Time for Truth and Reconciliation by D. McClintock
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]