Oh, stewardess… I speak Jive – Justice Department seeks Ebonics expert

The Drug Enforcement Agency seems to be looking for language experts. As you can imagine, when law enforcement is working with witnesses, informants, or criminals, they may need translation services and within field offices, it looks like they hire contractors to fill these roles. If you can speak Ebonics … the DEA wants you!

From The Smoking Gun, courtesy Drudge and SigForum member 9mm_shooter. But first…


The Department of Justice is seeking to hire linguists fluent in Ebonics to help monitor, translate, and transcribe the secretly recorded conversations of subjects of narcotics investigations, according to federal records.

A maximum of nine Ebonics experts will work with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta field division, where the linguists, after obtaining a “DEA Sensitive” security clearance, will help investigators decipher the results of “telephonic monitoring of court ordered nonconsensual intercepts, consensual listening devices, and other media”

The DEA’s need for full-time linguists specializing in Ebonics is detailed in bid documents related to the agency’s mid-May issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) covering the provision of as many as 2100 linguists for the drug agency’s various field offices. Answers to the proposal were due from contractors on July 29.

In contract documents, which are excerpted here, Ebonics is listed among 114 languages for which prospective contractors must be able to provide linguists. The 114 languages are divided between “common languages” and “exotic languages.” Ebonics is listed as a “common language” spoken solely in the United States.

18 replies
  1. warbler
    warbler says:

    I'm sure that I'm not the 1st to say it, but don't worry about what they say on Morning Joe, there are only a hand full of people watching it and they are all overzealous Liberals.

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Dialects I can understand, but complete bastardizations of a language that will further Balkanize the country, I just don't get.


    Diversity is just a polite way of saying Balkanization, and you know where that leads.

  3. djt
    djt says:

    You got this from the smokinggun website?  Really? Right next to the headlines "Who Would Actually Steal Axe Deordorant", "Indiana Man in Saggy Pants Bust", "Who Wouldn't Sham Marry This Woman?",the "Mug Shot Roundup", and of course, "Grope Claim Against Donald Duck."  and I wondered why I hadn't been to that site before! A little more digging revealed such prizes as "Sex Poodle case gets Curbed", and "Kennedy Brothers Sex Parties."



    • JollyRoger
      JollyRoger says:

      And once there, click on Michelle Malkin's link and see her story: "De Honky Crib War on Jobs"

  4. scottm
    scottm says:

    I doubt anyone in this country speaks English properly, if you go to England you'll have a hard time understanding what they are saying.

    Also, I wonder if Vicevich realizes this story can be considered very offensive to a lot of people, I know when the movie Airplane first came out a lot of people were offended, I guess because he just re-posted it from another site he figures it's ok.  Just like Rush playing the song Barak the magic negro, if it originated elsewhere it's ok.

      • scottm
        scottm says:

        I saw who posted it but it's "The official web home of the Jim Vicevich show" which means he is responsible for it's content.  If I told you I was African-American and I am offended by this and the replies such as "De honky crib wars on jobs" would that change anything?  Or do you just assume that it's just white folks reading posts from this website. 

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      So if I speak "Ebonics", can I freely use the "N word" too?  I mean, if it is official and everything.


      Speaking English properly is quite different from taking it and beating it to death.  I find Apple using "think different" instead of the proper "think differently" to be quite offensive.  Or perhaps just ignorant.  Pathetic in either sense.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      Consider this: making up a fake language is just another way that a segment of society can self segregate itself.  Is that the goal?  It will surely be the result.

  5. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Submitted for your approval: if I speak fluent "ebonics", will I be able to claim that I am an "ebonic", a la "hispanic"?  Since the category "hispanic" has no common thread other than language (you can't count country of origin, race, or color etc.), there is clear precedent.

  6. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    In the name of diversity we have allowed the notion that English is not the "official" language of the US. Not good. Being multi-lingual or multi-dialect is an asset, but not at the expense of a commonly accepted language.

  7. Steve M
    Steve M says:

    "Being multi-lingual or multi-dialect is an asset" Damn straight. I wish my brain was wired to speak French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese or something else … I just could not pick it up in high school.

  8. rickyrock
    rickyrock says:

    Finally some humor……man like ….finally some dope cat like Steve can lay the jivy jive on us all ….God bless honkies everywhere…..Thanks Steve you made my day…

  9. OkieJim
    OkieJim says:

    Jeez, I could have a job working for DoJ if I wanted to … transcribing tapes of Spanish-language conversations. *yawn* If I ever become that desperate for work, would someone please shoot me?


    I've already held a similar position working for NSA many years ago. It was the most boring, unrewarding thing I've ever done in my life. I think I'd rather translate Cuban blogs into English (for free) so the those who care can see what real tyranny is all about.

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