From: Mike Lorrey (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Jan 09 2002 - 10:44:56 MST
> In a message dated 1/9/02 7:45:43 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> >This is where a phenomenon like Stockholm Syndrome is involved: the deaf
> >person is handicapped by deafness to such a degree that they derive
> >their identity from that which imprisons them rather than themselves.
> Oh, please. It's a combination of linguistic identity, plus being
> and distinct from most people. Deafness is like being an ethnic minority
> and being gay rolled into one. Of course they have a cultural identification.
> IIRC, deaf people invented ASL on their own back when conventional
> wisdom held they lacked the mental capacity for language, so there's
> historical pride as well.
Okay, lets for the sake of argument accept your version. That still
doesn't mean they have the right to force their kids to remain deaf if
they want to participate as citizens. Independent cultural identity like
this is the sort of tribalism that is of great detriment to American
political stability. Compared to the militancy of the deaf 'culture',
the Amish are the height of patriotism personified.
Just as I oppose multilingualism in education for immigrants, I do the
same for ASL. If you want your own culture at home, that is fine, but if
you want to communicate with the hearing world, don't put the cost on ME
to enable you to communicate with me. There is no reason why all deaf
people can't get the implant and simply remove the external transceiver
when not desiring communication with the hearing world. They can then
preserve their 'culture' while accepting their own responsibility to pay
their own costs of communication.
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