by Bishop O.W. Prince
When we want someone to represent us in court and communicate our concerns, we want the best educated and gifted lawyer that our money can afford.
When we send our children to school, we expect them to learn how to speak and write correctly using the rules of grammar.
Our own African-American heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers and Malcolm X all spoke and wrote using the rules of grammar correctly, colorfully and effectively.
So why are we tolerating and sometimes celebrating the broken grammar of some of our rappers, gospel singers, entertainers, public speakers and preachers?
Is it because we are afraid of the intellectuals or is it because we are most comfortable remaining in ignorance?
When I was growing up, the public speakers and church leaders were held to a high standard of grammatical excellence and intellectualism whereas they were held up as examples of perseverance and effective communication that we should aspire to emulate. But who are we following now?
Are ignorance, vulgarity, cursing, broken grammar and ineffective communication skills the legacy that we wish to pass on to the next generation?
I personally have grimaced in shock and disappointment as I listened attentively to a noted Reverend Doctor Bishop who butchered the English language in the presence of school children and adults. Are our intellectual and academic benchmarks so low as to bestow the sublime credentials of Reverend Doctor and Bishop upon those who cannot conjugate a verb or make a verb and subject agree?
There is nothing shameful about illiteracy as long as it isn’t a condition of choice but of circumstance. However, in today’s society, there are just too many educated fools running around with titles but no substance. There are far too many credentials without credibility.
(Bishop O.W. Prince)