“Since last May, Gallaudet University, the world’s only university designed entirely for deaf and hardof-hearing students, has been rocked by protests over the selection of a new president. Jane K. Fernandes was scheduled to take over from I. King Jordan in January.
“Fernandes [is] [. . .] to some, ‘not deaf enough.’ She grew up lipreading and speaking and learned sign language only as a graduate student. [. . .] Fernandes herself embraces Deaf culture, but she does not want it to be isolated from the hearing world or exclude those who don’t meet purist standards of ‘Deafness.’ [. . .]
“When this sensible view is rejected under pressure from a handful of radicals, it is a testament to the madness that can prevail when oppressed-minority status becomes a weapon to silence critics.”