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Does Ebonics belong in the curriculum?

'Situation' host Carlson and 'Outsider' Kellerman discuss merits of language
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Ebonics may become part of the curriculum in a California school district in efforts to boost test scores among African American students.   On Monday’s “Outsider” segment, Max Kellerman, ESPN Radio Host, and ‘Situation’ host Tucker Carlson discussed the pros and cons of how the course could potentially help African Americans succeed better academically.

To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below, to watch the video click on the “Launch” button to the right.

TUCKER CARLSON, 'THE SITUATION' HOST:  Well, as a group, black students performed the worst among racial groups in the San Bernardino School District in California.  So a sociologist from the University of California now says Ebonics, basically the codified version of African-American dialect, should be incorporated in the curriculum for black students to help them remain interested in school and to perform better. 

A trial Ebonics is already in place in two San Bernardino schools.  Now, look, the point is—you know—you can mimic of all sorts of dialects, accents, Spanish and French, but you wouldn't mimic Ebonics.  Why?  Because it's associated with failure. 

That's the way people in this culture feel, fair or unfair.  If you remember the Klan, you couldn't design a system more diabolically designed to make certain black students fail in the workplace than allowing them to speak non-standard English. 

MAX KELLERMAN, ESPN RADIO HOST:  Keep it on the humble, you're caked up, I'm rolling on dubs.  But the hood's all about haze and red cops (ph), Tucker.  What did I just say?

CARLSON:  You know what you just said to me?  Don't hire me, ever.

KELLERMAN:  Right, exactly.  I said something that you wouldn't be able to understand...

CARLSON:  Exactly.

KELLERMAN:  ... because it's a foreign language, essentially. 


KELLERMAN:  As a result of U.S. foreign and domestic policy, where Africans were taken from all different languages and intentionally kept ignorant...


KELLERMAN:  ... a culture and language was developed.  And ideologically you're opposed to this, but you're not an ideologue.  If it's getting results, which apparently it is—you know, it may be counterintuitive, but it's empirically effective.  And isn't that the point? 

CARLSON:  I'll tell you what the point is.  The point is succeeding in an increasingly competitive and meritocratic America.  The way you know that this is a bad idea, African immigrants, who actually do quite well in this country, first thing they do is they try and teach their children, make sure they learn unaccented English, because they know it's the key to success. 
And every study shows that accent, your voice, the way you speak and use words, one of the key factors in hiring or not hiring.  You're hurting these kids. 

KELLERMAN:  African-Americans are in a situation that is very complicated.  It's not as easy as just immigrant groups, whether they're black, or white, European or wherever they're from.  It's not that simple, because it's the result of our own policy...

CARLSON:  Yes, it is.

KELLERMAN:  ... that's created originally a sub-class of person where class is tied to race. 

CARLSON:  Yes.  But it's also the result of patronizing white liberals who say, “That's OK.  That's a different language,” thereby hurting these children.  Injustices have been done.  Let's fix them by helping them to speak standard English. 

KELLERMAN:  But if it's getting results—let's say these kids are actually testing better.  Isn't that a good thing? 

CARLSON:  No, because a test is not a job.  And what you want is a job in the end. 

KELLERMAN:  All right.  Very Booker T. Washington of you. 

CARLSON:  Thank you.  He was a great man, that's true.