Nyle DiMarco: Cultural Mockery or Exposing what Deaf Community is Always Used to Seeing?
Lead-K Campaign mentions Nyle DiMarco as an advocate for their campaign. Before going into too much detail about what Nyle has done on his personal time that may or may not reflect badly on Lead-K, taking a better look at what Lead-K is focusing on. The campaign was established the enrichment of children lives through language acquisition.
Lead-K is about the embracing of language empowerment for children and are constantly working on important messages to the rest of America about the importance of preservation of ASL When one is working on the preservation of language and access for children, it wouldn't make much sense to spit on the very language you are trying to show value to the rest of the world.
Why would anybody spit on American Sign Language? Is that what people believe Nyle DiMarco is doing when he teaches profanity on Buzzfeed? The term "profane" originates from classical Latin "profanus", literally "before (outside) the temple" In other words, the word profanity means to spit on whatever is important to others. The value of religion is a whole other topic.
Should people be angry that Nyle DiMarco felt the need to teach the hearing community how to express profanity in ASL, after all people are asked that all the time. But then, Nyle has this god-like complex. His teaching profanity is because his behavior is intended to draw additional attention to what is considered to be worth paying attention to. Alexander Heath had something to say about this, "We no longer value the person who works hard to bring out the cultural respect and bias toward outer world. We no longer want this person to be constantly involved with the community to deliver causes, issues, and messages."
Is this because his 15 minutes of fame is over? Alex disagrees, "Nyle never had the 15 minutes fame, you would think he had one. Thing is, to have fifteen minutes of fame, you got to be respected on the social media as well. Jersey shore, Kardashian sisters, Gosselin, the Osbourne family, and more- they all got the respect Nyle never had." Is Nyle really bringing shame to Lead-K or is he swimming in shame that nobody really cares about who he is anymore and that he has turned into a "has been".
" My opinion of Nyle has always been low. He's a "has been." He has his 15 minutes of fame and he could've used his fame for something positive like Lead-K. And then he goes off and does something like this. What kind of message are you trying to convey, Nyle? Yeah, no." (Anonymous)
Another person had shared their opinion about Nyle and his right to share his talent on buzzfeed.
"I understand people can be offended because of his role in Lead-K. to be fair, he did warn at the beginning... yeah i see why people are outraged by that.
I think him having those roles are okay because people would like to learn those signs, don't we all have hearing people asking us for those kind of signs and also it opens the window to those who needs to know those signs so they will be aware of those in case the kids sign those, not playing hearing people.." (Joy Swope)
The community is so afraid of calling people out it affects everybody. People let any kind of behavior go by without really thinking about the consequences. Or are there consequences? Alex believes that we have suffered dire consequences, ones that would have our ancestors turning in their graves, "For the sake of the community, I expected more. I would like to think the older generations who didn't live to see this day would be ultimately disappointed in how we treat our own community and the vanishing integrities."
Is this going to lead to more people being approached by others claiming to know ASL and not trying to do the ABC's but rather signing "Motherfucker" because that's all they learned from Nyle's video? This is a can of worms that can't be closed. There are certain things that should be left alone. He was in the wrong when he tried to teach the sign Black Panther to other people. He has demonstrated that he is not the type of person that respects cultural boundaries so why should he be in a position to be teaching others ASL?
Lead-K has been contacted about their stance and they have not responded.
Note: This article is NOT intended to target Lead-K but rather ask the community to question how we want to portray ourselves.