OCTOBER 2, 2000
Speak English
© 2000 WorldNetDaily.com

I have been ranting for ages about the imperative to require immigrants to learn the English language. I tend to be more accepting than many of my conservative brethren to immigration; however, I am also more demanding than many others are.

America is a melting pot and our strength has come from our homogenous comingling of cultures. However, that synthesis has resulted in a product far superior to the integral parts of the whole. The primary bonding agent that holds the essence of the country together is our language. And like it or not, English is the language of the USA.

I rebel against the very concept of hyphenated Americans. Drop the "African-American," "Italian-American," "Asian-American" and "Mexican-American" sophistry. We are Americans. Our ancestors came to this great land because, frankly, from whence they came was awful. It is appropriate and good to honor and respect our ancestry, but to the hyphenated devotees, I say, your heritage is both inappropriate and insignificant as a prefix to your being American.

Like most of us, I am a hybrid. My father's family has roots in England (traceable back to the 1100s). My mother's family is from Italy (by way of Ellis Island). Michael Metcalf was born in Norfolk, England, in 1587 and he fled with his wife and children to New England in 1636 to avoid persecution of the church. He was being harassed by Bishop Wren of Norwich and his Chancellor Dr. Corbet. So he split. My mother's father, Ferruccio Marciano arrived at Ellis Island when he was 7-years-old with his brothers and sister "to find a better life," and they did.

One thing I remember my grandfather telling me was how his sister, the matriarchal figure, insisted on two things of her siblings when they arrived in America: "Learn the language" and "work hard." All the boys did both, and prospered.

So I have little patience when the political correct accommodating bureaucrats diminish the importance (hell, the imperative) of learning the language.

WorldNetDaily's Jon Dougherty recently submitted an article that had me seeing red.

"High court to hear English-only case. ... Does lack of language skills constitute a protected right?" Protected right?


Reportedly, "The high court decided Tuesday to hear an appeal of a lower court's 1998 repeal of an Alabama law mandating English as the state's official language." What happened to "powers not delegated" and that annoying 10th Amendment, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the Sates respectively, or to the people"?

Ten years ago "Alabama voters adopted a constitutional amendment declaring English the official language of their state." And it wasn't even close. There was a 9-to-1 margin -- 9-to-1! So eventually they changed the state driver's license test procedures "to require drivers to take the test in English."

Then up jumped the devil in the guise of permanent resident alien Martha Sandoval, from Mexico. In a remarkably pretentious class-action lawsuit, she challenged the driver's test policy, claiming that "the English policy was discriminatory against her and any others who could not speak English." Hey lady, first off, the state of Alabama probably didn't even know who you were, let alone conspire to discriminate against you. Secondly, the law does not discriminate against those who "could not speak English" but rather those who will not speak English.

Fortunately U.S. District Judge Ira DeMent dismissed Sandoval's claim that the law was intentionally aimed at personally discriminating against her. But any praise would have been premature articulation.

A subsequent decision by the same judge, a 187-page legal "reach" found "that Alabama's English-language policy discriminated on the basis of national origin." Huh?

So in the wake of a few more appeals and legal two steps, the Supremes will get a crack at what a reasonable person would incorrectly assume is a no-brainer.

A fly in the ointment of reason is one of Billy-Jeff's latest executive orders. No. 13166 was signed Aug. 11, 2000, and mandates that federal agencies must provide "programs and activities normally provided in English" to non-English-speaking residents. What that means is (and this is beyond anything Ionessco ever wrote) the inability to speak English would actually become "a protected civil right." Mind you, this is coming from the same folks who have no qualms about abrogating a God-given inalienable right.

This is where I started to lose it. Titled, "Improving Access to Services For Persons With Limited English Proficiency," the order requires the federal government "to improve access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and activities for persons who, as a result of national origin, are limited in their English proficiency (LEP)."

This is not the camel's nose in the tent. This is the whole smelly, flea-infested beast defecating on the kitchen floor.

More government, bigger government, another bureaucratic labyrinth staffed with big salaries, pensions, and incompetence.

This latest order actually requires the federales to create and provide funds for "an array of services that can be made accessible to otherwise eligible persons who are not proficient in the English language." There is a very easy solution to this apparent problem that does not require the creation of an entirely new network of government offices.

The order says, "each Federal agency shall examine the services it provides and develop and implement a system by which LEP persons can meaningfully access those services consistent with, and without unduly burdening, the fundamental mission of the agency."

Forgive the simplicity of this, but rather than "develop and implement" some new system and still offer "meaningful access" to services, here is the two-prong solution:

Hey, the money saved on not creating the new bureaucracy could no doubt actually fund additional services not now available.

This PC cancer is infuriating. We should welcome immigrants fleeing oppression, persecution and hardship. However we do them a remarkable disservice by addicting them to coddling the builders of this incredible global oasis could never have fathomed. America offers opportunity, not guaranteed outcome-based results. We'll give you a shot at achieving your potential -- arguably a better shot and more opportunity than you will find anywhere else in the world. However, there a few requirements, consider them dues. In order to qualify for the American dream, all you have to do is what Ferruccio did after being processed through Ellis Island -- speak the language and work.

In the preamble to the Constitution it states, "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

What better way to "insure domestic tranquility" or "promote the general welfare" than having a population that can actually communicate and speak a common language?