I, Too, Am a Minority Deaf Blogger (by Carl Schroeder)

Posted on 14 January 2007. Filed under: Guest Bloggers |

This post is written by my most frequenst Guest Blogger, Carl Shroeder, who has a blog of his own at http://carl-schroeder.blogspot.com/.

I, Too, Am a Minority Deaf Blogger
by Carl Schroeder

I do consider myself a minority Deaf blogger because I was born Deaf and Dutch
in The Netherlands. Both my parents are also Deaf, and they have siblings who are also Deaf. I have Deaf sister and brother.

Gebarentaal and the Dutch language were my first language because I grew up there for the first ten years. I knew nothing about English and very little about American culture. To me, the United States was the land of Donald Duck (a favorite character in the country of my birth) and Mickey Mouse. Indians and cowboys, too! And also Hawaiians wearing little clothes and climbing up palm trees for coconuts.

These were my initial concepts of the American life. They all were changed when the U.S. President John F. Kennedy gave his directive to the American Embassy in The Netherlands to assist my parents in moving to the United States. It was the first time I began to experience language change and cultural shock. From Gebarentaal to American Sign Language and from Dutch to English was no easy feat.

My maternal grandmother was very upset about my parents’ decision to go to America. She warned that the English language is very difficult to learn and that many Americans have guns. We were to watch out and not to challenge any American or we would be shot. My paternal grandmother, on the other hand, was telling us about her frequent travels to the United States to visit my Deaf uncle and his family here. She was very excited about our future, and told me that I could learn to master new languages—American Sign Language and the English language. She told us about Gallaudet, too. (She was a Montessori directress, okay!)

In my school, Effatha School for the Deaf where my parents met years before, I learned that we the Deaf must depend on our hearing families and friends because they had first hand information. We were taught also to appreciate our hearing neighbors because they would help us when we need them. When my parents told my sister Meriam and me to make an announcement to the school that we were to move to the United States, the entire school was upset and confused. The school principal was called in our classrooms to compare notes. They even sent a social worker to check with my father at work only to have our story confirmed. It was my first time to realize that we the Deaf did have first hand information.

My first year in the United States was quite interesting. It was completely different from where I grew up. My first American teacher at Maryland School for the Deaf, Miss Sarah Quinn, had Deaf parents and she also had a Deaf brother with cerebral palsy. Together we worked on my new languages, both ASL and English. My classmates throughout my school years were college bound, and I was very much blessed for adapting and adjusting well into the American way of living and thinking. I became Americanized.

I graduated as a class co-valedictorian with Warren Coryell (Michigan) from the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in 1971, and I graduated as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow from Gallaudet University in 1983. Having studied the Hawai’ian and Hebrew languages, right now I am about to start my dissertation at the University of Hawai’i. Although I’ve done many good things in the United States, I am still basically Dutch. Yes, I am a minority Deaf blogger, and thank you!

[End of Carl Schroeder's guest blog.]

[You, too, can be a Guest Blogger at ReunifyGally! If interested, review my Guidelines for Guest Bloggers and submit your essay to ashettle (at) patriot.net ]

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6 Responses to “I, Too, Am a Minority Deaf Blogger (by Carl Schroeder)”

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Well, as the lady said, deaf women bloggers are all over…This one is a 60 year old Deaf lady in Rochester NY, a former teacher and counselor to the deaf, now working in publishing and who started blogging at the beginning of the Gallaudet crisis of 2006.

I don’t admit to being a member of a minority group, but have a few labels should I want to use them. WASP bleeding heart liberal, for one. Birkenstock-wearing tree-hugger conservationist, for another. Mom of three grown kids, one a second generation Deaf, who each carry three citizenships. Pretenses of being a world citizen, multilingual (remember, a pretense) Quaker writer with a preference for living in creative, multinational/multiracial communities. An animal freak who would keep a zoo if not for a dislike for zookeeping duties, so one cat keeps me company. Loves travel, a characteristic picked up in the process of picking up college degrees. If there is anything left out, please let me know.

Beyond that, this minority group elevation is silly. We are all diverse and multifaceted, equally notable people braving the blogosphere because it is also a platform to get shot at.

Identification with minority groups is interesting and is to be honored up to a point…beyond that it risks straying into division and separatism. Worse, it risks being discounted as “only a minority opinion”.

We’re a people brought together because of a common characteristic…we are all visually oriented people who address each other likewise. As long as we are united by this characteristic, we can celebrate our diversities and respect one another’s positions without lumping them into minority groups.
DPG

Sorry Carl, but you don’t qualify as a minority. That would be someone who is Black, Latino, Native American or Asian.

You have white privilege.

Educate yourself.

no you’re not Says –

Carl have had put a lot of his time and effort posting his vlogs. He had made a valid point that there are minorities in vlogging.

I personally give Carl my compliments. Because I enjoy watching all of his vlogs.

YOU are the one who need to educate yourself.

-Lejon

And that includes minority in blogging.

Well, I do not enjoy Carl’s vlogs because he specifically forbids having them translated. So I don’t know where that leaves my minority — the non-ASL speaking one.

Beg is hit the nail on the head. Carl makes fun of Oralist and CI with person who have nothing with a fact or the situation becaue he’d rather stay a deaf grass-root. DE and Carl has to blame on anonymous who is either libel or slander. I think they are scared of anyone who has many ideas of creating new struction in the future.


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