In Fanon’s Black Skin White Masks, he discusses the language used by different races and the assimilation of blacks into other cultures. Being educated and fluent in the right language makes a black man more white, and therefore more like a man. Being like the white man is the only way black men can really be men. Fanon says that language and the way we talk is one of the deepest and unintentional forms of racism. When two white people talk to each other they have respect and speak intelligently. However, when a white person talks to a black, they lower their vocabulary level and talk down to them as they are a lesser being. This sparked my interest because I believe this is very true today. People talk differently to those who do not look like them, whether it’s intentional or not. It is an overlooked and easy form of racism to get away with.
I would ask Fanon, De Gouges, and Locke:
- With the ability to reason, does that mean all humans should be seen as complete equals?
- If someone is uneducated in the way of the white man, does that make their ability to reason invalid?
- Why are people of color talked down to if they are able to be educated and even obtain more knowledge than whites do?