Saturday, 17 January 2015

Get Your White Tongues Off Our Slang, You Racists!

Robin Boylorn is assistant professor of interpersonal and intercultural communication at the University of Alabama. What sort of education can you expect from her?

Well…
While “bae” only made its way to mainstream parlance in the last few years, it is a word that most black folk have been intimately familiar with for decades. … And then Pharrell put it in a song, Miley Cyrus did a cameo, and it gained the attention of mainstream media. Suddenly there were articles attempting to define the word “bae”, otherwise reputable businesses began implementing “bae” in their social media ad campaigns, and everybody and they mama started using it.
I can’t say I did. But still…
Cultural appropriation at its best, steals, reduces, overuses and then disposes of words like so much bathwater. The linguist Jane H Hill defines language appropriation as “a type of complex cultural borrowing that involves a dominant group’s ‘theft’ of aspects of a target group’s language.” Hill claims that the ‘theft’ adds value to white identity while further marginalizing nondominant groups.
Oh noes! We iz bein’ oppressed! Send moneys!
The good news is that black language is resilient and black folk are creative. So even when the dominant culture tries to dispose of the terms it wears out, other words and phrases will emerge.
So, why are you squawking about it?
So, what happens when mainstream culture decides to dispose of a word stolen from black language and then used to the point of saturation in popular culture? Nothing. The word may lose its novelty so that those who appropriated it stop saying or using it, but the word won’t disappear or lose its utility in the black community.
So, again, since you seem oddly hard of thinking for someone in your position, why are you squawking about it?!?
… with any luck, the word will settle back into its original meaning, sans the unsolicited remix of dominant white culture.
So you can use it without those white folk cooties all over it, eh? How juvenile.

Actually, we’d be very happy if you ‘appropriated’ some white culture. Particularly those of us riding on the Tube or on buses in summer.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bunny

Is this bloody woman incapable of getting a proper job?

Lord T said...

Language appropriation is so true.

We have lost;
Gay
Liberal
Honourable Gentlemen
Justice
among others

All of these are important words, not something that sounds like someone clearing their throat. If that is all they can bring to culture no wonder they need it protected by law because natural selection won't do it.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I still find it amusing that Bae is actually the Danish for Shit

Mark Wadsworth said...

Indeed, I read the article yesterday and it is a fine, fine example of Victimhood Poker, methinks.

Bucko The Moose said...

WTAF? Using nigger language does not make you racist, it just makes you a tit.

And a quick Google search tells me Bae is the danish word for poop.

I don't think my wife would appreciate me calling her a shit, anymore than she would me trying to be a Wigger.

Anonymous said...

oops! My bad! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh !

AndrewWS said...

If she's a linguist (I am, incidentally) she will know that languages evolve and borrow words all the time, and that the evolution of English is especially fluid given its worldwide reach. This is simply a fact of life; nobody is stealing anything as words aren't owned by anyone.

NB: the latest English word to catch on in German is "shitstorm"; it occurs in the press all over the place and I read a speech by a major Swiss company's CEO the other day in which he used it.

JuliaM said...

"Is this bloody woman incapable of getting a proper job?"

Her degree might as well be written on Izal.

"I still find it amusing that Bae is actually the Danish for Shit"

Yes, indeed! :D

"If she's a linguist (I am, incidentally) she will know that languages evolve and borrow words all the time..."

I expect her degree course was light on the linguistics, and heavy on the political correctness.

"NB: the latest English word to catch on in German is "shitstorm""

That must sound even more awesome in a German accent!

Diesel said...

So what does "Bae" mean (other than Danish shit)? Up to now, I'd just assumed it was "Babe" written by someone who can't spell (or speak) properly.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Stealinglanguage heJ?

Then all these shite niggers should be banned from speaking French and English. Robbing bastards!

Anonymous said...

Say what? AAaiiiight! My bad!

Anonymous said...

Sheeeeeeeeeeee-it!

JuliaM said...

"So what does "Bae" mean (other than Danish shit)? Up to now, I'd just assumed it was "Babe" written by someone who can't spell (or speak) properly."

You're probably not wrong!