They all—all of them whitefolks ruling the country—they all talk that talk, that “standard (white) English.” It is the language of the powerful. Language is political. That’s why you and me, my Brother and my Sister, that’s why we sposed to choke our natural self into the weird, lying, barbarous, unreal, white speech and writing habits that the schools lay down like holy law. . . .
See, the issue of white English is inseparable from the issues of mental health and bodily survival . . . If we accept “pacification” to mean the murdering of unarmed villagers, and “self-reliance” to mean bail money for Lockheed Corporation and bail money for the mis-managers of the Pennsylvania Railroad, on the one hand, but also, if we allow “self-reliance” to mean starvation and sickness and misery for poor families, for the aged, and for the permanently disabled/permanently discriminated against—then our mental health is seriously in peril: we have entered the world of doublespeak-bullshit, and our lives may soon be lost behind that entry.