A new social justice frontier is upon us, fellow warriors. The Nation Union of Students have so bravely stood for the rights of deaf people in a recent conference, according to the UK Telegraph:
“Students who whoop, cheer and clap should face ‘consequences’ because they are excluding deaf people, delegates at the National Union of Students conference said.
Audience members were repeatedly warned that they must cease whooping to express support for a speaker, because it has a ‘serious impact’ on the accessibility of the conference.
Delegates at the NUS annual conference in Brighton were encouraged to use ‘jazz hands’ instead of clapping – where students wave their hands in the air – as this is deemed a more inclusive form of expression.”
What’s that you say? This doesn’t fit the category of racism because deaf people are not a race? Wrong again, bigots. It’s easy to trace the line from Hitler to discrimination against the deaf; Hitler was a racist because he wanted a master race free from deformity and disability. Hearing loss is is a disability–therefore non-inclusion of the deaf is without a doubt racism, and I think we can all agree…worse than Hitler.
The NUS is on the right track with their concerns, these obviously Trump-supporting whoopers/clappers/cheerers are indeed terrible. However I must air my own grievances and call out the NUS for excluding the blind community. Jazz hands cannot be perceived by the visually challenged. Neither can the standing portion of a standing ovation, which incidentally also marginalizes paraplegics. How can we allow such injustice in the world?
Furthermore, whooping and hollering is a staple of African American culture. For decades these victimized people have clung to their one allotment of freedom, in the form of emotional expression at particularly scary or amazing moments in film. Clearly denying people of color this opportunity would be a hate crime worthy of death. But white people, for the love of the Universe, DO NOT try to appropriate this for yourselves like this white supremacist Nazi:
Look, it’s time to stop with your half-assed solutions to discrimination, NUS. It’s clear you’re not any better than those fools who choose to show support in such a bigoted way. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem–not to mention on the wrong side of history. Come back when you’re ready to take this seriously.
Featured Image: http://traveljapanblog.com/wordpress/2011/07/mastodon-at-roskilde-festival-2011-and-some-crowd-shots/