“[Young African-Americans are] standing on the corner and they can’t speak English . . . I can’t even talk the way these people talk: ‘Why you ain’t,’ ‘Where you is’ . . . And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk . . . Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads . . . You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!”
–Bill Cosby at an NAACP event on the anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.
I completely agree that effective communication is the key to any type of success. Until all people, regardless of their race or background, realize that this is important, they will remain in their own subculture apart from the mainstream.
It’s one thing – the way you talk with your friends – but you have to have the ability to communicate to a broad cross-section of other Americans. Speaking proper English is the way to do that. Like it or not, we speak English in the United States.
Now, ten years from now when we’re all speaking Spanish, you will still need to learn how to speak proper Spanish so that you can be understood. Similarly, if you went to live in Germany, plan on speaking German, unless all you want to do is be a janitor. Yes, you’d be a top-notch and proud janitor, but perhaps if you learned the language of the country you live in you may have an opportunity to go beyond your janitorial dreams and become something even better!