“Deaf and Genetic Engineering by Carlos Carreon, Deaf Culture at UCCS.edu


with an advent of genetic engineering
the global deaf community is facing an existential crisis that begs a question
for the world, are deaf people and sign languages worth preserving? to answer the question yes 100%, but that does not mean I don’t have any questions. Diversity as a
whole is worth preserving. diverse perspectives, experiences skills, thinking,
all fuel innovation. What’s not what’s preserving is the idea that perfection
is something that is a one-size-fits-all. life is different for everyone. The wants
and needs are different, opinions and emotions are different and that isn’t
something that can be bred out of society. I mean who is in charge of
deciding what the perfect line of genes look like because I can guarantee you
that I already disagree since I have friends who are deaf, friends with deaf
and hard-of-hearing children and a friend who’s sister is profoundly deaf and
I can tell you that I could not and would not change them for the world
because to me they are pretty ideal. That’s not to say that others might look
at them as something that needs to be fixed. So no matter what, there’s already
a dissonance on what a perfect human should look like. Then we can bring up the topic of breeding heritage genes like eye shape, or height, skin colors.
genetics is truly a fascinating subject but deciding what perfection looks like
is not a topic that will ever be settled maybe we should focus on breeding humans
that create a world built around diverse needs capabilities and ideals that work
for more people rather than creating a perfect human to exist in a very
narrow-minded world. Besides nature always wins
there will always being mutations. look at dog breeding. purebred dogs have a long list of genetic health issues. so who’s to say when this genetic engineering is
complete. on the other hand I could see why some deaf people would opt for this
treatment. If one became deaf later on in their lives they would probably want it
to be reversed, I could see that. if a couple with a gjb2 gene didn’t want to
put their child through the possible hardships that they had to endure
growing up, I could see that, but with that being said the Deaf have a very full
history and have overcome many obstacles the community values each other they
value the language and they respect each other this has evolved from struggle of
the historic and systemic forcing into an unaccommodating world. those
combined and continued struggles provide the value of what it means to be human
the humility, the lost, love and the pride of overcoming. genetic engineering can
potentially breed the humanity out of the human. it is crazy that it is even a
topic, but at the same time I think it’s about a discussion it forces people to
consider the very real question of, if it can be fixed should we fix it? but
history also tells us that fixing things that aren’t necessarily broken, fixing
things for the sake of normalization or confirmation of status quo isn’t really
facing things it’s just making something that is unique and different into
something that is not. humans want to create a better everything, look at
genetic modification for our food sources, is that are really an
improvement we can even get into the Nazis and their belief in the Aryan
Nation, is it really that much of an improvement to have everyone blonde hair, blue eyes. I mean we can go on and on about the
persecution of minority populations. it’s been happening forever just as it
continues to happen. so maybe it’s not a crazy thing to discuss, but I’m 100% for
the preservation of the deaf people and their language

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