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If y’all have a thick accent, y’all might be told to “kiss mah grits” when applying for jobs, the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION reports.

A heavy regional accent works against job candidates, according to a University of North Texas study. The researchers had 56 executives listen to recordings of 10 college-educated men — all from different parts of the country — reading the same passage. The recruiters were found to have several accent-based prejudices.

For instance, they generally perceived candidates with a Southern drawl as stupid and assigned them to jobs where they would have minimal contact with the public. A candidate with a New Jersey accent was perceived as uneducated and hostile and deemed the “least employable” of the 10. Those with neutral accents ranked the highest.

Such biases against people with accents have become “an acceptable form of discrimination,” according to one of the researchers (whose North-Texas slang unfortunately made her seem less credible).

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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