Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Oppose the Inhofe Amendment!

It's rare that I'm so deeply disappointed in BOTH of my Senators from Minnesota at the same time, but there's a first time for everything.

Shamefully, Amy Klobuchar and Norm Coleman voted “Yea” on the Inhofe Amendment to declare English the official language of the U.S.

This bill will deny people the right to have the US government and its representatives to “act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English.”

We must understand that Inhofe’s amendment has significant implications for refugees in the US who fled war, torture and terror, from support for materials printed in other languages to cuts in programs to support bilingual and multilingual education.

Even access to emergency and civil services will potentially be affected by this bill.

Interpretations of S.A. 4064 can easily lead to a denial of funding to our public libraries, schools, public television and radio, as well as art, civic and cultural institutions who seek to reach out to communities where English is not their first language.

The US doesn't have an official language, and there are plenty of good reasons for that.

For over 200 years, the United States has risen from a bunch of pilgrims and convicts and ne'er-do-wells to become a global power armed with nuclear weapons. All, somehow, without an official language.

Making the English language more 'official' accomplishes NOTHING. Not even greater security for our nation.

From Benedict Arnold to Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, to Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber, history has proven time and again: A command of English is no greater guarantee of loyalty or dedication to this country.

Consider in contrast, the sacrifices of the Phillipine Scouts of World War II or the Hmong and Montagnards who fought on the side of the United States during the Vietnam War, most of whom spoke little to no English at the time.

Inhofe and his supporters claim that declaring English as the official language will have a unifying effect on our nation. But I don’t feel united with you because of the way you arrange your nouns, verbs and adjectives.

I feel united with my fellow Americans from our spirit of effort to create a nation based upon our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Some speak English better than I, some speak English terribly. But I respect them all for putting our differences aside to build a far better country than the one the Inhofe Amendment will create.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good one. But perhaps too long, since outright mockery is called for, eh?


P.S. - Call/email re: SoSF op ed - why the "radio silence"?