Opinion: Students of color need their own language on campus

By Krystl Meph

Afrikaans_Language_Siegel

Danny Siegel, the UCLA Undergraduate Students Association Council president, makes a hand sign of the Bloods, a primarily African American street gang.

When will the oppression end? As if whites haven’t appropriated enough cultures that don’t belong to them, white students at UCLA have started stealing the sign language used by L.A. street gangs.

But racism isn’t limited to UCLA. My sister Alicia Frison, chairwoman of the UCLA Afrikan Student Union, says white nationalists are taking over UC San Diego and infiltrating the Rosa Parks African American Theme House at UC Santa Cruz.

We don’t even have a language to properly describe the problem, because English is racist.

As Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina) says, “The entire English language was created by slaveowners as a means of oppression. It’s a fact. If you speak English, you’re a racist.”

I couldn’t agree more, but I also wouldn’t stop there. English grammar is racist, too, and learning about verbs and adjectives is part of  the process of “becoming white.”

And what are we to do if phonemes themselves – the perceptually distinct units of sound that distinguish one word from another – are racist?

There is only one solution. And that’s why I’m announcing my new language for students of color. A new language derived from the ancient mother continent of Afrika. A new language free of colonial apartheid. A new language that will help us build a separate but equal California.

I’m calling my new language “Afrikaan.”

Join me in making my dream a reality.

KrystlMeph

Krystl Meph

Krystl Meph is a student senator at UC Berkeley and The Sac Brie‘s regular columnist on higher education issues.

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