Friday, September 26, 2008
Southern white Republicans -- Lindsey Graham and Haley Barbour come specifically to mind -- really ought to stop describing Barack Obama as "articulate." Even I cringe.
I had a similar visceral reaction watching Barbour doing spin after the debate.
I remember a year ago thinking he might be an excellent candidate. A governor, good record on Katrina at a time when others were failing, a few other good points...
The thought of him debating Obama at Ole Miss.... **shudder**
Maybe if you spent some time in downtown Atlanta (or Beaumont) you'd better understand their reaction.
Blacks have (and are proud of and maintain) their own dialect. *Southern* blacks can be outright incomprehensible.
My Webster's defines 'articulate' as 'Being able to speak.' Obama is an accomplished speaker. They are using the word correctly. How do we fight politically correct speech codes if we are forced to play by the Left's rules? Do we meekly allow them to expunge words from the English language? One wonders how a 6th grade grammar teacher would explain the word to her class? Perhaps ending the discussion with the phrase, 'you can't use it when referring to black people'?
Actually, DFire, I have lot of experience in the rural south. I get the point, but that's exactly it, right? Nobody calls a Northern white "articulate" because there are a bunch of crackers in the Ozarks who are impossible to understand.
Feeblemind: I agree about the speech codes issues, but this is a bit different. It is one of the rather famous "little things" that has annoyed educated blacks for generations. This is not some creature of lefty post-modernism or an innovation of the trial bar like so many other things.
"It is one of the rather famous "little things" that has annoyed educated blacks for generations"
I've got to go with Feeble on this one. People who take offense at things that simply aren't offensive shouldn't be indulged.
"Nobody calls a Northern white "articulate" because there are a bunch of crackers in the Ozarks who are impossible to understand."
They would if that's all they were accustomed to hearing, wouldn't they?
If my only exposure to northern white accents was heavy Bronx, Boston, and Wis-can-sin dialects, and I cam across someone like, say, Rudy Guiliani, my first reaction would likely be, "Hey, I can understand him! He's articulate!"
articulate: to express ideas coherently in speech
articulate: to enunciate clearly
Obama is articulate in the sense of the second, but certainly not in the sense of the first.
For that reason, I think it is not insulting or racist to call him "articulate", merely wrong.