Deaf News This Week: 6/11/2020

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NASCAR bans confederate flags

NASCAR bans confederate flagsTranscriptNASCAR announced it's banning fans from bringing Confederate flags to races and events. This comes after African American driver Bubba Wallace called on NASCAR to crack down on fans using the symbol.This week Wallace unveiled a new paint job for his race car with the hashtag "Black Lives Matter" across the side.US soccer also repealed a policy requiring players stand during the national anthem.Around the country, statues of Christopher Columbus and other problematic historical figures are coming down.And some US military leaders are considering renaming bases that honor Confederate commanders.However Tuesday President Trump tweeted that his administration will not even consider renaming them.Posted – 6.11.20

Posted by Sign1News on Thursday, June 11, 2020
Thursday, June 11 top news briefs

Thursday, June 11 top news briefsTranscript:

Posted by The Daily Moth on Thursday, June 11, 2020
Joel Barish & DeafNation controversy

Joel Barish & DeafNation controversy*No CC, transcript below—Over the past several weeks, there has been a controversy surrounding DeafNation and its co-founder Joel Barish that has led to two Video Relay Services, Convo and Sorenson, to announce they are either terminating or suspending their sponsorship relationships. “The Daily Moth” reporter Renca Dunn and myself worked on this story. I will sign the news throughout, but this story was a collaboration. We will try to recap all the key events that happened and include statements from those who were involved or affected. The first controversy has to do with Barish’s interview with local Deaf Hawaiians on DeafNation live. On May 1st, Barish announced that there would be an interview with a white male, Colin Whited, who is not a Native Hawaiian to talk about the “Hawaii Deaf community.” After several local Deaf Hawaiians spoke up against this planned interview, Barish took down the announcement and proceeded to name two local Deaf Hawaiians to interview with: Brien Nakamoto and Crissy Holmes. In the interview, Barish wore an Aloha/Hawaiian shirt, sunglasses, and held a plastic fake pineapple drink. He looked like a tourist. During the interview, Barish said he had a surprise and showed a combination of video clips of Deaf local Hawaiians doing hula dances.After the interview, a Hapa Hawaiian named Joy Enos posted on Facebook a call-out against Barish and DeafNation that criticized Barish’s attire. She said the video of hula dances was her video project that she posted on Facebook to inspire people during the Covid-19 quarantine and said Barish used it without asking for her permission. Now, I will hold the recap of the controversy related to Deaf Hawaiians — but I’ll come back to it because it is connected. I’m giving a timeline. The second controversy was with a website titled “Deaf Victims” that had an open letter written by “The Victims” who are anonymous. I do not know who wrote the letter and several people that I have been in touch with also do not know who wrote the letter. The letter is dated May 10 and calls on Barish to apologize for bullying, cheating, and using racist slurs against victims. The letter included a link to a series of images posted in 2018 on Twitter under an account named @LickProfanity. The poster, on a subject unrelated to DeafNation, said he did research on Greek organizations at Gallaudet University at the university’s library archives and found “dirt” on Kappa Gamma. There are several images on that Twitter thread that included a photo of Barish as a Gallaudet student in 1990 being a Kappa Gamma pledge. He is pictured standing with other pledges holding his arm up 90 degrees with his hand outstretched, which looks identical to the salute used by the Nazi Party. I want to disclose here that I, Alex Abenchuchan, am a member of the Kappa Gamma fraternity. I became a part of it in 2006 when I was a Gallaudet student. I want to also acknowledge that there is another controversy going on right now in the Deaf community regarding the Kappa Gamma fraternity. That is another story to cover. I want to focus on DeafNation for this story, but I am “on it” with the other story. Now, let’s go back to the image of Barish as a college student and the “Deaf Victims” letter. The letter included several links that resurfaced past allegations already made by several people in the past against Barish. The link to the website is below in the transcript. Now, we’ll go back to DeafNation. They announced on June 2 that they would stop their live programming until further notice in support of the Black Deaf Community and the Black Lives Matter movement. “DeafNation Live will be off-air until further notice in support of our Black Deaf Community. There is nothing more we can say about the sorrow, outrage, and disgust over the repeated killing of people for no other reason than the color of their skin. Our individuality and diversity are what makes humanity so creative and beautiful but also so vile when we are trying to protect privileges. There is absolutely no reason anyone should keep a privilege that isn't based on their work and contribution. Black individuals have to fight so much harder to demonstrate their productivity than white individuals in order to be even acknowledged as successful. We (Joel and Jed) are white and enjoy privileges that we haven’t earned: we know this and feel appalled that this is even a fact. We want you to know that we value each and everyone one of our Black Deaf members and welcome your perspective, contribution and insight. DeafNation prioritizes the Black lives who are at the top of our concerns. We encourage all to reject racism and stand with Black Lives Matter. #BlackLivesMatter” On Facebook, Enos questioned if his heart was truly in it or if it was just for show. Her post included images from the “Deaf Victims” website that included the Kappa Gamma pledge photo with the arm raised and other links and quotes. Enos said the image and the allegations on the website bothered her and said it “was not about his fraternity… but about his behavior that is not OK.” Her post was shared over 200 times. The next day, on June 5, Nakamoto shared Enos’ post and explained that he was not happy with Barish based on things that he found out after his interview. He was willing to send us a video to explain his perspective. BRIEN NAKAMOTO: Joy Enos contacted me and asked me if I knew about the videos of (hula dances) that was planned by Barish on DeafNation as a surprise. I told her that I honestly had no idea until that moment I saw the video. I was surprised. Joy naturally became angry. She posted on her Facebook wall a call-out. A few days later, Joel Barish reached out to me and others and asked if I would talk with Joy to resolve this issue. I told him it was between them. I’m not going to get involved because I had no idea until the video was posted. I was shocked. It’s not like I knew in advance. Had I knew in advance, I would have double-checked. Of course. You have to. But that happened. One month later, Joy Enos made another post about Joel Barish and called him out again. I learned that Joel never contacted Joy all this time, more than a month. That made me feel worse because that kind of action, not recognizing Joy’s work, is completely wrong. I decided to dig in more information about Joel and I felt disgusted because he did not only do that to Joy Enos but to many other deaf performers and deaf people of color all over the U.S. and possibly the world. Especially with the DeafNation Expo. I was taken aback. THE DAILY MOTH: Thank you for sharing. We also reached out to Enos for further comment. She said this call-out has to do with “years of hurtful behavior” and emphasized that Barish needed to apologize. Now, let’s go back to the Kappa Gamma pledge photo. Barish said in a statement posted on social media on June 4 that the allegations made against him were misleading. He said the photo was obtained from a 1990 Gallaudet yearbook and that his hand was in that position to block multiple cameras during their public fraternity pledge activities. He apologized for any hurt feelings from the “misinterpreted photo.” “There have been misleading allegations brought against me. I have the utmost respect for all people and would never participate or go against human rights. While this is causing distressing and damaging, I have deleted the recent BLM protest photos and videos. I am deeply sorry to anyone who has been upset by the misleading allegations and wants to reassure you that these are not accurate. For years and still today, the system has automatically provided power and privilege to those of us who are white. I am well aware that in the 1990s, Gallaudet University automatically provides and preserve white privilege. The 1990 Kappa Gamma Fraternity photo obtained from the 1990 Gallaudet University yearbook is not a hate crime and a false accusation. Our hands were intended to block multiple cameras during our public fraternity pledge activities. I apologize for the misinterpreted photo that looks offense and hurt feelings. We are far from an equitable country, and I am committed to fighting for a society in which white privilege and power will no longer exist. – Joel Barish” Many on social media did not believe Barish’s explanation. Yesterday, a Gallaudet alumnus named Don Gaul said he took the photo and said that it was not a “Nazi” salute but was of some kind of annual fraternity ritual in which they tried to block photographers from taking an image of some object behind them. He said the pledges were trying to block several photographers but they happened to look at him at the same time. That explanation is still being debated by those who either believe Gaul or doubt him. [Sponsored video from Convo] There is yet another issue with DeafNation that was brought up by a Deaf hula hoop entertainer, Monica Foletta of Hula Bella. She posted a vlog on May 6 in which she expressed frustrations that she has about how DeafNation does not have a practice of paying their entertainers that come to their expos. She said she was paid by other deaf organizations to give performances and/or received lodging and board, but that DeafNation didn’t offer a payment or other benefits when they asked her to perform in their expo. We did an interview with Foletta to understand more of her perspectives. Here are two clips. MONICA FOLETTA: Deaf people have complained about how they don’t get paid, they are not getting support. It’s kind of… the way we allow it to happen. When we know we can — because Joel provides free admission to expos. That hurts us big time. If it was $5 per person and there were 2,000 people, there would immediately be a fund ready for performers. There are many ways that you can create a budget. So everything that happens in the past can continue to affect harm that goes into the future. He’s using people’s faces to make himself look good. It’s like a facade. We have to make ourselves accountable such as when we were younger, we had things preached to us, and now what do we have to give to the younger generation? We have to think about that. That’s what makes me feel, it is a really big thing that we have to address as a community. Like, make this really something for the Deaf Economy. Because that’s what we are suffering through right now, many deaf people don’t have jobs because we’re not able to grow in our homes or outside of the home. THE DAILY MOTH: Thank you for sharing. Foletta said DeafNation should do more to contribute to the “Deaf Economy” because they clearly get a lot of business from their expo sponsors and vendors. I have reached out to Joel Barish to ask if he is willing to provide an interview to respond to the aforementioned issues. He declined to provide an on-record interview, but pointed to the statement he posted on his social media page. Now, let’s go back to Convo and Sorenson. Convo made a public post on Friday to announce they have “decided to terminate our live programming agreement with DeafNation.” Here is another disclosure — Convo is one of the major sponsors for “The Daily Moth.” I want you all to be aware. We reached out to Convo to see if they could provide a statement on why they terminated their relationship with DeafNation. Here is their reply. “We really are committed to action and change, and listening/accountability is first.1. This is not the first time we are looking at these issues. This is something we are looking into again – what did we miss, what can we learn, what can we do better in. Part of being held accountable is reevaluating what had been done in the past, learning, and working towards correcting it. This is something Convo is taking action on and working towards every day. We take this seriously.2. The decision to end our partnership with DeafNation was not based on one photograph, instead it was a business decision to better align our partnerships with our business direction.” Now, Sorenson. They confirmed with us that they suspended their relationship as of Friday. I asked them if they could comment on why, and here is their reply. “To amplify the Black community’s message and space, last week, we suspended all Sorenson streaming events with DeafNation Live.We acknowledge the need for vulnerability, accountability, and meaningful introspection.We are committed to advocating for racial equality. #BlackLivesMatter” We have reached out to ZVRS/Purple today about their status with DeafNation, but did not get an immediate response. If we do, we will add it to the transcript. That’s all the updates I have regarding the Joel Barish/DeafNation controversy. They were supposed to make a major comeback this year with a World Expo in Las Vegas in July, but it was postponed to next year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was told by a vendor that was slated for the 2020 expo that they did not get a refund, but had their spots moved over to next year. It is not known how long DeafNation’s live programming will be off the air, or if it’ll be coming back online. Enos: Gaul’s video:[0]=AZW65LyQg_PLA7_Ct3N-VmMYKcPSy_S2bgxZXSnyHpII42WRk7Z14Z3F9hxB1_j4zfBDyAK8djd1XfoJgABDY1DEpu6n536IfCV534NiDUS18r72FdOI7K74GsxHFS7gG3Q&__tn__=R]-RMonica Foletta:[0]=68.ARAhQ4gJoyHMQlQklWXv5vjNcv8QANR6xbzg4xnPYIznu-HSkDuslWXV0yaUzzFpRIubWPjb-DJctGSR7p5vuTR099KvGI-wbR64xH9izjZKpyZAIc1nyaJzmbJ5Sq-W1KlmSaKdlIrSfAffLMkmMwUEOaKZYSa7vdQefNxGlXV8EV0rY-k9YpslIcnb4ezSkM5sUxICw9zAGb0E_xWvlIJvAd7hgg&__tn__=-R

Posted by The Daily Moth on Tuesday, June 9, 2020
NBDA Systematic Racism Dialogue

NBDA Systematic Racism Dialogue NBDA Systematic Racism Dialogue Systematic Racism, Vulnerability, and Accountability from Black Deaf Experience

Posted by National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. (NBDA) on Saturday, June 6, 2020
Mavrick Fisher/Grant Whitaker murder case update

Mavrick Fisher/Grant Whitaker murder case update*No CC, transcript below:Here is an update on the Mavrick Fisher’s case. He is accused of murdering deaf man Grant Whitaker on August 20, 2019. Both are deaf men who once worked together on a ranch in Northern California. They had a dream of starting a community farm when the alleged murder took place. Mavrick and his defense attorney have pleaded not guilty. In a February pretrial/settlement conference, it was decided that the case would not be settled but go to trial. The trial was was to start on Wednesday, June 3, but due to Covid-19, the court system in California has been significantly impacted with almost all jury trials postponed and court staff working from home.I reached out to both District Attorney Susan Krones and Mavrick’s defense attorney Thomas Feimer for updates. Krones said Mavrick’s next court date is on June 16 for another pretrial/settlement conference. Krones said it is likely they will go to trial and that a date will be set for the end of August or early September. That means the trial would occur more than a year after the murder. [Sponsored Video from Convo: ] I asked Krones if she had any updates on the investigation in preparation for the trial. She said she doesn’t have anything new and explained that her investigators are working from home. She said there are some test results that are still pending. Mavrick remains charged with first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon (a rock) with a special allegation of inflicting great bodily harm, and grand theft auto (taking a car that belonged to Grant and his grandmother). Krones said the charges remains the same. Mavrick’s defense attorney, Thomas Feimer, said he has continued to investigate and prepare for his defense. That’s the updates I have on the case. The trial has been moved to the end of August.

Posted by The Daily Moth on Saturday, June 6, 2020