Newt Gingrich implies Spanish is "the language of living in a ghetto"

Koios

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich equated bilingual education Saturday with "the language of living in a ghetto" and mocked requirements that ballots be printed in multiple languages.

"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, who is considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. He made the comments in a speech to the National Federation of Republican Women.


I think this was quite a bold statement to make. Maybe he is assuming many of those who need documents in other languages will not be that significant in terms of the election. However, I don't see how this will benefit him as much as it could end up hurting him. In my opinion Americans are behind in terms of embracing other languages. I understand his concern is that English is not being spoken widely enough but if anything we should be trying to introduce new bilingual programs, not destroy them.

Read more here.
 
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USMC the Almighty

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I understand his concern is that English is not being spoken widely enough but if anything we should be trying to introduce new bilingual programs, not destroy them.

I disagree completely.

It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. One scholar, Seymour Martin Lipset put it this way:

"The histories of bilingual and bicultural socierties that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy: Canada, Belgium, Malayisa, Lebanon -- all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with its basques, Bretons, and Corsicans."

Maintaing your culture is fine -- but America is a melting pot where you are supposed to assimilate into the American way of life and salute the American flag, that's what made this country so great.

Immigrants are a blessing, but only when they are willing to integrate.
 

Lilly Marlene

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It's true. We want a nation here, not a boarding house where people can hang while they earn money to send back home.

My question to you Koios is ...why just Spanish
(because that's the only language that demands to be accommodated, at least to my knowledge) ?

How come Germans, Italians, Vietnamese, Russians and everyone else who immigrates here does not have all the documents translated for them ? Why do their children have to go into public schools and learn English instead of slowing up everything for everyone else ?

If we are going to do it for one group, it is unfair not to do it for everybody.

The irony in all this is that Newt is a total open borders enabler who promotes this slave labor for the supply side.
 

USMC the Almighty

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I agree 100% with USMC on this one.

My question to you Koios is ...why just Spanish
(because that's the only language that demands to be accommodated, at least to my knowledge) ?

How come Germans, Italians, Vietnamese, Russians and everyone else who immigrates here does not have all the documents translated for them ? Why do their children have to go into public schools and learn English instead of slowing up everything for everyone else ?

If you are going to do it for one group, it is unfair not to do it for everybody.

You're exaclty right. The only people who we make excuses for are the Spanish.

The irony in all this is that Newt is a total open borders enabler who actively promotes this slave labor for the supply side.

What are you talking about? He had this to say in an article last year:

"First, we must deal with the immediate. Open borders are a grave national-security threat. Why have a multibillion-dollar ballistic-missile-defense system when a terrorist can rent a truck and drive a weapon of mass destruction across the border? Gaining control of our borders is therefore an immediate and pressing national-security requirement. The secondary effect is that it would dramatically stem the flow of illegal immigration, illegal drugs, and the human trafficking of slaves (mostly female and mostly for sexual exploitation)."

"...we cannot continue to allow a wide-open illegal employment system. The current flood of illegal migration if left unchecked for a period of decades will decisively undermine the economy in both economic and legal terms."

"No one believes the border is anywhere close to being controlled. Few have confidence that the government will ever seriously do something about it. In the same regard, the idea that the federal government could actually run an effective identification program for worker visas is not credible either which is why every audience applauds when I suggest outsourcing it to Visa, MasterCard, or American Express."

He reiterates later in the same article: "First, control the borders with decisive legislation aggressively implemented with tight deadlines."

And again: "Accordingly, the Congress should pass a border-control bill immediately. There is no reason the Congress cannot immediately pass such a bill, and then concentrate on additional immigration reform measures later. The Congress should immediately act on this one aspect of immigration reform around which there is widespread agreement. America needs real border control immediately."

Read his article here: http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/gingrich200604261230.asp

Hardly a "total open borders enabler".
 

Lilly Marlene

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:eek:

If I'm mistaken I will have to eat my words, but I'm sure I had read something to the contrary !

Maybe actions as contrasted with words ?
I'm not sure ...
Let me try and find out where I got that, and get back to you on this.
 

USMC the Almighty

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:eek:

If I'm mistaken I will have to eat my words, but I'm sure I had read something to the contrary !

Maybe actions as contrasted with words ?
I'm not sure ...
Let me try and find out where I got that, and get back to you on this.

Sure. I'll forgive you, Lilly.
 

USMC the Almighty

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Well hopefully it will be me offering to forgive you !

I am posting one reliable source ...it is not one of those that I had seen before however so I'll still try to find the others real late tonight.

http://profiles.numbersusa.com/improfile.php3?DistSend=GA&VIPID=217

Have a great evening,
Lilly

Oh no no no. These votes took place in 1990, 1996, and 1998. Now the immigration issue wasn't as hot back then, but I'm not going to make excuses for his votes ten years ago. Since then, he's clearly reformed his position. That article that I posted was written by him.

He may have been wrong back then, but he's got it right this time around.
 

Koios

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You're exaclty right. The only people who we make excuses for are the Spanish.

Actually, that is not true. If you look deep in your history books you will find that we did in fact provide translations for most of those groups Lilly mentioned particularly the Italians and Germans. The difference is that there are not as many immigrants coming from those places anymore.

Just recently I saw some "I voted" pins that had a Chinese translation right bellow the English transcription. Of course you will primarily see translations for Spanish but it still shows how if there is a large community that doesn't fully comprehend the language we will compromise, it is not just done for Spanish.

Also if you read the actual news article you will realize that the main point here is how blatantly ignorant Gingrich's statement appears. A representative of the Hispanic Education Coalition pointed out that people do want to integrate and learn English more than anything because they know this is required in order to truly succeed and accomplish the American dream.

"...We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in a ghetto"

No matter how you spin this, I think it could really hurt him--it was unwise of him to phrase it like he did. His point would have been much more valuable and respectable if he resorted to better use of the language he boasts about. He would have been better off implementing diplomacy and using the "language of a ghetto" over using the "language of prosperity" in such a disrespectful manner.
 

USMC the Almighty

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Lily, that's how he is. He's not PC, he doesn't hide his feelings, he's forthright, and you always know where he's coming from. That's who he is.

And I happen to agree with him.

I don't deny that it will hurt him -- it may, but truth be told, the Hispanic Education Coalition does not form the bulk of his voter base.

Tell me then, if I want to blame someone or some faction of people for pushing bilingual education, who should I blame?
 

Friendindeed

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Actually, that is not true. If you look deep in your history books you will find that we did in fact provide translations for most of those groups Lilly mentioned particularly the Italians and Germans. The difference is that there are not as many immigrants coming from those places anymore.

I would have to ask which history books you are looking in and whether you are talking about public schools vs. private schools because that would be teh issue.
I was around when the Vietnamese came in great numbers and there was no bilingual ed for them.

Just recently I saw some "I voted" pins that had a Chinese translation right bellow the English transcription. Of course you will primarily see translations for Spanish but it still shows how if there is a large community that doesn't fully comprehend the language we will compromise, it is not just done for Spanish.

How does it show that, unless you are saying it proves the ballots were translated into Chinese.

No matter how you spin this, I think it could really hurt him--it was unwise of him to phrase it like he did.

I don't know how much it will hurt him because the majority of Repubs feel that way even the ones who support Bush's other policies.
 

Koios

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Tell me then, if I want to blame someone or some faction of people for pushing bilingual education, who should I blame?

Blame? I don’t think it’s really about “blame”. If anything I think that our current educational system is at fault because it does not come close to being equal—the disparities are just astonishing to say the least. The truth of the matter is that public education is not up to par particularly in the “ghettos” where Spanish would be spoken. Hence it becomes harder to learn anything without the proper education, let alone all the other problems that come along with living in such an environment.


I would have to ask which history books you are looking in and whether you are talking about public schools vs. private schools because that would be teh issue.
I was around when the Vietnamese came in great numbers and there was no bilingual ed for them.

What I meant was that if you look past the basic education provided by your high school you will find that you are mistaken (I'm not sure, perhaps they do teach you this in some good high school history classes). Well, seeing as to how you seem to be skeptical, you only have to look as far as Wikipedia to see it is true: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_in_the_United_States

Before World War I, more than 6% of American schoolchildren received their primary education only in German…

An urban legend, sometimes called the Mühlenberg legend after Frederick Muhlenberg, states that English only narrowly defeated German as the U.S. official language. In reality, the proposal being referenced was only to have government documents translated into German as a secondary language. T


I am saying it will hurt him only because it shows a bad side to him—I do not think it is just about being politically correct but more about being articulate and informed—he forgets that Spanish (and many other languages) are spoken quite widely outside of the “ghetto”.

I know he is not perfect, and nor is anyone else. I’m just pointing out it was perhaps not the wisest move to make.
 

Lilly Marlene

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That is interesting, Koios.

Is there any other source for that apart from the one statement in the Wiki entry ?

The reason I ask is not to dismiss Wiki as untrustworthy, even though many people do. It's because the Wiki entry was brief and didn't mention whether it was the public school or not.
And Friendindeed's point is well taken when he wrote that that would be the issue here.

Also the article dealt only with German; people have come here from Italy, Japan, China, Russia, the Netherlands, Poland, Viet Nam ...all kinds of places.
Public elementary schools have not provided bilingual programs for them.
 

Lilly Marlene

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Lily, that's how he is. He's not PC, he doesn't hide his feelings, he's forthright, and you always know where he's coming from. That's who he is.

I appreciate those qualities.

And I must acknowledge now that I was behind the times on Newt: he HAS seemed to alter his thinking with regard to the illegal immigration issue.

I read your NRO article and some other of his more recent ideas.


I don't deny that it will hurt him -- it may, but truth be told, the Hispanic Education Coalition does not form the bulk of his voter base.
Tell me then, if I want to blame someone or some faction of people for pushing bilingual education, who should I blame?


That last section seems to be addressing Koios' comments.
I'll tell you something though.
At a parent teacher meeting at my younger son's school, there was a man and woman from Mexico attending. They had no children in school there, yet they showed up outfitted with placards expressing their demands ...and they got up to make speeches during the meeting.

What was their complaint ?

They were dissatisfied with the type of Spanish utilized in the bilingual program for the children from Mexico. They said it was European Spanish and apparently the idea was that the children had problems understanding idiomatic phrases peculiar to textbook European Spanish.
They demanded that the school district "should recruit Mexican teachers".

Do you believe that that ?
Why should my children have teachers from a place where they are less stringently qualified, just to suit the fancy of these people ? For the love of heaven, they are already getting bilingual ed which no other immigrant group gets.

It's the old "give an inch and they take a mile" story.
I posted this on another discussion board and a couple of other people had been confronted by these protesters at parent teacher meetings also.
 
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Koios

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I'm sorry but I read up about the government documents translations a while ago and I can't remember the source (it was in an actual book though). Either way, I think Wikipedia proves my point: government documents were indeed translated because Germans made up such a large portion of the population.

The main point here is that the USA currently holds a large Hispanic population:

The current U.S. population is 72 percent non-Hispanic white; 12 percent African-American; 11 percent Hispanic; and five percent Asian and other.

Since 1980, the number of Hispanics in the U.S. has grown five times faster than the rest of the population, making the United States the third largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.

At 33.1 million in 1999, African-Americans remained the largest single minority group nationally, yet between 2005 and 2015, Hispanics are expected to pass African-Americans as the country’s largest minority group.
(Link to source).





That last section seems to be addressing Koios' comments.
I'll tell you something though.
At a parent teacher meeting at my younger son's school, there was a man and woman from Mexico attending. They had no children in school there, yet they showed up outfitted with placards expressing their demands ...and they got up to make speeches during the meeting.

What was their complaint ?

They were dissatisfied with the type of Spanish utilized in the bilingual program for the children from Mexico. They said it was European Spanish and apparently the idea was that the children had problems understanding idiomatic phrases peculiar to textbook European Spanish.
They demanded that the school district "should recruit Mexican teachers".

Do you believe that that ?
Why should my children have teachers from a place where they are less stringently qualified, just to suit the fancy of these people ? For the love of heaven, they are already getting bilingual ed which no other immigrant group gets.

It's the old "give an inch and they take a mile" story.
I posted this on another discussion board and a couple of other people had been confronted by these protesters at parent teacher meetings also.



Like I pointed out before, Hispanics already make up a large portion of the population and they speak a common language (as opposed to migrants from other areas i.e. Asia). Hence, they have the power to demand more things because they will soon become the largest minority group.

Here is another way to look at the example you provided. Let’s say all of a sudden your children were being taught in “British English” instead of “American English”—I would think that you too would demand change.
 
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