The Gallaudet University Protests
As of yesterday morning, Gallaudet University was under protest by the students since last May over the incoming university president. Faculty and alumni have been encouraging and inciting the students to protest. Buildings have been taken over and vandalized by the protesters. Students (specifically the football team and other supporters of the protest) have blocked the gated entrances to the school. The entire campus – which includes a preschool, elementary school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate schools for the Deaf, as well as audiological facilities and other medical facilities for the Deaf – has been shut down. Classes have stopped. They have even postponed this weekend’s football game and may even cancel it.
I have yet to find any substance to the accusations being levied against the new president Jane Fernandes. I have found nothing but rumors, innuendo, and outright lies. I have even found threats of physical harm and death threats against Ms. Fernandes. Disgusting. I have spoken with a Gallaudet student who was once under my ministry here in Louisville, and he cannot give me a straight answer about this protest. In fact, once I asked him for the evidence behind the position of the protesters, he has not responded and has since refused to respond to me. The many Deaf blogs out there in the blogosphere are even worse. The majority of them remind me of the Caners. No one I have corresponded with can give me an answer of substance or plain fact.
As of 7 P.M. last night, the soon to be retired president of Gallaudet, I. King Jordan, asked Washington, D.C. police to begin arresting the protesters in an effort to reopen the school. This, of course, has led to a great backlash against the administration.
I will contribute two cents, and only $0.02, to this silliness. This protest has gone beyond the exercise of free speech and bringing the voice of the students to the administration. It has now descended into the realm of embarrassing. Much like the infamous protest at Southern Seminary when Al Mohler took office, this protest will cause Gallaudet to suffer.
However, there is one major difference between Southern and Gallaudet. Gallaudet quite possibly will not survive from this event. As such, I am ashamed of the behavior of this generation of young Deaf individuals at Gallaudet university. They have taken a symbol of our culture and defaced it. They have taken a place where the Deaf can be educated and dispensed with education. They have made the Deaf community look extremely bad.
Grow up, students. Welcome to the real world. The world which our Deaf community inhabits is not the kind of world in which one can whine and complain and be destructive like a small, spoiled child until one gets what one wants. For your refusal to work with your administration, you are reaping what you have sown.