May 30, 2005
culture---and out-growing it
I stole this link from here and I blogged about the subject earlier here. I want to read that book.
If you think there isn't a mountain dialect spoken in the hollows of Harlan County, Kentucky, you've never been there. That sound is still music to my ears, but the rest of my family and I stopped stopped speaking it years ago. It works fine in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, but it doesn't make you sound very intelligent or capable when you speak it to someone who's never heard it before.
One of the first things I learned when I came to Savannah: practice ditching that hillbilly accent. It doesn't fit in around here. Learn to talk the way everybody else does. So, I did.
That's one of the reasons I laughed my ass off at the idea of "Ebonics" when some idiots were actually SERIOUS about promoting ghetto-dialect as a legitimate second language.
My thought was.... "Here kid--- you trying to get out of this sump and make something of yourself in life? Let me help. I'm going to tie this BIG ROCK around your foot and send you out there to hobble around. When you don't find a job, come hobbling back here and I'll tell you it was all Whitey's fault. It had nothing to do with the rock tied to your foot."
I like a lot of things about people I call "red-necks." They're good old boys, unsophisticated but friendly as hell, good beer-drinkers, hard-workers and honest. They take care of their kids and they don't beat up the wife. They like country music and NASCAR racing. They own guns and enjoy hunting. If they make a good kill, they'll drive by your house and offer you a fresh deer-haunch.
I DON'T like Poor White Trash. There is a HUGE difference between PWT and a red-neck. Poor White Trash won't work. They blame every problem they have on somebody else. They allow their kids to grow like wild grass. They live in a single-wide mobile home with a broken front door, a blue tarp over the roof and a $16,000 bass boat in the drive-way. The only reason they ever get dressed is to walk to the mailbox and see if the Welfare Check arrived yet.
Am I being racist when I say that I see the same difference in Black Culture today? Them that wants it goes and gets it--- and it's OUT THERE TO BE HAD!!! If doing that is considered to be "acting white," I must respectfully disagree. I call it ACTING CIVILIZED!!! And it works, too.
On the other hand, you have the black equalivant of PWT, and they display the same characteristics of sorriness, excuse-making and self-destructive behavior. My point is that it's not a racial thing, in MY humble opinion. Some people are just plain sorry.
Preaching to the sorry people that what they are doing is legitimate guarantees that sorry people will remain sorry. I don't see how doing that improves a sorry person's life. That crap just makes people who are NOT dead-ass sorry pay more in taxes.
If I sound harsh, I mean to be.
Actually, Thomas Sowell just published a book titled "Black Rednecks and White Liberals". I haven't read it yet, but his premise is that the atypical low class black and what you refer to as "poor White trash" are one and the same. Their linguistics and culture originate from the same blighted area in England. It should be an intereresting read. Great minds think alike, huh Acidman?
Yep. It's the poor white trash that gives us rednecks a bad name among the sophisticated asshole crowd.
I can't wait to get hold of that book. Sowell is one of the most brilliant writers out there. He has punctured one Liberal lie after another, and they (the Liberal establishment and the Black Power establishment) hate him for it. Go to the library and pick up any of his books at random. You will be richly rewarded.
Stan and Ernie beat me to it. It's not what you say, it's how you say it. :-)
You wrote what many think, but don't say because it is not politically correct. Not only do the white trash need to get their shit together, but black culture needs to quit embracing every negative thing that comes along as black, then bitching about about it later. 6% of the population make up almost 50% of the prisoners, and it isn't because of racism, but an anti achievement mentality that is promoted everywhere. Sowell is alright, but I prefer Larry Elder's books.
A fine essay.
I am linking this piece on my tues Post.
that should raise your hits by at least 2 or 3.
This post should be required reading in every sociology class.
Lenny Bruce used to talk about Lyndon Johnson's Texas accent and how a lot of people in Congress used to look down their noses at him. His joke-thesis was, if Albert Einstein were a Southerner, there wouldn't have been an atomic bomb.
"Folks, lemme tell y'all about new-cleer fishin'..."
"Shaddup, schmuck, you don't know nuthin!"
we'ens gotta probum unnerstanin you'ens
Only the tip of the iceberg, the obvious. Anyone willing to risk going deeper? Why did African and American Indians develop distinctive dialects generations ago? Why are these tendencies now antiquated? And, what is the next stage in the evolution of humankind...do you live to hate and condem, or do you build bridges toward a society that enhances the well-being of everyone...if the latter, how would it be done, one heart at a time? The most challenging issue facing America is racism; we will not be worthy as global leaders until we address this deficit.
The most challenging issue facing the country right now is not racism. It is failure of many to accept responsibility for their actions.. A large segment of America, both black and white and especially native Amerians, have for various reasons decided that being educated is not worth the effort. Then, when they can only find low paying jobs they blame the man for their problems.
There are millions of us who were raised poor but overcame it and joined the great middle class America. We overcame raggedy blue jeans and snide remarks by being the best we could be at what we chose to do. We didn't use excuses and when we fucked up we admited our fuck ups and learned from them. We didn't blame anyone for our problems except ourselves and we didn't ask government to bail us out because we were poor, or black, or native American. There is a lot of racism I agree. But most of it is black against white instead of vice versa.
Ever hear of "spiritual diaspora"?
Bonita, I appreciate your comments, because you never act the troll around here, but you and I disagree about the essence of human nature. You see singing "Kumbaya" around a campfire as the answer to mankind's problems.
I see every person as the captain of his or her own ship, and YOU are responsible for piloting it where it goes. Do the reasons for dialects matter? Or is a simple fact that if your dialect is more important to you than success, YOU made a stupid choice?
I can still speak hillbilly when I want to. But I don't make it a habit. I spent too many years BREAKING that habit to back-slide now.
It's the type of liberal feel-good bullshit you prescribe that has gotten race relations to the point they are at now.
Like Guy said, people need to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS. I know that is a hard concept for nannies to understand. You and your ilk can't help getting your grubby little hands involed in every diabolical social experiment that comes down the pike.
"We just need to get to the "root cause" of the problem."
"We need to promote open dialouge."
"We need MORE FUNDING."
Bull fucking shit.
What WE need is for more people to take responsibility for their actions. In addition, parents need to start taking responsibility for their children.
I was brought up in a loving lower middle class family. I chose to act like a hellion/asshole toward my parents.
I got the boot at 18. I had a piece of shit car and $100 in my pocket. I lived in shithole cockroach motels and boarding houses for a few years while I worked construction.
Slowly, but surely, the values my parents instilled in me came to the surface. I came to realize that no one was going to make me successful but myself. I busted my ass and worked my way through college doing construction in the summers. Now, I am 38. I own/operate 2 successful construction companies.
Did the gubmint or some self-righteous feel-good asshole give them to me? Not a chance. I worked 100s of 80-90 hour weeks. I TOOK RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY OWN LIFE.
Blacks need to stop looking to hucksters and race baiters like Sharpton and Jackson for leadership.
I had a Race Relations (read: It's All Whitey's Fault) professor who derided me for quoting Sowell in a paper because he was a "sellout to his race". You remind me of her. Are you, by chance, a smelly self-hating white ungracefully aging hippie?
Gentlemen, I appreciate self-determination and accountability, and I congratulate you on your success. You feel as you do because of the walk you walked, mine was different. Our goals are the same, though. That's why I loved this post by Acidman. (And, Rightis right, I'm just a little pissant with a very minor role to play in life. Thanks.)
A little bit of "drive by commentary".....one of the most succinct (sp) comments about race came from one of the blackest people I know; to wit:: " It's not the color of y our skin, but the state of your mind".