Date: Wed, 6 Sep 1995 20:57:39 -0400


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

common citizen.

That was more than I intended to say.....

Aaron Drews

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).