Ebonics and woke culture – the lowest possible common denominator

by Mustang

In 1979 an attorney representing black students at Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School in Ann Arbor, Michigan, sued the school district in federal court, alleging that the school denied black students “equal protection under the law” because Michigan’s educational standards failed to recognize the social, economic, and cultural factors that made blacks different from white students.

The plaintiffs made several ludicrous claims in the suit, all of which the court rejected except for the last issue, which was that the school district must find a way to identify black English speakers in school and use that knowledge in teaching students how to read standard English.  The decision was somewhat vague; I’m not sure how school district officials complied with the court order.

In December 1996, the Oakland California Unified School District resolved to recognize the legitimacy of Ebonics in classroom instruction.  For the unaware, Ebonics is also known as African-American Vernacular English.  Other, less charitable people sometimes refer to it as “nigger talk” and “gutter English.”  We frequently hear it recited in rap.  Now, honestly, rap is a word, but it has nothing to do with music, so I try to avoid making such a connection.


An example of Ebonics might be, “Yo blood, I won axe you sompin.”  In describing “rap,” someone has taken pains to elaborate further by describing it as “spitting” street vernacular.  Apparently, this is how blacks talk to one another in their neighborhoods, where men commonly refer to women as “ho’s” and “bitches,” and male friends are M-F-ers.  Impressed with these expressions, Oakland school officials thought it would be a nifty idea to recognize this way of talking as an acceptable standard for teaching black students.

The resolution called for mandating classroom instruction in Ebonics to “maintain the legitimacy and richness of such language [and] facilitate their acquisition and mastery of English language skills.”  The school district also thought it would be a good idea to pay teachers more money to demonstrate mastery of gutter talk in their classrooms.

The resolution set off a firestorm of controversy, as it should have.  The arguments ranged from claims that Ebonics is not an acceptable language in any country (including any African country) to those who wanted federally funded programs to consider applying Ebonics to bilingual programs.  Not even Jesse Jackson was behind this idea, describing it as “disgraceful.”  Jackson, of course, later reversed his position.

Oakland USD last modified its resolution claiming that Ebonics was a “genetically-based” language, by which these educators argued that black students were biologically predisposed to gutter talk.  They claimed that the origins of Ebonics were part of the Niger-Congo language family and not mere dialects of English.

Since 1997, no one has demonstrated any value to teaching blacks children Shakespeare in gutter language.  One can only imagine what Hamlet, Act III, Scene I might look, or sound like in the gutter talk of the majority of our black populations:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die: to sleep…”

Notwithstanding that particular controversy, we have progressed to gutter culture, spoken most often as “Woke Culture.”  Rather than proclaiming, “It is time we awaken to certain realities,” is has become fashionable to say, “Be woke, blood.”  And so, it has come to pass, thanks in considerable measure to the communist media, black activists, and other morons who stumble around in the night.  But such an expression is not recently arrived in our crumbling society.  Black folk singer Huddie Ledbetter (also known as Led Belly) first used “woke” in a 1938 song — “bess stay woke.”


The Oxford English Dictionary traces the earliest usage to a 1962 New York Times article titled, “If You’re Woke, You Dig It.”  The article’s author was black writer William Melvin Kelley, who sought to describe the appropriation of black talk by white beatniks.  Now we have white “rappers” who are clearly advanced in such proficiencies.

In 2010, “woke” meant to suggest romantic infidelity.  Within a few years, the expression morphed into meaning an awareness of (mostly) racial discrimination — in both cases popularized in musical verse.  Following the police shooting death of Michael Brown in 2014, activists associated with “Black Lives Matter” seized the “woke” expression as their standard.  Since then, the term has become a familiar refrain on “black Twitter” (which, presumably, no well-educated person can read).  It was spoken so often that brainless white kids began using it and applying it to their own meaningless lives.

Now we have “Woke Vote” and numerous “hashtag” applications.  It is perhaps interesting to note that blacks positively hate the fact that white teenagers have stolen their favorite gutter word as their own standard, even though 99.9% of these kids have no idea what it means.

Speaking of clueless, the more recently, leftist politicians have seized the word to describe their anti-Trump/anti-White/anti-Christian/anti-Conservative positions on nearly everything.  For example, on the political left, being “woke” means accepting the argument that the United States was never a true democracy, that there is nothing exceptional about the American Republic, and that the United States deserved the attack on 9/11.

Well, of course, it’s true that the United States has never been a true democracy; it’s a Republic.  But who among us, with two or more functioning brain cells, doesn’t know that?  Here’s something else that’s true: there’s nothing exceptional about that part of our society that raises gutter language and behavior as their standard — but that’s the terminus of progressive attitudes, policies, and programs.

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

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Thanks go to Pirates Cove for the link today!

20 Responses to “Ebonics and woke culture – the lowest possible common denominator”

  1. Emmy’s first: ‘Non Binary’ Outfit worn by Carl Clemons-Hopkins | BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades! Says:

    […] and woke culture – the lowest possible common denominator bunkerville.wordpress.com/2021/09/21/ebo… […]


  2. Baysider Says:

    Well, black English is really WHITE English. The original, ignorant and poor communication style was found among blacks solely in the south. Those born in the north did NOT carry on like that. In fact, southern blacks were saddled with a whole dysfunctional so-called black culture, one which “becomes an excuse to justify the uneducated, uncouth, rowdy, risky, promiscuous, and unambitious behavior of the ghetto dwellers.”

    But is it really a “black” culture? Where did they GET that in the first place? Certainly not from their origins in Africa! Who were they around HERE? A lot of poor white trash who settled in the south, “coming heavily from the “Celtic fringe” outside the cultural heartland of England, as their behavior on both sides of the Atlantic showed. They [the fringe] came from the almost lawless regions of Scotland, Ireland, and northern borderlands of England.” And THEY passed on language and behaviors to the unfortunate blacks who were around them.

    Quotations from Thomas Sowell’s excellent (a redundant adjective when talking about Sowell) book, Black Rednecks, White Liberals.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mustang Says:

      Language is part of the culture, of course. When I speak of black culture, I don’t necessarily mean African culture. I mean the culture that exists within black American communities, which includes the utter disdain they have for women and children, the “in-your-face” aggressive interactions, loud voices, profanity, laziness, and the willingness to remain on welfare because they know it screws working whites having to pay higher taxes. It doesn’t sound very nice to say, but sometimes the truth can be brutal.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. If All You See… » Pirate's Cove Says:

    […] blog of the day is Bunkerville, with a post on Ebonics and Woke […]

    Liked by 2 people

  4. markone1blog Says:

    You know that the Louisiana Constitution of 1921 made it illegal for public schools to teach in both French and English. Should my Cajun friends sue to make that right? Ce n’est pas bon.

    By the way, don’t respond in French. I only know enough to get around during Mardi Gras.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kidme37 Says:

    What up Dog. Yea, ebonics is like no good. Jive is my reccomendation for anyone who doesn’t want to speak English.

    So, in your example, Jive would sound like this:

    To be, o’ not t’be, dig dis: dat be de quesshun, dig dis: Wheda’ ’tis nobla’ in de mind t’suffer De slin’s and arrows uh outrageous fo’tune, Or t’snatch arms against some sea uh troubles, And by opposin’ end dem. ‘S coo’, bro. To die, dig dis: t’sleep…”

    Still understandable, so not a true translation to Jive. Back when I was a teenager, my friend and I hitched to Detroit from Pittsbirgh out of boredom, While there a couple brothers picked us in a convertible El Dorado. They were talking Jive and niether of us had the slightest clue what they were saying.

    Way back before the innernet, I remember seeing a Southern Democrat breifly featured in some ‘news’ presentation who, with forehead blood vessels clearly visible was screaming about how “Niggers were going to destroy this country with their nigger talk and niggr music”. Seemed sort of over the top to me at the time, but it seems he wasn’t far off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mustang Says:

      Years ago, toward the end of the war in Vietnam, I had a young Marine in my section. A draftee, he was a sharp young man who earned a degree in engineering from LSU. Quiet-speaking individual, with an almost upper-class Boston accent, good sense of humor, read the classics and liked to talk about those tales and what they meant to him.

      One night, while serving as OOD, I made the required visitations at the various service clubs ala Wyatt Earp, to make sure everyone was behaving themselves. At the enlisted club, I observed this young man drinking with several other blacks … pretty much minding their own business, but the conversation was all gutter talk. It was a jaw-dropping moment.

      The next day, I asked the Marine, how it was that he exhibited two identities … one, the enlightened, well-educated person when he was around white people, and the other a profane, jive-talking punk when he was in a black crowd. He smiled and said that if he wanted to fit in with his own kind, he had to revert to the jungle lifestyle. I never forgot that.

      I wondered, and still do, why it was so important to “fit in with thugs.” He’d already broken the chain of poverty. I wonder if, later in life, after finishing work in some field of engineering, he went home from work, changed out of his three-piece suit and Gucci shoes, put on rags and sneaks, and went out to hang wif da blood. Puzzling. I guess it is possible to take someone out of the jungle, but nearly impossible to remove the jungle from the culture.

      Liked by 2 people

      • kidme37 Says:

        Similar story by a bartender I knew who worked a 2nd job selling Chrsitmas trees in season. He said a couple black dudes he was assisting look for a tree were talking normal as heck to him, but when he went around in back of some trees where they couldn’t see him, they were talking the jungle talk. Or maybe it was the other way around actually. Same difference I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

      • bunkerville Says:

        I was invited to a party of about 80 Blacks…I was about the only white person there. The person who invited me was a teacher who I knew and she thought I would enjoy the outing. First “they” all looked at me… I will never forget it… not a friendly look.. They all were in their jive talk and I was clueless. They talked to me in their jargon…expecting what… I never have forgotten it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mustang Says:

        We often discuss here the issue of the willingness of foreigners to assimilate mainstream American culture. With an understanding of the history of blacks in the United States, and the woeful conditions (mostly) Democrats subjected them to, it may be understandable that black culture today refuses to assimilate, and I wonder if their (apparent) rejection of anything white explains their refusal to place a high value on education, which is part of what keeps them in the projects. Cutting off the nose to spite face may be the situation. If this is even partly true, then what we may be facing in the future is systemic exclusion and a return to segregation … because that’s how blacks want it. Perplexing. I can’t help but think that all of this is intentional. We begin with a horrific situation, improve on it, elect a black man to the presidency, and race relations take a dive. More than mere happenstance, in my view.

        Liked by 2 people

      • kidme37 Says:

        Compleely agree Mustang. And nothing will cause the majority of them to accept American culture integration. Ditto most AMeican Indian. Can’t say I blame them in the abstract.

        Liked by 2 people

      • peter3nj Says:

        I read somewhere in the early 70’s that the ability to assimilate, change or whatever is a sign of intelligence. The author gave the following as an example:
        Immerse a white man in a black environment for several months and he will lose much of his “whiteness”, adapting to the cultural environment. ( we see this right in front of us today) Immerse a black man in a white environment for 300 years and he’ll not adapt. (We see that right in front of us today) Repeating something I’ve mentioned a while back a survey revealed 80% of rap music was purchased by white men between the ages of 18-34 years old. Wat up wit dat yo?
        Meanwhile the Miscegenation being shoved down are throats in all media seems to be having more than limited success.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mustang Says:

        I’ve never understood that, Peter. As you say, “Wat up wit dat, blood?”

        Liked by 1 person

      • kidme37 Says:

        How about a line from Star Trek from Spock “It is much easier for civilized people to act like barbarians than for barbarians to act like civilized people”.

        Liked by 1 person

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