President Emeritus of the Absolutes

Gallaudet’s “President Emeritus” once again uses the Washington Post to poke a stick at not only the protesters that succeeded in having Jane Fernandes’ appointment to President revoked by the Board of Trustees, but at recent history as well. It wasn’t enough that he used the media to spread his and Jane’s false propaganda about her being ‘not deaf enough’ – now he wants to try writing some revisionist history. In today’s Wahington Post, he says:

“There is a very small but vocal group of deaf people who define the community narrowly. I call this group the “absolutists.” They believe you are either deaf or you are not. You are either a supporter of ASL or you are not deaf. You either refuse to consider cochlear implants or you are not deaf. Many of our students, faculty and alumni who consider themselves deaf (including some born deaf to deaf families) would not be considered deaf by the absolutists.”

Absolute Bullshit.

If I.K. Jordan had taken the time to come down and visit and chat with the protesters, and taken the time to actually observe and listen, he would have discovered that the ‘small but very vocal group’ of protesters were not only DEAF. They were deaf, hearing, hard-of-hearing, cochlear wearing, non-cochlear wearing, deaf-blind, and of every color in the family of man. They were signers, non-signers, lip-readers, non-lip-readers, ASLians, non ASLians, Cuers, non-Cuers, SEEers, non-SEEers. They came from all points of this globe we call Earth. In support of Deaf Culture and Gallaudet’s history, they flew in from Australia, Asia, Europe, South America. They drove from all over the USA and Canada. They came, even as the ‘King’ declared Homecoming cancelled in an effort to quiet them. They marched, 4,000 strong, to the Capitol, peacefully. They were blessed with a perfect vision for Gallaudet, all-inclusive of the whole spectrum of deafness.

If there is anyone guilty of absolutist thinking, it is the King himself, and his Queen, and their very small, but vocal group of revisionist history writers, attempting to engage not in a dialogue of inclusiveness and strength, but in divisiveness and smear campaigns. A President Emeritus should care deeply for the institution he once led, and engage in coalition-building. This man, I.K. Jordan, who calls himself President Emeritus of Gallaudet, is not worthy to wear such a lofty title as long as he continues to spread simple lies instead of examining the complex truths.

Ken @ BiblioMarket

Deaf Culture and Gallaudet

By I. King Jordan
Monday, January 22, 2007; A19

When I announced that I was stepping down as president of Gallaudet University, I spoke of the health of the university and said that Gallaudet was well positioned for the future. Sadly, this may no longer be the case. Continue reading “President Emeritus of the Absolutes”

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