1996-12-21 - Re: Ebonics

Header Data

From: “Mark M.” <markm@voicenet.com>
To: mrosen@peganet.com>
Message Hash: 5a0e0b87f2ccaae2a79a48d25e54e3ef5072f8de0866fbb04c6ecd7293e89e5f
Message ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.961221144523.595B-100000@gak.voicenet.com>
Reply To: <199612211754.MAA04080@mercury.peganet.com>
UTC Datetime: 1996-12-21 19:58:53 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 21 Dec 1996 11:58:53 -0800 (PST)

Raw message

From: "Mark M." <markm@voicenet.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Dec 1996 11:58:53 -0800 (PST)
To: mrosen@peganet.com>
Subject: Re: Ebonics
In-Reply-To: <199612211754.MAA04080@mercury.peganet.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.961221144523.595B-100000@gak.voicenet.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain


On Sat, 21 Dec 1996, Mark Rosen wrote:

> There are several problems with your argument:
> 	* You are making glaring generalizations regarding all members of an
> ethnic body; you don't seem to realize that intellect is based not on color
> or how you talk but on your brain (which has the same color and other basic
> properties in all humans, I believe)

That would be your generalization.  Nowhere did anyone ever say that _all_
black people speak "Ebonics".  I don't see why someone should hire someone if
they can't even understand what that person is saying.  Besides, I would
suspect that a reasonably intelligent person would know how to speak correct
English or at least make an attempt to do so.

> 	* You are completely forgetting the other "non-English" group in America;
> the so-called White Trash or heavy Southern accents, which are violate just
> as many prissy and stuck up rules of grammar as Ebonics

No mention was made of "White Trash".  You're drawing an invalid conclusion.

> 	* You don't have to speak ebonics. You also don't have to speak with a
> Southern twang (or whatever the politically correct name for that is)

One also shouldn't have to hire such people either.

> 	I also think that you are forgetting about the human aspect of your
> discrimination. For a second, put yourself in the place of a really smart
> black guy applying for a job at Intel. He is overqualified for the job. You

There is a logical correlation between intelligence and being able to follow
English grammatical rules.

> turn him down. Have you ever wondered what it does to a person to be turned
> down not on the basis of their moral character or intellect but by their
> skin? For someone to be told that they are stupid and are not competent to
> do this job? You don't realize that you are crushing _human_ lives, people
> who have feelings. If you would just put yourself in their place, you would
> realize the hurt that your are inflicting.

This has nothing to do with race.  You are drawing another invalid conclusion.
It has to do with dealing with people who will speak in a language that one can
understand.  English grammar is not simple, but an intelligent person would
be able to at least grasp some of the basics of grammar and speak in a
comprehensible language.

> 	Out of curiousity, do you refuse from hiring people with Southern Accents?
> Or people who have heavy "asian" accents? I'm very surprised that a smart
> person like you, who believes in the power of strong cryptography, one of
> the greatest equalizing forces in the world, actively discriminates against
> other people who don't look or talk like you.

Crypto will allow people to actively discriminate against whomever they wish.
It will also allow those who would be discriminated against to protect
information about themselves to prevent discrimination.  I don't support
discrimination based on race, but language is a completely different matter.

P.S. Spelling and grammar flames will be ignored.

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