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Iowa makes English official



Iowa is the 27th state to make English its official language. Gov. Tom Vilsack recognized that the bill was controversial. The Des Moines Register denounced "a bunch of yahoos in the legislature", and the ACLU was equally critical. Obviously the critics have no vision of a problem which I have been studying since I taught in Canada sixty years ago. Bilingualism is a divisive force, creating language problems in legal matters and causing unnecessary expenses for printing in two languages. It would be stupid for the US to import the problem. There have been mass marches around the country by Mexican immigrants, many of them illegal, denouncing the alleged misdeeds against them and demanding that medical centers provide translators because they do not know English. This would reduce the money actually used for treatment and create a variety of technical translation problems. The Mexicans might well start demanding the folk medicines to which they are accustomed at home. The United States "one and indivisible" is threatened, Anyone who does not realize that is a yahoo. Iowa still has the highest literacy rate in the country, but it may well lose that distinction. I doubt that the editorial writers of the Des Moines Register are language experts.

Ronald Hilton - 5/2/02


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