Sarah Palin’s Alaskan accent is seen as endearing, even though she pronounces a lot of words incorrectly by ‘main street’ standards. For Palin, ‘feel’ becomes ‘fill;’ ‘America’ becomes ‘Amurrica;’ ‘you’ becomes ‘ya;’ and I’m nearly positive the word is ‘nuclear.’
I wouldn’t be bothered by Palin’s ‘folksy,’ down home dialect, except for the fact that if Sarah Palin were Black, Latina, or anything else besides white, there is no doubt that her ‘funny accent’ would work to her detriment in her Vice Presidential campaign.
Yes, Senator Barack Obama’s speec has a slight south side Chicago lilt, but as African-Americans, both he and his wife are held to a higher, if unwritten, standard of speech.
Palin can get away with terms like ‘Joe six pack’ in a formal debate, but were Obama to say ‘My brothas on the streets,’ or something else to assert kinship or solidarity with African-American men, it would be front page news.
Imagine if instead of ‘Hey, can I call ya Joe?’ we heard ‘Yo, can I call ya Joe?’ Both are regional dialects in this country, but only one is considered endearing and indicative of one’s American-ness in the public political forum.
Once again, America has treated Sarah Palin with an unprecedented respect. First, with her teenage daughter’s pregnancy, which no doubt would have been the end of the Obama campaign were the shoe on the other foot. And now, with her deviation from ‘standard English,’ she’s classified as ‘folksy’ and ‘down home,’ when it is easy to assume that were someone in the Obama campaign saying things like ‘Nah’m sayin’, nah mean?’ and ‘Ya feel me?’ in debates and interviews, it would most certainly be a problem.
It most certainly would be a problem. Seems a lot of people just won’t admit that or recognize it.