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Appendix: "Going Online for Conflict Resolution" (Joan Latchaw)

Mary’s response to me in a private email:

Mary was so disturbed by Bryon’s outburst, that she challenged his perspective in this long and detailed post to me: “to see what I could find on Ebonics within inner city schools...whether there was supporting evidence or evidence which discredited the teaching of Ebonics in schools.” Mary continues:

  • The following are links to articles which may be of interest to you, in case you want to read them just for your own personal information. The first one is a bit long and outdated. However, the last three are briefer and more recent. The fourth link actually refers to the Oakland controversy, in which it refers to the only known linguistic research study conducted within the US educational system where AAV (Ebonics) was taught to children as a means to introduce them to SAE. This article states that this one known study was "very successful, but it was terminated because of objections to the use of African American English in the classroom." I found that statement extremely interesting.

Bryon’s responses to the list:

This response from Bryon to the list was written on the Blackboard discussion as a rationale targeted to the entire class, though he singles Mary out:

  • I DID state my opinion quite bluntly, but that is because I was sure people would draw the same conclusions as easily as I did. My antagonists would think this cocky: I have no regrets for what I've said, because I know I'm right. Call me cocky, call me a bigot, call me whatever you want, but it would only be ignorance on your part. 'P.S. Mary': I don't direct this at you, I direct this at the entire class

This next post from Bryon to the list was written after the Blackboard discussion ended as a “final” comment. Clearly, Bryon felt compelled to re-justify his position and plead for a fair hearing (even retrospectively). He also wanted to be perceived as an ethical “researcher.”

  • Back to the controversial class discussion. Here is a summary of what happened. A comment was made saying people that speak ebonics should not be seen as ignorant. I made it known that I disagreed with this statement. I was then "rebutted" by a few people, some of which considered me as a racist/bigot. I was told isolated examples of when ebonics-speaking people have been "smart". I then said that I was making a generalization, not a universalization (which I believe some people did not quite understand). I said this because people thought that I was making a comment on the entire ebonics-speaking race, which I was not, so their isolated exceptions did nothing to counterpoint my view. Dr. Latchaw then mentioned that I should not make such assumptions without proper research, which I thought was odd, because she hadn't told the people that spoke before me in support of her statement that they would need research for their opinions as well. I then gave a researched example-I said that it is proved that children in poverty-stricken areas do the worst in school, that the majority of the children in that category are black, and that the large majority of people in that situation speak some form of ebonics. The argument went on for a little bit, and then the subject was changed. At the end of class, I opened up my laptop, and looked up the definition of ignorant, because I thought that people in our class did not even know what ignorant actually means. I said the definition out loud, and then I used the definition to more clearly state my point-that since being ignorant means lacking knowledge or being uneducated, people that do poorly in school can most certainly be seen as ignorant.

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