Why White People Talk to Black People in Slang

One reader questions why some white people speak to her (a Black woman) in slang. Read this article to see the White Guy's answer.

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.


Question:

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?

Answer:

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.

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We White People Need to Own This

Martin Luther King has been dead for 50 years and Donald Trump is our president. Who is responsible?

Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 18 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

We will be deluged by Martin Luther King articles and columns today. Some will be excellent, like the one Rev. Jesse Jackson wrote. But most will be saccharine sweet and not say what needs to be said.

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Lisa Garcia Quiroz, Time Warner's First Chief Diversity Officer, Creator of People en Español, Dies at 56

Quiroz was an advocate of diversity and inclusion, education and the arts.

A Latina trailblazer, Lisa Garcia Quiroz, senior vice president and chief diversity officer at Time Warner Inc., and president of the Time Warner Foundation, died Friday at age 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. An advocate of diversity and inclusion, education and the arts, Quiroz created a dynamic legacy.

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The Chief of Staff Needs to Get Off His Privileged Racist Ass and Do Some Homework

And his draft-dodging boss needs to put his juvenile visions of military dictatorship out of his head.

Luke Visconti is the founder and CEO of DiversityInc. Although the title of his column is meant to be humorous, the issues he addresses and the answers he gives to questions are serious — and based on his 18 years of experience publishing DiversityInc. Click here to send your own question to Luke.

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Papa John's CEO Fired After Criticizing NFL Players and Becoming Loved by Nazis

John Schnatter is axed by the board. Crappy pizza, not protests about law enforcement injustice, to blame for declining sales.

John Schnatter, founder of Papa John's International and basher of NFL protests and the Affordable Care Act, will step down as chief executive weeks after the brand was coined the "official pizza of the alt-right."

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Fireside Chat

Warner Baxter, Chairman, President and CEO of Ameren Corporation, sits with DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti to discuss how CEOs can lead the charge on addressing social issues with their workforces.