NAD Miss Deaf America Rachel Mazique was representing the Deaf community and individuals (Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Deaf-Blind) by signing the National Anthem and "America is Beautiful" songs at Super Bowl 2012.
She was not shown on TV at all and there was no exposure of American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. Millions of people had the opportunity to see the songs signed beautifully by a young Deaf woman who had a genuine intention of nothing but getting the message across that Deaf people can do anything.
This moment has passed by and it never can be redone again. The opportunity is gone. Young children and adults from all over the world missed the chance of seeing that Deaf people like Ms. Mazique can be successful in the real world and barriers can be broken. NBC (and anyone else involved) chose to put up those barriers by not portraying Ms. Mazique & kept her out of the spotlight.
Ms. Mazique has been working hard to make a difference in the Deaf community by doing small & big accomplishments. She already has her Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree. She is currently working toward her Ph.D. Ms. Mazique is a very intelligent person who knew that if she was shown on national television to 165 different countries across the world, it would send a message that Deaf people are capable of being successful and that sign language is beautiful. We are not disabled and we are to be treated equally to hearing people.
This action by NBC (and anyone else) clearly shows that they did not think Ms. Mazique was good enough to be shown on TV even if she was signing the exactly same song that Kelly Clarkson was singing. Ms. Mazique was 'hidden' from the spotlight and this message speaks loudly of what NBC thinks of Deaf individuals.
Please sign this petition and share it with your family members, friends, co-workers, and anyone else that would sign this. Spread the word of what NBC did to Miss Deaf America and how NBC decided to shun the Deaf community. This is unacceptable and our voices will not be silent; we will be HEARD!
Let’s make a difference on national television that Deaf people no longer need to be ‘hidden’. Make our voices heard to NBC (and anyone else involved) that they made a poor decision of leaving out Miss Deaf America from national television. This needs to stop!
Statements from Ms. Rachel Mazique removed from Miss Deaf America Ambassador Program's Facebook Page. They were posted before this petition was started; to clarify, the statements are not originally for this petition:
"To my family, friends, fans, supporters: Thank you for rooting for me. I'm as disappointed as you are that American Sign Language gained no exposure. ASL was also not shown on the JumboTron inside the stadium--as far as I know. I have poor quality videos of me signing...blurry...signs and face cut off at some points.. shaky film because my mom was being pushed around on the sidelines...not sure if they are worth posting.."
"I am so sorry you didn't get the chance to see me on TV and I thank you all for your support and excitement. I'm re-posting this from someone's comment on my status: "Post your videos! And I got this off someone else's status: Found this email address in case you are interested in writing NBC regarding Rachel Mazique not being shown in the pre-game: email@example.com." Some are also tweeting to NBC. If enough people in the general public express their disappointment, next year's performer should get air time."
Kate Spencer started this petition with a single signature, and now has 9,249 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.