By Billy Koch
June 5, 2009
Okay folks – I just got an email about a pending protest that some deaf individuals are planning to have on June 16th. Now I am going to have to admit, I am really bothered by this approach. I am speaking from a personal level – this approach in my opinion will not reflect positively with us and the deaf community. We, the deaf community have already been reflected negatively by the people from our two protests at Gallaudet. The first one was acceptable and totally understandable – but the second one people were like again??
Granted they may NOT understand why, but its is not the point. The point is we need to make our opportunities in a positive manner and have people to reflect off us in a positive manner. For example I am going to say this – we are at fault for where we are. As I wrote in my “Together we Stand, Divided we Fall” article. We are just as responsible for this situation as they the hearing community is. You ask why? I’ll tell you why!
What have we done in the last 20 years? Have we made an effort to create an organization that could be a political and vocal voice for the deaf community? No we haven’t. Instead we whine and cry about what we don’t have. You know from the late 80’s to the mid-90’s we had Deaf Awareness week – which was a wonderful way of exposing the deaf community to the City of Houston. And keep in mind back then we dont have all the technology or media we have now. But by having Deaf Awareness week and utilize this as our opportunity to educate the City of Houston on the people we have in Houston would yield in a much more positive manner. And I know someone has been talking they are looking to start it up again this year! *hands waving* This – I believe would yield more recognition and in a much positive manner than having a protest. Honestly from what I am hearing the community is divided on this protest. And if the community is divided on this protest – then we will fail. We will not look like a strong community.
Keep in mind – everything takes patience – we have to educate the community and the people on our needs. It took me almost two years to get my work to finally provide me a video phone for work. And it was all on education because they don’t understand. All I am asking is, take a step back – lets organize this deaf awareness week – get the media involved so we can utilize this as an opportunity to express ourselves. (those of you who would like to get involved – please do so – Deaf Awareness Week can’t be done just by 1 or 3 people – it requires a COMMUNITY of you!
But what I do ask is, take a step back – pull back lets have Deaf Awareness Week, lets keep trying to educate the community and if next year comes around and we still are being fustrated. Then lets come up with facts, come up with issues, come up with true dedicated information then we as WHOLE can go and protest. I just ask of this from you! Do not lose faith – keep the faith. Lets work together in a positive way and focus on the positives. A protest at this time is not going to help, lets do our part. Create more information, create an organizaton who can help one another, educate the community, and if we are still not getting any positive results then we proceed.
Remember Together we Stand, Divided we Fall. Think about it and choose your path…