Skip to comments.Harry Reid, read my lips: There's no such thing as 'Negro dialect' (sorry for the wrong reasons)
Posted on 01/12/2010 6:44:29 PM PST by Libloather
Harry Reid, read my lips: There's no such thing as 'Negro dialect'
By Michael Meyers
Special to NYDailyNews.com
Tuesday, January 12th 2010, 3:48 PM
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid really put his foot in his mouth when, last year, he told two reporters that white voters would vote for Barack Obama because Obama was a "light-skinned" African-American who did not speak "Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
He's since apologized - to Barack Obama and to every "African-American" in his Rolodex.
But he's sorry for the wrong reasons.
Reid has only backed off of his word choice; he has yet to express regret for the substance of his remarks.
The truth is, what he said was insensitive and wrong because it reduced an able and politically astute presidential candidate to a racial caricature.
Second - and this one is even more important - there is no such thing as "Negro dialect." Like "the Negro" itself, so-called "Negro dialect" is a fiction created to assign qualities and habits and deficits to a "race" of people. But blacks are not a "race"; we're people who happen to have darker skin than whites. We are individuals who belong to the same race as do whites and "Hispanics" and Asians.
If, as individuals, we speak less than standard or perfect English, then that is a personal failing and a challenge - not a racial character trait. Indeed, as many American blacks were coming up and out of enslavement, they learned broken English from their overseers because many whites then and now (and not just in the South) don't know the rules, much less the syntax and grammar, of the English language.
(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...
What about “Ebonics”? Were we not instructed by our wise liberal overlords a few years ago that Ebonics was just as valid a dialect as a Harvard accent?
Golly, I’m confused!
Thomas Sowell’s book “Black Rednecks and White Liberals” has a lot to say on this topic— it’s worth a read.
There actually is a black accent. 95% of the time when I receive a call from someone I can tell whether or not they are white or black without even asking. Truth is truth. There is such a thing as black accent.
I don’t think we’re allowed to use that term anymore— it’s now “African-American Vernacular English.”
(Apparently “White Vernacular English” consists solely of phonemes designed to keep a brotha’ down.)
Barak must be in that 5%.
Denying all this is just some warped PC strategy.
Mr. Myers is quibbling. No one thinks Reid meant that accent or dialect is biologically based.
What name would he use to call that particular cultural artifact?
No. Obama doesn’t have that accent because he was raised by midwestern whites in Hawaii (where the white accent that predominates is Midwestern) and as such never had the influences that would have been necessary for him to pick up the black American accent.
I was gonna axe about ebonics too.
Next on the chopping block; “Spanglish!”
Indiana Underground Plant Protection Service (Holey Moley.."Call Before You Dig) musta changed their hiring practices a couple years ago.
One can now actually understand what questions the girls are asking. They were local folks before mind you, but some were almost impossible to understand
We're talking about precise locating of underground utilities that can cost millions of dollars in damages if there is any miscommunication between the contractor and the locaters.
You can still detect an accent with a few, but precise English is now used.
The language of the hood.
Ebonics: “Yo G, you frontin me?”
English: “Excuse me, my peer, are you attempting to influence me to engage in a violent action with you?”
Ebonics: “You gots to git those Benjamins so you cin git dat bling-bling fo yo ride”
English: “You need to get money so that you can get expensive accessories for your car.”
Ebonics: Man foo, i think dis busta needs to get his caps out dis club ‘afore i drop em in the street.
English: I think that this man should evacuate his friends from this drinking establishment before I murder him and lay his dead corpse in a public driving location.
Ebonics: Yo son, you best not talk to me like dat dog, im liable to be splittin some wigs up in dis mug if you keep disrespectin like that...so ignant..
English: Hello acquaintance. I would appreciate it if you didn’t speak to me in that way. If you continue, I might start firing fast moving projectiles into people’s skulls in this general vicinity. You are very ignorant.
Ebonics: Man, he dropped a dime on dat whip. i thinks he gots that on tha corna lot of big g’s auto. i gots to pimp that chrome.
English: That fellow spent a lot of cash on his automobile. I believe that he processed the transaction in the main gangsters automobile store. I sure would love to drive that fine automobile.
Ebonics: dem ho’s keep tryin to buck my rides but they kno that i ain’t givin em they nickels if they still kick it off the heezy and bounce. for real tho.
English: My female prostitutes continue to hijack my cars, but they know that if they keep doing this, they will not receive their 1/25 gram of their cocaine if they keep leaving their houses. This is true.
Having an accent has nothing to do with preciseness of English. You are confusing “Ebonics” and bad grammar with the black accent. Morgan Freeman has the black accent. You can understand him, can’t you?
For that matter I speak in a tone that is not unlike the accents in Gone With the Wind. People seem to understand me just fine.
That article was hogwash.
However, I personally don’t consider what Reid said as racist, but the white boy doesn’t care.
Right or wrong, beating up on that traitor, for absolutely any reason whatsoever, is fine with me.
Yo P-dog don be hatin da playa hate da game an I be crunkin a de club.
Whassup, homie. I jus kickin it.
Mike Myers? The piper is doon. Is there such a thing as a Scottish accent?
unless he wanted to have one.”
So many news articles have left these last few words out of the story. Is Harry saying that Obama is something less than an authentic Negro due to the fact that he can turn the Negro dialect on and off as he deems necessary. So what are we to believe. Is Obama not what he was sold to the American people as.
there is no such thing as “Negro dialect.”
Oh yes there is. for the same reason you can tell if you are talking on the phone to someone in India or a Latino, or chinese dialects.
I got a call a few years ago that had such a Negro dialect I could not understand a word of it even though the person was speaking in English.
The same goes for English speaking whites. You can tell if it is Southern, midwest, western.
How would one expect Henry Higgins to tell the difference in cokney english and Queen’s english speaking people without a dilect to differentiate them?
The hypocrisy and double standard of the Dems is really something to marvel at! As Mr. Meyers accurately (if sarcastically notes), Harry was quick to call EVERY black/African American in his Rolodex! Not to digress, but given the speed of his outreach, I’m guessing that rolodex is “color-coded” (pun intended). The party of “diversity” may indeed be diverse, but their actions indicate that they do a pretty good Mr. Monk impersonation; instead of separating the peas, carrots, lima beans of the succotash, they separate themselves into nicely, color-code groups (BTW Harry, you can file me under Brownish/Tan).
It makes me LOL that African Americans are completely fine being used as props! They dutifully parade in front of any camera and proclaim the purity of Harry’s heart; if not his tongue. One wonders if actual slaveowners in the pre-civil war south could have mustered such insincere praise as easily and quickly as Harry. My guess is no. Don’t get me wrong, a whip is a strong motivator. But it lacks the pure intensity and raw drive of a congressional plus up for your district . . . No, in fact, the basic line I’ve been hearing from our African American brothers and sisters is that his statement, although “awkward” (at least for anyone born since color TV) was indeed a true political fact. Light skinned blacks with no Negro dialect have an advantage over their melatonin and diction challenged brethren. (It’s funny that these color distinctions always seem to come from the left. . )
Maybe I have a little too much time on my hands, but I couldn’t help but imagine their is a political amusement park for aspiring African Americans. However the “rides” are all political positions. And at the entrance of each position/ride instead of a height chart, their is color chart; “Must be this white for this position.” “Step right up Mr. Sharpton, Oh . . . sorry, the Presidential Roller Coaster isn’t for you . . . Have you tried the Mayor Merry-Go-Round? No luck, huh? Hey! You may want to try Community Organizer Orbiter in the kiddee section of the park. . .” Then there is the lack of “Negro Dialect” that seems to impress our not-so-young Masser Harry. To be fair, Harry appears to be impressed by Mr. Obama’s ability to turn it on and off (and I thought our bashful leader said he wasn’t bilingual! not only light-skinned, but modest to boot . . .) Again a little too much time on my hands, but I can almost picture Rex Reed brought back to life for African American political elocution classes. Maybe a little ditty like the one that helped Eliza (to the tune of the rain from Spain), “Right then, repeat after me, ‘The rude and crude come mainly from the hood.’” Followed by, “The light and bright are favored by Lib whites . . .” Sadly, I must admit that there is that warped part of me that takes pleasure in watching Libs of all shapes, sizes and colors contort themselves to try rationalized their hypocrisy. Hey! Maybe that can be a new ride or funhouse in the park! “Step right up, no color restrictions required! Just one thing, you may not like how the mirrors make you look.”
I agree about the accent. I can usually tell a Spanish, French or German accent as well. In addition there is Black dialect. When I first moved into a large inner city neighborhood 40 years ago, I could hardly understand what a lot of people were saying. Now, I usually can.
Got it in one.
Ebonics might be what Reid was referring to. Hard to know what goes through the mind of racists like Reid.
"Jes' chillin' out."