The Deaf, the Bullies and the Defender
Facebook has been a perfect place for people to mingle without being physically present. It gives them (me included) a chance to be or stay informed about the whereabouts of everyone.
However, this is also a place where some people tend to show off to others that they are better and had experienced the finer things in life. That’s when bullying comes in. When they see someone who is not within their level in life, it triggers their senses to make their status known by giving others a piece of their mighty minds.
Enter the Deaf. His name is Mininio Buhat. Here is his FB post:
To those who are natural English speakers, you might certainly experience a little headache in trying to decipher what the deaf meant. But for those who are familiar with the Filipino deaf’s way of writing, this would be a tad easier to understand.
Now here is where the Bullies come in. This head bully copy-pasted the deaf’s post and remarked insults about his English using our Filipino language while sharing it with others. Then his cohorts posted more insulting messages below.
Twenty one insults, 34 likes and 24 shares later, the post caught the attention of the Defender. Mr. Mike Sandejas, the director of Dinig Sana Kita, a story of a deaf person who was in love with a hearing felt that he needs to also say his piece about the matter. Having experienced the deaf and their culture, he then turned to the “bashers” and explained his side on the issue.
Here is what he aired in FB last August 2:
OF GREAT CONCERN! PLEASE READ THIS CAPTION FIRST! I saw this posted on facebook. I saw a pattern in the misuse of English that I have seen before in my dealings with Deaf people and I immediately looked up Minino Buhat. Yes, the person who wrote it is Deaf and according to Facebook is a student of College of St Benilde which has a School for Deaf. This is where I found my actors for Dinig Sana Kita If you look at the right side of the picture you will see how people have made fun of the English this Person with Disability has used. Deaf people rarely have a mastery of English Grammar because they only understand English as used in sign language which is shorthand in nature. The writing ability sometimes is still being developed while in college. I am outraged by how people are so quick to judge others by their use of English. This is why I made the film Dinig Sana Kita. To open the eyes of hearing people to the world of the Deaf so that they will not be insulted like this. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU WHO POSTED THIS IN JEST! Just the same no one should judge people by their inability to use English, whether Deaf or non-Deaf. Feel lucky that I blotted out your names lest you now be judged the same way.
12,152 likes, 4,288 shares and 339 comments later; Direk Mike received tons of praises defending the deaf. I was one of those who shared and posted “a piece of my miniscule mind”. Here is my FB status:
Even though I consider this to serve primarily as a wake up call for our deaf friends to polish their messages first before posting them in social media, I also greatly salute Director Mike E. Sandejas for understanding and defending them. Mabuhay po kayo
Then it went viral. As of this writing, here are the videos and articles posted by the mainstream and social media.
- VIRAL | Film director shames FB crowd for cyberbullying a deaf user for poor English
- Filipino Film Director Calls on Cyberbullying
They even made a news-reply from the bullied Deaf.
Having been with Filipino deaf education for more than twenty years now, I still find it amusing how they construct their sentences. While I am always on the defensive side whenever they are insulted, I still remind them, especially in my English class, that written English is the water as sign language is the oil. They should never mix the two because it would certainly wont.
To my deaf friends; admit it. Everybody can have access to your post whether you are deaf or not. I’m not saying that we should all be grammar policemen. I am definitely not siding with the bullies. But at least our dear Deaf should also consider that they have hearing friends who read and try to understand their posts the best way they can. 🙂
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