Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What Irish and Deaf People Have in Common

Every St. Patrick's Day surely remind us much of systematic oppression and societial prejudices against deaf people and its use of sign language over decades.

Americans in general, have such distorted visions for Deaf Americans and other deaf people around the globe what we are supposed to be all about.

Irish and deaf people keep clinging to their proud legacy and existence. The Brits systematically oppressed the Irish people under its brutal occupation. Deaf people everywhere begun experienced the systematic assaults by hearing and "Uncle Tom" deaf individuals and corporations what they knew better for us.

Both of us, deaf and Irish people had been reglated to the lower societial postitions and employments over decades.

One major difference between deaf and Irish people nowadays, the Irish people begin to be embraced well by the society, Deaf people still face the identity revision alternatives by hearing occupiers and "Uncle Tom" with the forced installment of cochlear implant surgery on our deaf babies and youngsters.

Irish people were forced off their lands. Deaf people were forced to assimilate much further to please and satisify hearing imperialists and ignorant ones like suppressing the use of sign language for greater language and intellectual development among deaf children.

Deaf people are often treated as total strangers in their own lands since the audist society were preoccupied with the normalization and assimilation of everyone else.

Why can't we simply celebrate the beauty of human diversity which make our lives more interesting and fruitful?

Note: This blogger is not an Irish or have any drop of Irish blood, but always feel soliditary with the Irish people to celebrate the annual St. Patrick's Day. Hopefully for the Irish community to return their soliditary with deaf people everywhere. :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2010!

ASLize yours,
Robert L. Mason (RLM)

Re-telling Stories About Bernard Bragg in Ireland

In the celebration of St. Patrick's Day 2010, Deaf actor Bernard Bragg shared many exhilarated stories about his visit to Ireland in the 1970's.

From the NAD's deceased annual publication, Bernard Bragg recalled how he encountered the systematic division of deaf Irish people by hearing imperialists.

Bernard Bragg rode in the car with two deaf Irish hetro couple which he witnessed such an endless disputes between this deaf couple during the regular driving time. Bragg asked that couple why they keep bickering and fighting what was the right use for sign language, blah. The deaf couple were coming from the SAME town where they raised in. Why bicker over the use of
sign language whether they are right or not.

The deaf Irish couple replied "We were from different schools, one deaf school for the boys and another deaf school for the girls. That's how we always fight over the use of sign language what is right or not. "

Very common of many hearing and "Uncle Tom" deaf people resort to the stealth methods of splitting and weakening deaf people's strongholds on their own productive and festive lives like installing the codified system like "Signing Exact English", "Cued Speech" and other things.

Forced cochlear implant surgery upon deaf babies and youngsters without their permission or consent are another latest example of hearing imperialists and "Uncle Tom" deaf individuals, who usually turn our vibrant and culturally rich community into their own mirages and illusions.

Here are numerous excrept from Bernard Bragg autobiography book's "Lessons in Laughter" about his unforgettable visit to Ireland and Irish deaf people (check out page 157-161) -

ASlize yours,
Robert L. Mason (RLM)


After reading the AOL daily news feature on the revolutionary device for the visually deprived individuals. I said to myself "Aw, kinda great for someone to regain hir own vision ability with the use of technological marvel". This individual is a war veteran, who lost hir own vision during the battlefield duties.

Why didn't I object to the technological option for the blind people? That are much difference between forced cochlear implant surgery on deaf babies & youngsters AND optional desire to regain the lost vision and other body functions.

Technology should be not used to impose upon people against their own wills without any individuals' permission/consent. What about the GPS monitored ankle bands on people under the legal system to keep eyes on non-violent criminals? I would be for this kind of technology solution for some good reasons like the cost control purposes and pragmatic solutions which the forced cochlear implant surgery and device do not offer at all.

We must master and control the existence of technology, not let them control us. Forced cochlear implant surgery upon deaf babies and youngsters are all about the issue of medical ethics, identity alternative approaches, long-term health consequences, misguided educational applications without workable and effective methods of producing the well-balanced individual.

The new technological device to regain vision is "removable", not "permanently etched into the human body".

Will the young blind people accept the idea of forced surgery to drill the invasive method and leave the unpleasant sight of monstrous device on their face to remind the society at large what the freak they are? I don't think so!

That's what many deaf people object to the idea of cochlear implant forcibly imposed upon deaf babies and youngsters without embracing the functional and effective use of language for the visually-spatial individuals.

Respect and appreciate the existence of deaf people are the two-way street, not the one-way street by the hearing imperialists to re-define what we ought to be.

Every human beings have the right to control hir own destiny, not by someone else.

ASlize yours,
Robert L. Mason (RLM)