For this mom to claim that "whatever pent-up anger you hold toward your parents (who I doubt were involved in AG Bell, since they never required anyone to do the things you are claiming)..." shows that she is missing the boat. Well, hello, there are thousands and thousands of oral Deaf people who have been affected by AG Bell. They may not require the parents to join but they get to play God in influencing parents and educational programs when parents are vulnerable and so desperately want their Deaf children to talk. AG Bell did not tell them the whole truth and left out relevant information about ASL. It affected my Deaf parents when their parents were told certain things by the schools who were heavily influenced by AG Bell. My mother told her story in her vlog (titled: "Why didn't my parents sign?") about how AG Bell drove the school to adopt an oral-only philosophy and how my grandparents trusted the misleading advice. My grandparents were the ones who were angry (not just my mother) for being misled by the likes of AG Bell and they wished they were taught how to sign.
These "moms" who are making an assumption that AG Bell is not involved need to listen more to the Deaf people who were brought up under the oral method, and their parents, and stop talking just for once--just long enough to learn something. Go and read "The Telephone Gambit" by Seth Shulman, which is the most powerful book that explains how Bell stole the patent from a rival, Elisha Gray.(see msn webpage). Even in June 2002, The U.S. House of Representatives passed a symbolic bill officially recognizing Meucci for his contributions to the invention of the telephone. Also check out "Chasing Aleck: The Story of a Dorm" by Rebecca Edwards and the the Deaf Heritage book by Jack Gannon.
"A mom" said, "Dr. Bell never recommended or endorsed anything akin to Hitler’s tactics. He was simply a forerunner of today’s genetics research. He was not in contact or friends with Hitler." may not be exactly 100% correct. AG Bell's attitudes may border on Nazism. He was recklessly arrogant to say the very least. Please allow me to introduce this source that says:"Along with many very prominent thinkers and scientists of the time, Bell was connected with the eugenics movement in the United States. From 1912 until 1918 he was the chairman of the board of scientific advisors to the Eugenics Record Office associated with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York, and regularly attended meetings. In 1921 he was the honorary president of the Second International Congress of Eugenics held under the auspices of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Organizations such as these advocated passing laws (with success in some states) that established the compulsory sterilization of people deemed to be, as Bell called them, a 'defective variety of the human race.' By the late 1930s about half the states in the US had eugenics laws, the California laws being used as a model for eugenics laws in Nazi Germany."
Bell called the Deaf a "defective variety of the human race"! So Moms, how could you support an organization that represents this degrading perspective--a view which is intended to apply to your own Deaf child(ren)?
As for "a mom's" statement about how "All the 'up to date' scientists of his time were reading and involved in eugenics, including the founder of today’s Planned Parenthood and many other famous people from that era." Yes, that founder was Margaret Sanger but she advocated for a woman's choice to decide how and when, if ever, she will bear children. She wrote:
"We maintain that a woman possessing an adequate knowledge of her reproductive functions is the best judge of the time and conditions under which her child should be brought into the world. We further maintain that it is her right, regardless of all other considerations, to determine whether she shall bear children or not, and how many children she shall bear if she chooses to become a mother...."
So, Margaret Sanger was a part of Eugenics movement but the main difference between her and AG Bell was that she advocated for women's choice whereas AG Bell wanted to force sterilization upon Deaf people. He was targeting a certain group, or race, as he put at it. Imagine that you are supporting an organization that wishes to ban having your own grandchildren! I know that is all in the past but the name AG Bell still remains as an organization that represents AG Bell and his ideology. Who would want to support this so-called organization that carries such obnoxious history of AG Bell anyway?Now, "a mom " also said, "Bell, who opposed residential schools and was a very kindly man in so many ways. His ideas that deaf kids and adults could operate fully in society, marry hearing people, and live amongst everyone is not shocking, nor is it evil." Oh golly, you've got it all twisted around! A kindly man? The point is that AG Bell wanted to prohibit marriage between Deaf people! It doesn't make sense for you to put a rosy interpretation on this and claim that he was simply advocating that deaf people marry hearing people. In this document, Bell was concerned that "deaf persons, especially those attending special schools and using sign language, have a strong tendency to marry other deaf persons due to their restricted social circle, he even suggests that some sort of legislation may be needed to prevent such marriages, wished to prohibit deaf teachers from being allowed to teach in schools for the deaf. His goal was to eradicate the language and culture of the deaf so as to force them to integrate into the hearing culture for their own long-term benefit and for the benefit of society at large. " This attitude of his is widely seen as being paternalistic and arrogant!
I happen to be a Deaf teacher and I have seen so often how students benefit greatly from teachers, mostly Deaf, who are fluent ASL signers. I helped many, I mean many, students passed their Regents in Social Studies exam which includes multiple choices and essay portions. Social Studies is always one of the most difficult parts of the Regents test to pass because of difficult reading materials including documents and writing the essays. When I have Deaf students coming in for tutoring, it is mostly guaranteed that I will be able to help them to pass to test. Imagine if your Deaf child wanted to be a teacher? How could you possibly support the AG Bell organization when Alexander Graham Bell proposed to prohibit Deaf people from becoming teachers?
Please wake up, moms and dads of Deaf children who support AG Bell!See Part One, click here.