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NWAV 40 2011 GEORGETOWN. Language subordination tactics at the intersection of race , sex and class . Election 2008 . SUPPORT the UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND A mind is a terrible thing to waste. 1 – 800 – 332 - UNCF.

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

SUPPORT the UNITED NEGRO

COLLEGE FUND

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

1 – 800 – 332 - UNCF

slide3

Dan Quayle: "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.”

      • Speech to the United Negro College Fund (9 May 1989)
slide4

And More from the Mouth of Dan Quayle…

The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and some twenty other papers, as well as CBS, NBC and ABC news.

Vanderbilt University Television News Archives

slide5

Language subordination tactics: Measures which discredit or demean an individual or group by focusing criticism on arbitrary points of grammar or usage. It's important to distinguish between the overtly discriminatory commentary and the more covert focus on language.

barack obama
Barack Obama
  • “That boy’s finger does not need to be on the [nuclear war] button.”

Representative Geoff Davis, Republican, Kentucky 12 April 2008

barack obama1
Barack Obama

“Mr. Obama and his well practiced, articulate diction seem to be more of a focus of attention than the prime time line-up.”

David Brezler Examiner.com, 26 Jan 2008

slide9

“… is Obama obnoxiously articulate?”

Liz Sidoti 13 October 2009 AP News.

“Can he live up to the standards?” Karl Rove

[what] “makes McCain different from Obama: (action-oriented rhetoric v. grand prose; accessible v. uppity; humble servant of country v. arrogant)” Internal RNC campaign memo

slide10

You speak with such confidence.

  • You are so well spoken!
  • “For a minute there I forgot he was Black.”
    • Chris Matthews, post debate commentary
  • You are trying to speak with an accent that is not your own.

code

Articulate while Black

slide11

"Everyone was up in arms about Michael Richards using the N-word, but subtle words like [articulate] are more insidious. It’s like weight loss. The last few pounds are the hardest to get rid of. It’s the last vestiges of racism that are hard to get rid of."

D.H. Hughley

obama

[O]ur most brilliant presidents often work hard to seem publicly dumb in order to avoid the stain of elitism.

T. Lim 2008. The Anti-Intellectual Presidency

Obama

Opposition framed him as: Articulate, arrogant, uppity; other

slide16

I may be from Anchorage and not Mat-Su, but I've certainly interacted with umpteen Mat-Su residents in my lifetime, including family members who were born and raised there. I hear nothing in Palin's speech that is characteristic of Mat-Su dialect, if it can even be said that Mat-Su has a distinctive dialect separate from south central Alaskan (which would be shared by Anchorage).

Language Log comment

slide17

”People say that I speak too simply, or don’t have quite the — I don’t have my thesaurus in my back pocket all along through my speeches. Well, I don't have time for that”

http://goo.gl/bFx1P

slide19

We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. . . . We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.

Sarah Palin

Greensboro, NC

October 16, 2008

slide20

“I’m not going to pretend to be an elitist. In fact, I’m going to fight the elitist, because for too often and for too long now, I think the elitists have tried to make people like me and people in the heartland of America feel like we just don’t get it.”

Palin interview with Mike Wallace

slide21

“…identity is racially marked precisely because individuals refuse to engage in cultural practices that originate across racialized lines and instead construct their identities by cleaving closely to the symbolic resources of an extreme whiteness, especially the resources of language.”

Bucholtz 2001

slide23

Performing Whiteness

Performing Blackness

….

slide24

Redneck

Whiteness

Blackness

….

slide25

Redneck

Whiteness

Blackness

….

Hillbilly

slide26

White Trash

Redneck

Whiteness

Blackness

….

Hillbilly

slide27

White Trash

Redneck

Whiteness

Blackness

….

Hillbilly

Performing a “degraded form of whiteness” Hartigan 1999

slide28

White Trash

Redneck

Nerds

Whiteness

Blackness

….

Hillbilly

slide29

White Trash

Nerds

Redneck

SuperStandard

Whiteness

Blackness

….

Hillbilly

Degraded

slide30

White Trash

Nerds

Redneck

SuperStandard

Whiteness

Blackness

….

Hillbilly

Real Americans

Degraded

performing ra whiteness
Palin’s RA

Simplistic to the point of condescension

Manipulative

  • Joe Six Pack
  • Hockey Moms
  • Plumbers
  • Small town residents
  • Angry
  • Defensive
  • Fearful

Real Americans

Performing RA Whiteness