the last time you saw two deaf people engaging in a conversation with
sign language and wondered, even maybe feared, that they were flashing each other a series of gang signs instead of, say, talking about where they were going to stop for dinner or debating the diversity of the presidential cabinet?
Never you say? Come on. Not even once?
Well then, that confirms even more that last week’s attack on a deaf
man in Burlington, N.C., was completely and totally senseless. While
Terrance Ervin Daniels was minding his own business, walking down the
street signing to a deaf friend, he was attacked and stabbed
several times in the upper body by a completely random bystander who
believed the two men were engaging in cryptic, gang-related
I just ran through the handful of words and
phrases I’ve managed to remember from a class I took in college. Pretty
As if walking around the streets with a
kitchen knife at the ready against gang crime wasn’t enough, the
assailant, 22-year-old Robert Jarell Neal, has evidently never been a
member of a gang himself or ever had a run-in with one to retaliate
against. So police are still baffled why he attacked
45-year-old Daniels, who is in stable condition after being air lifted
to the trauma center at the University of North Carolina.
weren’t at liberty to say whether the suspect was under the influence of
something or another—drugs, alcohol, maybe both—when he morphed from
concerned citizen to crazy psycho. But it is clear that he knew he did
something wrong, since he fled the scene. He was later arrested for
assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.
Hopefully, Daniels will make a full recovery but Neal’s display crazy is just a sign of the times.
Do you think if people were more knowledgable and accepting of others, things like this could be avoided?
I think that if the majority of the population weren't so damned ignorant of the ways of others we wouldn't have miscommunications like this. (i realize misscommunications is a bad word for this, but i'm not running on all cylinders right now.)
Jesus Christ. Burlington is less than 2 hours from Wilson, NC, where the NC School for the Deaf is located. There are huge populations of deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens all around this area. That man had to have been high as hell, crazy as hell, or lying like hell about why he did it.
This effing state, man. As one who is fluent in ASL with strong ties to the deaf community, this just makes me so mad.