perhaps it was the batteries or the hearing aid (Deaf in my right ear since age 4, severely hard of hearing in my left ear)...New batteries tried, no success. Had the aid checked, it was working fine. Test after test, doctor after doctor, CAT scans, X-rays, the whole nine yards. Finally, a couple of months later, some fantastic doctors at the Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Oh. diagnosed the problem: a simple fluid leakage behind the eardrum. A tympanoplasty surgery was performed a short time later. After my ear healed, I was still able to hear with the assistance of a hearing aid in my left ear, but it was diminished even more.

    I remember a doctor at the Easter Seals Clinic actually taking the time to sit down and explain about this new type of surgery at the time called... a cochlear implant. He explained the pros and cons of it to me and my mother. He explained the equipment, how it would work, etc. And then, my mother turns to me on the way home and says "What do YOU think? Do YOU want the surgery?" She asked me not to decide right away, but to think about it for a couple of days. I thought, and my answer was "No".

    Not because I wasn't afraid to lose what hearing I had left (I was), but rather, because I knew that was what I wanted. I won't try and lie and say I don't miss it sometimes, having heard before, it is only natural that I do. Not because I would be labled different, I already was, just like every single individual in the deaf community is. I was 17 when I faced a choice that honestly, most 17 year olds are NOT equipped nor ready to make. I've not regretted it a minute since, because I had a supportative family that allowed ME to make the final decision, and had taught me well, teaching me to be indepedent all my life. I guess what I am trying to say is, my family helped make me who I am as a person. Don't be too quick to judge others who have CI's or who are oral deaf, they can sometimes surprise you. By most accounts, given my background, most people would have assumed I would have opted for the CI, but I obviously didn't.

    I chose to begin to learn sign for a couple of reasons. First, I realized, after losing more of my hearing, and losing more still just a couple years later (a natural progression), that there would come a time when I would possibly need sign to facilitate my communication. I also made the decision to attend Gallaudet University, and knew that I would need to sign. While at Gallaudet, I was called some pretty vile names, accused of being a hearing wannabe, had my signing skills made fun of, and so on by people who knew NOTHING of my history or the decisions I had made in my life. They assumed that because I simply could and did speak when necessary. Sorry for the lengthy reply, but I felt it important to give you good background.


  9. No such thing as culturally deaf, just people who happen to be deaf. Main thing deaf do different from hearing is method of talking and that not because of what culture require. Most of other thing deaf do is same as hearing, when different it because of being deaf, not of culture. To pretend deaf have separate stand alone culture like of Aboriginal culture or Tibet culture is only to keep us separate from all other people and deny us opportunity at things.

    What you say about CI and oralist is wrong as it discriminate regardless of your claim to have no intent, “I’m not an Audism person but…..” is how you might really start your claim. Really, it like you try and claim you are pure breed deaf and only ‘your kind’ are worthy and other just undesirable. Deaf version of Apartheid! Fair to say that as you like use of comparison of race issue with deaf issue.

    And while you discriminate at oralist and CI at same time you admit it give greater advantage over non CI/oralist deaf. Can’t be so bad if it make more opportunity for someone can it and what many want is more opportunity.

    Would you count the children you want deafened as part of your ‘culturally deaf’?

    Now that said, to a point I believe it useful to have deaf people in public offices as there are legitimate issue of deaf that need to be addressed and a deaf person, CI and oral included, would be able to have a better understanding of how those issue affect deaf but hopefully with not being to close on issue. Main point is that they qualified for job and also not have anti hearing attitude because they need to deal with hearing as well and fairly.

    Failing that main concern is that whoever has job is qualified. I not care about who has any job just so long as they do it properly which is why I like people like President Obama or Colin Powell, they not just token person, they deserve to be where they are. Same rule should apply to deaf as well otherwise if deaf person just there as symbol gesture then deaf issue will be easily dismissed and we gain nothing.

  10. I want to know why a deaf person must "denouce" their ability to speak to be allowed in your club. The ability to use the majority language in the mode most commonly used for communication is not something that one should have to be ashamed of.

  11. Miss Kat's Parents,

    I will do the reply when I have plenty of time. I am in NYC right now and want to enjoy myself.