What I would love from you guys, if you would, is to say the three things that made the biggest impression on you of my analysis of this so far.
Thats kind of hard to say .. I tend to read stuff, immerse it into my awareness, and forget about where I got it from - so when I look back on a subject, I dont remember what I got from where..
so the problem with a random brainstorm like the below is I cannot exactly say what I got from you or from the blogs and articles you linked us to. But here goes:
- the bookends thing; the notion that this could 'herald' the end of an era; of a heyday of sorts of Deaf community
- the comparison between the protests then and those now; personal/petty grievances, mostly from an emotional POV ("doesnt say hi"), have replaced concrete demands on weighty issues
- the danger of the protests' impact on the outside world (including potential funders and subsidisers); the 3-minute summary will only show nasty, personalised identity politics; whereas it is a great and uniquely important institution that is at stake
- the explanations about deaf vs Deaf (as culture / identity) - I had no idea..
- how interaction between the Deaf and the deaf (small d) and hearing is basically a form of intercultural communication
; and thus naturally also comes with all kinds of intercultural misunderstandings
- how much of the protesters' grievances about Fernandes' character and past actions could well just be such cultural misunderstandings (the example of the media students who found Fernandes rude and ruthless, when in reality she was probably just being businesslike the way hearing people are)
- the sheer focus of the complaints on personal stuff; at its broadest still only on issues of charisma and personality. Skills and qualifications (beyond charisma and communicability as skills themselves) apparently do not even enter the discourse of the protestors, like they're just not even aware of the president's tasks beyond a figurehead position. (Also shows up in their championing of a candidate who doesnt even have a PhD)
- the trouble with the "not Deaf enough" subtext of the protests; it denotes a certain clubbiness/elitism, which serves to empower the core community, but also alienates / discriminates against the layers around it.
- how that issue involves Gallaudet's future existence itself. Without opening up to wider, not 100% pure Deaf, students, it can probably not financially survive. How that is something that the protestors either dont see or purposely block out. (Thats where you inspired my comparison with Old Labourites etc; people can be so fearful of change - and with good reason, sometimes - that they'd rather risk their community going down altogether than to see it change unrecognisably, and lose their home that way.)
- in defense: the explanation of why there is
a point to the students' passion about the university representing Deaf culture; it being the only place in the world where ASL is not just an awkwardly won favour, but self-evident
. (The comparison of Gallaudet's role with that of Howard Univ - but even more so)
- a general point about the apparent .. slide in cultural mores? of Gallaudet students; boorishness, pettiness, low educational (entry) standards