Monday, September 18, 2006

Foreign language ballots

A suburban Si Valley paper published this op-ed:
In Colonial America, Colonizers usually imposed their language onto the people they colonized, forbidding them to speak their mother tongues - whether it be French, Spanish, Native American or German/Dutch. Many students were demoted, humiliated or even beaten for speaking their native language. Nowadays we have mandates from the government to allow immigrant citizens to be able to vote in their native language.
I dispute this. American colonizers colonized land, not people. They were allowed to speak whatever language they wanted.
... The Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 - which was originally passed to assure that all Americans can take part in elections - has recently been revisited. It now requires counties to add languages to elections materials ...
No, it was passed to punish the South, and it continues to promote bigotry.
We may do well to remember that a large part of our country's success - and its delight - is due to the contributions of immigrants, such as the building of the transcontinental railroad by Chinese, often under dreadful conditions. And more locally it is worthy to note that in 1996 about one-fourth of all Silicon Valley high-tech companies were founded by an immigrant, and those companies contributed $28 billion dollars in revenue and 67,000 in jobs according to the San Jose Mercury News. Knowing this, and the fact that multi-language election material is financially minimal, we should embrace this service with open arms, just as the Statue of Liberty has embraced all new Americans.
To get to those figures, you have to count Intel as being cofounded by a Hungarian and Sun Microsystems as being cofounded by a German. But we have no ballots in either German or Hungarian, as they are forbidden by the Voting Rights Act.

Immigrants who become citizens have to learn english. Those Si Valley immigrants who cofounded companies all spoke english. Those who participate in American politics speak english. The foreign language ballots are unnecessary and destructive.

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