Published August 23, 2010
Rapper Eminem apparently has at least one job skill the Drug Enforcement Agency is looking for -- fluency in Ebonics.
It may be raising some eyebrows, but the Drug Enforcement Administration insists it needs to hire at least nine people fluent in Ebonics.
The DEA's Atlanta office has been looking for Ebonics "linguists" since at least May, when job vacancies were posted online.
According to one posting, the linguist's duties would include "monitoring varying numbers of communications intercepts during any given shift" and then providing "reliable and accurate transcriptions."
An agency official, said there is nothing "racial" about the job, and described white rapper Eminem as "one of the best speakers of Ebonics there ever was."
"There are words that people use that I never used," the official said. "It's a dialect that certain people use, and we see a need for it."
The DEA also sees a need for linguists who speak scores of other languages and dialects, including Jamaican Patois. The DEA is looking to hiring such linguists too.
As for why the DEA office is looking for nine Ebonics speakers -- on a contract basis -- the official said that would cover teams of three working three different shifts.