We are the Deaf.

We are the people of the eye.

Our language is the visual song of the planet, the sway of the reeds in a storm, the pitter patter of a child’s feet as they target the love of their life, the majestic grace of a predatory bird soaring the skies, the fury of a waterfall smashing endlessly on the rocks far below… We sing with every movement of our hands.

We are the fighters of justice.

Every day, we battle for reality. Out of all the “disabilities”, we are the least disabled. And to the disabled, we are not disabled. We laugh, we cry, we think, we work, we dance, we love, we read, we drive, we debate, we understand and we love. Above all, we endlessly advocate. Going to the shop, we explain. Sitting next to someone, we explain. Going to the bank, we explain. Applying for a job, we explain. Going to school, we explain.
And we get tired.
So tired.

We are the people of endless patience.

Inclusion example

We are the people of all races and creeds.

What we are not, however, is the people of the failed. You are. You cannot even understand how to include us despite this one, simple, fact. We can’t hear. That’s all. When you put your fingers in your ears and temporarily block your hearing, does that make you stupid? Does that stop you from walking around? From reading? From enjoying life? You are the people of the ears. Completely blind to everything but the drug of sound. The god that is music. The demon that is the phone. Vocally, in your world, everything can be done. Argue long enough over the phone and you can get any and every thing done.

We are the tired people.

You can read this. You can understand this. Yet you cannot allow us the same access, the same rights as you autonomously allow yourselves, o privileged people. Instead of listening to us (oh the irony!) you insist on ‘fixing’ us. Drilling holes into our barely formed skulls and installing decades old technology to break something that was not even broken in the first place, against many of our wishes. Forcing cultural rape on us by robbing us of our language over a hundred and thirty six years ago.

We are the unbeatable people.

No matter what you tried, we survived. Our language survived. Because we are YOU. All of you will face some hearing loss throughout your lives. Some of you will lose a lot. A few of you will lose it all. We have never turned you away. Some may feel it is so but you are the ones that twisted these bad apples into vinegar and you only have yourselves to blame. You denied us proper education. You denied us equal access. You put us in the mentally challenged classes and clumped us with the severely disabled. You are the tall proud unyielding oak and we are the reeds in a storm and we watch you eventually break, crashing down to the dirt and destroying the utopia that is all of ours by right. We watch you devastate the world with small-minded talk and sound-bytes. We watch you make war with words which turn into bullets and bombs. We watch your consumerism and expansionist mentality turn us into exploitable material. We watch you develop technology that is useless and sometimes dangerous for us and we are forced to use them. We watch you proudly strut around bleating that you listen because you can hear when we know the truth – you do not. You do not know how to listen. You only listen to things that agree to you and ignore those that scare you.

We are the feared people.

We symbolise the deepest darkest fear for many of you. You cannot comprehend how to live without your drug. Without your god. Without your need to be heard. And so you rape us, you molest us, you break us, you “fix” us. You spit on us, you laugh at us, you mock us, you make sure you are always superior to us. You create impossible loopholes in the system that cannot be circumvented by us without the benevolent help of ‘qualified’ people from your supreme race. You are the disabled people, not us. Glutting on sound, your literacy has drained slowly away. Your music, once a joy for us to read the lyrics to, has become what you accuse us of being. Your newspapers, radio shows and television news, once touted to be beacons of truth have withered away to propaganda machines pumping fear and hatred to ensure your consumerism is fed. You force-feed us images that haunt us both waking and sleeping. You beat us down with stupidity and always win because you are the experts. (Which you aren’t.)

We just want to be allowed to be heard.

Thank you.

A member of the human race.

 

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5 thoughts on “We are the Deaf.

  1. Yes, I agree…AND as a hearing person, I resonate with the rage, despair and sense of loneliness and injustice. There are so many forms of seeming separation….women/men, white/colour, rich/poor….as long as I define myself and others by these categories I forget the reality that we are all ONE underneath. Can we hold the experience of the aspects that distinguish us and make us individuals and at the same time remember that we are all a drop in the ocean, made of the same stuff? And, at least in my view, move through our repeated incarnations experiencing all these different forms and identities. There is no you and I, them and us.

    Much love to you, Edan….looking forward to celebrating your uniqueness more often once you are back here.

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