Much Ado About People’s Accent

Ever since the fall of the Tower of Babel, the bible informed us that people of the world started speaking in diverse languages. by the language people speak. we now know to which race , tribe, or ethnic group they belong. Besides, skin color, adds more to the differentiation. Every language is further sub-divided into major and minor dialects. By this , people are able to relate speakers to certain geographical locations and in various regions of the state (North, South, East or West), country or continent. What a great schism! In spite of these differences, we need one another to satisfy our needs. Nature made it that what a region lacks is exceedingly made available in others irrespective of tribe and tongue, We need ourselves for economic survival, no doubt.

Developed countries need the less developed countries because if they, the industrial world, produced their cars, aircraft, ships and many more, it is not economically helpful to pile them up without enlisting the patronage of other people of the world in need of such products. It might involve training and developing them to use such products. At this point of need, there is no complaint about the accent of others to the extent of using interpreters to get the economic or financial deal through. Allied Forces were able to win the WWII because of sinking differences between and betwixt them. It even involved colonial subjects to various Western European countries. Well meaning  people great and small do realize that  variety is always the spice of life for us to speak in diverse languages and dialects. It is therefore amazing for people especially do-gooder and empty vessels to dwell too much on accents of others that differ from their own. Such individuals may profess they had gone to school or even able to brandish College degree certificate(s) but in essence they only went through the institutions without imbibing the culture that education made available to them. The really uneducated can be excused for their myopic outlook on life but what of those that remained educated illiterates? It is obvious that education is a light to lighten dark allays in the way we perceive and appreciate others.

There are covert universal consequences from criticizing accents of others especially immigrants (legal and illegal aliens).These include disguised segregation into “civilized and non-civilized”. The hosts  tend to exhibit no tolerance of human differing background without consideration for the intrinsic worth of such immigrants. Is it not a “fast food  syndrome” towards them? Environmental disadvantage tends to be considered as permanent stigma forgetting the avid desire of such immigrants to square up to the demands of the new society. The reason for such criticism from certain people in the United States, can be attributed to the age-old historical antecedent of the trans-atlantic slave trade that left a scar in the mind of generations of descendants of the affected people. The only subtle way the unforgiving ones among them can vent their anger is by humiliating or slighting the immigrants who cannot speak the way, they the hosts, speak. Derogating accent is not surprising in the United States,as many immigrants had grown up speaking British English. They were always confronted with remarks of not speaking good English or bluntly that he or she ‘does not understand English’. Which English? One is forced to ask the rhetoric question.

If an immigrant happens to be having a higher score-card in work excellence, his non-American intonation will be seized upon to derogate his job high-flying performance with a view to bringing him down surreptitiously. In many cases never admitted, the accent of the immigrant can be a barrier to his work progress. It can be played out in more apparent than real plausible barrier by claiming that his accent or manner of speaking is too heavy to be easily understood. Larger number of African  immigrants suffer this set back more than others from other continents. Why do we find them still progressing? Many of such people have put in rugged determination like a boxing contender that does come from behind to dethrone the champion. It is sincerely a Herculean task. Isn’t it?

Dwelling too much on people’s accent is counter productive, and not in the character of a civilized society. “Do to others as you would want them to do to you”, because it makes people and especially aliens to feel unwanted where they are poised to put in there best to the advantage of the host country. Children born to them tend to lose identity by disclaiming their parents’ ancestral root, even during non-legal discussions or mere jokes. The hard fact is that such young kids or adults tend to be like ‘BATS’ though a mammal but flies like birds without feathers. The last of it is that pure mammals do not hang their heads down while resting or perching on trees. They are neither here nor there. To my mind, tolerance and being pleasingly agreeable with others are the antidote too much ado about people’s accent. The aspersion cast on the Galileans with Christ in Jerusalem and the fact that Jesus was not born by the nobilities or by learned Jewish religious pundits made these elites to lose out from interacting with Jesus and accepting the Messianic mission  of the Son of Man, corruptly referred to as the son of a Carpenter. To worsen the matter, HE was born in a manger of all places, What a place to be born! HIS mission was accomplished then, now it is being accomplished and also for ever more. Jesus never discriminated.

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