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28.7.02

The Importance Of Speaking English

The Brown County Board of Supervisors in Green Bay, Wis., home of the Packers, has declared English as the official language of government.

There are many ways to look at the same thing, and our land is famous for the freedom of doing so. Alas, the right to free speech does not come with guarantees of rational thought, or even the assumption that people will necessarily speak the truth.

Jodi Wilgoren, writing in the New York Times, and Karl Txajkaug Thoj, director of the Hmong Association of Green Bay, are competing for my "Most Inappropriate Response" prize this week. "The movement [adopting English as the official language] has gained strength in recent years as part of a backlash against growing numbers of immigrants," writes Miss Wilgoren....

...Instantly prohibited [when first the Nazis, then the Communists, took over his native Hungary] was any contact with the English-speaking world. Listening to an English-speaking broadcast would land one in jail more certainly than serious civil crime. Target practice from age 14 upward meant shooting at images of the current American president.

"If their chief enemy is the same," I reasoned, "then their underlying philosophy must be the same." Thus the conventional wisdom of Nazis on the Right, communists on the Left, and America in the middle was rather short-lived for someone of my experience. More realistic was the image of Nazis and communists on one side, the English-speaking world on the other...

...If properly examined, it will become clear the purpose is not to "make life easier for immigrants." Nor is the purpose "diversity." The purpose is to do away with the powerful concepts that English, and English alone, transmits across generations, across the globe. No other language, certainly not Spanish -- the primary weapon in this battle -- can imbue a person with a sense of fairness, because no other language has that word. It's impossible to translate legal concepts such as "reasonable doubt," or "unreasonable searches and seizures," because it never occurred to possessors of power in the countries from which we immigrants come to behave reasonably.


So the people defending the status quo (i.e., no official language) are the ones who want to fundamentally alter the nature of America. And because the Communists and Nazis didn't like English speaking countries (seeing as neither the US or UK was ever communist or nazi), therefore everyone should speak English. And allowing people to speak non-English languages is actually an insidious way of introducing newspeak that makes them unable to express free and democratic ideas. I think this guy needs to stick to being a concert pianist.

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