Sunday, January 25, 2009

Keep Pressing 1

I ran across this article last night:

Nashville's English-only measure defeated
By Chris Echegaray • THE TENNESSEAN • January 23, 2009

Nashville listened to its leaders — the governor, the mayor, and a vast coalition of churches, businesses and universities — and defeated an English-only measure by nearly 10,000 votes in Thursday's special election.

No one predicted the massive turnout on the special election, one that inspired strong emotion from voters on either side. Ultimately, opponents said, the message that diversity is a good thing came through.

Ahh, yes. That "diversity" thing. The reason people don't bother to learn English while living in an English speaking country. The reason I couldn't communicate with half the people in the neighborhood I worked in, even though they had lived there for 20 years. They didn't need to learn English.

Baron said English-only measures are often veiled attempts against immigrants and non-English speaking groups. The argument over English-only found itself framed around Latinos and illegal immigration, but it also would have affected the thousands of refugees the federal government resettles in Nashville.

Yes, there are some idiots whose whole point is to pick on immigrants, but in my case that is not it. Come here legally, learn to talk to us,and I'll welcome you with open arms.

The problem I have is when I cannot get service or information here in Los Angeles in English.

At my old oil company I drove a small tank truck and needed a commercial drivers license. Having a clean record, I only needed to take the written test every four years, so I decided to swing by the DMV and pick up the commercial handbook and review it. They had it in Spanish and Chinese, no copies in English, so I drove to the next city...Spanish, Korean and English. I did get a copy in the next city up the road, but now my boss is calling me wondering if I just took the rest of the day off.

There is such an emphasis on bilingual employees now at gov't agencies, that while the civil servant may be able to speak English, you can't understand them and half the time I'm not so sure they really understand what I'm asking.

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