~~May 24, 2016~~
THE PERFECT LETTER
To “Disturbed”, Heavy Metal Band
When it came time to pick a song for his freestyle, Nyle and Peta turned to the haunting cover. The only hitch was that pairs always need to obtain permission before using any song in their routines. So Nyle, who is deaf, took matters into his own hands and penned a touching letter to the band, which they shared on their website Monday, May 23.
“Nyle emailed us to ask for our permission to use our version of the song that has inspired him and hopes to convey an even bigger message to help people better understand the history of the deaf community,” the band wrote. “Tonight is the big night so help spread the word and cast your votes for Nyle!
This is not only a great honor for a Hard Rock/Metal band like us to be asked to be part of the biggest night of their show but for us to play a role in raising awareness for Nyle’s cause.”
This is his letter in full, as posted by the band:
My name is Nyle DiMarco. I am Deaf. I’m the fourth generation and I have over 25 Deaf members in my family. I am now in the semi finals towards the Mirror Ball on Dancing With The Stars.
I am writing this letter to let you know how much your song “Sound of Silence” means so much to me and my Deaf community and that I would love to dance to your song for the finals. I feel this is important for you to know that we, the Deaf people, underwent a terrible history and we are still stuck in the darkness. The darkness of oppression that your song truly reverberated to me.
Before the year 1880, we the Deaf people lived normal lives. We were perceived normal. We held political positions. We joined the army. We had jobs. We had an education through sign language that greatly benefited to our visual eyes and silent ears. It was until the Milan Conference in 1880 that led to language deprivation and … ultimately our culture, our job opportunities, and our intelligence. We were tortured. Our ancestors underwent electric shock chairs, surgeries (without anesthesia), and so many torturing methods just to help us regain our hearing. We were also punished if we used sign language. We were whipped. Slapped with our rulers. Abused. We were required to try and learn to speak (and that always, always miserably failed).
We also lost jobs. Many now perceive us as disabled, that we can’t serve the army, hold political positions, nor teach.
Because of the conference that almost led to the death of the Deaf culture (and was basically genocide and cultural-genocide), we are still trying to get out of the dark. I just founded Nyle DiMarco Foundation and our focus is on Deaf kids. We are working with state and U.S. senators to write and pass the bill that requires bilingualism (American Sign Language and English) because it was recently proven by science that it will benefit the Deaf child a lot more than just English only.
I am using my celebrity platform and especially on DWTS for good cause.
With your song … we are planning on showing my history’s terrible times through dancing … and to your powerful and moving song. We feel that with you, your song, and us, we will make/change history and help people better understand our history, and build allies all over the world to help better Deaf lives.
Help us resurface from our darkness, from the systematic oppression.
There is power in “Sound of Silence”.
We hope you will grant us the permission.
Let’s change history together!
“As it appears in … full read/full credit”
Photo by Balthier Corfi
I do not own these images.
No intention of taking credit.
If anyone knows the owner of any, please advise and it will be corrected immediately.
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