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Ebonics November 27, 2006

Posted by betweennaps in Black People.
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My roommate is a graduate student studying educational linguistics.  We often talk about educational issues, and she has a lot of really leftist views.  She’s not really a political person, so I think that her views stem from the leftward tendencies of many graduate schools.  Today she asked me what I thought about Ebonics.

I think that whatever you speak at home or with your friends is your own business, but to not teach black children standard English is short changing them in the long run.  Whether or not it’s fair, a black job candidate who speaks “white English” will be looked upon more favorably than a black job candidate who speaks Ebonics.

My roommate has a problem with looking down on people because of their language or the way that they speak.  Because black people grow up with Ebonics, it’s not fair to have to change the way they speak to fit in with white culture.  It’s not fair that by and large all successful black people have had to give up their black identities.  My roommate is studying Cantonese (something about how the written Cantonese is different from spoken Cantonese and how in general it’s considered less prestigious than Mandarin), and she feels that it is unfair that many Chinese people look down on Cantonese speakers.  When she was reading criticism about Ebonics, she became extremely upset because of the parallels she saw between Ebonics and Cantonese.

My roommate is an intelligent person, yet her views on education and language make absolutely no sense to me.  I still can’t fully articulate my beliefs because I’m hesitant to make a judgment call on something that’s not “mainstream.”  Ebonics in and of itself is not bad.  I guess it comes down to practicality.  Although I can see that a person’s background may disadvantage him in life, I think that pretending that Ebonics won’t negatively impact a person’s job prospects only handicaps him further.

Justice Thomas and Affirmative Action November 20, 2006

Posted by betweennaps in Black People.
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One of my pet causes is racial injustice in the United States, particularly for Black people.  When I entered law school, I was a strong supporter of affirmative action.  Basically, I thought that Black people don’t have the same resources that white people or Asians have, so affirmative action makes up for them being disadvantaged from the start.

Since I began identifying as a conservative, my attitude towards black empowerment has not changed, but my view of affirmative action has.  I’m not completely against it, but I’m on the fence and leaning towards it being a bad idea.  I’m just not sure that it works in the long run.

In my constitutional law class, we recently read the affirmative action case Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena 515 U.S. 200 (1995).  In Justice Thomas’ dissent, he writes out exactly why I’m so wary of affirmative action even though I support its goals:

“[T]here can be no doubt that racial paternalism and its unintended consequences can be as poisonous and pericious as any other form of discrimination.  So-called ‘benign’ discrimination teaches many that because of chronic and apparently immutable handicaps, minorities cannot compete with them without their patrnizing indulgence.  Inevitably, such programs engender attitudes of superiority or, alternatively, provoke resentment among those who believe that they have been wronged by the goverment’s use of race.  These programs stamp minorities with a badge of inferiority and may cause them to develop dependencies or to adopt an attitude that they are ‘entitled’ to preferences.”

This is also what makes me concerned about the influx of illegal Hispanic immigrants.  I’m not convinced that illegal immigration will cause our society to collapse economically.  I think that Hispanics enter the U.S. with the same hardworking mindset as many Asian Americans.  In fact, my paternal grandfather was a “paper son.”  My concern is that liberal establishments will work to corrode this hardworking mindset, so that Hispanics in America will fare more closely to the Black population than to the Asian population.

A True Homie November 18, 2006

Posted by betweennaps in Black People, Funny.
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Today I happened to be at Britney Spears’ myspace page (don’t ask), and I came across this post by “Green Eyed Puerto Rican”:

IF U WERE KILLED TOMORROW, I WOULDNT GO 2 UR FUNERAL CUZ ID B N JAIL 4 KILLIN DA NIGGA THAT KILLED U!
…_…|..____________________, ,
……/ `—___________—-_____|] = = = = = D
…../_==o;;;;;;;;_______.:/
…..), —.(_(__) /
….// (..) ), —-”
…//___//
..//___//
.//___//

WE TRUE HOMIES
WE RIDE TOGETHER
WE DIE TOGETHER
send this GUN to everyone you care about including me if you care. C how many times you get this, if you get 13 your A TRUE HOMIE

Normally I get emails about things like appreciating life and friendship that I’m supposed to forward for goodluck or to show how much I care about XYZ.  I’ve never seen a gun that’s supposed to be forwarded, let alone to prove the sender is “a true homie.”   Aside from the “u”/”you,” “c”/”see,” “4”/”for,” etc. many of my peers use that irritates me so much, it’s somewhat a reflection of the misplaced priorities which seem to plague high-crime demographics.  I mean, can’t you go to the funeral first and then get revenge?

Sad, but tremendously funny.