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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Liberals, Racism, And The English Language In 21st Century America - Keeping It Real By Larry Pinkney

The esteemed activist, actor, director, orator, and artist extraordinaire, the late Ossie Davis, put it this way in his poignant essay titled, ‘The English Language Is My Enemy:’ “I will say that language is the primary medium of communication in the educational process and, in this case, the English language. I will indict the English language as one of the prime carriers of racism from one person to another and discuss how the teacher and the student, especially the Negro student, are affected by this fact. The English language is my enemy.”

In elaborating upon the psychological aspects of “racism” Davis further notes: “Racism is a belief that human races have distinctive characteristics, usually involving the idea that one’s own race has a right to rule others. Racism. The English language is my enemy.” Davis goes on to write, “The word ‘blackness’ has 120 synonyms, 60 of which are distinctly unfavorable, and none of them even mildly positive…In addition, and this is what really hurts, 20 of those words [excluding the aforementioned 60] are related directly to race, such as ‘Negro,’ ‘Negress,’ ‘nigger,’ ‘darkey,’ ‘blackamoor,’ etc.”

Thus, Ossie Davis correctly and horribly concludes that even “thinking itself is subvocal speech” which generally requires the use of “words” and if those words are the “English language for the purpose of communication,” those using said language are forcing “the Negro child into 60 ways to despise himself [or herself], and the white child, 60 ways to aid and abet” said Black child “in the crime” against her or himself.

[for more click on the heading]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though 60 words is an extreme, but you can be a racist in ANY language, just that English has the largest dictionary/vocabulary available.
Urdu has such prejudices at a much more basic level, so much so that we have gotten used to it.
There's 'aap/tum/tou', I would not call you (as a stranger) 'tou' unless I mean to show disrespect - and can use 'tum' to show I look down upon you.

November 02, 2007 10:28 PM  

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