Juan Williams and Bill Cosby also complain of people who cannot speak “proper English. My first thought is to agree with them. It is annoying and strange when I hear African-Americans in very high positions of power (my ex-boss in particular) drop their s’s and conjegate their verbs incorrectly. I just wonder how this has become so intregrated into the culture that people who have Master's degrees have to consciously remind themselves to speak Standard English. The only reason I can come up with is to disagree with Williams and argue that slavery did have an impossibly lasting effect. It irreprably (Sp?) altered the English language.
What I always tell my students is that there is a time and place for most things (except George Bush). Street talk belongs with friends, standard English belongs in the school and work place. I try not to qualify it. I tell them that one is no better than the other, they just have different functions. But, am I right. As I said before, in accademia, many people with high positions do not speak SAE, so it's difficult to convince kids that it's necessary.
As a final note:
What confuses me is that a race, it seems that a race that has suffered such horrible prejudice would be more high sympathy toward other minority groups. Not so. Again, I can only speak from my own experience with inner-city teens. They hate Arabs (which they insist on calling A(long a) –rabs. They hate Jews (who they argue are dirty). They think guys are utterly disguisting (although they created the “down-low.”) And aren’t particularly admenable to people with disabilities either. Ironically, the group they show the lest hate toward (again, in my small experience) are WHITES!