If Code Switching Ain’t Language Bleaching Then IDK, WTF

Firstly: my fault, y’all, for being late last night, y’all. Overslept. Grad school.

Second: The Jokers Key & Peele be pretty on point with they microagressions, which is pretty much what we can call racialized comedy, or just comedy, I think. (Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t stand sentry as educators or just regard them as jokes.) But I don’t particularly dig what NPR seems to be saying is OK to do, which is code switch. Because it’s not.

Like, code switching wasn’t something we talked all that much about before Obama, I feel like; meanwhile: for years me and mines (read: minorities) been dealing with this type of language compartmentalization (read: double consciousness) without actually taking account for how itz really fucking us up, or how it is just really fucked up. (And linguists and comedians alike done already typified the speech patterns of pretty much everybody out here; how you think non-gays and non-blacks play gays and blacks? That means that there’re inherent things bout the way women and gays and blacks speak that make them either women, gay, or black, for instance. And whether wittingly or not, they all doing the Standard English Language shuffle with they rhetoric, believe it or not.)

And herez the thing bout code switchin: it’s language subjugation. Itz what Mom Dukes and Pop trained beat the bloody bricks off me to do because: prejudices. They knew how I spoke would either validate or invalidate me. They knew if I wanted to be taken seriously, I’d better be a docile somebody who didn’t raise his voice at nobody, complained bout nothing, donned a hoodie, durag, listened to overtly crass lyrics in booming stereo sound, spoke to loudly or back at anybody, had a certain gait. Like, talk about stripping a brotha’s autonomy; talk about no swag at all for Your Boy.

And word: it was survivalistic considering where they was coming from–Mom an immigrant mutt from postcolonial Grenada and Dad a brotha from Beatown–but it’s inherently segregationist when you think about what it be about.

Because itz basically saying ‘this’ is better than ‘this’. That Standard (White) English is better than somebody’s Other English. And by Other English I mean a nonstandard variant thereof. This can be Black English or Spanglish or whatever the kidz be saying on Interwebs in that super cool esoteric techno verbiage they be spitting; call it “chat room lingo,” as my man Dr. Vershawn Young do.

And if we can agree that skin bleaching is bad–and will you just look at this fool Sammy Sosa–then how do you think you sound bleaching your language? You sound crazy, duh. Using words all wrong, and stuff. Getting idioms mixed up. Employing polysyllabic words all higgledy-piggledy like a sesquipedalian who’s a cockalorum fussbudget flibbertigibbet. (I mean, I do it no biggie. I’m also a li’l fucked up. Everyday struggle.)

And It’s clear (no pun) you’re trying to fit in and doing a bad job of it (what Paul Gee calls “mushfaking“) so when do we give it up?


**Sorry for all the PUNishment ( ;


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