A rebellion against Pre-Obama America occurred in the linguistic sector, as Black people developed a vernacular indigenous to their rhythmically-enhanced communities; and this form of dialect has proliferated and gained increasing acceptance in academic circles, though it is borderline indecipherable:
The term Ebonics (a blend of ebony and phonics) gained recognition in 1996 as a result of the Oakland School Board’s use of the term in its proposal to use African American English in teaching Standard English in the Oakland Schools. The term was coined by Robert Williams in 1973, but it wasn’t until the Ebonics controversy that Ebonics became widely used. Most linguists prefer the term African American English as it aligns the variety with regional, national, and sociocultural varieties of English such as British English, Southern English, Cajun English, and so forth.Ebonics is a true language rebellion by Black people against the totalitarian and imperalistic cultural norms of acceptable communication enforced by oppressive sons and daughters of Albion. The Queen's English is a burden to Black people who, in an all-out effort to "keep it real", deigned speaking proper English just another form of slavery and freed themselves from the constricting shackles of grammatically correct sentences and intelligible spoken word.
Thankfully, a Web site has been created that offers translation of English into Ebonics, so that those unfamiliar to the foreign language spoken with such fervency in the Black community can grasp the concepts governing this growing tongue.
It has been postulated that Ebonics is the language that might finally help build the bridge to overcome the racial gap in learning that no amount of money has yet to construct. For this simple reason, Black people are incredulous that an attempt to create an authentic Black vernacular has been met with such a negative response by the American people. Worse, many white people snicker and find humor in the inability for Black people to intelligently put together a coherent sentence.
Indeed, it is that rare Black person who speaks recognizable, lucid and consistent English that is deemed articulate in the eyes of white people. Some have argued that a reliance on Ebonics has damaged Black people's prospects in the job market even, which could help explain the onus barbershops must face when it comes to employing vast numbers of dialectically-deficient Black people.
One entity that does value Ebonics (or, those who can understand Ebonics) is the Justice Department of the United States of America. Understanding crime statistics and the propensity Black people find themselves committing acts that run counter to laws governing civilized society, the Justice Department has realized that they lack the manpower to properly translate Ebonics to help solve crimes:
The Department of Justice is seeking to hire linguists fluent in Ebonics to help monitor, translate, and transcribe the secretly recorded conversations of subjects of narcotics investigations, according to federal records.
A maximum of nine Ebonics experts will work with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta field division, where the linguists, after obtaining a “DEA Sensitive” security clearance, will help investigators decipher the results of “telephonic monitoring of court ordered nonconsensual intercepts, consensual listening devices, and other media”
The DEA’s need for full-time linguists specializing in Ebonics is detailed in bid documents related to the agency’s mid-May issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) covering the provision of as many as 2100 linguists for the drug agency’s various field offices. Answers to the proposal were due from contractors on July 29.
In contract documents, which are excerpted here, Ebonics is listed among 114 languages for which prospective contractors must be able to provide linguists. The 114 languages are divided between “common languages” and “exotic languages.” Ebonics is listed as a “common language” spoken solely in the United States.
Ebonics has widely been described as a nonstandard variant of English spoken largely by African Americans. John R. Rickford, a Stanford University professor of linguistics, has described it as “Black English” and noted that “Ebonics pronunciation includes features like the omission of the final consonant in words like ‘past’ (pas’ ) and ‘hand’ (han’), the pronunciation of the th in ‘bath’ as t (bat) or f (baf), and the pronunciation of the vowel in words like ‘my’ and ‘ride’ as a long ah (mah, rahd).”
Detractors reject the notion that Ebonics is a dialect, instead considering it a bastardization of the English language.
The Department of Justice RFP does not, of course, address questions of vernacular, dialect, or linguistic merit. It simply sought proposals covering the award of separate linguist contracts for seven DEA regions. The agency spends about $70 million annually on linguistic service programs, according to contract records.
In addition to the nine Ebonics experts, the DEA’s Atlanta office also requires linguists for eight other languages, including Spanish (144 linguists needed); Vietnamese (12); Korean (9); Farsi (9); and Jamaican patois (4). The Atlanta field division, one of the DEA’s busiest, is the only office seeking linguists well-versed in Ebonics. Overall, the “majority of DEA’s language requirements will be for Spanish originating in Central and South America and the Caribbean,” according to one contract document.
The Department of Justice RFP includes a detailed description of the crucial role a linguist can play in narcotics investigations. They are responsible for listening to “oral intercepts in English and foreign languages,” from which they provide verbal and typed summaries. “Subsequently, all pertinent calls identified by the supervising law enforcement officer will be transcribed verbatim in the required federal or state format,” the RFP notes.
Black people love being Black. Ebonics is a source of pride for Black people who find the parroting the Queen's English just an extension of verbal slavery that the creation of an authentic dialect can help end. That Black people who speak recognizable English are patronized as being pillars for their community is the reason that the demonization of Ebonics is included in Stuff Black People Don't Like.
To act white is to speak coherent English and this intolerable offense must not occur in the Black community, thus the prevalence for Ebonics. Sadly, Rosetta Stone has yet to release a language software to help non-Ebonics speakers learn the rules that govern this form of speech.
To "keep it real" Black people created a language that no non-Black person can really understand. It's debatablewhether Black people can even understand it. Well, save that chick from Airplane!