Posts tagged ‘deaf’

Petition to St. Martin’s Press

Sign this petition to St. Martin’s Press regarding the publication of Kristin Henson’s book.

For more information, see previous post.

Spread the petition far and wide.

 

Advertisements

UPDATE: ACTION Alert: Hearing Person Exploiting ASL for Profit

So some hearing woman thought it’d be cool to borrow our language and make money off it while being misogynistic, sexist, racist, what have you.  She even got a book deal. She’s making money off us. Our language. Our culture. In a really uncool, totally inappropriate way.  Others have spoken so eloquently, I’ll keep their comments here but am redacting names as I do not have everyone’s permission.
I have submitted comments and emails to Stonesong Press and  St. Martin’s Press.
UPDATE: E-mail the Publicist for the book directly. Kimberly Hanson. 
UPDATE: E-mail the editor of the book directly. Daniella Rapp. 
UPDATE: Please sign this Petition: ask your friends to sign, tweet the petition, Facebook, e-mail, and get the word out!
Post your comments on Facebook, click on the links in this post to contact editors and producers to protest the promotion of a hearing person using OUR language to perpetuate sexism, racism, and make money off it while misrepresenting our language and our culture.
Dear Editors:
I am writing to share my extreme disgust and displeasure at your agency’s decision to publish Kristin Henson’s book: Super Smutty Sign Language. I am a deaf white man. American Sign Language is my language. I find Henson’s videos and view of ASL to be sexist and racist. Her use of my language is cultural appropriation. You, by publishing this book, are exploiting deaf people and our language. For profit. You are exploiting racism and sexism for profit. I am copying and pasting a few comments from others regarding Henson’s book. We suggest you rethink publishing this book. Doing so only affirms that it’s okay for hearing people to steal our language, dirty it, use it in ways that is wrong,  perpetuate oppression of minority groups, and make money off that.
Person 1 · 
I’m a [cultural-linguistic] deaf woman of color, and american sign language is one of my languages. I didn’t want to play any of the videos above. I immediately catched the at once subversive/overt racism and misogynism in some of kristin’s ‘instructional’ video, which was enough for me to abstain from clicking ‘play’ on any of them. by her ‘teaching’ us how to ‘be’/ sign ‘gangsta’ and ‘bitch, please’ I i see a simultaneous exoticification and minimization of sign language, appropriated and packaged for [white, patriarchal] entertainment value. I don’t think it is okay to reduce any language to ‘dirty words’ and even more, use a person who is just learning the language to showcase such phrases. upholding the power structure much?
kristin– you have 11,500 subscribers to your videos, which ironically have completely shoddy closed-captioning. I can get that you’re amped to learn sign language. that’s nice. but language is never removed from cultural politics, especially if you go on to commodify it. quite frankly, you’re doing it wrong. wrong wrong wrong. youre teetering the line of contributing to the cultural-linguistic appropriation of ASL and consequently u.s. deaf culture as a whole. you do even more injustice to us deaf people of color with ‘damn it feels good to be a gangsta.’ I’m not sure who gave you a misguided ‘in’ with the community so that you went forth with this disillusioned and completely offensive project. chances are, you will continue to do this project because ‘omgz it’s so cool, and like, my friends and like, all these people love it’ but I hope my comment plants a politically-conscious seed in this mind of yours, however buried it might be for awhile.
Person 2 · Washington, District of Columbia
An American Sign Language novice with 90 tutorials under her belt is “translating crude and bizarre phrases and slowly defining a universal language of sex and strife.” Oh really? Hipster racism is never cool.
Totally racist, sexist, offensive, and narrow-minded of you, Kristin, to do those incredibly tasteless vlogs. Most of the signs are inaccurate thus sorry they are not beneficial and useful like you may think. I can go on more but I can’t stand to be on this webpage any longer.
Person 3 ·
I’ve quickly scanned your psychobabble…and as a Deaf person I can tell you that what you have complied in all these videos is definitely an insult to the likes of us (Deaf community). You should start considering removing all of your videos as they show ignorance and disrespect toward the signing community. I dare you take American Sign Language (ASL) courses because I doubt you’ll last long, not because of your inability to learn, but because of your inability to realize its richness and complexity of the language. It’s sad to see how someone can take the language apart and destroy it like this.
Person 4·
Thank you so much for contributing to the commodification of one of my languages and one of my cultures. /endsarcasm I am offended and appalled by these videos and your *nerve* in thinking it’s OK to do this. You wouldn’t dare do it to Spanish, Chinese, Thai, or any other language, I bet. Why is it OK to do this to ASL? Daily Dot, shame on you for highlighting this example of racism, misogynism, ethnocentrism, minimization of ASL, etc.
Person 5- This is reprehensible. On the behalf of my community, the community of the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and ASL users, I cry foul of the most malicious kind. This is wrong on so many levels. Appropriating a language you aren’t fluent in, appropriating a culture you clearly do not interact with, and propagating racism and sexism and audism in the name of “humor” and “knowledge”. I will do everything I can to see this book never gets off the presses.
Person 5, Part 2- I posted THIS directly to Stonesong: SUPER SMUTTY SIGN LANGUAGE is a huge slap in the face of the collective Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and American Sign Langauge (ASL) community. This is extremely offensive, not only in the subject matter, because yes, we swear and use slang, and talk dirty, but that is the point- WE do. Kristin is not a fluent signer, she is not a member of the community, and is therefore misrepresenting an entire community, an entire language, a culture, a people. This book should not be published. Yes, there is freedom of the press, but there is also libel, cultural appropriation, and theft of a language. I am a Deaf professor of ASL and Linguistics who also teaches Deaf Culture, and this has just stunned me beyond measure. This is a tragic example of a poorly researched project and endorsement of audism- which is behavior based on the notion that people who hear, or the manner of acting like those who can hear, are superior to those who do not.
Person 6- I wholeheartedly concur with what everyone said below (Octavian, [redacted], [redacted], etc). You should be -so- ashamed of yourself, putting videos of yourself butchering MY language on the internet. I was hoping everyone who commented below was being oversensitive, but it only took one video to realize their objections to what you’re doing are completely and utterly justified. If you had any shred of self-respect, and respect for the Deaf community, you’d take this down — immediately.

Zeroing In Our Focus

I want to clarify something from my previous post because there have been comments on Facebook-

I am not targeting individuals such as Soukup, Scoggins, Wagner, or Gilliam nor am I saying that CSD is an evil entity. What I AM saying is that the NAD, as an organization, has issues with transparency, communication, public relations, and I do have my concerns about the NAD leadership, as a whole, not maintaining firm boundaries to preserve the integrity of the organization’s leadership and election processes. My message to the membership is to monitor their delegates and the election processes in an effort to maintain adequate sovereignty, both perceived and real.

Our Spotlight Is On What? The NAD’s Election Committee and the Overall Election Process for NAD Board from now until Election Day.

That. 

E-mail to Gallaudet University for Equality in the NAD

Feel free to use this as a template and write to Stephen (dot) Weiner at Gallaudet (dot) edu and Angela McCaskill at Angela (dot) McCaskill (dot) edu. You can also address this email to NTID/RIT if you are an NTID/RIT Alumni and contact the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at RIT at rkgpro at rit (dot) edu or the appropriate officials at RIT. RIT is also an equality level sponsor of the NAD 2012 conference.

 

Dear Dr. McCaskill and Dr. Weiner,

My name is Tavian Robinson and I am a proud Alumnus of Gallaudet University. I am writing you to express my concerns surrounding Gallaudet University’s sponsorship of the 2012 National Association of the Deaf conference in Louisville, Kentucky. You are a Diversity Level Sponsor, and ironically enough, the conference has invited Governor Dennis Daugaard as a plenary session speaker. Gov. Daugaard is known for his anti-equality and anti-diversity stances. I have composed a longer article which can be found at:
I understand the university has had a relationship with the NAD dating back to 1880. I understand the University is committed to civil rights for the deaf and hard of hearing community and views the NAD as the community’s premier civil rights organization. It is not my interest to damage the NAD but to hold them to a higher standard by urging them to examine their white, heterosexual, cisgender, and primarily male privileges. It is my understanding that Gallaudet is committed to diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. What message is the University sending if it stands idly by and sponsors a conference that features a prominent anti-equality speaker? I believe that we can begin a constructive dialogue to better our understanding of how deaf minorities have long been marginalized within the deaf community and strive to change that. This begins with Gallaudet, the nation’s premier higher education institution for the deaf and hard of hearing and NAD’s historically most powerful ally and sponsor.
Best,
T. Robinson