This is not a new concept and this process has a long history, perhaps from the first days when language first began. Linguistic Imperialism is defined as a non-native language takes over and asserts dominance over a local and/or regional languages causing rapid linguistic extinction.
There are many ways to do this, the two most common is when through war a country captures another or through missionary work. For the most part, assertion of dominance is based on ignorant superiority. The build-up (takes years of submission, South Africa is a good example) of this attitude can cause intentional destruction of the native culture and language. Or causes revolution, as in the case of Haiti.
So how would this apply to ASL and deaf people?
In ASL's original make-up at the convolution in 1817 was a blend of different languages that did cause some languages to die away slowly as those communities lost their deaf people to the world, Martha's Vineyard is an example.
English as usual continued their march on linguistic dominance by placing a "ban" on ASL in schools and enforcing spoken language disregarding linguistic damages/destruction of success worked hard for (our Dark Age).
Being American in a country founded by imperial colonialism, we have this desire to colonize other places, countries or similar. So when ASL was validated to be a language in its own right, we did begin to go out across the world and begin to assert ASL dominance, mainly in African and southern Asian countries.
We are beginning to reverse the damage. Missionary work is great but not when it is dominated by the language and culture of the 'invading' missionaries. Sometimes we are confronted by individuals who know sign language, proudly show off what they have signed; which is wholly made up and does not show respect for linguistic rules.
This past summer it was awesome to find other deaf and hearing folks who felt the same way as I did. We do not need to assert our ASL dominance but to learn and encourage local/regional language growth and let languages die a natural death, not because of dominance. It is hard to say that because I would rather see languages and cultures survive, for they make a difference in our lives.
Diversity allows for the world to grow, experience and develop relationships. Why deny diversity, which is so natural to all living beings.
To Be Whole
Currently I am an ASL teacher at a local college and at an high school. I received my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. At home, I am an activist within the community, Northwest Indiana. My son is in first grade and my daughter goes to E.C.L.I.P.S.E. ASL Preschool. Change begins with you and change is effective with a team.