Racist Reactions To My Language On Twitter (And What It Really Means...)
- Me: "*speaks Jamaican Patwah/Patois*"
- Racist: "This is America, speak English! No other languages are ever spoken here, and this country founded on genocide/settler colonialism and anti-Blackness/slavery should only involve the languages that I choose to hear, though I encroached your personal space and interrupted your conversation in a dialect that you were not speaking to me in."
- Me: "*speaks African American Vernacular English*"
- Racist: "This is America and I don't care if AAVE is actually a language with a structure, discussed by linguists everywhere, and if it is one we will later be appropriative for marketing purposes while continuing to profit from economic violence on Black people. I don't like how AAVE sounds right now and I don't want to hear it, even though I encroached your personal space and interrupted your conversation in a language that you were not speaking to me in."
- Me: "*speaks Standard American English*"
- Racist: "What, so you think you're smarter than me, why are you trying to be White? Gonna take my job? Well, you misspelled a word on Twitter, so I am still smarter. Why did you use some big words? They're stupid. I am going to ignore the context and topic of your conversation and mask my insecurity--over never realizing that the lies I was fed about my automatic intellectual superiority are in fact lies--by making jokes about word length versus leaving you alone/not invading your space or actually addressing the topic the words were about."
- Me: *uses terms attributable to womanist/Black feminist scholarship, critical race theory or other anti-oppression theories/praxes*
- Racist: "I haven't approved use of these words, so I will call them stupid. It...well...doesn't matter to me that a key facet of White supremacy--with a very long history and reality no less--is degrading the intelligence of a Black woman, or committing epistemic violence, by purposely altering/attacking the language used to describe oppression in order to engage in an ahistorical analysis that supports oppression. I don't like that you can describe my violence with acute accuracy, so I will use violence to critique that perspective. You're a pseudo-intellectual if I don't understand what you are saying, don't want my privilege or violence critiqued with an accuracy that Black thinkers have had for centuries nor want to acknowledge that I am purposely kept ignorant of Black radical scholarship because of White supremacy."