I can understand your views on why you think that this should not be seen as offensive to the d/Deaf/HoH community. So I, a member of this community for as long as I can remember, will explain to you why it is in fact offensive.
The person featured in the vine using ASL is Alex Christophy. He is hearing, and studying ASL as a language. That’s completely fine. I am in total support of hearing people learning ASL, it only gives us Deafies more people we can easily communicate with. The problem here is that by displaying ASL in media you are implying representation of the d/Deaf/HoH community. And representing that community with a hearing person, is offensive.
On top of this, the ASL in the vine is very very very inaccurate. Thomas claims that the ASL “roughly” translates to, “I rap so hard / I send ya inta outer space / Maybe that’ll hit / That goofy smile off your face.” Now, I am 90% Deaf as are my parents. ASL is my first language, and is what I use for almost all of my communication. Written English is my second language, and has you can see, I am fluent. I had to watch this video several times, at first it appeared to be nonsense. After about five tries I could make out this much.
They (??) hard
You go (??) future (sky?)
Maybe take smile you face
That’s as close to English as I can get it, and while I’m not a certified interpreter, I do spend a lot of my time using English translating it back to ASL in my head, and then ASL into English.
This is why I, and I’m sure much of the d/Deaf/HoH community, find the presentation of Thomas Sander’s recent Rap Battle vine offensive.
I would like to add something as well. I have mentioned this to Thomas Sander’s via his tumblr. His reply was a very well worded apology, and I have, personally, forgiven him.
Also, I’m sorry that you see me as pretentious, I’m simply trying to do my best in a second language. And, if you’ll look at the message I sent him posted above, I thought I worded it very nicely. If you have any examples thought about what was rude and how I could have been nicer in my wording, it would be very much appreciated.