Monday, October 23, 2006

Gallaudet: The Story that Just Won’t Quit

A reader pointed out that my blog was listed on deafread.com. In case you weren’t aware, this is a list of blogs that cover issues in the deaf community. I’m not deaf but have been following the events at Galluadet. Yesterday, I posted my usual entry and went off to spend the rest of Sunday working out at the Y, shopping and having a glass of wine outside with my husband.

My reader’s e-mail said that I’d probably get a lot of “hits” or visits to you non-bloggers. And I have received nearly 400 unique visits since yesterday. Why I’m writing about this is that it confirms my earlier post on Thursday wherein I asked, “Are Blogs the New Power of the Press?” I remember what Ricky D. Taylor of ridorlive.com had written to me in response to that post. It bears repeating for I think it lets us hearing folks know a little bit about what it is like to be deaf if that is really possible.

Here’s the comment he made to AKS:
Another thing, Joe Shapiro of National Public Radio interviewed me yesterday about the impact of blogging in the Deaf Communities across the world. Joe asked me if it was something that we need in our communities. For a second, I was bit offended by that so I said, “Wait a minute, Joe, can YOU be honest with me on this -- have you ever met a journalist, cameraman, editor, anchorman who is completely Deaf and uses ASL all the time in CNN, MSNBC, WSJ, NY Times, NPR and all that? The truth is that you do not because you prevent Deaf people from having an opportunity to work in the media. We were denied of our perspectives and when they attempted to explain OUR perspectives, they always got it wrong.” Joe said, “One needs to have experience to work in that field.” Joe is right but the problem is that we were denied of an opportunity to work in the media field in order to gain experience. So what do Deaf people do? We create our media, we have to rely on ourselves to defend ourselves against the misconceptions, false information and all that ...

And now I believe I can approach this issue with a little more understanding than I had before thanks to Ricky’s words. He and others have found a powerful way to communicate. While other media sources such as the Washington Post may have the clout and name recognition, I think that the power of the blogger has reached a new milestone.

I will follow the mainstream media like Susan Kinzie in the WP when she writes stories like this morning’s
“Source of Gallaudet Debate is Up for Debate.”
But I will also visit the bloggers like those found on deafread.com to see another side. By the way Jane K. Fernandes will discuss the events at Gallaudet this afternoon on-line with the Washington Post at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

2 comments:

Jay Croft said...

Latest news is that this morning (Wednesday) the campus police suddenly descended on protestors at one of the six gates. They brought in a back-hoe and scooped up tents, belongings, etc.

There was no warning, and the campus officers do not know sign lanugage, No interpreter was there.

Now FSSA is contacting the ACLU. This sad soap opera continues.

In our house we have a parrot and a Boston terrier puppy. Most of the time they get along just fine. But sometimes one provokes the other, each defends its turf, and soon their animal "warfare" escalates to the point where neither the parrot nor the dog can think straight. This is what's happened at Gallaudet.

For the "best of the blogs," go to www.deafread.com.

Sheila said...

Rev. Croft,
I read about the trouble yesterday. It does seem much like a "sad soap opera" as you say. Emotions are so stirred up that clear thinking is in short supply. The wounds created by the impasse will take longer to heal if a resolution of some kind isn't reached soon.