Saturday, October 21, 2006

Deaf Presidents

Originally posted 5/11/06


Did you hear about the scandal at the university for the deaf? The students didn’t!

(Jokes about deaf people... I sure hope there’s sunblock in hell)

But it’s true, at Gallaudet University, the only 4-year liberal arts college for the deaf in America, the interim president of the board of trustees resigned on Wednesday, saying she was overwhelmed by protests, some quite violent, by students who opposed the selection of a new president of the university.

The former school president, I. King Jordan (not to be confused with King Jordan I), became the school’s first deaf president after massive student protests to have a deaf person run the school. So, now Jordan is retiring and a new president, Jane K. Fernandes, has been selected.

But the students have been protesting increasingly louder (snark) ever since the selection and the voices are getting serious enough for the head of the board of trustees to resign.

Why all the protesting? Surely they must be trying to install a hearing president, right? Or maybe she was imprisoned once for embezzling school funds. Or she eats puppies.

Nope. The problem they have with her... She’s not deaf enough.

It’s not that she can her a little bit, no, she can’t hear a damn thing. And it’s not that she became deaf and could hear when she was younger, she’s been deaf since birth (although that is true of Jordan, their last president). It’s that she isn’t “culturally deaf”, in other words, she was brought up going to normal (or “oral”) schools and not using sign language, which she learned when she was 23 and uses fluently now.

So... These kids that went to college apparently to broaden their horizons are now threatening violence unless they get a president that was brought up in the exact same schools and culture they went to, in the exact same bubble of other deaf people with probably a somewhat diminished capacity for dealing with the rest of the “oral” world.

The sheep are demanding a new shepherd.

That’s like Morehouse College students insisting on a president that spoke ebonics.

Or the president of Wellesley College being booted out because all her siblings are brothers.

Or students at Bob Jones University protesting a president because he’d never been to a cross burning.

And it’s now become national news. Who thought that deaf people would make so much noise?

Actually, the Idiot knew several people in college who took American Sign Language for a foreign language credit. You know, just in case they traveled overseas to a country where everyone was deaf.

He also wanted to go to cooking school in Hungary, just for the sheer joy of irony.

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