Is it wrong to expect people to know their primary language if they were awarded high school diplomas? Is it wrong to say that college is not the place for remedial education?
UW-Madison junior Erika Gallagher conducted research about code switching, also known as code meshing, in which people change their regular speech tendencies to fit into the mold of what is commonly accepted as appropriate.
Ebonics is a variety of English that is commonly found in the center of large cities that have been historically populated primarily by black people. It is commonly found in slam poetry, as well as hip-hop and rap music.
“I want to center the voices of the people who need to be centered,” Gallagher said. “As a Writing Fellow, as a white-passing person, I have a lot of power and privilege that should be shared.”
Gallagher conducted much of her research through three interviews. She talked to UW-Madison student leaders from marginalized groups and asked how they felt about code switching. She said all three “overwhelmingly” said it felt oppressive — one said “it is the biggest form of cognitive dissonance that exists.”
She presented her research at the Collegiate Conference on Composition and Communication in Portland, Ore., earlier this semester. She was selected as one of roughly two dozen undergraduates from across the U.S. to participate in the conference, which is typically attended by graduate students and professors.
Gallagher “researched” three subjects at UW-Madison, a school as liberal as Berkeley. This is worthy of recognition in academia today? And UW-Madison boasts a total enrollment of over 43,000 students. Three is not a representative sample of one floor of one residence hall.
Then, there’s the fact that her “research” is racist.
Gallagher was motivated by what may best be described as her own racism by even considering that minority college students would need assistance — particularly at the college level — with their primary language.
If students are actually arriving at college needing remedial assistance in their primary language, they were not prepared for college. They should not have been accepted. These students will not progress educationally if this is considered acceptable because of “multiculturalism”; they will only progress if they find remedial help elsewhere to get up to speed before admission.
Gallagher’s racist crap deserves a reprimand.
Minorities are able to learn proper English just like anyone else. Plenty of immigrants to the United States learn it without the benefit of any schooling, much less college.
You don’t achieve anything by lowering the bar. You just lower the bar.