Saturday, October 15, 2011

Say What?

I try - I really, really try - to welcome and appreciate anyone who legally immigrates to this country. I honestly believe that the constant influx of new blood - new ideas, new perspectives, new "teeming masses yearning to be free" - is one of the reasons for our greatness. Historically, each new wave of immigrants has contributed their own unique flavor to the stew that is America.

However, I also believe that an equally significant factor is the willingness of those immigrants to assimilate. That doesn't mean totally abandoning their culture or heritage. Just look at the Irish or Italians, to name a couple of examples.

Another example: my father is the youngest of 13 kids, and the only one born in this country. His family came from Poland around 1915. He still speaks Polish on occasion, and we enjoy kielbasa, pierogies, and piwo. But his parents insisted that everyone learn English so they could become 'real Americans.'

My point is that I am not anti-immigrant. In fact, I am pro-immigrant, with a few stipulations. Number one of those is that the newly-arrived do their best to assimilate into this country's mainstream. That very definitely includes learning to speak English. Which is why the following, to borrow one of my father's favorite expressions, just torques my jaws. (H/T to Roger the Real King of France for the link).
Dozens of languages are spoken in the Bay Area, and some of them are about to find their way into local voting places as part of newly updated requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act.
Alameda County already provides Chinese and Spanish language assistance at polling stations, but soon must add Vietnamese and Tagalog to its repertoire, according to the voting rights requirements announced Wednesday.
Tagalog!?! GMAFB!
"It means we must translate everything we produce into these additional languages, all the sample ballots, all the material at the polling places, anything we mail out to voters," said Alameda County Registrar Dave Macdonald.
Election sites around the East Bay will also have to staff bilingual poll workers to enable the region's increasingly diverse population to more easily participate in elections.
The California Secretary of State's office said the changes will take effect by the June 2012 election, because voter pamphlets are already mailed out for local elections in November, but federal officials said they are effective now.

"They are legally effective immediately," said Xochitl Hinojosa of the U.S. Department of Justice. "We understand the constraints that jurisdictions are operating under that have elections in November and we have already spoken to many of them."
 Xochitl Hinojosa: no doubt one of the radicals "laid off by the ACLU or the NAACP" and hired by the Eric Holder Justice Department.
The changes are a reflection of the region's growing diversity, as well as what the federal government says is a high percentage of voting-age citizens in the Bay Area who do not understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process.
Which brings me back to my original point. If they don't "understand English adequately enough to participate in the electoral process" then they should either (a) don't vote, or (b) learn the damn language of the country they live in.

In fact, given that a certain degree of proficiency in reading and writing English is required to become a U.S. citizen, and given that only U.S. citizens can legally vote, there doesn't seem to be any logical reason for government material to be printed in any other language. 



Old NFO said...

Sigh... outnumbered and losing to the PC crowd... And we soon will be wondering where America went!

CenTexTim said...

Yeah ... since when did it become that we have to adjust to them, rather than the other way around.

This is not the America I remember growing up, and it definitely isn't my father's America.

Things have changed, and IMO not for the better.

Home on the Range said...

If you don't speak the language you shouldn't vote. Period.

CenTexTim said...