Minnesota’s Queen of the Clueless is co-sponsoring a bill to make having a command of the English language a requirement.
While the intent is to make sure those damned immigrants git learned good English. The reality could be that several prominent Republicans would lose their rights as citizens. Perhaps I misunderestimate the scope of the bill, but so far no one has refudiated my point. And even if they do… well, you spell potatoe; I’ll spell potato.
Along with Iowa Rep. Steve King, Bachmann asserts that all official government business must henceforth then be conducted in English. They warn that without such action, there’s less hope of immigrants becoming real Americans. And the last thing we need is any more of those fake Americans clogging up the aisle in the Wal-Mart.
“To declare English as the official language of the United States, to establish a uniform English language rule for naturalization, and to avoid misconstructions of the English language texts of the laws of the United States.”
The bill is purporting to address problems we simply aren’t having. In 2004, the Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research addressed exactly the question of whether immigrants and their children were language assimilating. They found that English is almost universally accepted by the children and grandchildren of the immigrants who have come to the U.S. in great numbers since the 1960s. Moreover, by the third generation, i.e., the grandchildren of immigrants, bilingualism is maintained only by minorities of almost all groups.
Yet bills like this are popular with the Tea Party crowd. They play on the ignorance, xenophobia, and fear of people who forget that not so long ago, their parents and grandparents were the immigrants who spoke funny. Ironically, Minnesota was founded largely by Swedish and Norse immigrants, who in the early days of the 20th Century posted voting instructions in a variety of languages to accommodate their diverse population.
It seems Bachmann’s own grandparents immigrated from Norway. I wonder how good their English was and if Michelle thinks Grandpa shouldn’t have been allowed to vote?