Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Discrimination comes in all flavors. There's a claim by certain people, mostly black "leaders" who literally make a living playing the race card, that only "empowered" people can discriminate, ergo only straight white males are capable of discrimination. Well, discrimination is discrimination. Period. And I've seen every bit as much (far more, actually) discrimination from minorities than from the evil straight white male.

Well, here's a turn I never would have thought of--

Gallaudet University is variously described as "the nation's only" and the "world's only" university for the deaf. I don't know know which, if either, is true, but I know that it enjoys a reputation as a stellar institution of learning.

Well, the students at Gallaudet have chosen to make total a$$es of themselves. Recently a woman named Jane Fernandes was selected to succeed the outgoing president of the university. Now, to my mind, a president manages a university. In the selection process, you are looking for someone who can do that job. The president of Wyotech probably doesn't know a lot about repairing diesel locomotives, he/she knows how to run a school. Leave the technical details to the instructors. Not good enough for the students at Gallaudet. The president must be deaf.

Well, Mrs. Fernandes just happens to be deaf. From birth. But---she learned to speak and grew up speaking. She didn't learn American Sign Language until her early 20's. The problem? She's not "deaf enough".

Gad. Reminds me of the arguments I've heard about people not being "black enough". It's discrimination, plain and simple. You can cloak it with strawmen about "empowerment" and whatever else, but it's simple discrimination. Something that I hope the graduates of Gallaudet never have to contend with themselves.

Hell, she's not even new. She was the provost under the outgoing president and is married to a (hearing) retired Gallaudet professor.

To date the students have gone so far as to bar entrances with vehicles and have actually asked Congress to intervene. The protests have even spread to the Maryland School for the Deaf in some show of misplaced solidarity. The dispute has been so bitter that the interim head of the board of trustees resigned, saying she was just overwhelmed by everything and had to go. Nice work, students. Hope you're proud of yourselves.

And the whole thing isn't without precedent. In 1988, when a hearing woman was appointed president, the students shut the campus down for a week and forced her to resign.

Imagine me in a position to hire someone and telling them "We're all hearing people, we just don't want your kind around here". I wouldn't do that in a million years, but you get the point.

Discrimination, boys and girls, is discrimination. Period.

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