Obama's Dialectal Skills
Print Friendly and PDF

When Harry Reid told Democratic insiders who were wondering if Obama was electable that he spoke "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one", he was saying that Obama was not Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. Since everyone is talking about the fact that Reid used the word "Negro," let's talk about dialect—Obama can, and does, imitate foreign accents with some skill, as seen, or rather heard, in the audiobook of Dreams from My Father,

When he does speak like a black American, it's the same kind of imitation—he was born in Hawaii, and raised by white people.

Below is an entire post I did on that, under the title of "Obama Does Dialect."

Obama’s book, Dreams from My Father,, (You’ve heard of it? OK, then, I’ll begin.) has also been issued as an audiobook, read actually by Obama himself. He is, after all, a skilled public speaker.

This is just a gift to Hugh Hewitt, because it’s perfect for radio, and Hewitt has been playing clips of it [Listen| Download MP3] to mixed reactions. But what I noticed is that when Obama reads lines by people who have foreign accents, (mostly his Kenyan family) he imitates their accents.

Also, when he says (see transcript, but you should listen to get the full effect)

I chose my friends carefully: the more politically active black students, the foreign students, the Chicanos, the Marxist professors and structural feminists, and punk rock performance poets.

If you listen, he says the word Chicanos, in the middle of a regular English sentence,with an accent that makes him sound like Freddy Fender, who I happened to also be listening to today.

When he speaks the words of his African relatives, he speaks with an accent that, if doesn’t sound exactly like an African accent, it at least sounds like Sidney Poitier playing an African.

Of course, this is just more of what Steve Sailer has been saying about how good Obama is at creating his own identity, and of course, when he talks like a black American (see video) he’s doing the same thing.

My point? For a white politician to be caught mimicking foreign accents always means deep trouble for the white politician.

I need to listen to the whole thing to see if Obama has a Chinese laundryman or an Italian barber. That would be fascinating to hear.


Print Friendly and PDF