Harry Reid And Negro Dialect: The Wrong Controversy

The GOP wants Senate Majority Leader to step down:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/01/11/reid.obama/index.html

What else is new, no GOP senators supported health care reform, and the House vote was also partisan. Reid, Secretary of State Clinton, and Speaker of the House Pelosi are longtime targets of right wing ire. As for Reid’s comments about then-candidate Obama, what’s the big deal. Vice President Biden said Obama was clean and articulate, and it earned him a spot on the ticket? Does the “Negro dialect” designation bother you?

What is Negro dialect- I need a glossary? Does the speech of Huck Finn, Granny Clampett, or “Foghorn Leghorn” qualify? As Redd Foxx once joked, whatever one thinks of the idiom in question, it is Black imitation of the people from whom they learned English- Southern white people. How come Black Bostonians, or California Black women who sound like Valley Girls, aren’t considered examples of Negro dialect? They adopted their speech mannerisms from the whites in their respective environments.

The language and slang of Appalachia and the North Carolina Piedmont owe much to the geographic isolation of white settlers or indentured servants who spoke an Elizabethan English generously sprinkled with “yonder”‘s, “reckon”‘s, and “vittles” (victuals). Though it has been subject to humor and derision from the novels of Mark Twain to hit tv series such as “The Real McCoy’s”, “The Beverly Hillbillies”, “Hee Haw”, and “The Dukes of Hazzard”, it is and was closer to The King’s English (as in King James, of bible fame) as anything ever spoken on these shores. Queen Elizabeth I would have understood Granny Clampett- which has nothing to do with either one being a Negro.

As for calls Reid’s resignation based on baseless comparisons to Trent Lott- Black people can tell the difference between the voting records of Reid and Lott, or Biden and Lott for that matter. There is thus, no “double standard”. Actions speak louder than words. Wonder where Lott stands on healthcare reform?

BCB

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