Not Replying to Paul

Marta Russell ap888 at SPAMlafn.org
Sat Sep 25 18:31:30 MDT 1999



Macdonald,

>Gary wrote:
> > This is the dialogue of the deaf.  I simply cannot debate matters out
>with
> > people whose position is so plainly close to pyschotic.

Such a statement leads us to believe that Gary thinks deaf people cannot
"dialogue"  when they do this effectively and competently through sign
language.

I'd like to remind everyone that Helen Keller was a prominent activist in the
socialist movement in the U.S.  She did more to take a stand for economic
justice than many people could ever accomplish.  She was DEAF but certainly not
limited in dialogue. She "spoke" at many left wing functions in her day.

This is not about political correctness.  It is about using negatives
associated with one's characteristics - in this case being both deaf or
psychotic - and reinforcing that stereotype ... without any real purpose other
than to denigrate.  Gary was  using the metaphors of "deaf" and "psychotic" to
put something down.

 I'd be very careful about both the term and the concept of "political
correctness." Personally, I find the term offensive.  (Ironic, isn't it?
Political correctness is supposed to be the way to avoid giving offense.)

These days, for the most part, calling something "politically correct" is a way
of dismissing it, marginalizing it and invalidating it.  Why else would Bill
Maher call his show "Politically Incorrect"?  It's his way of sneering at terms
that he so labels, and he's not the only one who uses the term in that way.

Deaf people are adamant about building their own culture.  To them being deaf
is not a disability.  Hard of hearing is another trek.  MacDonald, if you don't
mind my asking, have you always been "almost deaf" or did you acquire this
later in life?

best,
Marta Russell



Macdonald Stainsby wrote:

> Marta- I am almost deaf. I do not feel in the slightest offended. I
> understood what Phil was getting at, and if Paul has said it to Phil (seeing
> as I agree with Phil on this one), I would still not be offended. Political
> correctness was an innovation at one point. Yet now, it has become a way of
> destroying dialogue. For example, if you try to discuss Native issues, as
> recently happened with me at work, political correctness dictates there
> should be a "moral intervention" to determine what white people should refer
> to Indians as. After a long period of nonsense about labels, the discussion
> was over, and not one tiny piece of progress was made in discussing the
> burning social issues that need far more discussion. Instead, we walked away
> with our own interpretations of what term we would like the genocide
> supporting newspaper to use in reference to their intended victims. This
> might be fun for liberals, but we should be calling attention to the real
> questions.
>
> Macdonald
>
> ***************************
> How many times have I wondered if it really possible to forge links with a
> mass of people when one has never had strong feelings for anyone, not even
> one's own parents; if it is possible to have a collectivity when one has not
> been deeply loved oneself by individual human creatures. Hasn't this had
> some effect on my life as a militant- has it not tended to make me sterile
> and reduce my quality as a revolutionary by making everything a matter of
> pure intellect, of pure mathematical calculation?
>        ---Antonio Gramsci, 1926.
>
> ______________________________________________________
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