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April 29th, 2006
This is going to be political

So President Bu$h doesn’t like the Spanish-language version of the National Anthem. In case you care, here’s a link to the lyric: Click here. This disapproval seems a little contrived coming from a politician who otherwise has been very keen to court the Latino vote – commercials in Spanish, speaking the language at every opportunity, giving a Spanish language radio address…

But this goes beyond what the president has to say. I think it really cuts to the heart of the issue with immigration. It tires me no end to hear people whining about assimilation and “the norm” (what the hell is that?) and “national identity” and so on. Did you know 60% of Americans (presumably the English speaking ones) don’t know all the words to the National Anthem? Is that what we want our Spanish-speaking immigrants to aim for? Translating the anthem into Spanish means the citizenship-seekers will understand it, understand the meaning.

The norm. We’re a nation of immigrants. The only reason English is widely spoken is because this nation was originally an English colony – but ask any random person on the street what their ancestry is and I’m betting “I’m English, all the way baby!” isn’t going to be the answer. No, you’re likely to hear “Well my mom’s family is French and Italian and my dad’s family is Greek” or something like that. My own heritage is Mexican and Norwegian and Swedish with a little French and Native American tossed in for fun. Back to the French/Italian/Greek example – at some point those ancestors came here and they weren’t speaking English. But their hard work contributed to this nation, their culture was blended in, their language was blended in – some of them still speak that language, and what a shame it isn’t passed on to their kids.
Need I remind people that the US has NO official language? I’m getting to a point where I want to start telling the “Shut up and learn English” types to shut up and learn Spanish. Canada has two languages – French and English.

Maybe I’m just feeling punchy, but I’m getting pissed off listening to the pundits and opinionated drivel from the media. Dude, if we didn’t have immigrants here doing all the jobs they do, the economy would collapse. Not ALL that money they’re earning is going back to their families. They’re still buying groceries, paying the electric bill, buying clothes and movies and all the other stuff the rest of us buy. That money stays in the community (at least to the same extent as the rest of us that shop at big corporate conglomerates, but that’s for another post). In Oregon, anyway, they’re not getting any more health care on the government dime than the white folk, and since that’s a pretty small number (I used to work in this field, I know my stuff) thanks to massive cuts to OHP etc., well, it ain’t much. Illegals – well they’re not getting much at all, because the majority are too scared to talk to anyone official from the gubmint, even if it is to get health care dollars.

I’d rather every penny of my tax money went to health care FOR ALL, schooling FOR ALL, etc etc rather than funding the military industrial complex and the war machine. All this seems like so much window dressing to distract us from where the bulk of our tax dollars are really going. “Look over there, all those immigrants are getting SO MUCH OF YOUR MONEY!!” while the real story is the money hole that is the Iraq war and the war machine in general. It’s sickening.

Posted by Claire at 09:45 PM | Current Events | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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