Critics call Ebonics lazy English, while linguists say it's black America's mother tongue. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, America debates semantics. What is authentic language? Also lawyer Alan Dershowitz defends free speech on campus.
Stanford University linguist John Rickford tells Jim Fleming that ebonics is a legitimate language with a fairly typical evolutionary history. Also, New York Times Editorial writer Brent Staples rejects ebonics as ghetto slang and tells Judith Strasser that he thinks this educational fad is dooming Black children.SEGMENT 2:
High profile attorney Alan Dershowitz is adamantly opposed to campus speech codes. He tells Steve Paulson that college campuses are precisly where the marketplace of ideas should operate most freely.SEGMENT 3:
Vietnam vet Albert French tells Steve Paulson how using his writing to speak honestly about his war experiences helped him find peace. French is the author of "Patches of Fire: A Story of War and Redemption."
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