Deaf and Dumb

In case you missed it………….

Two deaf men were stabbed in a Hallandale Beach bar Saturday night when another patron mistook their sign language for gang signs.

Police say Barbara Lee became angry when she thought [Alfred] Stewart’s party, all of whom are deaf, were throwing gang signs at her…..The 45-year-old confronted Stewart and his friends and made gang signs to them. Witnesses say they motioned for the “aggressive” woman to leave them alone.

Instead, Lee left and then shortly returned to the bar with a juvenile and 19-year-old Marco Ibanez, who is accused of pulling out a knife and stabbing the men.  — nbcmiami.com

Pardon the  expression under the circumstances, but this leaves me speechless.  It just goes to show that there are some people so stupid, paranoid, self-directed, and dangerous they shouldn’t be allowed out in public, let alone anywhere that liquor is served.

I know American Sign Language pretty well, although my skills are rusty from disuse, and of all the reactions I’ve encountered from people curious and unfamiliar with the means of communication, absolutely none has ever been hostile.  Some are amused, others fascinated, still others totally disinterested.  How anybody could mistake sign language at a birthday party for anything else, let alone threatening gang lingo, is beyond the pale.

Then again, this is Florida, where our legislature just passed the “droopy drawers” bill, directing local school boards to prohibit students from wearing low-hanging pants.  This is how they combat the educational issue of low expectations.  Governor Dickwithears is expected to sign, along with the bill forcing women considering abortions to purchase ultrasounds before opting for the procedure.  So much for the ‘Pub mantra of limited government and respect for individuals.  But I digress.

There are a lot more deaf people among us than you imagine, including those who are what might be called culturally deaf.  These are often folks with deaf parents, who attend schools for the deaf, hang out almost exclusively with other deaf people, join clubs and churches for the deaf, and mingle quite little with hearing people.  The invention of mobile phones and text messaging means a whole lot more than cochlear implants: they treasure the improved communication  texting allows, but have little incentive to improve their hearing.   They also understand that the hearing world just don’t get this, and never will.

So while this incident in Hallandale is mind-boggling, it demonstrates the wisdom of keeping their society somewhat closed.  It also provides anecdotal evidence that there are many more dumb people out there than deaf ones.

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6 Responses to Deaf and Dumb

  1. “Did you know you have a banana in your ear?”
    “Sorry, couldn’t hear you. I have a banana in my ear!”

  2. Hose B says:

    Hey if these people want to live and fit in here, they should learn to speak English, y’know? That’s the problem with America — too many hyphenated minorities — Latin Americans, African-Americans, Deaf-Americans. Send ’em back to Planet Earless where they came from if they don’t shape up!

  3. Mister E says:

    There’s one sign language gesture that every driver in Florida recognizes — that’s the raised third finger which means, “Shoot me!”

  4. Odtley says:

    one thing that worries me about this is why the woman thought she was seeing gang signs or whatever they are because unless she knew something about it or them how would she come to such a silly and outrageous conclusion about what she was seeing so i figure she had a lot of issues to begin with not the least of which was stupidity squared.

  5. rag says:

    the more things change, the more they stay the same. remember Dummy? in order to effect permanent understanding “you’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed.” e.g., hoffmeister, et al.

  6. Fran G'Panni says:

    I see lots of deaf people vacationing here in KW. If they weren’t signing to one another you’d never know they were any different from anybody else — in the bars watching the bands, strolling the galleries, throwing up in the street.

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