Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 17:46:46 -0400


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]

Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164

Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351