Why the DEA's Embrace of Ebonics is Lost in Translation

DEA Officers
August 25, 2010
TheGrio.com
H. Samy Alim and Imani Perry's commentary on the DEA's request to hire nine linguists proficient in Ebonics.

When the headlines appeared this week that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had issued a request to hire up to nine linguists proficient in Ebonics, it appeared it might be yet another cruel joke about the language of African-Americans. After all, who can forget the onslaught of racist "humor" and the angry vitriolic comments that circulated internationally after the "Oakland Ebonics controversy" a little over a decade ago.

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