Update on Oklahoma’s *latest* Xenophobic (read racist) Push.

5 05 2008

  Oh dear internets, my embarrassment grows. This article informed me that the English only bill has passed the OK House. It is now going to the OK Senate. In this new draft, the bill’s authors added exemptions for Oklahoma’s American Indian languages, Brail and sign language.  I guess the hypocracy of disallowing Native American languages was to much even for them.  But this only serves to further expose the racist anti-hispanic/latino sentiments behind the bill. 

  America is one of a very few (the only as far as I know) developed countries who’s citizens do not have to interact with people who speak other languages regularly.  Even so, putting other languages on signage, what is so horrible about that?  Shouldn’t the government want people to read what it feels is important enough to say?  What, dear internets, besides a (scary) Nationalism could be the motivating factor behind this bill? 

    What I find humourous is this, think of the idea of ‘the ugly American’ and of American tourists in general.  When these people go oversees they benefit from English being on signage throughout.  Statistics have shown, for many decades, that Americans speak only one language.  Most other developed countries have citizens that speak two languages as a matter of course and three and up on the average.  English is on street signs, retail signage, mass transit systems, etc.  Now, I know that Enland is our favourite colony, but it isn’t even continental.  Why then should English be written on signage of countries that do not speak English?  What have they learned that Oklahoman’s do not know?  Could it be a ‘build it and they will come’ thing?  Like, if we make it easy to be a tourist here, maybe they’ll come.  Shouldn’t Oklahoma be interested in this as well?  It certainly stands a better chance of bringing in tourist dollars than a new convention center.  That convention center idea was old when I studied urban decay and revitalization in the late 90s.  Since nearly every metropolitan city in America had that idea 18 or so years ago, is Tulsa really going to pull in the tourist bucks?  Seems HIGHLY unlikely.  Will Oklahoma bring in tourist bucks if our signage is in their language?  Probably not, but it is far less expensive than a convention center or those dumb promotional commercials the state makes to show in other states. 

  I guess what I am left with is that there seem to be no reasons to pass an English only law in Oklahoma except for the racist anti-hispanic/latino ones.  But, if we are going to do the English only thing, shouldn’t get more specific?  Like, the Queen’s English only, or proper English only?  Shouldn’t we punish abusers of the language?  I mean, isn’t txt msg technically English? 

 

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