Are you serious?

Nina Thomas' article in Limping Chicken today is absolutely spot on.

I worry that people mistake awareness for change. The challenges facing d/Deaf people right now are very complex and the changes needed are serious and important
— Nina Thomas

She points out that the Monday after The Silent Child won its Oscar, the British government blocked the proposal to teach BSL at GCSE level in schools. It reminded me of an interesting occasion when John Kerry visited Ethiopia, and said in a press conference "we remain committed to our partnership with Ethiopia..." etc. An Ethiopian journalist asked him, "Is it lip-service, or are you seriously concerned...?" Kerry was flustered because in everyday English "serious" really means "not joking". This is interesting linguistically because in East Africa "are you serious" means "are you doing something about this, or is it just words?" It is a clear and I think helpful distinction between words and actions that we should all be very clear about. Radiolab cover this very nicely (no transcript, I'm afraid). 

There is a meaningful difference between taking something seriously and acting to fix it, and English and our politics endemically confounds the words with the actions.

Deaf people do not need lip-service. They need a hand.


Jim Cromwell