Education Shaming

Is there such a thing as “education shaming?” I think so. Many poor people will laugh at and shame rich people for being uneducated. Usually these people share the same background “At least I can read and punctuate and have command of English grammar” has been said a time or two…about and to very, rich and successful people. And it’s funny. Not ha ha funny, but sad funny Especially since there is only one reason to be traditionally educated and that’s for work and success.

Language is used to communicate. If a person can effectively communicate, there is no problem. If someone writes “theirs” and they meant “there’s” and you can tell by the sentence what they meant because you’re busy correcting grammar, you’re an 🐴. Because if they were speaking, you wouldn’t know that they made a grammatical error. And people rarely correct others to help them. They correct to make others feel small.

So here we are, in 2018, judging people for misspelled words, missing punctuation and dropped consonants while they are dancing to the bank. But we’re proud to know the English language because somehow that makes us better? Somehow bring bamboozled into thinking that this “education” leads to a good life when it’s clear that all it definitely leads to is a false sense of superiority. “Rich people have no morals, they won’t get into heaven, and they are miserable.” Newsflash: poor people sin, but they are miserable because they don’t have job, home or food security. I could do without the latter. I can work on a better me if I’m not worried about life’s necessities. However, these are the things society teaches us so that we don’t really mind being poor. “It’s not so great being rich.” Really? Let me try it.

I don’t want to be rich. I want to be stable. But how does having command of the English language make one feel better about going hungry or not being able to pay bills? How could we have gotten it so backwards? Bastardization of the colonizer’s language has always been an act of rebellion. It’s also a form of class rebellion. Do we buy massa’s word that the slaves couldn’t speak proper English because they couldn’t read?

Language is first and foremost auditory. Children speak what’s spoken to them. We’re so caught up in a world of status and class that we’ve let the few dictate the path of the many. Only in such a world can a poor and hungry person look down on a rich and well fed person and shame them for being uneducated.

The next time you fix your face to correct someone’s grammar (who is not a troll) understand that unless you’re doing it in private, it’s shaming and ask yourself why you’re doing it. Because I’ve seen people regurgitate nonsense with perfect grammar while someone, with broken English, expresses original, logical thoughts. If you are correcting someone, 9 times out of 10, it’s because you understood them.

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