April 13, 2007

Race, Class, and Language

Race, Class, and Language

[Since we ended up covering many of these issues on our Ralph Ellison’s America show, we sent this one to the graveyard.]

Leave it to nother to channel exactly what we were talking about today:

Race, class, and language. The Right is defending Imus by claiming that African Americans use that language…so let’s take their argument head on. Should we discuss who — in this country of free speech — can use derogatory language about race? Can the youth say it; Chris Rock; only African Americans? Have we reached a point that it shouldn’t be cool for anyone — anytime, to use that language?

Nother, in a comment to Open Source, 4/13/07

Here’s Michelle Malkin’s version of that argument, one I sent around the office yesterday in near disbelief because for the first time I realized I half agreed with her. (For the record, it’s worth noting that Malkin’s piece isn’t a defense of Imus; it’s an indictment of much of the dominant American popular culture.)

Is it time to talk once again about who — and when, and how, and why — can say what?

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