Thursday, October 19, 2006

Home Sweet Oklahoma...

Several years ago, when I was taking ASL Interpreter classes, I remember a little class discussion about "Ebonics."

As part of the "complete package" of Sign Language Classes, the Deaf Culture was a big part of the learning experience -- history, culture, why things are done the way they're done -- and it was quite fascinating. I don't remember how the discussion got started, but our instructor was very-very interested in the concept of communication; and how at some points in history, Deaf people were considered defective and expected to abandon their language and try to "fit in" amongst Hearing folks; who saw them as people of lower intelligence because they didn't speak the language. It's not hard to imagine what a challenge it would be to learn spoken English without being able to hear...

What some people (Alexander Graham Bell, for example) failed to realize was that Deafness was not a defect caused by stupidity; but a Cultural difference caused in part by a Physical difference.

When the topic of "Ebonics" (yes, the quotes are there for a reason) came up, our instructor was quite interested in "Ebonics" as an actual Language entity, with rules, patterns, and the potential to be studied and mapped out just like English or French or Spanish or ASL. The chick who sat beside me earned a lot of my respect that day, because she boldly disagreed. She made a great point that while Deaf People have an actual physical limitation (lack of hearing) that leads them to ASL, "Ebonics" is a choice that is not led by any actual physical need.

Much like some people once passed judgement on the mental capacity of the Deaf, there's certainly a question of the same nature about "Ebonics." The point that was made in class that day may or may not have changed the instructor's view, but it was still a great point -- one of the things that was said was that "'Ebonics' pisses me off; it isn't a language; those people can learn and use English, 'Ebonics' just makes them sound stupid, so some people will hear someone who speaks that way and conclude that all Black people are stupid like that one; just like the ones who call each other by 'the n-word,' it's stupid."

That's where I was headed with this piece... Intellegent, Educated Black People get pissed off about "Ebonics" because it makes 'em all look stupid. Smart Blondes get pissed off about blonde jokes that make 'em all look stupid. I'm sure there are some high-level Homeschool kids who'd be pissed about these HoMeSkOoLeRzz that I bitch about all the time makin' the rest of 'em look dumb.

A small number of people making an impression that doesn't fit the rest of the large group -- not all large women are slobs, not all blondes are dumb, not all Arabs are terrorists.

There are some scummy people in Oklahoma... We're not all like that, I swear, but there's a family somewhere in Florida who lost their Grandma because of some shitsack in Oklahoma. I just hope they understand that we're not all like that.

That article on the news last night just made my ass want to chew crackers -- that lady moved here, and was happy -- she told her family back in Florida how great Oklahoma was and how happy she was here.

Some shitsack who wasn't intelligent enough to know right from wrong opened the driver's door of this lady's car, hit and punched her, crowded in beside her and drove off in her car as he shoved her down into floor and kept hitting her until she was unconscious. He tossed this lady out of her own car beside the road and kept driving, leaving her for dead. After this shitsack was through with the car, he drove it back to the apartment complex parking lot and backed it into a space where the tag wasn't as easily seen.

The lady, who was just minding her own business and not bothering anybody when some shitsack decided to invade her privacy like he did, woke up to find herself laying beside the road, her face on the pavement as traffic sped by. After spending quite a bit of time in the hospital, she died.

She Died. Somebody's Mom, or Grandma, or Sister, or Friend; just a lady living her own life died, not by illness, not by accident, not by commiting a crime, not by smokin' in bed, not by medical malpractice, not by flashing the wrong "gang sign," not by wearing the wrong bandanna, not by pissing somebody off in traffic; she died because of someone's severe lack of respect for others. She died because some shitsack didn't know or care enough about the difference between right and wrong.

This lady died because some shitsack didn't know that if you want a '91 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme 4-door, the best way to get one is to go find a used car lot or read a few classified ads; and thought it would be "no big deal" to just beat the life out of somebody and steal one. Who knows, that shitsack is probably stupid enough to think he "did the right thing" by taking the Oldsmobile back to the apartments to leave it where he took it from. Hello, shitsack, you forgot something there... And you can't give back the Grandma you took away, now, can you, you dirty shitsack?

There's a shitsack runnin' around out there somewhere, and I hope they catch 'em.

I just hope that the people in Florida understand that not everybody in Oklahoma is like that shitsack.

Just please remember, most of us are kind and warm hearted people, and we miss our Grandmas too.

God bless my Grandmas, and your Grandmas, and that Family in Florida too.

More later... _\,,/


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