Saturday, March 31, 2007

Just one more reason to homeschool

You won't have to worry about what language your children speak. I just read this on CNN. The headline is "Abolish Bilingual Education, Gingrich Urges." .

One thing in particular that he says, "Citizenship requires passing a test on American history in English. If that's true, then we do not have to create ballots in any language except English," . . . makes no sense really. Well, I have to add this quote, also, "The government should quit mandating that various documents be printed in any one of 700 languages depending on who randomly shows up" to vote, said Gingrich, because I hardly think that's a realistic number for him to use. It's hardly random, anyway. The law simply says that districts with large populations of non-English speakers are required to print ballots in multiple languages.

I never took a citizenship test. Did you? My mother's native language is Italian, and yes, she did take a citizenship test. But if she'd only spoken Italian to me when I was a child, there's the possibility that I could have entered school speaking only Italian. If I'd grown up in a "Little Italy" and gone to a private school with Italian-speaking teachers, I may not have spoken much English at all. I could have turned 18, been ready to vote, and not been able to read the ballot. Of course, that's not what happened, but it's possible.

Newt Gingrich is just xenophobic. Maybe he's afraid that non-English speakers won't vote for him, so if they can't read the ballot, they'll be less likely to go vote at all. And I think that Peter Zamora, quoted in the article, is absolutely correct. People who live here, for the most part, want to learn to speak English. But if they come here speaking another language, and keep current with American politics through a newspaper or TV news in their native language, they certainly are capable of deciding whom to vote for before they've learned much English. Anyway, that's just my opinion.

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