Recently, I’ve noticed that there are some d/Deaf and hard of hearing people who are more focused on arguing and being “right” against others who are also d/Deaf and hard of hearing.
It’s one thing to have debates, discussions and to defend yourself when you are being attacked. It’s another to really a go at the person, to the point where it is almost abusive, when it could have been resolved in other ways.
Not only that, focus our energy on going against each other will do nothing to the barriers that exist in our lives. If anything, they will remain or even continue to grow.
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There’s something that’s been bugging me recently when I’m on social media, especially Twitter and it’s been bugging me. And this is when I noticed people who are d/Deaf, hard of hearing and I’m talking about capital D Deaf, small D deaf, everybody in that category and beyond.
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One thing I noticed a lot is that there can be a bit of clashing against each other, arguments against each other, to the point where it’s a bit too aggressive, to the point where it’s causing a division.
It’s not like I’m saying to you don’t have arguments, it happens all the time, either you fall out or you disagree, you have a debate, all these things, that’s not what I’m talking about. If anything, these are fine, it’s normal, it’s natural, especially if you want to have a debate about something and you disagree, so what you disagree, you move on and you respect each other’s opinion.
But what I’m talking about is when people have arguments, literally argue with each other to the point where it’s almost becoming abusive.
And it’s almost pushing the other person away and telling them that they’re not welcome, you don’t deserved to be here, you don’t deserve to be part of us, you’re not part of this community, you’re a fake, you’re an imposter.
And it baffled me when people do that, I just don’t understand when we are at a point, before it had been like this, but even now and even the future, we are at a point where we need each other even more than ever.
And what I mean by that is, because there are barriers everywhere, every day, I don’t have to explain to you what they are, but there are barriers that exists. And for me the only way we can overcome them, beat them down, break down those wall, is to work together, we have to work together.
And I just don’t understand at the point where we do need to work together, why we can’t do that. Why do we have to let our own ego or our own massive need to be right, why is that more important than what everyone needs, what the community needs?
It just doesn’t make any sense to me and I think it needs to be called that a few times when that happen and that’s why I’m doing this video and I’ve mentioned it a few times on social media about, if you’re having argument about each other, or you are fighting each other, don’t forget that while we’re doing that, those barriers will not break down.
If anything, those barriers will keep building and the walls will become higher, it’ll become even more difficult to climb over those walls. We don’t need that. It’s hard enough as it is right now and it’s going to get harder if we focus our energy on each other. And I just think that needs to stop.
Have discussion, have debate, have friendly arguments and that’s why I say debate, debate is kind of like a friendly argument.
But it’s one thing to have that kind of discussion, it’s another when you want to talk about yourself, your own ego for being right. And even in a sense, gate-keeping. The way that you are saying that these kind of people are not welcome.
Now I’m not saying they have to be part of it, like you are a member, but they should still be involved, around it. And I know there’s a lot of discussion right now about if this person really should be a member of a Deaf community or not.
Well, I put it this way, because I’m someone who is probably not capital D Deaf, not part of Deaf community in a sense that I’m a fully fledged member, but I’m still part of it in a different way.
And it makes me wonder whether for me what does that mean? I’m trying my best to speak up for everyone, fighting for inclusion and accessibility, all these things.
Am I wasting my time when I’m doing that for really all of us?
Because we do have very similar barriers, not exactly the same, I get it. Those who are profoundly deaf will be in a completely different situation to those who are mild. I totally get that, I’m not saying that one had it better than the other, one is more difficult than the other, it’s just different. Yes, it’s just different.
But what I’m saying is that what does that mean for someone like me for example. If I’m trying my best to help everyone to say these things like, caption your videos or inclusion and how to communicate and doing all these things, am I wasting my time? Because then you see me as someone who is not worthy of being part of a Deaf community.
And like I say, part of it, not necessarily a member with a badge and an ID and things like that, not that they exist, well that will be quite cool. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
Even just being involved in some way around it, or dipping in and out or even just connecting with people in there and that’s what I’m doing more and more now.
I’m very lucky that I’m gradually getting to know more and more people who are profoundly deaf, they only communicate by sign language and that’s obviously how I’m going to communicate with them.
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But that’s my way to connect with them and that’s it, it’s just to connect. We don’t need each other for a specific reason, it’s just to connect, build relationship, to talk, to get along and ultimately to help each other, to work together, to help overcome these barriers, whether it’s for a group of us, a community of us or beyond.
And I just don’t understand why we have to focus our energy a lot on fighting each other. I might be wrong, people might say, “Oh no, you’re wrong.” If I am, I would love to know what you think, if I am wrong, then let me know in the comment, because I guess it’s also a learning experience for me.
It’s only recently that I’ve been more vocal about it, but I don’t see why we should focus all our energy, or most of our energy on fighting each other instead of understanding each other, instead of being empathetic to each other and finding that way to work together.
And I’m not the kind of person who provokes, it’s just not my style, I don’t go out to set argument with people, just not my style, it’s not my way.
But I do understand the need to defend yourself, to defend your identity, to defend who you are as a person and as a community, I totally get that, because like I said, it’s completely different when someone is going to be abusive, going to be attacking you and your integrity and it completely demeaning you, that’s a completely different situation. I now understand when you want to defend yourself, emotion get high, I understand that.
But I’m talking about those who want to be part or want to contribute, want to help you, want to help other people and there are certain individuals who don’t want that, or prevent it, or shut them out, or push them away. I don’t know, I think there’s power in numbers.
And it’s about having the right number, I get that, but it’s still better to have numbers of people supporting each other. And to help each other to get through these barriers, that’s what I’m thinking.
So I want to know what you think and I’d love to hear your comments about this, because it seem to be a problem that’s quite rife in social media. And maybe I’m not the best person to be able to articulate this, maybe you are a better person to explain what’s going on, why it’s going on and I want to understand better
But surely you agree with me that it’s better to support each other and fight off barriers and have then inclusion and having accessibility, than pushing people away and being angry at people when there are possibly, only possibly there are good intentions behind it.
Maybe that is the way we should go for it, but maybe I’m wrong, let me know what you think. Let me know if you agree with me, I’d love to hear your own thoughts, because it’s a very unusual topic to talk about. Or maybe it’s not unusual, maybe it’s more, it’s a very difficult topic to talk about.
And I just want to make sure that people understand what I’m talking about, but I’d love to understand what you’re talking about as well.
So let me know what you think and don’t forget click subscribe and just I’ll be talking about this more often in the future and yeah, it’s a interesting topic, I just thought I’d share with you and I hope I will speak to you again soon.