Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 17:46:46 -0400
From: TERRY IRONS t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MOREHEAD-ST.EDU
Subject: Re: FOR English Only
On Tue, 12 Sep 1995, Tom Uharriet wrote:
Where do you get off telling those who do not share your views to get
the F*** off? If your views cannot stand the scrutiny of friendly
disagreement, maybe you should reconsider your argument before
resorting to ***'s.
My position, by analogy, is very similar to the intent of English Only
Legislation. It basically says, You no speak the English, You get the
Hell out. WHo are the ENGISH ONLY people to be saying this to other
americans. I was not presenting views. I was reminding people of
some facts. Mandating one language in America is a violation of the
constitution. Then after one language is mandated, they start telling us
what we can say in it.
You obviously know they CAN pass English Only legislation. That
capacity is well established by those who have done so already. The
question we have been addressing is whether they SHOULD. A growing
number of states say they should. Others say the whole nation
should. There are solid, well thought out reasons for it. There are
also good reasons not to do it. We have heard both from thinking
members of our group. It is not a good guys vs. bad guys issue. We
simply see the benefits and the drawbacks and weigh them according to
what we see is the most relavent. What more can we do? I hope you
have found enough diversity of thought on this issue to make the
discussion meaningful. To the credit of all of us, there is nothing
that any of us can say to make all of us feel the same way about this
issue. We are all too intelligent for that to happen. We think for
ourselves. A primary purpose of this discussion is to hear views
that are not our own. We gain understanding that way.
I used the wrong modal. Dennis Baron pointed out to me that one such
state statute was found to be unconstitutional, on 1st amendment
grounds. Others have been upheld or not challenged. Does anyone know of
cases in which state mandates for one language only have been upheld.
I have seen no thoughtful reasons in support of ENGLISH ONLY. Only
bigoted provincialism. ANd I still don't know who this "we" and "our
group" is. From my perspective, the issue is a good guys vs. bad guys
issue. Those who wish to impose their language on other citizens of this
nation are quite simply imperialist oppressors. What benefit accrues to
the hispanic or navaho or chinese child who is denied equal access to our
society because he or she did not happen to be born in a white middle
class suburb where SAE is spoken? What are these solid reasons?
But my ire rises again. As Wayne suggests, this discussion has gone from
polite to nasty. I fear I am to blame. But I cannot abide bigotry
masquerading as rational thought. And I must speak. Where reason does
not suffice, I have found insult to work.
Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]msuacad.morehead-st.edu
Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164
Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351