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.”The American people believe English should be the official language of the government. … 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,” Gingrich said to cheers from the crowd of more than 100.”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,” he said.
Peter Zamora, co-chair of the Washington-based Hispanic Education Coalition, which supports bilingual education, said, “The tone of his comments were very hateful. Spanish is spoken by many individuals who do not live in the ghetto.” He said research has shown “that bilingual education is the best method of teaching English to non-English speakers.”
1) Newt is right. If one has to learn English to become a citizen why would we have the need for a foreign language ballot?
2) Why is it that when people hear that we want everyone in this country to assimilate and speak English as has historically been the case, some people consider that to be hateful?