Founder & CEO
In the tumult of this week’s news, many may wonder why a fake interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial was such a big deal. After all, the memorial wasn’t for Deaf people, it was for Mandela. Right?
Why did millions, perhaps even billions, tune in to watch the memorial this week? Nelson Mandela wasn’t just a good South African. He was a symbol to the world. He represented FREEDOM. Freedom from OPPRESSION.
How ironic, then, that a fake interpreter would attend.
The thing is, Deaf are very familiar with oppression. We have been fighting an apartheid of our own. Braam Jordaan from the World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section, was the one to ask for an “end [to] communication Apartheid”. [Read more here.]
So when a fake interpreter stood before a worldwide audience and made up gestures, he was saying the following:
1. Deaf aren’t smart enough to recognize the difference between gestures and sign language.
2. Deaf don’t deserve equal access.
3. Deaf don’t have the guts to stand up to this kind of subtle oppression.
4. Deaf don’t deserve to fully take part in honoring this incredible man.
5. Deaf are still oppressed, despite Mandela’s efforts to overthrow oppression.
What a slap in the face to Mandela and all he stood for. My only joy has been to see the Deaf community stand together to say “No More!” Thousands of newspapers and online news sites have shared this story and the impact could be huge for the worldwide Deaf community.
If you want to read more, check out these:
The Telegraph [My personal favorite video/article.]
[This blog post represents the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views supported by The Deaf Dream.]