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People of Color — do any of you use a “white person voice” to try to better impress people when you’re interviewing or are in meetings?

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It is a shame that white voice is considered professional but it’s more than that it’s aligning to their cultural norms. White people do it when they engage with African Americans in certain settings. When I’m with old people I try not to use slang. When I’m with kids I try to set a good example and monitor my tone. This is quite normal.

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Really good points, thanks!

I grew up around mostly working class people with thick Long Island accents and I adopted that. I went to college and within a year it was gone. I would never speak with my old Lawn Guyland accent in a professional or even social setting. I do sometimes turn it on a bit around working class New Yorkers to be less of a narc

likesmart

I wish you would keep your accent in work + other settings! I love hearing different accents, they sound cool, especially New York area accents

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Yep. In the black community, using your “white voice” in a professional setting is absolutely a thing

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Lol glad you enjoyed it and appreciate you being open to it. It certainly doesn’t capture alllll the biases that exist (there are a lot ppl don’t think about unless they have a reason to) but I think it does a good job of outlining some of the major ones. I understand the aversion to reparations and don’t think all black people necessarily want that. They want change and equality Btw, I’m not white or black. While I consider myself “woke” and have dealt with my share of discrimination as a middle eastern woman, it substantially increased when I began dating my now fiancé who is black. I am still learning more each day. It’s a disgusting world out there and at end of all this, all we want is for people to open their eyes and realize that blatant and passive racism still very much exist today. P.s. I also know many non black minorities who change their name to more American names to attract a broader audience (even my mom!). Despite me knowing this reality exists, I will not be taking my fiancé’s very easy and common name. But just because I don’t agree with it, doesn’t mean people aren’t doing it for the reason of making their lives easier

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Asian woman, yes and I even add some southern twang

likefunny

I don't know if it's code switching or not, but over time my speech pattern has definitely changed. I think I try to sound less proper/formal, because most of my social circle has changed, especially since graduating. Much more casual and slang-y, so I need to adopt as well from what I used in college/before because I don't want to sound pretentious

likeuplifting

I typically go with the white southern girl accent so they think I'm cute

likefunny

Surprised with the amount of No’s here. I do it all the time and so does my father.

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Easier said than done

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Yes I 100% code switch

likesmart

It’s disturbing to me that in our society sounding professional and educated is classified as sounding white. We’re part of the problem if that’s how we view ourselves.

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I’m white and I use an affected white man voice

likefunny

Do I code switch? yes, is it a white voice? hell nawl

likehelpful

Code switching - An important skill for black men wherein the pitch of the voice is raised an octave or two and professional diction and jargon is used to reduce fear and anxiety of some white people when speaking/interacting with black men.

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Yes this is an absolutely perfect explanation of it. Thank you!

Nope. I’m super mindful of ensuring that I maintain my foreign accent. It’s pretty clear anyway, but I couldn’t care less.

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I wouldn’t say it’s a white voice. It’s a professional tone and professional vocabulary because I’m aware of the environment. I leave the Spanglish for my friends outside of work.

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I don’t intentionally think about it - “oh time to switch to a white voice”. But I 100% switch to a more professional tone and diction. Then I catch myself doing it and feel a bit disgusted with myself or cringe at some of the cliche phrases I’m using.

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I’m the exact same way

Yup. Black people speak 2 languages in corporate unfortunately.

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Asian man here. Raised in south, I add southern twang to show how "American" I am.

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I use a British accent when I’m in London... does that count?!?

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I am hard wired to adopt accents and i have a little British accent from having lived in London . I am brown .. brown people think I’m pretending .. while people vary - some think it’s cute and some are just confused 🤷🏽‍♀️

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Yes. All the time. Otherwise I just get ignored

likeuplifting

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