I’m Jive With Ebonics

District to ‘affirm’ Ebonics

The common element in all of this is the degeneration of language into an instrument of rape. It does contain violence, albeit in latent form. And precisely this is one of the lessons recognized by Plato through his own experience with the sophist of his time, a lesson he sets before us as well. This lesson, in a nutshell, says: the abuse of political power is fundamentally connected with the sophistic abuse of the word, indeed, finds in it the fertile soil in which to hide and grow and get ready, so much so that the latent potential of the totalitarian powon can be ascertained, as it were, by observing the symptom of the public abuse of language. The degredation, too, of man through man, alarmingly evident in the acts of physical violence committed by all tyrannies (concentration camps, torture), has its beginning, certainly much less alarmingly, at that almost imperceptible moment when the word loses its dignity. The dignity of the word, to be sure, consists in this: through the word is accomplished what no other means can accomplish, namely, communication based on reality. Once again it becomes evident that both areas, as has to be expected, are connected: the relationship based on mere power, and thus most miserable decay of human interaction, stands in direct proportion to the most devastating breakdown in orientation toward reality.

Josef Pieper

Our countrymen do not want to speak too much, not because they do not have an adequate vocabulary or imagination, but because they do not want to lose the substance of the spoken word. Through abuse, words have lost their power; once a word was equal to the act, but now words are devoid of real meaning; they have become abstract. This is why monks recommend silence.

Fr. Roman Braga

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