358: common sense & bomb threats
Some things should be clear to everyone.
- It think is NOT protesting students who are calling in bomb threats. Why would they perform an act forcing them to leave the very building in which they are protesting? Rumors abound, but nobody has proof. Whoever it is, please stop, because one day there could be a real situation, and the police will ignore it because there have been so many false warnings, and someone will get hurt.
- As Karl Ewan notes on MishkaZena, Fernandes is portraying herself as THE leader who can speak for THE Deaf community. What would happen if ONE woman stood up and said she could lead ALL women? We do not need people speaking FOR the Deaf community. We need a leader who will work WITH Deaf people. ALL Deaf people, from all tribes of the Deaf Nation. As Karl says:
Before any of you jump on me on why I am saying my piece of mind, ask yourselves this: How would you feel if I, as a white person, went on record saying that I know what it is like to be a person of color because I have been living in it? Or if I, as a deaf person, went on record saying that I know what it was like to be hard-of-hearing because I have been living in it? I would be crucified for complete and utter ignorance as well with having many folks come like a swarm of locusts on my back ‘til kingdom come.Which is exactly what is happening with Fernandes.
- Thirdly, from Adam Stone's blog today:
David said it best: “People who do not learn sign language make deaf people disabled.”He's right. We do. But today, with attacks on the ADA, Closed Captioning, and budget cuts to Deaf programs around the country, more than ever we need to fight to maintain this. We have a LOT to lose right now. A great rep to the world can do so much for us.
I walked away from the intense discussion feeling a little dazed. On one hand, I had just attended a consciousness-raising session; Deaf power was surging through me.
On the other hand, I realized with sadness how I had taken communication access for granted in America. Sure, we have problems–audism/oppression at deaf universities, educating the ignorant about the ADA–but when all’s said and done, we have it pretty damned good back there.
- Fernandes claims again and a gain the fight is about what it means to be Deaf and that this is just "squabbling amongst Deaf people." Many hearing people and hard of hearing people have been involved with this protest. Even if this WERE "squabbling amongst Deaf people," isn't that important? Isn't what it means to be Deaf - an important issue? Are the issues that face the Deaf community not important to Fernandes?
- On the other hand, the protestors have yet to make a coherent case against Fernandes in the media. But this is not entirely the point. When you start working for a new company, you have to earn your cred. and get respect. Fernandes has had several months since the announcement of her selection to get her hands dirty - haha - and talk to protestors. It would NOT have been that hard - they WANT a charismatic leader with lots of experience and commitment. I kept my blog neutral because I hoped Fernandes would come forward - I still hope she does - and go into HMB and say, I'm here, I really don't get what's going on, let's work this out. The fact that she dismisses these people and their concerns says a lot. The fact that she doesn't let the Press on campus says a lot.
- Some have said, at no other University in the world would this happen. Well, yeah. There's only one Deaf University in the world.
I encourage protestors: USE COMMON SENSE. Stop the rumors and stick to fact, letter, discussion and investigation. Some of the rumors I'm hearing are pretty goshdarn... weird. Fernandes is NOT Gollum in disguise. She did NOT get a magic ring which made her Lord of Kendall Green. She is NOT being confronted by two small, hairy men. She's a human being and a respected academic... who seems to have no people skills whatsoever.