Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 23:12:18 -0400


Subject: Re: FOR English Only

On Mon, 11 Sep 1995, Tom Uharriet wrote:

particular dialect. That is a different issue altogether. English

Only legislation eliminates states' requirements to provide education

and state materials in any language that is spoken (as a native

language) within those states.

... English Only legislation does not discourage

people from using their own dialects. Nor does it prevent one from

learning a second or third language. It simply says that those

states are able to publish in English without being required to make

multiple language versions. Likewise, they can teach in English

without protecting their students from needing to learn this


be able to freely communicate. English Only legislation has nothing

to do with dialects. What is does have to do with is eliminating our

mandated non-expectation of immigrants to learn to communicate as

freely in Standard American English as we do.

Question: who is the "we" above?

English Only legislation is also a veiled position stating that

monolinguals need not learn to communicate as freely in another language

just as its adherents would have non-native speakers of English lects do.

The Equal Protection Clause of one of them-thar emendationments to that

that-thar constituation thang that them guys writ in Anglish whan they

shud of knowed to use some really good langage likes Latin or Iroquois

(and why they din't use Frenchy is beyond me cuz Jefferson writed lots of

stuff in Frenchy) is the impetus underlying multilingual documents and

bilingual education in the US of A (WAVE THAT FLAG HIGH, GOOD OLE BOYS!)

There was some Supreme Court case to that effect. I do not have my

materials on it at home so I cannot give the exact citation. It involved

the Board of Education of San Francisco and the local Chinese community.

For a public institution to fail to communicate to a citizen constitutes

a violation of equal protection before the law. The burden of

communication rests in the public institution, not the five year old who

has grown hearing only Spanish, which has been spoken continuosly on this

continent longer than English. (Or insert Chinese in the above sentence

to get closer to the original case. For dialects and the burden of

communication there is an appellate (I believe) court decision from Ann


But these are facts that are known and I would presume respected by all

members of this list. If not, I humbly say, get the F*** off. SO much

for my flame this week.

My point in raising these facts is this: can state legislation, as the

posting that I cite above suggests, in fact overturn the Supreme Court

decision of 1974 mentioned above. Can a state pass legislation that

violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th amendment to the US

Constitution? English first maybe, but I question that. English Only?




Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

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