Monday, July 28, 2008

SBPL Myth #4 Being Biracial doesn't mean I want you to speak to me like I'm "ghetto".

I might be called an Uncle Tom for writing this, but I'll live to write another blog.

First, let me just clarify/share my personal thoughts on the whole idea of "talking black" or "speaking ghetto". I personally hate that such dialect is automatically attributed to being black. I have spent much time on the north, south, east and west sides of columbus where there are neighborhoods filled with white and hispanic people that "ghetto talk". Just because I'm black/biracial doesn't mean I use "ax" instead of "ask" or "moms" instead of "mom" or "fin'in to" instead of "fixing to" or "be" instead of "am" get the point.

Secondly, I don't think such dialect necessarily shows a lack of intelligence either. To me, it's simply a way of speaking. Can I do it? Yes. Do I choose to speak that way? Rarely, if ever.

Now, back to the title of this post.

I think it is a common misconception that when introduced to a mulatto, they (the mulatto) feels more comfortable when the person speaks to the mulatto in a "ghetto" fashion. This happens to me ALL THE TIME. Example:

Me (the Mulatto): Hello, how are you?
Person introducing themselves to me for the first time: Yo guuuurl, wasssssup??

Me: Hey! How are you doing?
Person whose known me for more longer: Guuuurl, I be aiight! Waassssup wit chew?

It's not like I go around introducing myself to white people, saying, "Like, OH MY GOD!! How are you?!? Like, I'm TOTALLY rad!", as if I were a valley girl. Afterall, don't all white people talk like "valley girls"? NO! All black people/mulatto people don't speak "ghetto" either.

My typical response to such a person (usually white, though not every white person) is to simply shake their hand and smile. However, as I've gotten older and become less tactful, and more assertive, i'm more prone to calling this behavior out.

Yours, Janara aka What's up Minority Affairs Scholarship?!?

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