All posts by Ondrizzle

The Swan Song Joint

I been broached the bag and let the cat out on language discrimination. This post the pick of the litter, though.

From jumpstreet y’all seen me go in on folks out here hatin on other folks for how they talk, for not speaking “right,” or advocating the adoption of a standard language ideology (SLI) for the sake of being taken seriously.

I hit y’all wit facts on how implicit racial biases function in interpretations of rhetoric, whether “good” or “bad,” to make salient disparities in what folks consider acceptable and not.

My disdain for the code switchin interface was the epicenter of one post where I equate it to skin bleachin because just so you know.

Y’all met my main man Dr. Vay, Dr Vershawn Young, up in Canada, who was the one in the first place to put me on to all this scholarship dealin wit languages and SLI and implicit ideological biases when it come to how folks represent they-selves through they rhetoric. A gajillion thanks are in order just so you know. I’m on it.

And for the MOOC, I did a bite on how multiculturalism is a reductive term for how we sprinkle differences (but we frontin’!) without any advocacy for accepting differences, introduced y’all to my thesis, “‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility’–and so I can’t keep quiet about Brian Micheal Bendis’ Spider-Man”.

So rather than mount another soapbox in a philippic I’m going to feel some kind of way about at the end of the day, I’ve curated videos as illustrations to demonstrate just how nonsensical our efforts in bifurcating and/or compartmentalizing our identities really is. I’m an agent of chaos in rhetoric, I feel like. I want folks to feel invited (and empowered!) to talk how they wanna talk sans paranoia about how they’re either being received or going to.

The following video is a promo bit featuring my good homie Dr. Vershawn Young (Dr. Vay), who a proponent of code meshin (and coiner of the term!) as a viable linguistic variant with which to endow folks.

(insert Dr Vay footage)

To begin: Selective hearing is a thing but this is different, I feel like. It might be re-writing history, or something. How is it that people can off the bat misinterpret people? do you think that’s the case? does/can race have something to do with it?

Next two clips of Obama imaginably just being Obama. What you think is the point of these clips that they’d be isolated and set down into the social arena for us to find like this? what does that say about our values, if anything? is that OK? Thoughts.

Next clip a sketch from SNL called “Black Jeopardy”. The popular gameshow Jeopardy is reimagined as something unlike its original decorum. Pay attention to the categories and the answers the contestants give and are rewarded for. Can you think of any black gameshows? of them, how “black” are they? is that controversial, you think? Measuring to what extent a thing is a thing? Your thoughts.

Here go Key & Peele, y’all. This scenario feature the brothers switchin up they speech in front of one another. And while it’s conceivable to believe people would switch from a presumably “bad” dialect to a “good” one they’re going to get respect for, can it be the other way around? Why do you think these men would do this? And: what else? Thoughts.

Finally, a bit of Thug Notes by Sparky Sweets, PhD. As it say, “the channel where you’ll learn your ass off.” This meant to demonstrate how a nonstandard variant of English, particularly Black English, get the job done in rendering a summary and response; peep game.

Even Still I Spit

Yo, I know we pretty much done wit the blogs and stuff, but can I just say–Maybe y’all’ve heard bout the tohubohu surrounding the recent Common debacle. Your Boy actually been dialoguing wit the prez of Stu Org bout it. Dissatisfied wit the response and incapable of placating the miniature cock-diesel provocateur on the inside I couldn’t resist. Anyway: he and I cool now, for now, but the beef still not squashed the way me sees it. Their reasoning just too wrongheaded for my sensibilities; I’m also not all that easy to offend, no lie.

At the backdrop of the Common thing are two things: for one, lyrics to a 2000 song of Common’s lauding Assata Shakur; the other is Obama peacing things up wit Cuba. NJ State Police were all over that like, “We want Assata Shakur”; Cuba, however, say that even if communication lines reopen between US and them, they ain givin up Shakur. Now the situation surrounding Shakur a li’l complicated, but basically she killt a cop durin a stop on NJ Turnpike, bounced to Cuba, been there since. But it’s complicated. For more: read this or this or this.

Now they (Kean) afraid of a media swarm trumping the meaning of Commencement and NJ’s Finest’s refusal to work the event wit Common as speaker on some pretty petty-type stuff, Kean says. (But not in keeping your boy Farahi as figurehead with all his suspect behind credentials? You would think!) Meanwhile: Common performed at Kean just last year for Black History Month, making him the same “problematic” individual this year as last. Stu Org prez tell me that this not just a wholly stu org-sponsored event where they can just waft a hand at criticism at: it was a downstream decree, so they had no choice, so they say. Either way, Kean’s favorable response to police refusing to work an event that has nothing to do with them strikes me as more than dangerous. Can we say coercive isomorphism? Can we say hegemony; or homogeny, the “H” word? Martial Law? I mean, whaddayall think? And whaddayall think about this–

–Princeton got overtly crass raconteur Big Sean coming to perform at one of their upcoming annual outdoor joints and some students upset about it. They’re citing lyrics of Sean’s as misogynistic, homophobic–the same old ass arguments stay being used to criminalize and stigmatize rappers and hip hop culture but not others and theirs. In response to the ire, Princeton prez Chris Eisgruber sent an email; see infra

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,  

            Our campus community is in the midst of two impassioned debates about the impact and limits of stage performances.  One debate pertains to the moral culpability of a now-defunct student group “Urban Congo,” a group whose performances were described by its own president as “inexcusably offensive.”  The group has apologized and disbanded.  The second debate addresses the Undergraduate Student Government’s invitation to Big Sean, a rapper whose songs include lyrics that are vile and demeaning to women and LGBT individuals.

             Comedy, satire, and stage performances inevitably transgress boundaries.  The controversies they provoke may be genuinely painful, but they are also fundamental to the life of any great University.  As the faculty of this University affirmed in a statement that it adopted earlier this week, “the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.  … Indeed, fostering the ability of members of the University community to engage in such debate and deliberation in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of the University’s educational mission.”

            We must all be mindful, however, that the debates now agitating our campus play out against two backdrops that profoundly affect their impact on the members of our community.  First, these debates occur in a time scarred by searing violence—by, in one case, the discriminatory and sometimes deadly use of force against African-Americans, and, in the other case, the disturbing and damaging incidence of sexual assault on college campuses and throughout society.  Second, they occur in a new era of social media that breeds an insidious combination of hostility, anonymity, and proximity.  In venomous slurs uttered online by anonymous neighbors or classmates, our students see distressing and painful expression within our community of the prejudices and motives that underlie the violence disturbing our nation.

            We owe it to ourselves to do better, to be better, and to embrace all the members of our community with respect and with genuine appreciation for the perspectives they bring.  We must treat individuals, groups, and cultures with the dignity they deserve; we must not traffic in stereotypes.  I accordingly implore all of the Princeton community to live up to our ideals, to recognize the pain being felt by some members of our community, and to express ourselves in the veiled and dehumanized precincts of social media with the same care that we should bring to more personal interactions.

I also invite you to come together in a fuller, more human, and more personal way by joining me this Sunday, April 12, at 2:00 p.m. for a gathering of our campus community in the University Chapel that will provide us all with an opportunity to recognize the obligations we have to understand and care for each other, to affirm the ties that bind us together, and to strengthen the community that we share.  We hope that this gathering will also lay the groundwork for further constructive engagement in the weeks to come, including a faculty panel to be held next week. 

Chris Eisgruber,

President of Princeton University 

Don’t ask how i got, but we don’t even need to conduct a comparative analysis, or anything, of the two aforementioned scenarios to rule out which mo betta. And it not even like I agreed like that with Common as Commencement speaker in the first place because who here even a rapper like that? I can’t even tell you, really, what Commencement really about beyond quaffing too much cerveza con sus hermanos y hermanas because, yo, you just fuckin graduated college, son.

But what I know about college, what is and has been rudimentary to academia since forever, is what Eisgruber said. (Which not to say that I’m or was in congruence wit the #RaceTogether mess Starbucks was pulling. And I don’t know much bout Urban Congo, but it sounded like a minstrel show, and you can miss me wit that mess altogether, actually)

But I am (or would like to) herewith, forthwith, calling a meeting on this this as the implications actually do have something to do wit all of us, and all our warm halcyon virtues.

(…And can I also say that Your Boy been feeling funky as of late. All funkdafied, words like this were borderline impossible to manifest, the legerdemain all off. Even my emails to the prez felt a li’l wonky: all precarious, the words, every one a kerplunk–no cannonball. Maybe that’s trying too hard, how it is sometimes, if you’re a writer, when the writing don’t come the way you’d want-like it to, in swoops rather than requiring C4-grade blasts. Take cover, though–because I’m blowup-tuating right now.)

MOOC Unit-Writing Reflection

Previous post is my contribution to the MOOC. I’ve yet to link anything, but links soon come. They might help trim some of the wordage, though I’m not sure if it’s too wordy. What I gleaned from other MOOCs is that while some parts are streamlined with links and videos, some parts read like short essays with hyperlinks and images interspersed. And because code meshing is a linguistics thing, not something people casually confabulate about in a bar or at dinner, I figured more better. I could be wrong, though. That I have before. Not admitting to a fault, however. I’m an Aries. Can’t wait to see the finished product, though–happy writing, y’all. <3

What Is Codemeshing?

A Definition-ish

The masticated version is code meshing language blending. Mo betta: it language democracy. (It, e.g., wha I’ms doing when I elect to idiosyncratically phono-trip on the sentential tip with the wordage the way I just done did, with the syntax borderline tohubohu and smacking of somethin you might’ve caught on your No. 1 overtly crass track, 808s booming, something. That said–and this a brother talkin just so y’all know–it not just a black thang. It ain even a remedial thing. It’s just a thing, unless you prefer “thang”.)

It refer to the concurrent use of different languages, dialects, and genres, sounds, and even more distinct linguistic features and conventions in a single rhetorical performance. As a one Vershawn Young notes, It’s more than mixing Spanish and English; it not necessarily Spanglish or Chinese English, or “Chinglish”. Break the epidermis and code meshing more than just arbitrarily inserting so-called “nonstandard” wordage, verbiage, language, aqui y alli. It’s chaos in language–and if you know anything bout chaos: it’s fair.

Why Codemeshing, d’o[gh]h?

Because–for reasons. Seriously, though: it not like a gun to our heads to codemesh like that–that is, if we don’t value other folks languages like that. That is, if we not about that language equality life I’m taumbout. That is, if it under the lot of us to adopt another (language, dialect) for the sake of another brother or sister of the humankind variety different than us. That is, if we don’t find it a li’l sus that the way you talk, especially if you non-White (when White folk out here been butchering they heirloom all higgledy-piggledy since forever) could mean the rest of yo colored life.

And should we not, right–for that you got folks out here pushin that code chicanery switching. Code switching: the deliberate use of one language over another at a given time as the rhetorical situation calls for it. Traditionally, this mean speaking one way with, say, yo boyz, and another with your bosses and/or teachers. This mean all that “I mean, like, I’m sayin, yo,” garbage relegated to the “streets” (unless it’s “streetz”) whereas that “Queen English” jus fine bout every place else you go. And some take it further, talkin bout how it BETTER for one to drop all that whatever-the-hell else they be talkin altogether and speak “proper”.

Disabusing oneself of they Primary Discourse is something speakers of nonstandard English, or just another language altogether, been doing for years: First Generation immigrants in this country be giving it to they seeds when it comes to how they speak; they say they gotta learn proper English if they want to be successful, get a job, keep a job, be respected. Black parents pulled that cajoling stuff on their youngsters, too, chuckin they favorite hiphop CDs out moving cars, unless that was me and my boyz’ folks.

Codeswitching as Language Bleaching

Think of it this way: designating one language King of another, let alone everyone, is NO QUESTION discrimination; straight up. Code Switching, to invoke Young, is rooted in segregationist ideology, the notion of “same but not equal.” It effects hierarchal complexes when it come to how people perceive language; it make peeps bias towards language, favoring one way of speech over another. And granted: why it might be funny from time to crack on a person bout how they non-articulate anything ever cuz they speech a hotmess (I’ve done it, had it done to me, peeped others doing, it’s a thing) it not the same as codifying features of other (or Other) people’s speech jus so that you can discriminate against; i.e., not hire them; or, rather, hire them for a job they not gonna be interacting with people on. That type of reduction be making people mad self conscious, yo; be making them wanna not be themselves, not even around blood. They get around blood an can’t even talk to them anymore, they feel like. Because they done went an gone forfeited they heritage, they Home Dialect, Language, Discourse, don another and just so that they can earn a li’l cred in the marketplace. Tell me now (and be real witcha Boy, too) how that not the same as, say, selling ya soul, ballooning ya breasts to sick-ass-hentai-porn proportions, or bleaching yo skin (Think–Sammy Sosa) just to be mo palatable?

“Multiculuralism” a Joke

AKA “multiculti,” it the “Newest, Latest” the suits in they conglomerates selling minorities and Liberal Whites on. It’s the flava of the month–hittin’ y’all a li’l bit of that everythang! Because–POSTRACIAL.

But we’ve been trying to establish here that code meshing gotta also do more with that deep structural stuff that go on past the epidermis of just mixing “standard” and “nonstandard” words together in communication. If you look at it, codemeshing appeal to the myriad of sensibilities if you doing it right. Language is rooted in experience, it’s how certain language speakers relate to the world around them, identify with things.

Standard English (Ideology) only appeal to one sensibility, though. And such linguistic myopia detrimental to those whose language composition not hidebound by the dominant, or even representative of it; e.g. Black English speakers.

The thing about cultural sensibilities, though: don’t everybody share the same. What I deem important to talk about, focus on, is based on my cultural sensibilities which may not necessarily align with those of the dominant culture; so we not going 2 c i 2 i. And we far from having equal representation of folks representing they-selves in this country. So what you got are a bunch of privileged folks doing the job of portraying Other people within a consumer based exploitative media culture whose sensibilities are in contrast to the actual people their representing. That’s like me assuming authority on women when I’m nor have ever been a woman. But I’m going to come out my face and portray a woman while expecting to capture all of the nuances that make being a woman, in whatever context, womanhood. That’s not right.

But it stay happening is what I’m sayin. Representation of The Minority by The Dominant be diaphanous, as in flimsy, un-authentic, fresh off the conveyor belt. Straight bologna. It been long planted ( what people should be focused on, interested in, be getting a kick out of, by the dominant since, like, forever. This why I take issue with today’s issues of comics. Not that I don’t dig how they making historically white guys into women and/or brown people, but is it genuine? Or: how genuine is it? And: should it matter?

Think–Is it plausible for every brown person to speak the way they white and male and straight counterparts speak; or act the way they act? Also who’re we entrusting with these delicacies? And: why should we? Because just because?

Like, we not superheroes, and I get it: getting all in a dither bout how this person representing me and mines in the realm of fiction shouldn’t be all that red hot, maybe. But if we gon suspend reality when it come to defying gravity, clearing edifices in singles bounds, and such, then at least give us that. It not all that irrational, much of an overreaction to take writers, editors, illustrators–ALL OF THE PORTRAYERS THEM–to task when it comes to writing race.

I’m out; 1.

A speculation, a marathon, a gamechanger

To begin, dig: coming clean. Your Boy ain seen his group all break-week long. That not to say he ain been working. He just been working. But he back off that break now like therapy and game for what’s up, know what I’m sayin. Or he sayin. Never mind.

As for what’s up, secondly: all hunkered down in The Stacks all week before literally pounds of dusty hardcovers ain NO ONE probly even THINKIN bout checkin out no time soonish and I thought I just might confiscate for perpetuity, Your Boy stumbled pawn a revelation.

Celestial orbs all aligned (plus being all mean-like to my vitals, disabusin myself of the necessity to sleep and eat, in pursuit of my best iteration) scribbling the whole thang down was borderline an immaculate birth. (This call to mind a one Hova’s mama’s intro off dat Black Album, when she said, saying, “Weighing at 10lbs, 8oz, he was the last of my four children, the only one who didn’t give me any pain when I gave birth to him, and that’s how I knew that he was a special chile.” And that not to say I’s proprietor of some nextlevel topline stuff–just justifyin my thug, you feel me.)

So. A one Walter Ong, he once said that the audience always a fiction

–Check it: Ong, he say that being that writing basically neé rhetoric, the game been done changed since cats started putting utensils to wood pulp and ceased droppin science via they emceeing.

Because, see, for the writer, information sent in time pods on some cryogenic stuff: it’s static, and stagnant, till it dredge up and get all oxidized. If they wanna appeal to the sensibilities of an audience, or non-audience, whether invoked or addressed, living Now Now or Tomorrow, they then gonna have to make them up, i.e., the audience.

So: writing is makebelieve, yes? Not like fugazi, but it’s imaginative like that.

Writing, the efficacy thereof then be pendent on the efficacy of the imagination a one author done imbued the composition with. Then: The tighter yo imagination of your reader the better you cast your reader into whateva role they meant to play and the better the setup gone be for them to follow yo rhetoric. This, he say, is “ficitonalization,” and it’s a twoway street, for just as author fictionalize so do reader.

The reader embodies the role said author casts them in. Say you an actor, right. You get a script. Script basically directions for you in order to get the point of your role in relation to others’ as they all pertain to the umbriferous storyline across to a live audience, right, if it’s a play. Same thing with writing.

Except wit writing: reader both actor and audience. So: if you can’t imagine yo reader like that, yo writin gone be funky, bcuz it intrinsically hidebound by the identity of yo reader. Which is why it hard (or at least for me) to write a paper on the subject: “What I Want To Be When I Grow Up”. Because who in the hell am I even talking-wriitng to, because no ever asked or asks, or is even really asking me that, really. Consideration thereof never crossed Your Boy’s Third Eye. And even if it did, the audience is who, my teacher, because I would never speak to my teacher bout no C-4 classified material such as how I wanna be a rapper that.

Wha i wanna be when I grow up? I mean, with the presence of mind at the time I was 7, maybe, maybe I could’ve went:

“Hi, Batman. When I grow up, I wanna be just like you. Because you fite badguys and i want to fite badguys, too. I know cops fite badguys but they sometimes mean to people. Cops scare me, too. You not mean, though. You don’t scare me. I’m not a badguy, though. And you not a cop, neither. You Batman!”

And this precisely what Ong gettin at: audience is always reduced to one monolithic person, fictionalized, invoked or addressed, though some may argue “addressed,” especially when you consider “jargon” and “nomenclatures” and the one about ‘talking the talk,’ which implies that an audience already DO exist, the sensibilities thereof always given primacy by the author for the sake of being received. (And, duly noted.)

But that is what I feel like my beef is exactly with the whole writer-reader infrastructure. Because Ong fail to communicate who actually our imaginative audience are–or “is” rather. Think–Demographics.

He say that this fictionalization process done moved downstream, essentially framing all our expressions. We take point from what others have done and has been known to work, or at least get dollars thrown at it, i.e., sell. In which case then: we have to consider the makeups of The Runners: you know, white guys.

And so it safe to assume, I feel like–that everything done and STILL being done is to appeal to the cultural sensibilities of the dominant culture, or so I do speculate. Hence: “a speculation,” the encomium of the eponymy of this expression.

So “multiculturalism” ain no more multicultural as postracial America is postracial; that it not really multiculturalism, at least not beyond the epidermis.

And when you consider the prolific number of scholarship out there on comics as multimodal technology in the teaching of writing and reading literacy–Yo, ain nuffin gonna change then. Because we still maintaining that same tip when it come to that communication, at least in public. And we can’t ignore the deleterious effects of such cerebral cleansing: the idea that one language trumps another, especially if that language (the one being faded) your primary language, or dialect. Cajoling like that not fair–Can I get a witness??

We teach folks to code switch as if this something to be proud of–and while I get that some folks proud thereof, how do we then explain telling minorities to carry themselves a certain way in public so not to be perceived a certain way by the police; meanwhile: everyone else (White) not; so: Why? (And just think of being lefthanded in this righthanded world. I’m left-handed, for one. I STAY having to deal with technology and just things favoring righthanded folk. No amount of switching training or attempts as disabusin me of the use of my lefthand gonna change that–I’s gone be a southpaw till I DIE, a physiological minority dealin with righthandedness the same way racial minorities deal with disparities in how they can or can’t carry themselves in public; and that not fair. And like homegirl Smitherman done noted of a one Nikki Giovanni: “that’s why we always lose, not only cause we don’t know the rules, but it ain’t even our game” (“White English”).)

You Ain’t Heard? I Gotchu.

Here go Obama yesterday on “Bloody Sunday”

Here go John McWhorter on txtg

Here go Gunther Kress on multimodality (because)

…And have a nice day–no Mankind.

…And the more I steady think about the MOOC–I also gotta give props to Larissa and Eloy because we’d just been talkin bout MOOCs when I brought it up. And it just made the most kind of sense, know what I’m saying? (Considering I’m currently basically paying for one.) Because it shouldn’t be the way it is: chumping folks outta mad dollars: interdisciplinary training, i.e., sensitivity to differences, runnin you beaucoup bucks like it not a given. Because the truth thereof is: folks not gettin the exposure the way others be getting it. My black experience has made me privy to injustices the way others’ not for them; not saying, either, that we all not susceptible to a level of fuckedupness in life, respectively. Severity, IMO, just different. Like, it doesn’t necessarily switch up everybody trajectory of life the way it do others, I feel like. I mean, do y’all remember CrimingWhileWhite? Hilarious. Like, duh. White boys and girls I remember growing up wit always gloatin bout how they parents schooled them on how not to get dogged by cops, the crazy shit they got away with; whereas me and mines was trained to be as docile as lambs, to take it: “That’s just the world we live in.” No. An aside, too: I get pullt over. White passenger woman in the car wit me get axed: “Is everything OK?” Meanwhile I’m getting TSA’d the hell out of, out of view of the dash cam, being told: “I pulled you over for your headlight.” No. (It don’t help none either that I’m a broadchested brother. But don’t let the literature and autodidact-ness fool you, though.) Just no and more no, and “nein,” and why not over a PA system, for hyperbole sake?

…And this; peace.

Feelin Some Type A Way (Slept-on redux)

Not tryna proselytize, or nothin; plus my Bible be shambolic. Or the acumen thereof, know what I’m sayin. And my fault, too, if I come off vexed. I am.

Y’all might may have heard the one, The Tower of Babel: the construction-work towards a literal stairway to heaven–no Zepplin, either–where God was like “Nah,” and smite all the contractors them, they tongues, with various lingoes to show them what was up. A talltale some of y’all might say, I know–and no pun effected–but the implications thereof: we dumb to ignore that, lookin at The Zeitgeist.

It been forever and a day (and still ain’t got no 40 acres & a damn mule yet!) and yet The White Man’s language still got folks thinkin that ‘that’. That they primary discourses basal; or: because they’re not standard, shouldn’t be at all. Or at least considered in the queue of public language performances. Because: if Black English Isn’t A Language, Then Tell Me, What Is.

And I hear you, Abiola–and, my bad if I seem dyspeptic–but I do agree that “learning to code switch is a skill and the better you are at it the better for communication” (Abiola, “Looking”).

Plus: the more languages you know, the easier it is to communicate in general; like, e.g., grammar becomes a cinch, then diction, and the tightness of the tethering of your verbiage get mo taut: no stiff-upper-lip stuff, either.

But code switching isn’t, wasn’t, something I learnt because it was “good” for me. Your Boy wasn’t laced with said so-called adroitness because of its beneficence; its affordances weren’t salient like that. There was nothing to palpate. It’s praxis wasn’t all ‘that’ neither, save for when I got served a Leatherstrap Special for having done done it wrong. Like, installin a preposition at a sentential terminal, as in “Where they at?”

I was inculcated with the idea that “White is Right” NOT “knowing mad language is how you increase buffering speeds on yo linguistic navigability.” That wasn’t a thing–“good” English was.

And on the real, too, you’re kinda rollin a Dawinian dice everytime you play favorites like that, if you ax me. Y’all hear bout what’s going on in China? How is that not equivalent to any one of us making ourselves up to be more palatable in the worse kind of way? And I know y’all’ve seen Sammy Sosa by now.

And while the artisanship of code switchin not lost all that much on Your Boy–I mean, I too did and still the code switchin two-, or however many step–but it come off more as living out oppression, IMO; see infra (and at about the 21:03 mark, y’all can kill it):

What Baldwin sayin is that oppression, upbringing–and it don’t matter how vigilant you think you is–call for a special type of surgery. His using “negro” to refer to black people isn’t so much stylistic, or condescending, as it is byproduct of conditioning. Itz the language of the Spanish, for one; and don’t get me started on how balkanized blacks was when it came to monickers: had us straight deracinating ourselves up from the inside on some extubatin type stuff; like–sh*t!

Me code switchin isn’t because my parents, the teachers, or anyone for that matter acknowledged that it was important for me to speak one way one place and another way another place because my language was hot.

What I considered home, for me, linguistically (or rather, lyrically), that is, the word-kist from which I took and take and makes and made it so that I can type type fast like ize does, or Iams is–was scrutinized. Demonized. Stigmatized. Ostracized. Sidelined and spiked and stomped out to be perceived as nadir. And on the regular.

For real, it’s like what Smitherman said, unless it Lippi-Green, that it the media “that conveyed the impression that Black English is the speech lingo of criminals, drug dealers, pushers, teenage hoodlums, and various sundry hustlers who [speak] in ‘mafuckers’ and ‘pussy-coppin raps'”. This just not the case if y’all’ve been steady pacing your Boy, wit these agog-behind blogs of mine.

But Black English, “brother talk,” whatever, still get a bad rap in the classroom, on the news, like it some other shit–and no pun. (Meanwhile: not a ONE of these wiseacres and dilettantes, with they fanfaronade and folderol, endowed with even a dab of that highgrade Your Boy be spittin when it come to this so-called claptrap crap.) People out here pretendin like nobody language equip them with inappropriate wordage. What’re they: “dolts”?

And the same go for text-talk, or techno-lingo: because we still not deliberatin the way we should bout that, is we? And y’all might not be feelin where Iams comin from, but as someone whose steadily dealt and deals with fucked up language on the regular like that: trust, a n*gga here.

And: again: no diss to my homegirl, Abiola: but I’m not about to big-up English like no blood done spilt because of it. And I’m gonna go as hard as a.

You see, the thing about rhetorical contexts, e.g., the classroom, is that they constitute experiences. And here go another, fo dat behind.

And please see infra: see how they play Your Girl Rachel Jeantel in the media. And I’m out on that note; one:


Rage Against the Cream

And by no means I mean a diss by that, so you know.

And so you know: this what I’m talkin bout; and this, if ain’t lost you.

And on the real, too: Dre luh everyone. And by “luh” I mean big wet osculations, and bear hugs. Come here, You.

Also: check this out, by my soul brother Jimmie Baldwin. In it, he talk about how the American context make it so that whenever anybody put out some socially conscious piece of something that the very thing itself make it so that audiences feel they imbued with some type of virtuosity that absolve them from puttin in work work. And granted: while it cool folks out there making films bout the egregiousness of slavery or how women and gays be/have been slighted because they women, gay, it don’t make not a one of us better like that. Work don’t stop, won’t stop just cuz you punched your ticket, i.e., closed a book, completed a film, listened to some activistic entreaty–there’s always tomorrow, or “mañana” if you Spanish. “Demain” if you French. And Friday if today is in fact Thursday for you, too.

And I think we doing some real good things in this class that folks need to hear. Just how we disseminate all of our work to folks out here who need to hear it–can’t stop, won’t stop.

On a Blog 3 Note

Me and mines got mad things we wanna do, and then some. It’s honestly a matter now of getting us all in the same room now.

(And Eloy, friend: here you go, friend; hit you on email as well)

Some things of us pitched las class:

  • interviews conducted by Eloy
  • a reading and then some by Tempie
  • just plain old school professorship by moi
  • Vincent TBA

but what we really need, I feel like, is a mission statement, or something. Like an agreed upon message we wanna metastasize like wild fire (to make y’all feel the heat thereof) re language politics and race. (And: shout out to Dr. Zamora for the jointz she shared; hella helpful.)

Between us, there’re mad experiences between us; real messed up ones, too. And enuff I feel for a presentation marathon if y’all can keep up! But more than “Yes, racism is alive and well,” or “Discriminating against a person for how they speak is still discrimination,” a stronger clarion is in order, IMO.

Because: and this’s how I see it: every minute folks go not kibitzing bout this stuff, the more hidebound English becomes when we don’t jam it w/ our so-called claptrap. The more the gap widens between standard and nonstandard speakers of English, for as Dr. Vay be noting: “I think code meshing will break down one of those last barriers of racism.”

So. A call to action as it relates to linguistic sensitivity and equality. Affording peeps they rights to represent themselves in they speech the way they want without being hated on or other deleterious effect is the uppercase “G” goal, I want to say. And I’m out.

If Code Switching Ain’t Language Bleaching Then IDK, WTF

Firstly: my fault, y’all, for being late last night, y’all. Overslept. Grad school.

Second: The Jokers Key & Peele be pretty on point with they microagressions, which is pretty much what we can call racialized comedy, or just comedy, I think. (Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t stand sentry as educators or just regard them as jokes.) But I don’t particularly dig what NPR seems to be saying is OK to do, which is code switch. Because it’s not.

Like, code switching wasn’t something we talked all that much about before Obama, I feel like; meanwhile: for years me and mines (read: minorities) been dealing with this type of language compartmentalization (read: double consciousness) without actually taking account for how itz really fucking us up, or how it is just really fucked up. (And linguists and comedians alike done already typified the speech patterns of pretty much everybody out here; how you think non-gays and non-blacks play gays and blacks? That means that there’re inherent things bout the way women and gays and blacks speak that make them either women, gay, or black, for instance. And whether wittingly or not, they all doing the Standard English Language shuffle with they rhetoric, believe it or not.)

And herez the thing bout code switchin: it’s language subjugation. Itz what Mom Dukes and Pop trained beat the bloody bricks off me to do because: prejudices. They knew how I spoke would either validate or invalidate me. They knew if I wanted to be taken seriously, I’d better be a docile somebody who didn’t raise his voice at nobody, complained bout nothing, donned a hoodie, durag, listened to overtly crass lyrics in booming stereo sound, spoke to loudly or back at anybody, had a certain gait. Like, talk about stripping a brotha’s autonomy; talk about no swag at all for Your Boy.

And word: it was survivalistic considering where they was coming from–Mom an immigrant mutt from postcolonial Grenada and Dad a brotha from Beatown–but it’s inherently segregationist when you think about what it be about.

Because itz basically saying ‘this’ is better than ‘this’. That Standard (White) English is better than somebody’s Other English. And by Other English I mean a nonstandard variant thereof. This can be Black English or Spanglish or whatever the kidz be saying on Interwebs in that super cool esoteric techno verbiage they be spitting; call it “chat room lingo,” as my man Dr. Vershawn Young do.

And if we can agree that skin bleaching is bad–and will you just look at this fool Sammy Sosa–then how do you think you sound bleaching your language? You sound crazy, duh. Using words all wrong, and stuff. Getting idioms mixed up. Employing polysyllabic words all higgledy-piggledy like a sesquipedalian who’s a cockalorum fussbudget flibbertigibbet. (I mean, I do it no biggie. I’m also a li’l fucked up. Everyday struggle.)

And It’s clear (no pun) you’re trying to fit in and doing a bad job of it, so when do we give it up?


**Sorry for all the PUNishment ( ;