Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Falling on Deaf Ears.

Gallaudet president-select Jane Fernandes, eschewing her better judgement, gave a Live Chat to the Washington Post that, as DCist duly notes, is likely to make the embattled would-be president a whole lot more embattleder. Fernandes spent the chat calling for her celebration, quoting slave spirituals, recycling talking points she's already spread to the press, and otherwise continuing to pretend as if the protestors aligned against her haven't yet articulated a reason as to why they are protesting.

We don't pretend that there aren't elements of the protest we just don't get--but it seems as though the grievances have been pretty well-articulated. Honestly, the cronyism at play bothers us a whole lot more than the whole "deaf culture" angle--but that's only because we haven't spent even a second of our lives immersed in "deaf culture", for the obvious reason that we aren't deaf. Which begs the question, by the way: can a "culture" you cannot possibly share with the rest of the world be considered a "culture" at all? If a tree falls in a forest and there's only a deaf person around to hear it, does another tree sign, "Hey. Dude. Tree's down?"

Nevertheless, Fernandes does herself a disservice in the chat by coming across as alternatively pretentious and dickish, with a soupcon of entitled imperiousness ladled over top. Having been dissed by the student body and straight up served by a no-confidence vote from the faculty, you wonder who, if anyone, still supports her appointment. Well she has an answer for that, too. "I have a vast amount of support from what I see as a 'silent majority.'"

A silent majority? Maybe she'd be better off as the President of a school for the mute!

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