Appropriating the Inappropriate

The things Your Intrepid Reporter learns while covering the Thieves and Sexual Assailants.

Seems the TSA posted one of its usual horrifically insensitive comments on Instagram. These paragraphs often consist of photos of a passenger’s personal property that the TSA has rifled with copy that ridicules the items.

Yep, that’s a gross invasion of privacy, but few folks ever object. Indeed, the TSA has won awards for its mockery of the public paying its bills.

So I was pleased to read a headline that I didn’t write calling the TSA on this abuse:

This is sanctioned humiliation’: TSA under fire for Instagram post about taking wigs out of bags, using AAVE in caption

So pleased was I, in fact, that I was knee-deep in the story before I noticed that abbreviation and discovered its meaning: 

AAVE stands for African American Vernacular English. Non-Black people are discouraged from using AAVE terms—like “shante” and “no tea, no shade”—because it is appropriative.

As it’s unclear whether the employee running TSA’s Instagram account is Black or not, the vocabulary choices were met with varied but generally negative reactions.

Got it? Because someone somewhere with dark skin has strung words together in a certain order, they then “belong” to everyone of his pigmentation.

Have you ever heard of any dictum more ignorant or bullying?

I’ve got news for everyone who bows to this totalitarianism: English is a white man’s language. It is “appropriative” for anyone who isn’t white—and I mean 100% pure, Anglo-Saxon, a la Chaucer and Shakespeare—to speak it, let alone isolate phrases here and there and tell me I can’t use them.

Not that I’d want to.


5:04 pm on July 22, 2021