Question: does the AP’s accurate transcription of Obama’s speech to the CBC wish to hang blacks from trees or relegate them to the backs of buses or separate drinking fountains?
That is to say, is the objective depiction of Obama’s switch into his Hawaiian accent (h/t Gutfeld) during a speech now considered out of bounds? Is reality itself racist? — and if so, does that assertion not mark the speaker himself as responsible for the racism?
Or are we to believe that it’s a black thing, we wouldn’t understand, and most importantly, we aren’t allowed to try. In fact, it’s racist even to notice.
Long time readers of this site can’t say they haven’t been warned… Yahoo News:
was the AP transcription of Obama’s remarks racist?
That’s the subject currently being debated after the issue was raised on Chris Hayes’ MSNBC show on Sunday.
On MSNBC, the African-American author Karen Hunter complained the news service transcribed Obama’s speech without cleaning it up as other outlets did–specifically including the “dropped g’s.”
Via the AP version:
“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,” he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. “Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”
Hunter called the AP’s version “inherently racist,” sparring with New Republic contributing editor and noted linguistics expert John McWhorter, who argued the g-less version “is actually the correct one,” noting that the president’s victory in the 2008 election was due, in part, to how effortlessly “he can switch into that [black] dialect.”
Leaving aside that direct political question for the moment — and there’s no doubt McWhorter is correct in pointing out that Obama tends to direct his oratorical cadences, patterns, and dialect to the specific audience he’s addressing — what to me is most amazing is that, to Hunter, noticing and noting the dropped g’s, which no one disputes the President did, is now “inherently racist,” meaning that to avoid the charge of racism under Hunter’s conditions non-blacks (and I’m assuming Ms Hunter either believes the AP transcriber non-black, or else an Uncle Tom, and so “inauthentic”) most now train themselves to ignore their own perceptions, or at the very least, to edit them into a more politically correct version than the reality their aim is to capture has provided them.
That is, they must become creative writers whose job it is to edit reality to suit political sensibilities, taking away the intent of the speaker they are transcribing to prevent that intent from being examined by second-hand receivers of the transcription.
In other words, they are now charged with re-writing history to protect the speaker from himself, lest they be charged with transcribing reality, once considered the most neutral of all activities (at least in intent and aim), an activity that now carries with it the charge of “inherent racism” if the reality being transcribed belongs to blacks, and non-blacks or inauthentic blacks are doing the transcribing.
Presumably, Ms Hunter, if pressed, might have to extend the argument to audio clips that capture the dropping of the g’s — themselves a secondhand recording of reality that have not been “corrected” of their “inherent racism.” And by extentsion, non-black ears who perceived the dropping of the g’s likewise can’t escape such indictments.
Which is to say, non-blacks and inauthentic blacks listening to the speech have but two choices should they wish to resist the charge of being racists: either they shield their ears and not listen to the President, because he wasn’t directing his speech to them; or else they listen and at least pretend not to notice his oratorical tricks and tropes.
This way lies insanity, of course. But it is also the logical endpoint of the Edward Said Orientalism model for defining the power relations within the identity politics of the left.
Multiculturalism and “diversity” training all teach the more superficial, innocuous, and feel-good it iterations of the kernel assumptions of Said’s perverse ideological feint; so we shouldn’t be surprised that when the more restrictive arguments built on the kernel assumptions we’ve already accepted and institutionalized are then marshaled against us, we find ourselves caught in the trap of political correctness we ourselves have so readily sanctioned.
All of which is why I’ve counseled that we don’t cede the ground in the first place, even if doing so seems locally harmless and politically expedient at the time we do it.
But then, what do I know? I’m not the go along to get along type.