Deaf Minority Bloggers: More Questions Than Answers

Posted on 13 January 2007. Filed under: Deaf-Blind, Latinos/Latinas, Meta Discussion, Racism |

In my last post I asked, Deaf Minority Blogs: Where Are They?

This question seems to have hit a nerve for some people. This was one the few posts I have made so far that has sparked a stimulating, on-going discussion among multiple participants. Someone else even wrote an excellent blog post about it, entitled, “Long Live the Western Hegemony.” (And please do read her post–I think the author raises some important points for us to consider.)

I wrote my post on “Where are …” as I do many of my blog posts: on the fly, after finishing one real-life activity and on my way to the next real-life activity. (In this case, I had just finished reading a book, and wrote the post while thinking about getting into bed for the night.)

If you’re one of my (probably few) regular readers, then you know that the broader purpose of this ReunifyGally blog is to discuss, explore, and (I hope, in a small way) stimulate the healing and reunification of the broader Gallaudet community, both on campus and off, after the protests. (See About ReunifyGally.) And one part of that process is addressing issues related to diversity. And one of the many many many things “addressing diversity” involves is for all of us to take responsibility for our on-going learning process.

None of us will ever know everything there is to know about “diversity” (whatever that really means) or about Latinos, or about African Americans, or about deaf Pagan women, or about deaf-blind people, or any other population you care to name. But the more we do know, the more effectively we can create a deaf community (at Gallaudet and beyond) that truly embraces, and allows for, differences–whether based on personal characteristics, or on what is often the biggest divider of all: opinions.

And the best people to educate all of us about the experience of Deaf ___________ (insert whatever mixture of racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, or other labels you like here. Substitute the term “Deaf” with the term “deaf,” “hard of hearing,” “coda,” “hearing impaired,” etc. as appropriate. Or throw out all these labels and sneer at, or deplore, the whole concept of labels) are the people who themselves wear these labels. And people who refuse to wear labels at all have a great deal to teach us as well.

So when I asked, “Where are the Deaf Minority Blogs,” I had the vague notion of trying to find a few more blogs that I hadn’t known about. Then I could read them for myself, and encourage others to do the same, as part of educating themselves about diversity.

People did pop up saying, basically, “Hi, I’m here”; or else, identifying other bloggers as members of various so-called “minority” groups.

But the people who posted comments at Where … ?” also raised, or at least stimulated me to consider, a long list of questions above and beyond the one I had asked. Some of these questions I had already thought of, but didn’t take the time to explore in full. Others are stimulating new chains of thought for me. The more I ponder these, the more I realize that I will need to write multiple posts to do them even the slighest justice. And even then, some of these posts will themselves point to more questions to be explored.

I’m still very interested in knowing about deaf, hard of hearing, coda, and deaf-blind bloggers out there who happen to claim multiple identities (race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, communication background, whatever). I’m especially interested in learning about those who aren’t usually represented on deafread.com. So if you know of any, please do share. Ditto if you have suggestions for how I can do some research on my own to find them (I’m new to the deaf blogsphere–and even newer to the rest of the blogging world beyond it. So other than googling all blogs at google.com, I’m basically clueless. For example, is there a hearing, Latino equivalent of deafread.com?)

But I also want to keep on exploring the many questions and issues stimulated by the discussion on my last post, including those stimulated by Surdobitch. I’m still figuring out what I want to say in relation to the many topics raised. I’m still figuring out how to develop a coherent list of what these topics ARE! The fascinating challenge here is to find a way to divide the many themes into manageable chunks without sub-dividing them in a way that obscures the special complexity that comes when multiple issues intersect. And I’m also TRYING to do some real-life things, like getting a head start on the reading for the class I’m taking this coming semester.

But you’ll probably see me come back to some of these themes several times in the days or weeks to come. Feel free to suggest questions or topics you think I should consider. Or, better–feel free to write your OWN essays exploring your favorite themes and submit them to me for publication (email me at ashettle[at]patriot.net).

Some of you have blogs of your own–I hope you’ll use them to spark further dialogue on these kinds of issues. I especially hope you will use your blogs to challenge me and my underlyng assumptions. Then I can do some more thinking–and more writing.

[Want to submit your own essay for publication at Reunify Gally? It should be related in some way to reunifying or healing the Gallaudet community in the aftermath of the protests. If interested, review my Guidelines for Guest Bloggers and submit your essay to ashettle (at) patriot.net]

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