Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You Sound Dumb As Hell...


Last season when BET first premiered "Tiny and Toya" I was a HUGE critic of the show. I had only seen the previews for the show and I didn't know much about the two outside of what I'd read on the gossip blogs. Obviously I knew Tiny as the mother of TI's children and from my days of being an Xscape fan, (in grammar school my friends and I were Xscape for Halloween and I asked to be Tiny #dontjudgeme I really liked her). Not only that, but I knew Toya as Lil Wayne's babymama to which she quickly corrected America in saying "I am his ex-wife." Other than that, I knew nothing and I didn't want to know. But besides their personal life, I saw the commercial.

"Ugh, they sound dumb as hell!"

In addition to dumb, I might have said ghetto, uneducated, retarded. *cough*

Then one day I was watching BET against my wishes, Tiny and Toya came on and I had no control over the remote. I thought I would end up justifying my preconceptions but it turns off I was all types of wrong. Oh and you know me thinking they they were dumb? Yeah, I realized that was just a result of my northern head in the sky. I had criticized them for being ignorant solely off of a southern accent.

Ashamed, I changed my tune very quickly and wanted to inform everyone all over the world that these women weren't dumb they just had a southern accent! So one night while everyone was on Twitter live tweeting the show, I looked for people talking about how they sounded so ignorant. They called them classless. People with no accent didn't understand and people with accents that weren't so heavy were quick to differentiate themselves in order to continue their assaults.

So while I had realized the error of my ways, it was hard to enlighten others. Black people love to say another black person with a Southern drawl sounds ignorant, yet no one will say Bill Clinton sounds stupid or John Edwards sounds stupid. I've even heard Blacks with an accent being relegated to sounding like a slave. *faint*

I hate to be one of those people who in tries to force my new found intellectual freedom upon others and I understand the sanctity of people's opinions. However, I do think it's about time we stop using any distinguishing characteristics besides personality, qualifications, etc to determine another person as worthy of respect or status. People who know how to assimilate or "code switch," as I like to call it, often become the perpetrator of classist, sexist, even racist ideologies associated with the status quo because their name isn't "ghetto," or they're middle or upperclass versus lower class, or they speak "proper."

We need to move past the language barriers. We need to move past the condescending mentalities that we have against one another as a result of dialect, or region, class, gender, hue, educational background, whatever. At the end of the day, it makes no sense because the person who thinks they're better for one reason, will always have someone trying to one up them. Everyone isn't going to talk the same way. Realize this and realize maybe it's not them that sounds dumb. It's you.

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