Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 20:57:39 -0400
From: "Aaron E. Drews" DREWSA[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GUVAX.ACC.GEORGETOWN.EDU
Subject: Re: English-only
I guess it's time for my two-bits worth. My brother and I hav
have often discussed this issue.
First of all, language, as of yet, is a State's right, (not to
be confused with States' rights). Let the other 27-odd odd states decide
for themselves. Kentucky, for example, doesn't have a lot of Chinese
immigrants, whereas California does. A national law as such wouldn't
encompass different States' needs. I apologise for this part.... I've
been reading a novel on the Civil War.
Now, the largest argument I have heard is "my grandparents had
to learn English when coming here" etc. I fell safe in assuming that
all of us on this list had ancestors that *had* to learn English or they
would have had some serious troubles. Yet, several communities were
able, and still are able, to maintain a non-English environment. They
have managed to do with *without* English-only legislation. My great-
grandparents learned English (as far as I know without an "accent" of
the old country) because they would have been ridiculed back to the
old country if they hadn't. THose were social rules. I admit
today's climate is sensitive to everyone's needs, but by printing
official documents, road signs, menus, shoelace instructions, ad
naseum only in English, one maintains English-only without need for
new laws (which is the last thing this country needs. Sorry, I'm
confusing that with lawyers).
From my understanding of Dole's comments, bilingual education
would find no government funding (not that it doesn't already) and
other such programmes would be hurt as well. Well, we pride ourselves
on capitalism, we could promote private schools of culture and language.
I don't know how many times I was disappointed as a kid because most
of my Asian friends had to go to Japanese school or Chinese school after
regular school and on the weekends. I have a distinct feeling, call
it fear, that, were an English-only legislation to pass, a xenophobic
sentiment would be aimed at the private schools along the lines of
"damned foreigners don't have no respect for our school...." even
though English speaking private schools are just fine and dandy.
I don't think language should have anything to do with
politics.... except for new laws being understandable by the
That was more than I intended to say.....
P.S. I'm just happy Ben Franklin's fettish for Latin didn't become
a national language.
Gen 11:9 "...From Babel the Lord scatter them over the face of
the whole eart and sent those that spoke Babel to Washington"
(Reduced Shakespear Company).