B1 Intermediate US 159 Folder Collection
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- Turns out, Americans are pretty good
at guessing your race just by hearing your voice.
It's called, linguistic profiling,
and we all do it.
There are certain auditory cues
that give us subtle hints about who we're talking to.
A lot of black American's speak what's referred to as,
AAVE, or African American Vernacular English.
- AAVE is non-rotic meaning, that like a British accent,
there are no "R" sounds at the end of words
or at the end of syllables.
- John Flemming is a speech and dialect coach
for movies and video games.
- Generally speaking, there's the "th" sounds,
the "tha, tha" and, "the the," get replaced with something.
Generally a "T," or a "D."
There's a few other vowels and things,
but it kind of keeps going and going,
and it gets kind of, into the weeds a bit.
- When it comes to being on the phone though,
black people will often try to sound more white.
- Uh, yes, Mister Ribbon I would love
to have the opportunity to sit with you
to discuss some of our products.
It's a form of code-switching.
Or in this case, alternating between
two different dialects.
- He tried to grab me by my collar, right.
That's when I ---
Uh, good morning.
Customer service, my name is Philip.
- Black people talking white
is having a real moment in media right now.
"Sorry To Bother You", is a movie about a black salesman
who's career only takes off
when he starts talking white.
- You wanna make some money here, use your white voice.
Hey, Mister Kramer, this is Langston from Regal View.
- [Manny] And "BlacKkKlansman", is a movie about
a black detective who infiltrates the KKK
by pretending to be white over the phone.
- God bless White America.
- The idea is to speak in what's called
the standard accent.
- The standard accent is the one spoken
by the majority group, or the socially advantaged group.
- [Manny] Olivia Kang is a psychologist at Harvard.
She's working on a project that explores
the hidden biases we hold.
- If you speak with a standard accent,
you're judged as being more intelligent,
more competent, more credible, more hireable.
Now, having a regional accent, or a non-standard accent,
now you're not getting those advantages.
You're seen as less credible, or less hireable.
- These biases are implicit.
This isn't Charlotesville tiki-torch racism,
it's much more discreet than that.
- The most basic way of understanding implicit bias
is by thinking about the associations we make.
If two things occur together over and over again
in our experience, we link them together.
- Salt and pepper, day and night, bread and butter.
These types of associations are helpful,
but there are some that aren't.
Now, if I say the word, genius,
you're probably thinking of some
collectors edition white dude.
Now, if I say the word criminal...
- Voices aren't just sounds.
In a lot of ways they're auditory faces.
So, when you hear a voice, you can in some sense
piece together what the person on the other end
of the phone, can look like.
Roughly how old they are, their gender,
where they come from.
But, the interesting thing is that
you can also form impressions about character.
So, how intelligent someone is,
how competent, how likable, how trustworthy.
And, these impressions can be flawed, right?
A lot of these things might have
a basis in your implicit biases,
or things that you've heard,
portrayals you've seen on television.
And so, when people are doing something,
like conducting a voice interview,
often the implicit biases they have about voice
can influence the decisions that they're making.
- Every black American is bilingual.
We speak street vernacular, and we speak job interview.
- In order to combat some of these implicit biases,
black people, myself included, try to sound
as white as possible.
I sound like Bill Gates impersonating your mailman.
Why hello there.
I'm wondering if there are any positions available.
Oh no, I don't mind waiting.
But, does changing your voice actually work.
A study in 2001 found that landlords
would make racist snap judgements
to callers with certain dialects.
Compared with whites, blacks were less likely
to get call backs, less likely to be told
there was an apartment available,
and more likely to get their credit questioned.
However, blacks who code-switched fared better
than those who didn't.
Code-switching helps in other areas too.
- Actually Don Lemon is a very good example,
because to become this main host that he is,
he's talked about how he had to change -
because he's from New Orleans - and he consciously
had to change his accent for the sake of moving up at CNN.
- The president of the United States is racist.
- Instead of changing the way we speak,
maybe we should change the way we listen.
I might be able to tell your race from your voice,
but that doesn't tell me anything about your character.
There's tons of black mailmen.
- [Delisa] Too many.
My dad is a black mailman.
So don't be talking about BS like that, 'cuz my dad
will run up on you real quick.
- I don't want no smoke.
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Is "Talking White" Actually A Thing?

159 Folder Collection
Samuel published on June 26, 2018
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