Burned In The Melting Pot


At Guernica, Sara Nović condemns the linguistic dismissal of American Sign Language and questions the overwhelming primacy of spoken English. She attributes this erasure of Deaf culture not only to widespread misconceptions about disability, but also to the insatiable American desire to steamroll all forms of difference it encounters:

No savior narrative can be extracted; no hearing person gifted language, or schools, to America’s deaf people. Born on American soil and completely untethered to a spoken language, ASL is a much more “American” language than older forms of English. And, as America treats all its indigenous cultures, it has been consistently marked for extinction.

Theodora Messalas is a New York-based writer and editor who could easily be talked into going to grad school. More from this author →