At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, undergraduate researcher Erika Gallagher, presented ground-breaking evidence that demonstrates the oppressiveness of teaching Standard English to minorities. Her research consisted of three interviews asking minorities about their thoughts on Standard English. According to one student, learning “proper” English “is the biggest form of cognitive dissonance that exists.”
To no surprise, Gallagher’s “research” was showcased at the College Conference on Composition and Communication, a highly selective opportunity to reveal an exposé. As noted by the Daily Caller and the DailyWire, her ultimate goal is to rid of the social stigma that comes with not being able to understand English and demonstrate that all variations of English should be proper.
English itself is not the Problem
Evidently, this is the left’s attempt to promulgate the narrative that learning Standard English is oppressive by claiming that everyone should be accepting of all variations of English grammar. The problem is not so much as trying to be accepting of people’s varies pronunciations of English, but rather learning the standardized version of English.
English and Assimilation into American Culture
Learning the language of a country is essential to being part of a unified community, which offers greater ease in assimilation. In turn, it leads people from diverse backgrounds to share a commonality—the English language and the American culture. In Dennis Prager’s “American Trinity” video, he lays out the key components of what makes America exceptional. The values of E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, and Liberty are the backbone of the American value system which unites us all. In order to assimilate into the American culture, it is necessary to understand American values and, yes, a standard mode of communication, to strengthen national unity.
While learning English is a difficult task, it is rewarding to understand a language of a country one pledges allegiance to and is by no means oppressive as a language does not have the ability to do so. How then, are we able to adequately test students’ performance on the SAT for English grammar? Would a “less strict” standard have to be used to take into account all variations? All this seems far too unreasonable.
In the end, research on the “oppressiveness” of English is nothing more than a trying to argue on the basis of feelings. Ironically, all this research demonstrates is that the left does not believe in the ability of minorities to understand a language. Now that is insensitive.