I feel compelled to address the issue of correct language usage and the so-called “excluded minorities” in underprivileged neighbourhoods (and elsewhere).
There is such a thing as standard grammatical language (English, French, German etc.). It evolves over generations, but it shows a certain conservative stability, like the rule of law. It tends to be spoken by educated people and by people in authority. This implies people in power, people who run things, but also people at large in the professions (medicine, engineering, etc.) and in the arenas of business and government. Standard grammatical language tends to be higher status because competence in it tends to confer the benefits of higher living standards.
Conversely there is such a thing as a minority (or ghetto) dialect in every single city in Europe and America. It prevails among the so-called underprivileged underclass, the cohort that continues to struggle economically. Despite its verve and inventiveness, these dialects tend to confer low status and lower standards of living on those who speak it. In popular mythology and culture, it is associated with violent criminality and other anti-social behaviours.
These so-called underprivileged people who seek to succeed socially and economically would benefit from learning to speak the standard grammatical language of the country, not solely because it is associated with higher status and living standards, but because proficiency with grammar, tenses, and a rich vocabulary helps people think better.
Western primary and secondary education does not put enough emphasis on teaching standard grammatical language to those deficient in it. The results are plain to see: academic failure among the “underprivileged”. Instead of addressing the root of the problem, politicians concoct endless excuses to explain this failure and the related economic failures, the favourite by far being “structural racism”.
Some ethnic groups are eager to fully participate in the national life. For example; Asian and Indian youths have uniformly opted to speak the standard grammatical language of their host country, and they are all succeeding academically. They are on a trajectory to succeed in adult life. This would suggest that maybe some behavioural choices are better than others and the colour of your skin or your place of abode is not the primary determinant in the matter.
The reason for this situation can be found in the tendency toward generalised “minority recognition” of the last decades that has generated enormous anxiety among the “underprivileged”, who were invited to participate more fully in the national life after many generations of hardship and abandon. However, they were not comfortable with the prospect of assimilating into the mainstream culture of the day. They either didn’t believe in it, or feared it, or despised it, or worried about being able to perform in it.
This anxiety can be attributed to the legacy of racial, cultural and economic stereotyping, not to “structural racism”. The hero worship of the likes of the Black Panther movement of the 1960’s created a distinctive divide between those of different colour and economic origins. That was the moment when much of the ghetto populations all over the western world slid into what has become essentially an oppositional culture, determined to remain separate. Language is part of that picture.
The diversity cult of the day is a smokescreen to disguise this fundamental fact of life: much of the “underprivileged” youth living in large cities have simply opted out. They don’t want to assimilate into a common culture. Much of today’s ghetto youth don’t want to play along with the speech, manners, rules, or laws of whatever remains of that common culture.
The cleavage between the common culture and that of the ghetto culture is now so large that it is impossible to bridge. We are now either in one camp or the other; one will continue to progress and the other to regress, or at best stagnate.
We have “progressive politics” to thank for that and not “structural racism”.