Letter to The Washington Post re "Divisive in Any Language"
E. J. Dionne Jr. (The Washington Post, May 23, 2006, \”Divisive In Any Language\”) hit the nail on the head.
Bottom line: How will USA citizens begin to interact with anyone who speaks Spanish and who may not speak English? Has Congress given folks (those who pushed for the recent English is the official language law ) who interpret issues to their own liking a \”carte blanche\” to discriminate?
How quickly folks forget that during the Great Depression Spanish-speakers who couldn\’t produce a birth certificate, even if born in Texas, were put on trains and shipped to Mexico.
Fortunately, we aren\’t at war with Spanish-speaking countries, but we mustn\’t forget how the Great Plains states outlawed German in public schools during WWII and how anyone speaking German was considered suspect.
As a teacher of English, I agree English is the language of our Constitution, but I fear the trauma children and the elderly might encounter as a result of this attitude that is politically driven to placate and diffuse the real problem in this country–our current administration and its affect on the lower and middle classes. It is these people who are willing to attack the weak and poor rather than confront those who are putting the real screws to their way of life. But, yes, the reality is that the USA simply can\’t take in the whole world.
Basically nothing has changed: attack the weaker out there in the jungle. What is troubling is that Congress might be unleashing the lions.
Robert L. Giron Author of: Songs for the Spirit Metamorphosis of the Serpent God Recuerdos Impressions françaises and translator of Songs for a Single String
Editor of: Poetic Voices Without Borders An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Women\’s Studies