Language is warfare.
It is how we navigate spaces, places, and dangerous encounters. Yet, haven’t we always? If we are to be honest, Torches, language is the blackest thing we do as a people! We make two word phrases mean five things, and “per my last email” mean, “You heard just what I said…”
Yet, the magic of this skill is just that–it’s a skill.
Code Switching has demanded I be observant, vigilant, and aware. Does it suck sometimes? Oh yes. And yet, this is a tool. I shed it as soon as I clock out for the day. I put my Mother Tongue back in my mouth because too much of that madness is ridiculous.
For those of us who navigate spaces that are non-Black, we need this! Why? Because most White folk want to believe they own everything, including speech patterns! But here is what you must remember-the goal is to survive the encounter.
To get through the meeting.
To write the email.
To make the ZOOM call.
And sometimes you need to turn the camera off so your face is not louder than what you did not say.