Cross posted from (and a little more local talk on) left on 49
As reported in the Cabarrus Neighbors section of the Charlotte Observer, Coy Privette, the biggest right wing nut job on our completely republican County Commission, is pushing for the County Board of Commissioners to adopt a resolution recognizing English as the county's official language.
The proposed resolution calls for all ordinances, programs and policies adopted by Cabarrus County to be done in English. In addition, it says all documents, regulations, orders, transactions, proceedings, meetings and publications should be in English.
Privette defended the measure: "It's not discriminatory to these Hispanics at all to ask them to learn English so they can take advantage of the economic opportunities here. It is their civic duty."
First of all, with this ordinance you wouldn't "ask" them to learn English, you force everyone to.
I don't think anyone disputes that English is the official language here. I agree that everyone that plans to spend the rest of their lives here should learn English to fully participate in society. However if you expect every immigrant here to be fluent in English as soon as they arrive you should have a language test before you let anyone enter the country.
As an immigrant myself (non Spanish) I don't recall anyone ever giving me that test. If you don't expect everyone to know English as soon as they get here, i believe you should provide translation for some government services.
Privette, who taught English in China for 10 years, said he was expected to know Chinese if he needed to speak to someone in the Chinese government while he was there. It's pretty funny hearing Mr. Privette proclaim that we should do things here exactly as they do it in the biggest communist country in the world. Further more it would be interesting to hear if He was fluent in Chinese as soon as he got there, or if he needed translation for a pretty long time before he learned any Chinese. I'm pretty sure he never got fluent in Chinese at all, maybe someone can correct me.
Cabarrus County Departments are bound by federal laws requiring them to provide language assistance to their customers. Such a resolution would defy those state and federal rules, which supersede county ordinances. Of course Privette knows this and knows that His ordinance wouldn't change a thing and might in the worst case scenario even provoke a series of lawsuits. I don't think we need to have our local government involved in any more lawsuits as it is.
Also, in 1987 the state of North Carolina already declared English as the official language.
So since the real reason for Coy to come up with this resolution can't be to actually change anything, what might be his real reason?
Maybe pandering to his racist redneck following?
This resolution would just be a gratuitous statement of intolerance. Measures like this are being used to exploit anti-immigrant sentiment and fan the flames of ethnic conflict.