The lobbying of the u.s english movement since 1983: a campaign via the media in quest of national unity
par Victoria Riposseau
Université de Nantes - Maitrise IRT Anglais 2010
Annex I- "The Purpose and Effect of an Official English Constitutional Amendment. 27 April 1981. 127
Annex II- Proposed Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1982?. 13 August 1982. 130
Annex III- In Defense of Our Common Language...?. 1984-1988. 133
Annex IV- One Nation, Indivisible . . . ??. 1985. 136
Annex V- Mail from John Tanton to Witan Attendees?. 10 Oct 1986. 148
Annex VI- Examining Views on English as the Official Language?.26 July 2006. 155
Annex VII- It can't Happen Here.(Or can it?)?. Late 1980s. 157
Annex VIII- 14 Nations call English their national language. We're not one of them?. Late 1980s. 158
Annex IX- If you can't read this ad don't feel
badly. Our children can't read this book?. Albany Times-Union.
Annex X- On Tuesday you can tell Congress where to go?. USA Today. 30 Oct1992. 161
Annex XI- It's time to focus on what unites us as a people, as opposed to what divides us?. January 1993. 162
Annex XII- Why a Hispanic heads an organization called U.S English?. 1994. 163
Annex XIII- To make it in America you need to speak my language?. 1995. 164
Annex XIV- Stop the madness?. 1996. 165
Annex XV- I need to learn English?. 1997. 166
Annex XVI- Should our government operate in a foreign language??. 1994. 167
Annex XVII- U.S English. Immigrants want and
need to learn English. It's time politicians got
Annex XVIII- Immigrants who don't learn English can really clean up in America?. 2008. 169
Annex XIX- Will it come to this??. 1999. 170
Annex XX- One more way the federal government is making doctors sick?. 2007. 171
Annex XXI- GSS 1972-2008 Cumulative Data 172
Language is a powerful tool. A common language can unify; separate languages can fracture and fragment a society. The American melting pot? has succeeded in creating a vibrant new culture among peoples of many different cultural backgrounds largely because of the widespread use of a common language, English.
5 Learning English has been the primary task of every immigrant group for two centuries. Participation in the common language has rapidly made available to each new group the political and economic benefits of American society. Those who have mastered English have overcome the major hurdle to full participation in our democracy.
Today I am introducing a constitutional amendment declaring as the law of the land what is 10 already a political and social reality: That English is the official language of the United States.
This amendment is needed to clarify the confusing signals we have given in recent years to immigrant groups. For example, the requirements for naturalization as a U.S. citizen say you must be able to read, write and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language.? And though you must be a citizen to vote, some recent legislation has required bilingual ballots in
15 some areas. This amendment would end that contradictory, logically conflicting, situation.
Bilingual education programs were originally designed to help non-English-speaking children learn English quickly so they could join the mainstream of education and of our society. The Carter administration attempted to substantially broaden this mandate by proposing requirements for schools to teach other academic subjects entirely in students` native
I am proposing this amendment because I believe that we are
being dishonest with the
matter how talented I was, I could never do business, seek employment, or take part in public affairs outside that community.
Let me explain what the amendment will do, upon its passage by Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the states:
30 -It will establish English as the official language of State, Federal, and local government
-It will abolish requirements for bilingual election materials;
-It will allow transitional instruction in English for non-English speaking students, but do away with requirements for foreign language instruction in other academic subjects;
35 -It will end the false promise being made to new immigrants that English is unnecessary
On the other hand, and this is important, there are things the amendment will not do:
-It will not prevent the use of any other language within communities, churches or cultural schools.
40 That is, Yiddish schools, Hispanic schools, Japanese and Chinese schools are perfectly all
right insofar as their support by local communities, but not by the taxpayer.
-It will not prevent the use of second languages for the purpose of public convenience and safety, for example on signs in public places, but it will not allow governments to require multilingual postings on publications.
45 I am thinking, Mr. President, of such signs as you see in the street sometimes, Danger,
construction area.? If this sign is put up in a building lot in Chinatown, let us say, there is certainly no objection whatsoever to putting signs to that effect in Chinese or any other language that is appropriate for the passerby. So, for the purposes of public convenience and safety, other languages may be used wherever necessary. I think that what we have, in
50 Washington, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, street signs in Chinese or Japanese, are perfectly acceptable, because they are also accompanied by street signs in English. They are also acceptable because they give a cosmopolitan flavor to those cities that have them and we are proud of the fact that we are a cosmopolitan culture.
My amendment, Mr. President, will not prevent public schools from
offering instruction in 55 other languages, nor will it prevent schools and
college from requiring some study of a
Incidentally, Mr. President, we are crippled in international
relations because of our imperfect
60 languages some people here ought to know so they can serve our Nation intelligently in diplomatic service or in trade. If we have a huge trade deficit vis-à-vis Japan, for example, it is because they have some Japanese salesmen speaking English in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and elsewhere, but we have very, very few Japanese-speaking Americans doing a selling job in Tokyo or Osaka.
65 So, at the same time that I declare English to be the official language of the United States, I
am not trying to discourage foreign language studies.
The ability to forge unity from diversity makes our society
strong. We need all the elements,
70 purpose of this proposal is to ensure that American democracy always strives to include in its mainstream everyone who aspires to citizenship, to ensure that no one gets locked out by permanent language barriers.?
Source: HAYAKAWA, S.I. «The Purpose and Effect of
an Official English Constitutional Amendment»
On August 13, 1982, Sen. S.I. Hayakawa (R-CA) introduced an amendment to immigration legislation (S. 2222) in support of English as the official language of the United States.
Language is a unifying instrument which binds people together. When people speak one language they become as one, they become a society.
"In the Book of Genesis, it says when the Lord saw that mankind spoke one universal language, He said, "Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language * * * 5 and nothing which they propose to do will be impossible for them."
If you will recall the Bible story, God destroyed this power by giving mankind many languages rather than the one. So you had proliferation of language breaking up human pride and, therefore, human power.
But there are more recent political lessons to be drawn on the subject of language when you
10 think that right here in this U.S. Senate and the Congress we have descendants of speakers of at least 250 to 350 languages. If you go back to the grandparents of just the Members of Congress, you have speakers of, I would say, at least 350 languages. But we meet here as speakers of one language. We may disagree when we argue, but at least we understand each other when we argue. Because we can argue with each other, we can also come to agreements
15 and we can create societies. That is how societies work.
Take in contrast to this the situation in, for example, Belgium, where a small country is sharply divided because half of the population speaks French and the other half Flemish. Those who speak Flemish do not like the people who speak French and those who speak French do not want to speak Flemish.
20 Think of Canada, just to the north of us, where the French-speaking people feel paranoid about the fact that they are a minority and feel that they are being picked upon and abused by the English-speaking majority.
Think about Ceylon, right now, of course, known as Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is sharply divided
25 the speakers of Tamil, which as the language of India. A number of people moved from India into Sri Lanka, and they created a language bloc thus the two are fighting each other.
Think of the recent history of India. Between 1957 and 1968, something like 1 million were killed in what were essentially language riots. They were riots about other things as well, about cultural difference, but essentially those cultural difference could not be resolved
30 because there were a hundred languages dividing those people. So they could not understand each other and they could not come to the resolutions we arrive at daily in a Chamber like this or in the House of Representatives.
So, Mr. President, the fact that we have a common language, one
language, is one of the most
35 immigration. Not only speakers of Spanish, but speakers of Cantonese, speakers of Thai, speakers of Vietnamese, speakers of a variety of European languages, speakers of Mandarin - they are coming from all over the world and joining us in our society.
From the Philippines, we have speakers of Tagalog and other
Filipino languages. Somehow or
40 electing each other to city councils, doing business with each other, buying and selling from each other, creating governments, creating societies. We can only have this unified society if we ultimately agree on a common language.
This is not to say Mr. President, that I oppose the study of other languages. We are very backward as a nation in our study of other languages. I think more of us should study Spanish.
45 I am very proud of the fact that two of my children speak Spanish very well. I do not. One of them speaks Japanese. I do not.
"I have told my students for many, many years, in the coming
world that they will grow up in,
50 Russian, Chinese, Japanese, or Arabic. There are very few of my students who ever bothered studying any one of these languages. We are very poor at languages because we are linguistically provincial. Nothing I say in this amendment encouraging the use of an official language in the United States is intended to discourage the study of all languages around the world so we, in business and diplomacy, will be better represented around the world.
55 Mr. President, when you think there are 20,000 Japanese businessmen in New York speaking English and about 2,000 American businessmen in Tokyo not able to speak Japanese, you can see why there is a trade imbalance between Japan and the United States. I say in all seriousness, we ought to be linguistically more sophisticated than we are. At the same time, I believe we should unite as speakers of English insofar as we have a society in common.
60 Mr. President, the United States, a land of immigrants from every corner of the world, has been strengthened and unified because its newcomers have historically chosen ultimately to forgot their native language for the English language. We have all benefited from the sharing
of ideas, of cultures and beliefs, made possible by a common language. We have all enriched each other.
65 The Italians are better for having lived next door to the Jews; the Jews are better for having
socialized with the Chinese; the Chinese are better for having mixed with the Italians, and so on. All around, we are better Americans because we have all melded our cultures together into this wonderful cultural symphony which is the United States of America.
There are those who want separatism, who want bilingual balance, who want bilingual
70 education. I am all in favor of bilingual education only insofar as it accelerates the learning of English. I do not believe that the taxpayer should be taxed to promote an enclave of speakers of Yiddish, speakers of Japanese, speakers of Spanish, speakers of Bulgarian, speakers of Russian, of Tibetan, or any other language. Essentially, the taxpayers` responsibility is to see it that we all speak English together no matter where we come from. That cultural unity which
75 we ultimately achieve - that is the United States.
If you think of the culture that we have, you think, as I said a little earlier, of the melding of cultures right here in Congress. You look at the lineup of any American professional baseball team or football team. You see all foreign names there, all English-speaking, all managing to get along, and you see what a miracle this is. The wonderful thing about the United States is
80 that kind of cultural intermixing, that cultural melding is possible.
When you go to other parts of the world, you find to your amazement that China is full of Chinese; that Russia is full of Russians and practically nobody else. Italy is full of Italians and Korea is full of Koreans, and so on around the world. But we are full of people from all parts of the world having learned one language and ultimately having learned to get along with
85 each other to create institutions of a multiracial, multicultural democratic society.
Mr. President, that is what I want to preserve when I say I want an amendment that says the English language shall be the official language of the United States. "I thank the Chair."
Source: HAYAKAWA, S.I. Proposed Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1982?, S. 2222, 97th Congr., 2d Session, 13 August 1982. Speech. U.S English. Web. 5 Dec 2009. < http://www.usenglish.org/view/26>
In Defense of Our Common Language ... English, Our Common Bond
Throughout history, the United States has been enriched by the cultural contributions of immigrants from many traditions, but blessed with one common language that has untied a diverse nation and fostered harmony among its people.
5 As much as by accident as by design, that language is English. Given our country's history of immigration and the geography of immigrant settlements, it might have been Dutch, or Spanish, or German; or it might have been two languages, as is the case in Canada, our neighbor to the North.
But English prevailed, and it has served us well. It eloquence shines in our Declaration of 10 Independence and in our Constitution. It is the living carrier of our democratic ideals.
English is a world language which we share with many other nations. It is the most popular medium of international communication.
The Spread of Language Segregation
The United States has been spared the bitter conflicts that plague so many countries whose 15 citizens do not share a common tongue. Historic forces made English the language of all Americans, though nothing in our laws designated it the official language of the nation.
But now English is under attack, and we must take affirmative steps to guarantee that it continue to be our common heritage. Failure to do so may well lead to institutionalized language segregation and a gradual loss of national unity.
20 The erosion of English and the rise of other languages in public life have several causes:
Towards these ends, U.S English serves as a national center for consultation and cooperation
70 on ways to defend English as the sole language of the United States. It directs its effort to leading a public discussion on the best language policies for our multiethnic society; educating opinion leaders on the long-term implications of language segregation; encouraging research on improved methods of teaching English, and promoting effective programs of English language instruction.
75 We Need Your Help
U.S English welcomes to membership all who are concerned about the prospect of entrenched language segregation and the possibility of loosing our strongest national bond.
We hope that you will join us and defend our common language against misguided policies that threaten our national unity.
80 U.S English is a project of U.S., a voluntary association of public interest groups sharing
overhead and organizational skills for greater cost effectiveness. All contributions to U.S English are fully tax deductible.
What Others are saying
We have room for but one language here and that is the English
language, for we intend to 85 see the crucible turns our people out as
American, of American nationality, and not as
Look! They are one people and there is one language for them all. ... Come now! Let us down there and confuse their language that they may not listen to one another's language?.
Tower of Babel, Genesis 11:6-7
Source: U.S ENGLISH. In Defense of Our Common Language...?, CRAWFORD, James ed. Language Loyalties: A source Book on the Official English Controversy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992, pp. 143-147. Print.
The English Language Amendment One Nation . . . Indivisible ?
S. I. Hayakawa
The Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy
The Washington Institute sponsors research that helps provide the information and fresh insights necessary for formulating policy in a democratic society. Founded in 1982, Thee Institute is an independent, non profit educational and research organization which examines current and upcoming issues with particular attention to ethical implications.
(c)1985 by The Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy, Inc., 1333 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Suite 910, Washington, D0036.
All rights reserved. Except for use in reviews, no part of this monograph may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage ad retrieval system.
Printed in the United States of America. ISBN: 0-88702-007-0
The views expressed in this monograph are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the officers, staff and trustees of The Washington Institute. The views expressed in this book should not be construed to represent the position of any agency of the United States government.
This paper was first presented on March 12, 1985 as part of the Bicentennial Forum Series on «Constitutional Values and Contemporary Policy», sponsored by the Washington Institute and moderated by Dr. Nicholas N. Kittrie, Edwin A. Mooers Scholar and Professor of Law at American University. Dr. Samuel I. Hayakawa is currently Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. The former U.S Senator form California is Honorary Chairman of U.S English, whose purpose is to make English the official language of the United States.
May I start by telling you a little about myself, since many have wondered how it is that a
movement aimed at making English the official language of the United States is being headed by a man with a Japanese name?
My father, Ichiro Hayakawa, was born in 1884 in Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan. Like many
5 thousands of young people born in the wake of the Meiji Restoration, which ended almost two hundred and fifty years of the rigid isolationism of the Tokugawa Shogunate, he wanted to be part of the great movement toward the westernization of Japan. Having prepared himself by studying English earnestly in high school, he took off for San Francisco at the age of eighteen to work, like many Japanese youths of that time, as a houseboy while continuing his studies.
10 The high point of his career in this period was when he joined the navy to become a mess attendant on a training ship, the USS Pensacola, which was moored at Goat Island, now known as Yerba Buena Island. Father has told me that on his days off he would go to San Francisco to call on the office of the Japanese language newspaper, Shin Sekai (New World), to offer for publication his translations into Japanese of English and American poetry --
15 Tennyson, Wordsworth, Longfellow. Many of his translations were published.
For years, father remained proud in after years of his Japanese translation of an English version of Heine's Die Lorelei. The files of Shin Sekai were destroyed, however, in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, leaving me unable to prove that my father was a poet.
Decades later, I learned more about what studying English meant to many Japanese
20 houseboys in San Francisco in the early 1900s. In 1943, I visited the War Relocation Center at Colorado, where a friend of my father's from student days, a Mr. Kodama, was living as a guest of the U. S. Government. I really didn't know him, because his friendship with father dated back to their bachelor days. However, he gave me a royal welcome, having bought a new used car (it was still wartime) to pick me up at the University of Denver, where I was
25 teaching that summer.
Back at the camp, Mr. Kodama told me about how proud he was that I had become a professor and had written a couple of books. He told me of the long talks about English literature he and my father had had, discussing especially the writing of John Ruskin and Thomas Carlyle. He said, glowing with pride, that I had achieved every ambition he and my
30 father had had back in San Francisco before I was born.
Father must have been twenty-one when he went to Japan to fetch his bride, bringing her back on a ship bound for San Francisco, but scheduled to stop en route in Vancouver. During the stopover, Father found a business opportunity, so the young couple decided to stay there. I was born not long thereafter, destined not to see San Francisco until more than forty years
Thus it was that I was brought up in Canada, being moved from city to city as my father went from one enterprise to another. But there were always books in English at home: Edgar Allan Poe, Alexander Dumas, Charles Dickens, as well as popular books of the day such as the short stories of O. Henry.
40 My mother was the daughter of a physician of the generation that introduced Western medicine into Japan, whose study was full of German medical textbooks. She understood the bookish habit of mine and encouraged my reading and my studies.
I finished high school in Winnipeg, and it was natural that
when enrolled in the University of
45 Latin. Then, while I was in my junior year, my father decided that he had to move the headquarters of his import/export business to Osaka. This meant that my mother and two younger sisters also had to move to Japan, leaving my brother, two years my junior, and me to fend for ourselves. My brother went to Montreal, to go into father's branch office and to live with our uncle.
50 My best friends at the university were Gerard and Carlyle, sons of William Talbot Allison, professor of English at the University of Manitoba. When my family left for Japan, the Allisons invited me to stay with them, much to my delight.
I was very happy at the Allison home with my two friends, the wonderfully kind Mrs. Allison and Mary Jo as my new little sister. Furthermore, I learned much that I wanted to learn, living 55 in the home of a professor, a literary scholar and critic.
At the time, Professor Allison was writing book reviews which were syndicated in Canadian newspapers. After a while Professor Allison invited me to try my hand at reviewing. Soon a few of my reviews, with some editing by the professor, began to be sent out for publication by his syndicate over my by-line! What excitement for a nineteen-year-old! It was then that I
60 strengthened my resolve to become a professor and writer.
And that, after several more years, is what I became.
After teaching eight or nine years at Illinois Institute of
Technology in Chicago, I was invited
65 was invited to return the following year as a regular faculty member. Remembering the long history of anti-Oriental politics in California - The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Japanese Exclusion Act of 1924, and the long history of anti-Oriental discrimination - I said, "Nothing doing!"
However, Professor Caroline Shrodes, then head of the English Department, said, "Perhaps 70 you'd like to try us out. Why don't you come again next summer, bringing the whole family, to see how you like it?"
We all came the following summer - Marge and I and the three children. Then still another summer. After that, our move to California was a foregone conclusion. I became a member of the regular faculty of San Francisco State in 1955.
75 That year we bought a house in Mill Valley, where we still live. And Marge, having escaped Chicago's asphalt jungle which had been our home, plunged into action to beautify the hillside garden which surrounded our house - and became a horticulturist. We have never regretted our move.
The student revolution, begun in Berkeley in 1964, hit San Francisco State in 1966. By 1968
80 the college was in such uncontrollable turmoil that in May the president fled to what he hoped was a quieter job - in Ethiopia. A successor was chosen - a brave man, who expended his courage in defying the trustees rather then the radical students. He was fired in November.
I was appointed as Acting President during Thanksgiving week, the third president in 1968, much to my surprise and everyone else' s.
85 Thanks to guidance from the office of Dr. Glenn Dumke, Chancellor of the State College system, the experience and wisdom of Thomas Cahill, then Chief of Police of San Francisco, the courage and restraint of the police officers of San Francisco and a dozen other neighboring cities, and thanks too to the professors and students who bravely carried on their academic duties in the midst of the turmoil, order was restored to the campus in the early months of
90 1969 - and I was suddenly a hero, "the tough little guy who
faced down the radicals and
I left the college presidency in 1973, having reached
retirement age. In 1976 I ran on the
95 Things had gone as my able campaign managers and I had planned.
In a deeper sense, however, I was surprised - and remain so. Despite the almost hundred years of anti-Oriental fervor that has marked the history of California, despite the heightened distrust of the Japanese after Pearl Harbor that resulted in their removal from the West Coast to desert camps for the duration of the war, despite the agonies of the Pacific War that had left
100 thousands upon thousands of California families bereft of sons, brothers and husbands, it seemed that by 1976 anti-Japanese hostility had all but disappeared.
In a vigorous re-election campaign waged against me by Senator John Tunney, not one racist epithet was used against me - certainly not by the Senator and not, to my knowledge, by any of his supporters.
105 In sum, I have every reason to be proud and happy to be a Californian. The only thing that bothers me now is when people I meet for the first time ask, "Aren't you the Senator from Hawaii?"
The foregoing, then, is the story of one immigrant. Far more
remarkable stories have been
110 and trade; in science and technology; in music and the arts; in business and finance; in politics and diplomacy; in research and scholarship; in public service and philanthropy. Each of them, I am sure, has a moving and inspiring story to tell.
Having served in the Congress of the United States, I continue
to be impressed by the fact that
115 the names of members of Congress with whom I had the honor to serve: Abourezk, Addabbo, Biaggi, Boschwitz, Cohen, de la Garza, Domenici, Fuqua, Gonzales, Hammerschmidt, Javits, Laxalt, Matsunaga, Oberstar, Rostenkowski, Solarz, Tsongas, Vander Jagt, Zablocki, Zorinsky.
When I reel off this list of names in the course of a luncheon speech, people laugh as if to say, 120 "That's us, all right!"
What is it that has made a society out of the hodge-podge of nationalities, races and colors represented in the immigrant hordes that people our nation? It is language, of course, that has made communication among all these elements possible. It is with a common language that we have dissolved distrust and fear. It is with language that we have drawn up the
125 understandings and agreements and social contracts that make a society possible.
But while language is a necessary cause of our oneness as a society, it is not a sufficient cause. A foreigner cannot, by speaking faultless English, become an Englishman. Paul Theroux, a contemporary novelist and travel writer, has commented on this fact: "Foreigners are always aliens in England. No one becomes English. It's a very tribal society . . . No one
130 becomes Japanese . . . . No one becomes Nigerian. But Nigerians, Japanese and English become Americans."I
One need not speak faultless American English to become an
American. Indeed, one may
135 enter into the life of the communities in which they live.
Even as the American nation was coming into being, it had
become obvious that the American
140 common calculation, would be least expected, it is America. Made up, as it is, of people from different nations... speaking different languages, and more different in their modes of worship, it would appear that the union of such a people was impracticable. But by the simple operation of constructing government on the principles of society and the rights of man, every difficulty retires, and the parts are brought into cordial unison.? II
145 Hector St. Jean Crevecoeur, in Letters from an American Farmer, wrote in 1782: What is the American, this new man? ... I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have four wives of different nations. He is an American who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has
150 embraced. The Americans were once scattered all over Europe, here they are incorporated into one of the finest systems of population which has ever appeared. The American ought therefore to love his country much better than that wherein he or his forebears were born. Here the rewards of his industry follow with equal steps in the progress of his labor.? III
Herman Melville, in Redburn, published in 1849, wrote, you cannot spill a drop of American
155 blood without spilling the blood of the whole world ... We are not a narrow tribe of men. No: our blood is the flood of the Amazon, made up of a thousand noble currents all pouring into one. We are not a nation, so much as a world.? IV
Despite the exclusion of the Chinese after 1882, the idea of
immigration as a thousand noble
160 play, The Melting Pot, opened in New York in 1908 to enthusiastic popular acclaim, and its tittle, as Nathan Glazer and Daniel P. Moynihan remark, was seized upon as a concise evocation of a profoundly significant American fact.? In the play, David Quixano, the Russian Jewish immigrant - a pogrom orphan? - has escaped to New York, and exclaims:
Here you stand, good folk, think I, when I see them at Ellis Island... in your fifty
165 groups with your fifty languages and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries, but you won't be long like that, brothers, for these are the fires of God you've come to... A fig for your feuds and vendettas! German and Frenchman, Irishman and Englishman, Jews and Russians - into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American. V
170 A generation later came the Pacific War, followed by the American occupation of Japan, followed by the influx into the United States of thousands of Japanese war brides. Then came the Korean War- and more war brides- and the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Acct of 1952 (the McCarren-Walter Act), which made all races eligible for naturalization and eliminated races as a bar to naturalization.?VI Then came the war in Vietnam - and more
175 thousands of Asian war brides.
Even more than Herman Melville dreamed our blood is indeed the flood of the American, made up of a thousand noble currents all pouring into one.?
When President Reagan, in the course of his Inaugural Address
in January of this year,
180 had arrived in America as a war refugee and was now graduating with honors from West Point, the huge audience greeted her with a roar of applause.
In the past several years strong resistance to the "melting
pot" idea has arisen, especially from
185 not "melted," so that the original ingredients retain their distinctive character.
In addition to the increasing size of the Spanish-speaking population in our nation, two legislative actions have released this outburst of effort on behalf of the Spanish language - and Hispanic culture.
First, there was the so-called "bilingual ballot" mandated in 1975 in an amendment to the
190 Voting Rights Act, which required foreign-language ballots when voters of any foreign-language groups reached five percent or more of any voting district. The groups chosen to be so favored were Asian-Americans (Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean), American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and peoples of Spanish heritage,? that is Puerto Ricans, Cubans and Mexican-Americans.
195 Sensitive as Americans have been to racism, especially since the days of the Civil Rights
Movement, no one seems to have noticed the profound racism expressed in the amendment that created the bilingual ballot?. Brown people, like Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, red people, like American Indians, and yellow people, like Japanese and Chinese, are assumed not to be smart enough to learn English. No provision is made, however, for non-English-
200 speaking French-Canadians in Maine or Vermont, nor for the
Yiddish-speaking Hassidic Jews
Voters in San Francisco encountered ballots in Spanish and
Chinese for the first time in the
205 Americans, who had taken the trouble to learn English to become citizens, were especially angry and remain so.
Furthermore there was the Lau decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, in response to a suit brought by the Chinese of San Francisco who complained that their children were not being taught English adequately in the public schools they were attending.
210 Justice William O. Douglas, delivering the opinion of the Court (Lau et al. v. Nichols et al,
January 21, 1974), wrote:
This class suit brought by non-English-speaking Chinese
students against . . . the
215 specific remedy is urged upon us. Teaching English to the students of Chinese ancestry who do not speak the language is one choice. Giving instructions to this group in Chinese is another. There may be others. Petitioners ask only that the Board of Education be directed to apply its expertise to the problem and rectify the situation.
220 Justice Douglas's decision, concurred in by the entire Court, granted the Lau petition.
Because the Lau decision did not specify the method by which English was to be taught, it turned out to be a go-ahead for amazing educational developments, not so much for the Chinese as for Hispanics, who appropriated the decision and took it to apply especially to themselves.
225 The new Department of Education, established during the Carter administration, was eager to make its presence known by expanding its bureaucracy and its influence. The Department quickly announced a vast program with federal funding for bilingual education, which led to the hiring of Spanish-speaking teachers by the thousands.
The Department furthermore issued what were known as the "Lau regulations," which
230 required under threat of withdrawal of federal funds that (1) non-English-speaking pupils be taught English, and that (2) academic subjects be taught in the pupils' own language. The contradiction between these two regulations seems not to have occurred to the educational theorists in the Department of Education. Nor does it seem to trouble to this day the huge membership of the National Association for Bilingual Education.
235 "Bilingual education," rapidly became a growth industry, required more and more teachers.
Complaints began to arise from citizens that "bilingual education" was not bilingual at all, since many Spanish-speaking teachers hired for the program were found not be be able to speak English. But the Department of Education decreed that teachers in the "bilingual" program do not need to know English!
240 Despite the ministrations of the Department of Education, or perhaps because of them, Hispanic students to a shocking degree, drop out of school, educated neither in Hispanic nor in American language and culture.
Hispanics are the least educated minority in America, according to a report by the American Council of Education,? writes Earl Byrd in The Washington Times (July 3, 245 1984).
The report says 50 percent of all Hispanics youths in America drop out of high school, and only 7percent finish college. Twelve percent of black youths and 23 percent of whites finish college.?
Eighteen percent of Hispanics in America who are 25 or older are classified as 250 functional illiterates, compared to 10 percent for blacks and 3 percent for whites.?
I welcome the Hispanic - and as a Californian, I welcome especially the Mexican - influence on our culture. My wife was wise enough to insist that both our son and daughter learn Spanish as children and to keep reading Spanish as they were growing up. Consequently, my son, a newspaper man, was able to work for six months as an exchange writer for a newspaper
255 in Costa Rica, while a Costa Rican reporter took my son's place in Oregon. My daughter, a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, speaks Spanish, French, and after a year in Monterey Language School, Japanese.
The ethnic chauvinism of the present Hispanic leadership is an
unhealthy trend in
X, in his fiery denunciations of the racial situation in America, wrote faultless and eloquent English.
But the present politically ambitious "Hispanic Caucus" looks forward to a destiny for
265 Spanish-speaking Americans separate from that of Anglo-, Italian-, Polish-, Greek-, Lebanese, Chinese-, Afro-Americans and all the rest of us who rejoice in our ethnic diversity, which gives us our richness as a culture, and the English language, which keeps us in communication with each other to create a unique and vibrant culture.
The advocates of Spanish language and Hispanic culture are not at all unhappy about the fact
270 that "bilingual education," originally instituted as the best way to teach English, often results in no English being taught at all. Nor does Hispanic leadership seem to be alarmed that large populations of Mexican-Americans, Cubans and Puerto Ricans do not speak English and have no intention of learning.
Hispanic spokesmen rejoice when still another concession is made to the Spanish-speaking 275 public, such as the Spanish-language "Yellow Pages" telephone directory now available in Los Angeles.
"Let's face it. We are not going to be a totally English-speaking country any more," says Aurora Helton of the Governor of Oklahoma's Hispanic Advisory Committee.
"Spanish should be included in commercials shown throughout America. Every American
280 child ought to be taught both English and Spanish," says Mario Obledo, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which was founded more than a half-century ago to help Hispanics learn English and enter the American mainstream.
"Citizenship is what makes us all American. Language is not necessary to the system. Nowhere does the Constitution say that English is our language," say Maurice Ferre, 285 Mayor of Miami, Florida.
"Nowhere does the Constitution say that English is our language," says Mayor Ferre.
It was to correct this omission that I introduced in April 1981 a constitutional amendment which read as follows:
290 "Section 1. The English language shall be the official language of the United States.
"Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."VII
The quarterly record of legislative activities for the period describes the proposed legislation as follows:
Senator Hayakawa introduced S.J. Res. 72 . . . . . The emphasis of SIH's floor
295 statement was that a common language can unify, separate languages can fracture and fragment a society. Senator Hayakawa believes that this amendment is needed to clarify the confusing signals we have given in recent years to immigrant groups. The requirements to become a naturalized citizen say you must be able to speak, read and write words in the English language. And though you must be a citizen to vote,
300 some recent legislation has required bilingual ballots in
some areas. This amendment
Although there were ten cosponsors to this resolution, and some speeches were given on the Senate floor, it died without being acted upon in the 97th Congress.
In the 98th Congress, in September 1983, the English Language
Amendment was re-305 submitted (S.J. Res.167) by Senator Walter Huddleston
(Dem.,Ky.). In his introductory speech
As a nation of immigrants, our great strength has been drawn
from our ability to
310 language, an antagonistic questioning of the melting pot philosophy. . . . VIII
Senator Huddleston goes on to quote Theodore H. White's book, America in Search of Itself:
Some Hispanics have. . . . made a demand never voiced before:
that the United
315 entitled to be taught in the language of their heritage, at public expense.IX
On June 12, 1984, the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, with Senator Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) presiding, held a hearing on Senator Huddleston's amendment, at which several witnesses presented their views. I was among those witnesses. However, no further action was taken by the 98th Congress.
320 In January of this year, the English Language Amendment was introduced again, this time by Senator Steve Symms (R.,ID), in his introductory remarks, stated two points not previously made explicit, although certainly implied; first, that the amendment is not intended to regulate language usage between private parties, and secondly that it is not intended to discourage that use of foreign languages in diplomacy or trade. As he said at
325 the time:
The English language amendment is intended to stop the practice of voting in foreign languages; it is intended to teach children who don't know English through appropriate programs. . . . ; it is intended to make English the only language for official proceedings of governments at all levels. . . . ; it is intended to make the
330 acceptance of English a condition of statehood incumbent
upon all territories
In the House of Representatives the English Language Amendment
was offered by Robert K.
335 25 co-sponsors.
So much for the action in Congress. In the following states, English has been declared by law to be the state's official language: Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska and Virginia.
340 As for other legislation pending as of April 10, 1985, the people of the State of Florida are at present circulating petitions to put on the ballot in the 1986 election a clause in the state constitution that will declare English to be the official language of state. Other states having
this or similar measures before their legislature include California, Idaho, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Texas.
345 A measure making English the official language of Nevada has passed both houses of the legislature and awaits the signature of the Governor. English language maws are being drafted or actively considered in Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota and North Carolina.
On the other hand, English language measures have failed: in
the state of Washington because
350 session, and in Maryland and Arizona because of heavy pressures form Hispanic organizations.
But the movement to make English the official language of the
nation is clearly gaining
355 yielded to. But whenever the question of English as the
official language has been submitted
It is not without significance that pressure against English as
the official language legislation
360 Indians, Ghananians, Ethiopians, Italians or Swedes. The only people who have any quarrel with the English language are the Hispanics- at least the Hispanic politicians and bilingual? teachers and lobbying organizations.
One wonders about the Hispanic rank-and-file. Are they all in agreement with their leadership?
365 And what does it profit the Hispanic leadership if it is gains powers and fame, while 50% of the boys and girls of their communities, speaking little or no English, cannot make it through high school?
For the first time in our history, our nation is faced with the
possibility of the kind of linguistic
370 unhappy history of Belgium, split into speakers of French
and Flemish; that is at this very
None of these divisions is simply a quarrel about language. But in each case political differences become hardened and made immeasurably more difficult to resolve when they are accompanied by differences of language - and therefore conflicts of ethnic pride.
375 The aggressive movement on the part of Hispanics to reject assimilation and to seek to maintain- and give official status to- a foreign language within our borders is an unhealthy development. This foreign language and culture are to be maintained not through private endeavors such as those of the Alliance Française, which tries to preserve French language and culture, but by federal and state legislation and funding.
380 The energetic lobbying of the National Association for Bilingual Education and the congressional Hispanic Caucus has led to sizable allocations for bilingual education in the Department of Education; $142 million in fiscal 1985, of which the lion's share goes
to Hispanic programs. The purpose of this allocation at the federal level is to prepare administrators and teachers for bilingual education at the state level -- which means 385 additional large sums of money allocated for this purpose by state governments.
In brief, the basic directive of the Lau decision of the Supreme Court has been, for all intents and purposes, diverted from its original purpose of teaching English.
In the light of the foregoing, I would like to suggest a national program to make instruction in the English language more available to all who need it.
390 My suggestion is to create a well-endowed National English Language Foundation to help our non-English-speaking population become more proficient in our common language.
I repeat: What is at stake in the long run is our unity as a nation. The dangers come not from outside forces, but from the rulings of our own government. Would it not be appropriate, then, for the private sector to step in to untangle the mess that government has created?
395 A foundation such as I envision can strengthen adult-education programs for English language instruction now available in high schools and community colleges throughout the nation. It can devise improved programs for language instruction by television or radio -- and broadcast them. It can open English-language centers in communities where none exist, offering day and evening classes to all who wish them. Unfettered by the
400 conventional requirements of credentials and diplomas, such a Foundation can use novel methods, find teaching talent in unlikely people, and explore new approaches to the great problems involved.
The Foundation would be open to non-English-speaking American
citizens as well as to non-
405 and the pupil given a diploma on passing the final English-language competency test. At that time, the tuition fee might well be refunded.
I call on thoughtful citizens of both political parties, on
service clubs such as Kiwanis and
410 to form a National English Language Foundation as a step towards getting the education of our non-English-speaking children and adults on the right track.
As I draw these remarks to a close, let me submit a few short
quotations in support of my
415 Statue of Liberty:
A mighty woman with a torch, whose fame
Is the imprisoned lightning and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beaconhand Glows world-wide welcomes . . . . Send these, the homeless, the tempest-tost to me,
420 I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
Secondly, in reply to those who say that there is nothing wrong
with having two
who has had a successful career in the United States, Fred L. Hartley, president of the Union Oil Company of California:
425 My native Canada is a land of two official languages, a circumstance that has proved
more and more disastrous to Canada's progress and unity. At this moment (November 21, 1983) there is not a single member of the party in power in the federal capital at Ottawa who represents the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
430 Let us learn from this example and formally establish and maintain one official
English language so that all can fully participate and communicate in our society with one tongue. XI
One official language and one only, so that we can unite as a nation. This is what President Theodore Roosevelt also perceived when he said:
435 We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, for we
intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans . . . . No more hyphenated Americans.
Let me quote in conclusion a remark from the distinguished American novelist, Saul Bellow, when he agreed to serve on the advisory board of our national organization, U.S. English:
440 Melting pot, yes. Tower of Babel, no!
Source: HAYAKAWA, S.I. "One Nation, Indivisible . . . ?". Monograph. Washington: The Washington Institute for Values in Public Policy, 1985, 19 pages. Print. U.S English, Wash. D.C.
TO: WITAN IV Attendees FROM: John Tanton
DATE: October 10, 1986
Here is a set of questions and statements that I hope will help guide our discussion of the noneconomic consequences of immigration to California, and by extension, to the rest of the United States. These are not highly polished; I ask your indulgence.
5 These notes are based on reading Bouvier`s and related papers, on the WITAN III Meeting, and my own thinking over several years on the topic of assimilation and the character of American society. The assignment of subtopics to the main categories is a bit arbitrary; many of them could be moved around.
10 1. The political power between the states will change, owing to differential migration six
immigrant-receiving states. The heartland will lose more political power (see appended Table I).
2. Will the newcomers vote democratic or republican, liberal or conservative, and what difference does it make? A lot, if you`re one or the other.
15 3. Gobernar es poplar translates "to govern is to populate," (Parsons` [Thomas Malthus] paper,
p. 10, packet sent May 8). In this society where the majority rules, does this hold? Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile?
25 is startlingly similar to what we`ll see in California in 2030. In Southern Africa, a White minority owns the property, has the best jobs and education, has the political power, and speaks one language. A non-White majority has poor education, jobs and income, owns little
property, is on its way to political power and speaks a different language. (The official language policy in South Africa is bilingualism -- the Blacks are taught in Zulu and related 30 tongues.)
In California of 2030, the non-Hispanic Whites and Asians will own the property, have the good jobs and education, speak one language and be mostly Protestant and "other." The Blacks and Hispanics will have the poor jobs, will lack education, own little property, speak another language and will be mainly catholic. Will there be strength in this diversity? Or will
35 this prove a social and political San Andreas Fault?
40 9. Griffin Smith`s point from the Federalist Papers: It was argued that the colonies would make a good nation, as they shared a common culture and language. Nineteen eighty seven is the celebration of the adoption of the Constitution, 1988 its ratification, and 1989 the setting up of the first Federal Government. Can we tie into these discussions?