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? 



Relative, Close Kin – Not Adolph Eisenstein, of ‘This Makes Me Angry’

28 04 2008

  Remember that time, dear internets, I told you about Wisconsin residents being all xenophobic and how I was all proud and stuff that it was not Oklahoma (Native America) that went wacky?  Boy is my face red.  I’m going to feel this in the morning.

  I discovered that my beloved state, Oklahoma (Native America), has attempted, at least once before now as well, to legislate English as the one and only official state language.  If I take a second, and that is as much time as is needed, I can see the ignorance, the irony and be embarassed by such an attempt.  If I take a second, again that is all that is needed, I can guess which political party is responsible for authoring, petitioning for and championing this bill.  It isn’t the Greens or the Libertarians.  The person(s) responisble for this bill belong to the same party as Sally Kern, the nogoodnik. 

  This article, or plea, has some detail about the proceedings where this bill was voted on, http://www.ahalenia.com/iws/alert.html.  Very tellingly, an American Indian (Native American) was present and not allowed to speak, in fact no one (private citizen) was allowed to speak. 

  This attempt is ludacris.  Oklahoma (Native America) is home to several American Indian (Native Americans) tribes.  Tribes the federal govenment forced here, with violence.  Oklahoma (Native America) is home to a large German population, a Jewish population and a sizable Itallian population.  But I think it is safe to assume the real population this legislation is targeted at is the same population that was recently ostracized/expelled -> hispanics/latinos/chicanos. 

  The following is all personal testimony and heresay but, I’ve never heard anyone complain about computer terminals or signage being in German or Cherokee (Native Americans).  I guess it really bothers some people when they look at a sign and have to read it in English then they are forced to see that below that is a Spanish translation or that some storefront signage is in Spanish.  Why does it bother these people so?  I am unable to anwer this.  While I hesitate to throw the following word around, granted I used to use it frequently in my formative years, I feel this legislation borders on fascist.  It is definitly elitist.  Barring the free, open and equal access to public knowledge/speech from a specific group or groups of the public has no legitimate defense, at least in a republic.

Here is the bill that came before committee in Jan ’08 http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2007-08HB/HB1423_int.rtf

” ” in Feb ’03 http://www2.lsb.state.ok.us/2003-04HB/HB1020_cs.rtf

’02 article that makes reference to ’97 bill http://www.lsb.state.ok.us/HOUSE/news6048.htm

  PS, thanks are due to Timmy for telling me about the trouble down at the ol’ ravine.