Time for Truth and Reconciliation by D. McClintock

Posted on 21 January 2007. Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Reunifying Gally |

This post was written by Guest Blogger D. McClintock who has a blog at http://dmccartoon.blogspot.com

Time for Truth and Reconciliation
By D. McClintock

Instead of revenge there will be reconciliation.

Instead of forgetfulness there will be knowledge and acknowledgement.

Instead of rejection there will be acceptance by a compassionate state.

– Dullah Omar, Minister of Justice, 1996

After the MSA report came out, I noticed that there is blame going around in the deaf blogosphere. Now, let’s not blame each other. Let us instead strive for reunification of Gallaudet in order to save the university’s accreditation.

Remember back in October I called for an independent commission for truth and reconciliation after the Gallaudet protests are over? I know the protests technically aren’t fully over because the demand for no reprisals wasn’t yet met. But now is time to set up such a commission for truth and reconciliation.

As a supporter of the Gallaudet protestors I would like to offer a few suggestions that may help save the university’s accreditation. Please hear me out with an open mind.

First, instead of light reprisals for the protestors (that involve writing essays), I suggest that the FSSA leaders come forward and offer a public apology for mistakes that were made during the chaos that followed in the event of the protests. I had called on I. King Jordan and Jane K. Fernandes to publicly apologize for the Brentwood Gate incident, but they would not do it. Apparently they are reluctant to do it because they have pride and they are too afraid to acknowledge that their actions were wrong. They should be ashamed of themselves.

You, the student protestors, can prove to the public you are different from IKJ and JKF. You can prove that you have guts to acknowledge that some of the actions by certain individuals among you were not right in retrospective but that you did not know how to get your message across. Let’s show you have dignity, respect and pride in Gallaudet University. Let’s show you are better than IKJ and JKF in this manner. This is what I regard as communicating the truth.

Second, I’ve already brought up this idea on my blogsite twice. I know this idea of a censure may not be too warm with you all, but it is worth considering as an option. Let’s examine ourselves and see what improperties were committed during the time of the protests. Let me give a few examples of what I personally consider as improper:

– throwing bottles
– burning effigies
– acts of vandalism
– harassing IKJ’s family
– threats of violence

Protest leaders as Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King would NOT permit their protestors to do such things. I know many of you are familiar with their history, but please look again at the example they set for their protestors and reconsider what you’ve done. Experienced leaders at the conference on protests that Ridor mentioned would tell you the same thing.

A public censure, in my opinion, helps to communicate the message effectively and strongly that the FSSA will not tolerate such improperities. I know that the FSSA once broadcast that they did not condone such acts, but once isn’t enough. Honestly, with due respect, I think they have very weak public relations. The FSSA leaders must seriously take this into consideration and acknowledge their responsibility.

I think such a move would impress the MSA.

Third, what is needed are letters of support to be written by community leaders and Gallaudet alumni from all around our country to be sent to the MSA. These letters of support should be to gently encourage the MSA to give GU a second chance. Be sure to keep your letters short, positive and to the point, and professional.

It may not be all that bad as some other commenters made it out to be. What struck me about the MSA report was the part where it says the MSA were impressed by how many students referred to Gallaudet as their “home.” I am glad to see that many people on Kendall Green are sharing the same thoughts and feelings as I do. Let’s emphasize this point and do some house-cleaning.

Any thought on this? It’s OK if you disagree with me, but do share your opinion with the public on this forum.

In the meantime, the call for amnesty should continue.

[End of D. McClintock’s Guest Blog.]

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

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15 Responses to “Time for Truth and Reconciliation by D. McClintock”

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You just don’t get it, do you? The MSA doesn’t care about the protest, other than the fact that it closed the university, and education came to a halt. At the meeting they said “what’s in the past is in the past.” Did you read the report? They don’t want fluff letters. They do not want to be “impressed” by this kind of junk. I can just imagine how letters full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes will impress them. They don’t want anecdotes. they don’t want apologies from the bad boys and girls. They aren’t even interested in pointing fingers of blame, except that the blame seems to extend to everyone — from the ill-prepared and lazy students to the lazy faculty who don’t do much to improve their own skills or knowledge to the administration who was too rigid to change… Sadly, Gallaudet has been good at this kind of bullshit for too long, and this seems to be what the deaf community thinks is valuable. Well, it isn’t. Not here. They want FACTUAL EVIDENCE that the programs at Gallaudet are working, and if not, why not, and if not – -how do we plan to fix them. This is real. This is going to take work. And fluffy feel-good letters isn’t what it’s going to take.

DPN protest was very different that the world understood all about it. The world still does not understand what JKF protest was really all about. Accused her as a lousy leader or a loof was a lousy reason. 82 faculty staff were against her just because she may not being too chubby with them.
The only way to get Gallaudet glorified again is to accept a well qualified person like JKF as president. She impressed me a lot. She is professional.
and let me tell you something, she really can sign ASL well and she was never against ASL. Of course she encouraged that Gallaudet be opened to all languages to all deaf students. I know there are some deaf who really do not want to use ASL as their main language which is their right.
I am sure letters to MSA of apology and acceptance of JKF’s position be reinstated may be very helpful for Gallaudet to remain accredited. Then the world would forgive and forget that Gallaudet be remained respectful again. Or
GALLAUDET COLLEGE!!!

I said way back in October, and even earlier, that this mess was everybody’s fault that each one of them ought to own up to their own “mea culpa”.
http://kokonutpundits.blogspot.com/2006/10/poll-another-fine-mess-who-is-at-fault.html

http://kokonutpundits.blogspot.com/2006/10/when-racism-is-worst-than-audism-at.html

Enough with the conspiracy theories and blame, or come up with wild ideas that the MSA is an “act of violence.” Oh, please. Take your first step and say “mea culpa” for a change and move on.

Realist,

Thank you for sharing your opinion. I think we are reading into different things in the report. I differ with you that the MSA team did not just “care” about the protests as you implied. It seems the protests had an impact on the MSA team’s view of Gallaudet University. I am sure the team might not mind these protests that were carried out in a proactive, peaceful manner as you indicated, provided that such protests are conducted in the open atmosphere of debate and free exchange of ideas. It was the aggressive nature of some protestors, followed by the controversial closing of the HMB, that seemed to concern the team. This is my impression from reading the report.

Let’s look a the part in the three-pages report,
“The team further stressed that closing an institution through protest, preventing or intimidating students from attending class, or precluding the open exchange of ideas brings the institution out of compliance with Middle State’s accreditation standards and any FURTHER such actions will have dire consequences in terms of accreditation.” This indicates a warning for all student protestors. It looks like Gallaudet is in a very sticky situation. If it loses its accreditation, Congress my cut its funding and graduates will have a hard time to find jobs.

How does the FSSA respond to this? What would Dr. Martin Luther King do in this situation? If some of his protestors broke out of line and threw a rock or burn an effigy, would he remain silent or say something? What would be the most proactive thing to do? Some students who were neutral and who did not participate in the protests felt inconvenienced. What would one say to them to help the healing take effect?

There are some commenters in Jamie Berke’s blog on the MSA report saying that the MSA team’s analysis was wrong. How would one argue with the MSA team? It seems to me it would be ill-advised to argue with the MSA team at this point. What would be a better way for the FSSA to respond to the report?

In my experience with nonprofit work, letters of support do and can produce results. The language need not to be fancy or perfect. “Feel-good” is not my concern. Effective communications is. If you don’t think letters of support will work, fine, then do you have a better idea what will work?

Another subject the report brings up is the issue of shared governance. That is one that I agree takes time to work. How do you propose to fix that problem?

There may be no solution but to accept JK as president.
It is not necessary for IKJ and JKF to come out to say.”we are sorry that we did wrongly by trying to open the gate for the others to enter the campus.” They would be fools if they cooperated with the protest to close down the school. Can’t the protesters think twice? No wonder Gallaudet is about to lose accreditation.

To Blondel,

I would not support reinstatement of JKF as the next President. It would be better that she moves on. She has caused enough pain and division by her stubborn refusal to honor the implorations by the community to step asides. If she had simply stepped asides like Elizabeth Zinser, such intensity of the protests would not have happened. The world would have looked at JKF in a different way.

And, no, you read me incorrectly. I did not say the FSSA should send letters of apology. No, you confused that part with letter of support from the community, which I was calling for in my blog. I only suggested that the FSSA leaders apologize publicly (whether on their website or by other means) for the inconveniences some of their protestors caused. Apology does not mean saying you are sorry. It means acknowledging the inconveniences.

Maybe apologies are not neccessary in order, but I thought something should be done at least for acknowledgement, to help the healing. In fairness, JKF and IKJ should acknowledge the damages they caused to GU with their uncooperative stance. MSSD students did not appreciate the bulldozer crashing the gate AT ALL.

Obviously, the MSA supports IJK and JK for their act of violence. No question!

I just read back my reply to Blondel’s first comment…I meant to say apology doesn’t mean saying you are wrong.
As for Blondel’s second comment, no, bringing back JKF won’t solve anything. The use of bulldozers is in my opinion too extreme.

Dan McClintock

clearly, you are personal vendettas against IJK and Jk. “She has caused enough pain and division.” I don’t believe what you said. You image that abortion is one of the most divisive issues in America like Gallaudet students. There is no proof. I am not support IJK or JK.

Chris,

Pardon if I seemed strong in that sentence, but there is no personal vendetta here. I was on record for opposing harassment of IKJ’s family.

If you read the open letter of the Class of ’07 MSSD students on my blogs, you would understand how they felt. I am a MSSD alumnus. Even if I was not a MSSD alumnus, I would find the use of the bulldozer nonetheless questionable.

The point of my blog is there needs to be accounting for actions on all sides, in order for reconciliation and healing to happen. Also, how can we move forward to secure Gallaudet’s accreditation?

Hello Dan:

(I’m not ChrisH above, that’s a different poster)

You DO understand that throughout this whole thing, different groups and even individuals were responsible/accountable for different things that happened on campus?

Chris Heuer,

Hi, yes, that is my position I am arguing. Responsibility needs to be acknowledged. Your point?

Thank you

That any one given group can only logically take responsibility for what it actually DID. So if it wasn’t the FSSA that did a particular action, why is it THEY who are being urged to take responsibility for it? Such as throwing bottles, vandalism (among many other things)… the FSSA already said they didn’t condone it, which logically implies they didn’t plan it or do it. In fact one of the students who threw a rock threw a window was promptly hauled off to the DPS office by fellow protesters.

See what I’m getting at?

The FSSA seemed to have condoned the entering and taking over HMB until well after the fact…like days later when they spoke up. It had appeared that their silence on the matter spoke volumes. Why did they wait so long?

There were only two persons who slept in one of many decoyed tents and it was right for the bulldozer to clean that up. All dirty and pointless jokes must be cleaned up in the end.


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