Buck Naked Bison


Ken Levinson Really Thinks We’re Idiots
October 23, 2006, 12:57 pm
Filed under: Editors

I’ll let Ken speak for himself here:


http://news.gallaudet.edu/?id=9602


Statement from Board of Trustee Ken Levinson

Sunday October 22, 2006 8:15 p.m.

 

“I want to reassure the Gallaudet Community that the recent negative statement attributed to me about deaf peoples’ abilities is totally inaccurate. As a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees, I know better than most that ‘deaf people can do anything.’ a statement I have made several times publicly, most notably at President Jordan’s retirement announcement. My work with the deaf community has always been about working together toward our common collective goals. I strongly believe everyone has the ability to make significant contributions to this world. This is another thinly veiled smear tactic used by some to further divide our wonderful community and to discredit the Board’s appointment of Dr. Fernandes as president. It is completely misleading, and it is false.”

Contrast this with:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/soundandfury/culture/voices-levinson.html

Sound and Fury – Released October 2000

Ken Levinson, 53, Former Executive Director, The Children’s Hearing Institute. Transcript.

 

“About 25 years ago, I had a drop in my hearing, so I could no longer use a hearing aid, and we decided that the technology was ready by then and I wanted the sound back. I was without sound for about 14 years and I really wanted that sound back … The first sound I ever heard with the cochlear implant was really a lot of noise, but that was when I was first hooked up, and I think the first sound I clearly remember that was different from anything else that I’d heard before was probably a bird chirping. I’d never heard the bird chirp and with the implant, I was able to hear that … When I first got the cochlear implant, I wasn’t sure what direction it was gonna go in, but since I’ve gotten it, I’ve been more than delighted with it. I’ve had very positive experiences. When I’m in a store or I’m with some people, and I start walking away and my back is to them, and they say “Have a nice day,” I hear it. And I’m able to turn to them and say, “You, too.” Rather than walking out of there, and they’re thinking I’m an idiot and I didn’t respond and they say, “And yeah, and you, too, buddy.”


Ken, totally inaccurate? I wonder. I truly wonder. Not to mention that the people who visited you in San Francisco are highly intelligent Deaf professionals with no reason to fabricate your words. In addition, Bobbie Beth Scoggins says that you said the same thing to her a few years ago at a softball game.

 

Stop LYING!

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Letter from Judicial Affairs for Those Arrested on Friday October 13th
October 21, 2006, 11:32 pm
Filed under: Anonymous

Note from the editor: This is the first anonymous article that we have ever published in Buck Naked Bison. The only reason we are allowing this is because of the legal issues the author is facing, due to their pending case with JA.

Today I checked my post office box at Gallaudet. There was an ominous blue slip in there, a darker blue than the usual. As I brought it to the counter, and the lady grimaced as she walked off to get a letter and a square piece of paper. It said something like, if you sign this, you acknowledge you have received a letter from the Judicial Affairs office. Whoa. I looked up at the lady, and said, should I sign?

“I held the letters as long as I could. They were ready to go out yesterday, but I waited until today to put them in. I’m sorry. I don’t like it. I’m sorry. I didn’t say any of this, okay?”

I watched her with awe and sadness – here, this woman is one of the 800 staff members at Gallaudet that want so badly to support us. Intimidation and fear are so pervasive here, to the point where she actually sunk below the counter to sign these words. So no one behind me would see her say those things.

Is this the Gallaudet we want? Where people have to hide below counters to say what they want?

*tearing open the letter* *jumping on top of the counter*

This letter shall serve as a formal notice that the University disciplinary charges of Disruption of University Academic and/or Non-Academic Activities and Non-compliance with University Decision.

Nice to see that even the Judicial Affairs office is prone to ungrammatical sentences.

It is alleged that you participated in a campus demonstration that disrupted the normal operations of the University and infringed on the rights of other members of the University community.

Pardon me, but isn’t the Sixth Street gate always closed weekdays at 6 pm? This happened on Friday, October 13th at around 9 pm? How would I be disrupting normal operations and infringing on the rights of others if the gate was normally closed around this time? Heck, I should have been paid for my work patrolling the gate for you! The worst thing we might have disrupted was the slumber of the people that tend to sleep by the fence… ah, no, that was Irving’s fault. He was the one who ordered the spotlights to be directed in our faces… and on them.

It is also alleged that you intentionally obstructed the freedom of movement, either pedestrian or vehicular, on campus.

Frankly, I gotta agree. My movement was obstructed big time. It was hard for me to move, sitting down my seriously un-padded butt on the cold hard street, arms interlocked with people next to me. Try sitting down on the street, with your legs crossed for 3 hours straight. My hips and my 7 month old ACL screamed at me: Get up! Stand up! You’re too old for this! It was truly a blessing when they finally picked me and carted me off to their police van.

By the way, should I be charging Irving and Jane with intentionally obstructing MY freedom of speech? I, along with 133 other friends were trying to send a message to the world. Jane and Irving obstructed that.

It is also alleged that you did not comply with the directives of University officials.

Me? Oh no, no. Sorry, wrong person. I complied with every directive given from University officials. You see, the faculty run the University, therefore, they are my University officials. Wait a minute. Jane and Irving did not comply with the directives from EIGHTY TWO PERCENT of the University Faculty! They are the guilty ones!

If you wish to have witnesses appear on your behalf at your heating, you are responsible for informing them of the time, date, and location of the hearing.

No, that wasn’t a misspelling. The letter actually says ‘heating’. I guess they plan to give me some heat after all. Nice, after all, it’s kinda cold in Tent City.I can bring witnesses? Cool! The entire world witnessed the heinous acts of Irving and Jane on that Dark Friday in October. Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to grant an invitation to every one of you and your friends to act as my witness at my hearing. I will let you know the time, date and location shortly.

Pending the resolution of your case with Judicial Affairs, you are expected to follow all policies and procedures as established by the University. Any further infractions of the University Code of Conduct will result in you being placed on interim suspension and persona non grata.

So, are you saying that if I continue participating in the protest (which is already a violation of several codes of conduct, including the guidelines of expressive activities), I’ll be placed on interim suspension and persona non grata-ed? Isn’t this a form of coercion? Aren’t I supposed to be innocent until proven guilty?

So there will be no misunderstanding, persona non grata status is defined as prohibition from entering the campus premises and attending Gallaudet University sponsored events on and off campus for any reason.

Oooh, now I’m feeling some heat. Hey, YOU. SO There will be no misunderstanding: JANE FERNANDES MUST RESIGN! Capisce?

Failure to comply would result in your removal from the premises by the Department of Public Safety or the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department and you could be arrested under the trespass-injuries to property statutes, title 22, chapter 31 of the District of Columbia Code.

Failure for YOU to comply will bring the University crashing down. Do you realize the University cannot function without the support of 82% of its faculty, 81% of its students and 82% of its staff?

Irving and Jane: This letter shall serve as a formal notice that you are to be arrested for the attempted murder of an University loved by many. There shall be no hearing, you both are guilty beyond any doubt with the world as your witness.

And your consequence: persona non grata from the Deaf-World. Until you both realize the ramifications of your lies and actions and apologize repeatedly. Then maybe we’ll let you visit and sob over the building that used to be named I. King Jordan Student Academic Center.

xxxx xxxxxx. Also known as #xxxxx, booked by the Metropolitan Police Department on the charge of “unlawful assembly incomding” (whatever that is).

(All italics above were copied exactly as is from the letter sent to me by the Office of Judicial Affairs on October 19, 2006)

 



Four Years
October 19, 2006, 1:05 am
Filed under: Jonathan Henner

Four years ago I found myself sitting in Bren Stern’s dorm room. Back then, I thought I was hot stuff. I was acing my Georgetown classes and whenever I needed a breather, I would rocket my Harley and someone beautiful down the George Washington Parkway to a secluded Potomac area. I could also write well; better than the average person, I thought. A piece I had submitted to the Buff and Blue was sent through the grammatical wringer however, and I resigned in embarrassment. I still wanted to contribute something to the Gallaudet literary scene, though. Bren had somehow caught wind of my ambitions, although looking back, I’m not surprised he did. I reeked of arrogance and desire. Anyone within eyeshot of me would’ve seen the size of my head. Somehow, Bren and I were able to fit both our egos into his room.

A few weeks later, I was sitting in Jesse Thomas’ house with a group of people who would later become the first writers for the Buck Naked Bison. Jane Jonas was there, among others. I remember feeling slightly humbled, which was a rare feeling for me at the time, and excited for what I felt was going to be a literary revolution. We were going to rock the establishment and show the Buff and Blue how real Deaf writers juice language. My first article for the Buck Naked Bison was a piece on the critical failures of the Honors program. My second submission was an essay on Gallaudet’s failure to maintain a proper level of ASL requirements for faculty and how Gallaudet should take initiative in interpreter education. It was not published. A few weeks later, a similar article appeared in the Buff and Blue with familiar verbiage. I left Buck Naked Bison and a few weeks later, Gallaudet University.

I had several reasons for leaving Gallaudet. The most crushing one was that I could not deal with the audistic tendencies systematic in the Gallaudet experience. Those who were supposed to be my advocates, my leaders, and my intellectual nurturers were the same who were denying me opportunity and who were oppressing me intellectually. My reasoning at the time was that if I were going to experience audism at University, I might as well get a better education. Now I understand that an education is only valid when one seeks to acquire it. Then, I felt that the professor had an obligation to control the level of discourse in the classroom.

I want to say that leaving Gallaudet was the right decision for me. I want to say that I had no other option. That isn’t true, but at the same time, it is true. The experiences I’ve had since are because I’ve left Gallaudet. Had I stayed, I would likely be on a different path than I am now. One thing I did learn, though, was while audism is intrinsic at Gallaudet, it is absolutely brutal in the hearing world. Two years ago, I fled to San Francisco to shape up after the beating I took that first semester at Illinois State University.

Jane met me in Berkeley. She took me up into the Redwood forests and we sat awhile in a grove. The scene was rather mystical. I took a spot on a stump and Jane wandered a bit away from me. The tree canopy blurred the light so that our surroundings were rather gray. I felt that eventually my eyes would pan out like a camera and that music, or at least a Fred Savage monologue, would kick in. After a few minutes of tentative peace, I asked Jane how anyone could live in such an environment and still rage against life. She responded that people shape the environment more than the environment shapes people. These days, I study psychology and I have empirical proof for her contention. Later that night, we kicked back in her hot tub and watched the sun plunge into the bay.

It’s been almost two years since I left San Francisco and four since I left Gallaudet. Since then, I have graduated University and enrolled in another. I’ve moved to a city that I thought I’d never inhabit and quickly grew roots with a stuffy corporate job. Most importantly, four years after I left to escape the crushing sensation of audism, the revolution I had always hoped for stomped in. It came when I was beginning to research my Master’s thesis. A few people may know me through my academic dissection of the protests and other psychological applications to Deafhood. Even fewer may know me as the idealistic, arrogant hotshot from Gallaudet. Jane, on the other hand, has known me for all of these past four years. So, when she asked me to write again for the Buck Naked Bison, the kid I was peeked out through the academic fluff and shouted an agreement. Again, I am excited for the possibilities Buck Naked Bison brings to the community. I especially look forward for the chance to provide the community a literary action free of the taint of audism.

This is Buck Naked Bison – reborn. Hallelujah.



Lobster Bisque and the French Revolution
October 19, 2006, 1:04 am
Filed under: Jane Jonas

In 1786, when the French people were starving and beseeched their queen to help them, she laughed and said, “Let them eat cake!” Now, let’s fast forward a mere three hundred and twenty years, to 2006. The people of Gallaudet are starving intellectually, hungry for academic excellence and integrity. They are pleading to the administrators, who basically are replying, “Let them eat earth juice!”

Bullshit, both figuratively and literally. My heart aches as I try to make sense of all of these events at my alma mater. We could do well to learn from our history, as after all, those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it. In 1789, the good people of France had finally had enough, and revolted furiously, seizing the Bastille on July 5th. The rallying cry was, “Liberte, egalite, fraternite, or la mort!” Translated roughly, it means, “Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death!” In 2006, the good people of Gallaudet had finally had enough, and revolted furiously, seizing the Hall Memorial Building on the night of October 5th. Their unifying cry is, “Unity for Gallaudet.” We all know what happened next with the French Revolution. The people turned on their queen and the rest of the royalty, and they met gruesome deaths with the guillotine.

Now, what exactly caused this protest besides the obvious starvation of the people? According to our old friend Wikipedia, there were many causes. Some of the major causes were a poor economic situation, which was caused by excessive spending of the royal family. Also, there was wide-spread resentment of royal absolution and censorship. The royal family had a royal failure when dealing with these issues. At Gallaudet, the revolution has been caused by factors that seem eerily parallel with the factors for the French Revolution. Let me explain a little bit, to those of you who may not have been as privy as I am to certain documents and sources of information, why this is so.

Let’s start off with the night of the 5th. Dr. I. King Jordan had his retirement gala scheduled for this evening, as we all knew. There was an active protest going on before this gala was to start. The Board had been warned that if they did not take action by 10 pm, drastic measures would be taken. Instead of trying to solve the problem before it reached a boil, they chose to party down at King’s shindig. Wow, what a party it was! The chairs in the conference center were deemed not good enough, and they brought in gold-trimmed chairs to give the event a little more sparkle. The soup was lobster bisque, and there was unlimited wine. A piano was played in one corner of the room.

Every single penny of this excessive event’s funds came directly out of the coffers of Gallaudet University. Nobody who went paid a dime out of their own pockets. There were large posters of King in his heydays plastered outside, and since I wasn’t invited, I’ll just have to guess, probably inside as well. As the protesters shivered in the rain, the Board got drunk on Gallaudet’s dollar. At the end of the party, everyone who went got a piece of Linda Jordan’s pottery. This is just a guess, but I doubt she just gave away all that pottery. I wouldn’t be surprised if she charged the University a few bucks per piece, which they then gave away to the attendees.

This gala is not the beginning, nor is it the end of excessive spending by the administration. The axis of evil, also known as Paul Kelly, Jane Fernandes, and I. King Jordan, all have personal credit cards, and guess who foots the bill. You got it! The university! The physical plant department employees have said that they have been called more than once to repair things and do landscaping work at the private residences of the axis of evil members. Paul Kelly has often been seen using the campus gas station to fill up his car. There are so many examples of blatant abuses of power and misuses of University money that it is just appalling and reprehensible.

I have one experience with Jordan that I would love to share. I took an honors class, and at the end of the semester, we were taken out to lunch with Jordan and his wife, as well as some other VIPs (if I recall correctly, the president of the Salk institute was among them, yes, the cochlear implant advocate that doesn’t sign, plus two on-duty GIS interpreters). The lunch was beyond amazing. We had about 4 or 5 courses, and the food was unbelievable. I later found out that the restaurant was among the most expensive Italian places in Washington DC. This was all paid for by the University.

It really disgusts me to put two and two together, and to realize that Jordan eats like this every day. He basically lives a life of complete luxury, which is totally funded by the University. I thought he was a really nice guy, but now that I realize how much money he must have socked away in his underwear drawer, I finally understand. Anyone would be nice with that much money to their name. I’ve never met any mean millionaires, have you? If he was really nice, he would have paid for our meal instead of letting the University pick up the tab!

Oh no, that’s not all either! Jordan used to own a few properties in NE DC, and those properties, according to the tenants, were basically slums. Rats and roaches were rampant, the houses weren’t up to code, and the pipes leak. They do not meet ADA guidelines (such as flashing lights for the door and smoke alarm), and he has been reported in the past to the DCHA for violations. Most of those tenants were international students, and the rents they paid aren’t what they should be, either. That hits below the belt, really… taking advantage of international students’ naivety with American currency to line your own pockets. Why not just rent them the places for free and do something philanthropic for the community? Jordan sold these houses for more than $400,000 each according to the DC housing records, and had bought them in the early ‘90s for less than $80,000 each. Like his salary isn’t enough (he’s the HIGHEST paid university president in America).

Now, I think you should be able to understand a little better exactly why the Gallaudet community is so angry. The administration treats the community like peons, abusing them and living well off of their blood, sweat and tears. We have had enough. King Jordan will be gone in December, but we must get rid of Queen Fernandes who will carry on his legacy of excessive spending, royal absolutism, and censorship. We are just like the French before the revolution. Shit is literally beneath our noses, while our administration feasts on lobster bisque. Bring the guillotines out, before it is too late.



I Was Arrested on IKJ’s Order
October 19, 2006, 1:03 am
Filed under: Jane Jonas, Megan Malzkuhn

On May first, Celia May Baldwin signed the fateful words, “Jane Fernandes,” and then implored us to celebrate. Instead, we immediately began protesting. The majority of the student body was out with us on Kendall Green, and then almost as one, flocked to the front gates, where we eventually locked down the University.

From the first spawning of Tent City, there has been an amazing display of unity, faith and courage from all of us who have been involved. For thirteen days in May, we rallied against Jane Fernandes’ selection. It had nothing to do with her deafness, and everything to do with her performance as an administrator. Various individuals and organizations compiled a laundry list of her misdeeds. Believe me, it was long.

To name a few: she fired several people mere days or weeks before they were due to retire, screwing them out of federal benefits. While she worked at the Clerc Center, she dismantled a program of low-achieving students, integrating them into regular classrooms without giving teachers training, or support. Parents have come forward with stories of these students attacking other students, and causing disturbances in classrooms. This influenced the quality of education for the rest of the students, resulting in a mass exodus of students flocking to the Maryland School for the Deaf.

There are many more stories of Jane, and none of them are good. She alienated a large donor to the university, by not saying one word to that person, even though he sat at her table for two hours and tried to get her attention repeatedly. He has said he will not donate any money to the University while she is president. Jim Macfadden, a prominent deaf businessman, has said the same thing. Bernard Bragg has suspended a one million dollar donation, and who knows how many more people have stopped donating. To date, over a dozen students have withdrawn from the university. This is the woman that is supposed to lead Gallaudet into tomorrow? We knew that was unacceptable.

We had been protesting for 13 days, until the executive order came, saying that since school was over… we would need to leave. Many of us lived far, and had plans or jobs for the summer, so we erected a sign saying, “We will be back,” and left. However, the sleeping giant was dormant, not dead. The embers of our fury were still glowing red-hot. Much of our discussion that summer was about one thing: Gallaudet. Our hearts bleed buff and blue, and there was no way that they were going to do this to us. When we came back in the fall, it was quiet for a while. Tara Holcomb, my roommate and friend since childhood, is the director of ethics and conduct for the student body government, and she decided to erect a small tent-city, following the guidelines for expressive activities. The tent city was supposed to be taken down by 11 PM and could be re-erected each morning. However, the first day of the tent city, the students refused to leave, despite pleas from the SBG officers, worried about being sanctioned by the administration. Next thing we knew, something started to stink, quite literally. It was earth juice, a type of fertilizer that was spread on the grounds. So, it was decided to move the protests to Kendall Green, while the board was on campus. Student leaders, as well as the FSSA, pleaded the board to take a hard look at the issues on campus.

Furious, frustrated, and disenfranchised, we decided to seize the Hall Memorial Building on a cold rainy night. This took place while the board was drinking wine with Dr. King and sitting in gold chairs, having disregarded our requests to take a look at this serious situation. They chose to party, so that was the last straw, and we decided to stop classes from proceeding. Boy, did it work! We stayed in HMB for one week, and the sense of community, pride, and strength had never been stronger. Different types of deaf people, with implants, cuers, oralists, ASL advocates, you name it, came together for a united cause. We stood hand by hand, and many hearing people joined us. The faces were the colors of the rainbow, truly the epitome of diversity. We were all Deaf enough, despite our hearing status or signing status.

After continuing stalemates with the administration, a group of football players had enough, and at 3 am, the university was locked down for the first time since DPN. This lockdown continued until the fateful Friday the 13th. I got a page from Leala Holcomb, saying that police were getting ready to arrest the protesters, and to come to the 6th street gate right that minute. Of course, I ran over, and I saw people standing near the gates, watching. Welders had taken off the gate, and the police were blocking off the road. Tara was standing in the midst of it all, and at first I was unsure what to do as I took in the scene. Then, Tara beckoned to me and it became clear that I needed to do what had to be done. I went to her side, just like I have since the beginning, and when she sat down in front of the gate, of course, I sat down next to her. I knew and continue to know that this cause is just, and I was willing to be arrested to show my faith in this belief.

The police stood around. There was a lot of talking, as we held hands and chanted “Unity for Gallaudet,” and “JK Out Now.” It was cold, but the courage of my fellow protesters kept me warm. We knew that we were making the sacrifice for the future of our deaf community, for our deaf children, for tomorrow. Finally, the head of Gallaudet’s DPS came forth and uttered a warning, using interpreters. She did this four times, as we jeered and told her to go ahead and arrest us. After what felt like forever, four cops finally moved forward, as the chief pointed at our mayor, Chris Corrigan. Chris immediately went limp as Tim Rarus squeezed his hand. The officers dragged him from where he was, obviously hurting him, and scraping his body across the concrete. They finally got a clue and picked him up. We were a little scared after seeing how they treated Chris, but stayed determined. Tara Holcomb took his place, and became the second person to be arrested. As I watched her be carried off, my heart was beating wildly.

One by one, the protesters were carried off as they became limp. Officers dropped several people, and more than one head hit the concrete. Finally, it was my turn, and I just went limp as the officers grabbed my arms and legs. They had trouble holding me, and dropped me twice. I started to laugh at their incompetence. I tried to look heroic and rebellious, but all the pictures taken have me cracking up on the ground while they tried to pick me up. I lolled my head back on my neck, and saw all the rest of the students smiling, cheering, and saying they loved me. I could not help but to smile, knowing I had so much support. It was truly a dark day, but the protesters’ courage was a ray of sunshine. Finally, they got me down to the paddy wagon, where we were photographed. Then we were taken to jail. After a long wait to be booked, we were released. Of course, I came back to Gallaudet right away. We continue to fight, and we know that this is the good fight. We will win, we must win. Jane Kelleher, this is not your time. This is our time. You need to resign.



A Hearing Guy’s POV
October 19, 2006, 1:02 am
Filed under: Eric Mathers

Jane Fernandes is trying to show how strong she is and that she is not going to budge. However, that’s not the point. The point is for the Deaf community and its hearing allies to show how strong it is, and that it will not budge or back down. The focus here needs to be on the Deaf Community and Deaf culture, not Jane Fernandes.

The protest began as a result of the flawed search process for a new president. Now it has evolved into something so much more, a culture’s fight for survival.

In today’s world there are “medical breakthroughs” such as misunderstandings about cochlear implants and genetic engineering that are diminishing the Deaf world. These two “breakthroughs” are not really accepted by the Deaf community. As a matter of fact, these technologies are seeking to diminish the need for ASL, in turn is diminishing the Deaf culture and community. We need to educate the hearing world about Deaf culture, which is more than meets the eye!

With this in mind, it is imperative for the protest to continue, so that the Deaf community can be a strong presence in today’s society. The protest is a powerful tool to speak to the hearing world that does not know about Deaf people, their culture or language. All of the news and media coverage can only help to educate hearing people about Deaf folks, and improve interaction and lives of Deaf people all over. I myself am a hearing graduate student, and I never met or heard about a Deaf person until I was a junior in my undergraduate program. This is a sad story, but all too true. People need to recognize Deaf people, and recognize them as a language minority, not as handicapped people deserving of pity. Now is the perfect time to make an impact. When will we have a chance for so much attention again??

The protest is a great representation of the Deaf community (the students) fighting for their rights with the hearing people, deaf people with hearing-mentality, and the political world (Jane Fernandes and the Board of Trustees). A long standing demand of the student body has been for the campus to be unified under one language, American Sign Language. There are still hearing teachers at Gallaudet, using interpreters to teach. This demand of the students’ has never been met and leaves them feeling oppressed on their own campus. If Deaf people cannot win and have their rights granted here at Gallaudet University, the Mecca of the Deaf, then when/where will Deaf people gain their rights? The perspective shown here allows us to see the situation as what one of the student leaders, Matt Korpics called it, “Deaf culture’s last stand!” If we lose this protest, the Deaf community might lose its battle with the hearing world. We need to show them that Deaf people can be successful, and can overcome oppression once and for all!

This protest is about the empowerment of Deaf people everywhere…not you, Jane!!



I, KING: It’s Not About You
October 19, 2006, 1:01 am
Filed under: Todd Newman

My heart’s bleeding… bleeding buff and blue….

What I see at Gallaudet cannot be taken care of in a way that will please everyone. It’s one of the most tension-filled times in Gallaudet’s long history, perhaps eclipsing even the original DPN— This time Irving King Jordan’s on the other side, instead of being on ours. That makes all the difference in the world. Or does it?

What caused Dr. Irving King Jordan to become I, KING?

When Zinser did the honorable thing and resigned way back in 1988, and Dr. Irving King Jordan became President of our beloved university, many of us said, “At last! WE the people have spoken and the world heard us!”

Little did we know that the very same Irving King Jordan, who rose to the top of all our hearts and minds as a cultural hero, someone who had dared to dream and actually reached the pinnacle of Gallaudet University, has apparently become I KING and decided to enforce his iron will on Kendall Green.

Dr. Jordan, how can you actually say you care for the greater good of Gallaudet when lately, all you have done is ignore us? You’ve been setting up new rules and laws to make it more difficult to protest. Do you actually realize that if these selfsame rules were in effect back in 1988, you would never have become King? Oops. I meant President.

Do you not even care for your legacy? Have we not treated you well? I’d think being one of the highest paid people in the entire capitalist world would give you some appreciation of the people who pay your bills. Have you forgotten who matters? Have you forgotten who got you in office in the first place? Talk about biting the hands that’s fed you and your family for these past 18 years.

For many of us, we worshipped you Dr. Jordan. We thought the world of you. It didn’t matter that you couldn’t sign very well, it mattered that you were one of us and that you were WITH us at DPN. Well, you supported the board first, that’s right. But, then when you realized we were winning, you did come down on our side, for a while, anyway. Where did you go?

To lie to the media about our reasons for the protest is heartbreaking to us. We didn’t ask for much. Why tell the media lies? Where did you think that was going to lead?

By telling the media that we judge people based on how well they sign or how “deaf” they are, you’ve made us look like a bunch of nincompoops. Do you think we had that figured out the first time we asked you to be President, Dr. Jordan? How stupid does that sound? Is this something that you think we can just sweep under the rug?

There is precious little time, Dr. Jordan, to restore the luster to your once proud career. I suggest you use it wisely, for your actions will be judged for years to come. Not only that, generations of those who love Gallaudet will judge you. Black Friday will not be forgotten in a hurry. My children want to go to Gallaudet. I have a deaf girl and two hearing boys. Do I want them to come to Gallaudet? I’m not so sure anymore.

The clock’s ticking. Will it be I KING, or Dr. Irving King Jordan?

Dr. Jordan, nobody has the RIGHT to claim that the protesters don’t know better, because believe me, they do. We’ve been there before. We know better. It’s not about you anymore, Dr. Jordan. It never was.