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HomeSummarized NewsMichigan State prof: Telling someone you can’t understand their accent is ‘linguistic racism’

Michigan State prof: Telling someone you can’t understand their accent is ‘linguistic racism’

  • A linguistics and education professor from Michigan State University claims that telling somebody that you can’t understand him is an example of “linguistic racism.”
  • More specifically, it’s “racist” to ask a person to repeat what he said because you “don’t understand [his] thick accent”
  • Another example is someone “openly say[ing] only English is to be spoken in the workplace” despite the presence of multilingual employees.
  • Professor Peter De Costa says “acts of racism perpetuated against individuals on the basis of their language use.”
  • De Costa places some of the blame for current linguistic racism on the outgoing presidential administration due to its “jingoistic sentiments that target speakers who do not use the dominant language.”
  • Those who don’t (or can’t) speak English, the prof says, are “perceived as being unpatriotic and unwilling to embrace American values.”
  • There’s also the president’s “false labeling” of COVID-19 as the “Wuhan Virus” which “fueled xenophobic resentment” against Chinese and Chinese-Americans.
  • Such gave the virus an “ethnolinguistic quality,” De Costa says, which subjected that demographic to “blatant dehumanization” and “unnecessary ostracization.”
  • De Costa elaborates further in his article “Linguistic racism: its negative effects and why we need to contest it” published in the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

Read the FULL article over at College Fix by clicking here


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