While watching Through Deaf Eyes, there were a lot of things that I didn’t think about before. For example, when they started talking about how even in deaf schools, African Americans were segregated from the rest of the white people I was a little thrown off by this. When talking about this in history classes, I never thought about segregating people twice?! The deaf community was already misunderstood and had to have their own schools and now the black deaf community had to be pushed out even farther? This concept started a whole new world for me.
In my life, I really have never been exposed to sign language before. I think I have only met one real deaf person and he was about three and had a cochlear implant. So, the deaf community has never popped into my mind when it came to things like this. I think that another big part of the movie, for me, was when the students from Gallaudet University protested against their new president because she wasn’t deaf. Again, this is not something that I had never thought about before.
It was big when Obama first became president that was a big turning point for America and also very moving. I know it was more important to the African American community because of their history and how crazy that was for them! Now, I know I can’t relate to the deaf community but I do understand that as an all-deaf university there should be an all-deaf staff, including the president. For those students to fight that hard and win just goes to show how dedicated they are in preserving their community and not afraid to fight for what they believe in and what is right. I really like how proud and powerful the deaf community is when it comes to standing up for themselves and others. The last thing that I really liked which was really the first thing, was the man in the very beginning of the film. I thought that it was a very powerful way to start.
We often don’t think about what we say before we say it and a comment like, “Are you deaf?!” isn’t always going to turn out well for you in the end. That’s just like that, “That’s gay” comments that some people make. I don’t like that word and I try not to repeat it. I have an uncle who is gay and when I hear those kinds of comments I will most likely say something about it. I know that if I ever made that mistake about the deaf comment and a deaf person then asked me, “Are you hearing?!” I would feel pretty embarrassed and ashamed.
I do admit that I have said that in the past, not ever thinking about it ever hurting someone. I can say now, that I will not say that because it is just like calling something/someone gay when you don’t mean it. After watching this movie and especially now that I am taking this class and learning so much about the deaf culture, I know that I will learn so much more and be able to think with another angle.