James Baldwin Essay

Topics: President of the United States, United States, President Pages: 1 (355 words) Published: May 19, 2011
Language is a very controversial topic. The way many people hear language and judge others based upon it differs from place to place. Personally, I completely agree with James Baldwin. In his defense, language is what the general population uses to stereotype, it leaves us identifying each another, and language also can cause social exclusion.

First off, language is widely used to stereotype others. One can judge others based on their accent, choice of words, or grammar. For instance, during James Baldwin’s time a Man with a sophisticated British accent was seen as an educated man with a decent income. Language also allows people to stereotype people based on where they come from. For example, people with bad grammar and used words such as “ain’t” or “y’all” typically are from the southern area of the United States.

Next, people identify others personality based on word choice and grammar. George Bush, one of our very own U.S. presidents, had a southern accent, and had he not been president, people would have most likely negatively identified him. They would assume he is a dumb, ignorant southerner because of his views. However, sharing his views as the president allowed him to be respected with the views either way, while some people disagreed with him, many saw him as a leader which would be very different had he been your average joe.

Last but not least, language can lead to social exclusion. Because of poor language on someone’s part, others can exclude them. People can be excluded because of bad language that makes them sound dumb, or even language that makes them sound too smart like a know-it-all. Similarities in language create cliques among people and it is very easy to be shunned out of these cliques if one is noticeably different.

To recapitulate, language is the cause of many stereotypes and differences in society. Language can be used to stereotype, or it can be used to identify others. Also, it can lead to social exclusion because of...
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