The Atlanta field division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, apparently, has all of these bugged tapes of black people, but can't understand any of it. So it's looking to hire nine "Ebonics" speakers, to translate this garbled nonsense.
A DEA request for personnel, obtained by The Smoking Gun, lists over 100 languages for which it needs fluent "linguists," to help field offices translate and transcribe "telephonic monitoring of court ordered nonconsensual intercepts, consensual listening devices, and other media." Here's the Atlanta field division's requests:
"Ebonics" is listed as a "common language" originating in the United States. Really? The Smoking Gun considers:
Ebonics has widely been described as a nonstandard variant of English spoken largely by African Americans. John R. Rickford, a Stanford University professor of linguistics, has described it as "Black English" and noted that "Ebonics pronunciation includes features like the omission of the final consonant in words like ‘past' (pas' ) and ‘hand' (han'), the pronunciation of the th in ‘bath' as t (bat) or f (baf), and the pronunciation of the vowel in words like ‘my' and ‘ride' as a long ah (mah, rahd)."
Detractors reject the notion that Ebonics is a dialect, instead considering it a bastardization of the English language.
So the DEA needs to hire nine people in Atlanta to listen to wiretaps, turn to their superiors, and say, "Oh come on, you can't figure that out? You're seriously incapable of this? Jesus."