Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on DiversityInc.com. Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.
I am a well-educated, middle class black woman from upstate New York. Why do some white people speak to me in slang? It’s as though they think they need to talk “cool” (in their perception) to be understood by me. Also, why do some white people appear surprised when they first see me after having spoken to me on the phone? Why, why, why do some white people think black people don’t speak the king’s English?
Almost everyone has to deal with white people, but most white people live a highly segregated life–especially socially. This leads to discomfort in business and social interactions–that’s where you’ll hear dumb talk and stupid “accents.”
One of the highest “cringe factor” things a person can do is use an accent or lingo that does not belong to them.