Thursday, May 11, 2006


The story below is one of the sadder outcomes of political correctness. In the "all men are equal" fairyland of PC, disabilities are denied and disabled people are told that they are as good as anyone else -- which may be true in some ethical sense but not in any other. And deaf people have taken that on board with a vengeance. They think deafness is something to be proud of and actually resent deaf people who can communicate via speech! Many of them even AIM to have deaf children!

The newly chosen president of Gallaudet University, the nation's only liberal arts college for the deaf, received a no-confidence vote from faculty Monday in a dispute that she said comes down to whether she is "deaf enough" for the job. The vote, which passed 93-43, is nonbinding. The fate of Jane K. Fernandes rests with the board of trustees, which has said it will not alter its decision to hire her.

Fernandes, who was selected by the board of trustees last week and is scheduled to take office next January, was born deaf but grew up speaking and did not learn American Sign Language until she was 23. Sign language is the preferred way of communicating at 1,900-student Gallaudet.

Dozens of students and alumni waited outside as the voting took place, and some cheered and shouted when the vote was announced. "If the board ignores the faculty, they ignore the entire university," said Anthony Mowl, a spokesman for a group opposed to Fernandes. The English major from Fishers, Ind., graduates this week.

Fernandes, 49, who declined to be interviewed after the vote, said earlier she is caught in a cultural debate. "There's a kind of perfect deaf person," said Fernandes, who described that as someone who is born deaf to deaf parents, learns ASL at home, attends deaf schools, marries a deaf person and has deaf children. "People like that will remain the core of the university."

Fernandes is married to a retired Gallaudet professor who can hear. So can the couple's two children. Some people who were deaf at birth can learn to speak through intensive speech therapy.

Fernandes was named to succeed I. King Jordan, who in 1988 became the first deaf president of Gallaudet since the school was founded by Congress in 1864. He got the job after student protesters marched to the Capitol demanding a "Deaf President Now" following the appointment of a president who could hear. Jordan, who backed Fernandes' selection, said the current protest reflects "identity politics" and a refusal to accept change. "We are squabbling about what it means to be deaf," he said.

Deaf education has been roiled in recent years by the development of cochlear implants and other technology. Some say such developments threaten sign language and other aspects of what they call deaf culture; others welcome such advances.

The demonstrators demanded that the trustees reopen the selection process, with some complaining that Jordan had undue influence over the appointment of Fernandes, currently the school's provost. Others have complained that the process was not diverse enough, since all three candidates were white, and that Fernandes is not respected on campus. Jordan said that the selection of a president is not a "popularity contest" and that this movement should not be compared to the one that swept him into office. If the board gives in, he said, it would be dangerous for the governance of the school.


Toddlers may already be racists, nurseries told

Another reason for the State to take control of children from their parents

They may still be in nappies [diapers] and playing with sand and building blocks but many toddlers are already racists, nurseries have been warned. To stop prejudice from developing while children are still three years old, staff need to ensure that different racial groups "play together right from day one", according to Herman Ouseley, the former chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality.

Nursery staff should "discourage separate play" and "help children to unlearn any racist attitudes and behaviour they may have already learnt", said Lord Ouseley. "It is important to consider whether patterns of play are consistently based on racial or cultural grounds," he writes in the latest issue of the journal Race Equality Teaching. "If, for example, Muslim children nearly always play together and seldom play with other children, the question needs to be asked, 'Is there a reason for it that may relate to culture? Or apprehension? Or prejudice?'," said Lord Ouseley, the author of an influential report on the 2001 Bradford riots.

The recommendation that staff intervene to ensure that children mix goes further than current thinking and guidance, which concentrates on making sure nurseries cater to all ethnic groups.

Jane Lane, a co-author of the article and an early-years equality adviser whose publications are recommended by the Government's Sure Start scheme, said conventional wisdom that toddlers were "colour blind" was wrong. "There is a view that children do not learn their attitudes until they are about five," she said. "But people in the early years know that children at a very early age - at the age of three - are categorising people. I am not talking about white children; I am talking about all children. Many, many are racially prejudiced, for all sorts of historical reasons."

Margaret Morrissey, the spokesman for the National Confederation of Parent Teachers Associations, said, however, that children did not generally notice colour until at least the age of six and that "artificial" attempts to force the issue could be detrimental. "In all the time I have been involved in nursery education, since about 1975, I have never seen children segregating to play," she said.



Citizen Action Now, known as "CAN"-a project of Alan Keyes' Declaration Alliance-has successfully presented shareholder resolutions at American Express and Bank of America challenging them on their use of the term "sexual orientation" in their employment policies, their payment of domestic partner benefits to homosexual and other unmarried employees, and their corporate support of the radical homosexual agenda.

Next week, a similar resolution will be presented at Ford Motor Company. Ford is currently being boycotted by the American Family Association and an assortment of pro- family organizations because Ford has reneged on a public commitment not to advertise in homosexual publications or give shareholder money to gay and lesbian advocacy groups.

The week following CAN's presentation to Ford, JP Morgan Chase, one of the largest banking organizations in the country, will be similarly confronted with a pro-family shareholder resolution. Every one of these companies tried hard to prevent these challenges from occurring, but in each case, Citizen Action Now was successful in steering individual shareholders through the legal maze. "This is the first time multiple companies have been targeted for their financial support and corporate policies endorsing the homosexual agenda," said Thomas Strobhar, President of Citizen Action Now. "Judging by the interest and shareholder enthusiasm these challenges have generated, it certainly won't be the last time, either."

Strobhar contends this opens an important new front in the so-called "culture wars." "Heretofore," says Strobhar, "pro-family groups concentrated on laws opposing same sex marriage. Citizen Action Now has shown we have a way of challenging in the workplace the aggressive public campaigns for support made by homosexual groups."

Instead of pro-homosexual advocacy, CAN recommends that companies institute policies that at least "do no harm" to traditional society and reflect good corporate stewardship. "Companies shouldn't ask questions about sexuality and employees shouldn't talk about what they do in the bedroom," contends Strobhar. "We don't need special rights for people who like to talk about their sexual interests while on the job." At a minimum, corporations could maintain standards not dissimilar to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that seeks to respect privacy and decency in governing the hundreds of thousands of people who defend our freedom in the United States military.

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