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“Racism in the English Language,” by Robert B. Moore

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This paper discusses and analyzes the essay, “Racism in the English Language,” by Robert B. Moore. The paper focuses on the statement that language influences Western thought from the first moment we learn it. The paper illustrates, through this enlightening essay, that the English language is peppered with racial stereotypes and slurs, even in words and phrases that seem quite harmless. The paper questions whether it is intentional that many English words and phrases were created with subtle references to black as “bad” and white as “good” or whether they are simply a result of long repressed and unconscious thoughts and feelings about the races.

In the “Wrap-Up,” the author states, “Negative language infects the subconscious of most Western people from the time they first learn to speak. Prejudice is not merely imparted or superimposed. It is metabolized into the bloodstream of society” (Moore 474). This statement is thought provoking because it makes the reader stand back and look at the subconscious ways language has affected our beliefs and ideas from the first time we could listen and speak. This is interesting and yet frightening at the same time. If it is true, that language “colors” our vision subconsciously from the beginning of life, then it also seems to imply that we really have no chance of every overcoming prejudice and racial bias in Western society, for the thoughts are too ingrained and run too deep. No matter how much we try, there will still be inherent prejudices that are too big to overcome.

Not all of them are immigrants, as some were born as American citizens to parents who are not fluent in English. Although nearly 40 percent are in Los Angeles County, the impact of the increase in non-English speaking pupils affects schools just about everywhere in the state (E-Source Online, 2005). Two-thirds of the current English language learners are in grades K-6, and the other third are in grades seven through twelve. The educational needs of the younger children who must learn to read as well as learn a new language must be addressed in the most effective way possible.

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