Cultivating second-class citizens
By Linda Bentley | August 6, 2008
‘Hispanics aren’t a monolithic group as many seem to believe …’
SPRINGFIELD, VA – English First (www.englishfirst.org), a national nonprofit, grassroots, lobbying organization, was founded in 1986 to make English America’s official language, give every child the chance to learn English and eliminate costly and ineffective multilingual policies.
The English First Foundation was established in 1991 to study the significance of the use of English in the United States, and to educate the public about the importance of preserving English as the nation’s common language.
A recent English First Foundation Issue Brief, by Executive Director Jim Boulet, Jr. titled, “Multiculturalism, Ethnocentrism and Afrocentric Religion (http://www.englishfirstfoundation.org/Afrocentrism2008_brief.pdf), begins, “While the 1960s are remembered by some as a rare quest for racial unity and inclusion, the facts are otherwise, at least in the context of education, where division seized the American classroom in the name of student self-esteem.”
In fact, Boulet points out, self-esteem was the main justification offered by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) in its brief to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend bi-lingual education, stating, “Failure to provide Spanish language instruction damages the student not only educationally, but emotionally as well. Language is the dominant culture carrier for the Mexican American … When a child comes to school and finds a complete rejection of the dominant carrier of his culture, his self-esteem suffers.”
According to Boulet “Self-esteem became the axis upon which every aspect of public education now rotates upon, especially the study of history.”
Quoting from the Organization of American Historians “OAH Statement on Multicultural History Education,” Spring 1991, he wrote, “Because history is tied up with a people's identity it is legitimate that minority groups, women, and working people celebrate and seek to derive self-esteem from aspects of their history. The traditional omission of these groups from, or their misrepresentation in, many United States history textbooks and the marginal treatment of societies outside Europe in most world history textbooks further justify such an objective.”
Boulet also quoted Noni Mendoza Reis, an elementary school principal from Watsonville, Calif., who emphasized, during a 1999 interview, “[B]ilingualism is only part of what drives education at Starlight. The broader vision is multicultural education, anti-racism and a pedagogy of equity.”
English became looked upon as the language of an oppressor people whose literature must inevitably reflect their unworthy values, attitudes, and beliefs, with no place in a multicultural and multilingual classroom.
“Multiethnic education” was instituted, which subsequently expanded into “multicultural education,” so as to include gender and other forms of “diversity.”
To build self-esteem and reduce drop-out rates amongst black children, history was taught from an “Afrocentric” view and lessons were conducted in “Ebonics.”
In 1968, President Johnson’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders released the Kerner Commission report that blamed white racism for the black riots of 1967 and stated, “White racism is essentially responsible for the explosive mixture which has been accumulating in our cities since the end of World War II.”
Boulet notes during the 60s and 70s the tendency “to condemn white racism while offering excuses for black racism created the widespread impression that the only racism American society need concern itself with was white racism.”
Multicultural K-12 public school education took white America, Western Civilization and Christianity and replaced it with what Boulet calls “politically-correct ethnic cheerleading with regard to the history of other groups.”
In 1973 the Church World Service of the National Council of Churches revised its mission from helping the hungry to “liberation and justice.”
According to Boulet, that transformation of the “essential goal of the Christian religion into an adjunct of Marxist revolution, did real damage to too many black churches.”
Referring to Pastor Jeremiah Wright’s post 9/11 sermon devoted to the sins of America and offering excuses for the terrorists, Boulet said, “… Wright was correct that day, ‘… chickens [are] coming home to roost.’ Fifty years of multicultural anti-American education have produced an elite (in which he included the Obamas) that believe they are fully entitled to look down their nose at the United States and the people that still cherish our nation.”
In an August 2001 guest editorial for National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com) titled: “Assimilation, Not Amnesty,” Boulet said bilingual-education programs say to Hispanic parents, “Your children aren’t real Americans and never will be,” and reduces them to second-class citizens by keeping them from learning English.
That same month, the Wall Street Journal acknowledged, “… The nation’s Hispanic communities are not a cohesive unit. Often they are united by little more than Spanish and a Census Bureau definition.”
And as our presidential contenders were engaged in “Hispanic outreach” before the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), CNN en Espanol Senior Correspondent Juan Carlos Lopez noted, “Hispanics aren’t a monolithic group as many seem to believe … Surprisingly, a majority of Latino voters show a deep interest in immigration reform … They believe reform would help in a community that shares a common language, even though it has many differences.”
In order to exist, Boulet says “Hispanic rights” groups like NCLR and LULAC depend on convincing Hispanics they will never be real Americans.
He concluded, “There are a good many Hispanics who proudly salute the Stars and Stripes rather than the flag of Mexico,” people who will repay outreach efforts with their votes if they’re “simply treated just like other Americans.”
New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg sees things quite differently.
Last week, during his weekly radio address, he said, “Some 200 different languages and dialects can be heard on the streets of New York. While incredible diversity is one of our city’s greatest historic strengths – it can also create significant challenges … nearly a quarter of New Yorkers lack a basic understanding of English at all. For them, every interaction with city government can be fraught with difficulty.”
Bloomberg said the city’s 311 line already has experts fluent in 170 languages on call 24 hours a day and announced the signing of his executive order requiring city agencies to translate “all essential documents and forms into the six most commonly spoken languages in the city besides English.”
In 2007, a survey conducted by the Winston Group indicated 87 percent of Americans support making English the official language of the United States.
Surveys by Zogby International, Rasmussen, Pew Hispanic Center and other organizations conducted over the past several years, indicate 77 percent of Hispanics believe English should be the official language of government operations, 91 percent of foreign-born Latino immigrants agreed learning English is essential to succeed in the United States and 92 percent of Americans believe preserving English as our common language is vital to maintaining our unity, while 69 percent agreed the United States is at risk of being “disunited” by language.