Trying to Avoid Biased Stereotypical Generalizations Based on Geographical Speech Patterns

A man raised in the Upper Middle-West spent seventeen years in the Mid-South before moving back north. During that time, he came to love the lyrical music of the southern drawl.

He practiced the melodious tone religiously though it was never native to his tongue. He dared use it among the professionals — the natives and endured a chuckle or two. His children were toddlers in those first years and easily adopted a variation on the southern theme, a bit of a hybrid drawl given that they heard a terse, clipped speech pattern at home.

Now, years and years later, the man hears lies, falsehoods, obfuscations uttered by many Federal legislators from Southern states in that lyrical tone once such lovely music to his ears but, which now rings shrill, cacophonous and very, very mean. The tone has a bitter edge to what was once music to his ears.

He’s trying hard not to generalize; he’s reaching back to the beauty of that music like someone trying to hear the warm, loving tone of his mother’s voice reassuring him of her love or the appreciative tone of praise of his father’s voice  like when he went three for four in a Little League baseball game and encouraging tone when he went 0 for 4.

And then as he listened to the questioning of the Special Counsel appointed to investigate the extent of Russian influence in the presidential election of 2016 by members of the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives, he had to admit that ignorance isn’t restricted to geography.

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