Jamie, Jimmy, and the fake signs - NOT a children's story!
Deaf Outreach, Inc
Many people have commented that Jamie Foxx's "fake sign language" (aired on The Tonight Show - Thursday, May 25, 2017) was not an intentional slur and that the Deaf community is over-reacting...let's look at this as a historical slight of a specific culture. Compare it to the use of blackface and its "unintentional" slur to the African American community. Compare it to the use of the term "retarded" as it is used in contemporary language. Whether or not it is intentional, the results are the same...a marginalized group is further oppressed.
Allowing even one minor incident to flourish without a response is to condone the action. It wasn't funny when Arnold Schwartzeneger mocked Sign Language Interpreters and ASL in February of 2017, and it wasn't funny when Thamsanqa Jantjile impersonated an interpreter in South Africa, and it certainly was not funny on the Tonight Show when Jamie Foxx mocked both ASL and interpreters.
Public figures are held to a higher standard because they are presented with a platform from which their actions, preferences, thoughts, etc are projected. For good or for bad, this is a part of the price of fame. In choosing to accept the fame, one must also accept the responsibility of being aware of the impact of words and actions. Everyone knows we are all human, and everyone knows that we are all on a learning curve of one type or another, however...silence in the place of a response is the same as a response of indifference.
To Jaime Foxx and Jimmy Fallon: Please respond, research, learn more about this culture that you have impacted. Use your voices, your platforms, and your popularity for the greater good! Please do not let your, unfortunate, actions speak for you.
The article above is the personal opinion of Gail Garner. Please, feel free to respond, repectfully, with your own comments.