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If Okla. Makes English the Official Language, Feds Threaten Funding Cuts

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posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 12:28 PM

If Okla. Makes English the Official Language, Feds Threaten Funding Cuts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation today sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder seeking justification and clarification for a letter the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent to Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson threatening Oklahoma with a loss of federal funding if the state passed a constitutional amendment making English the official language of the state.

The original DOJ letter, characterized by delegation members as dubiously timed at the peak of legislative debate, advises the state that “implementation of this [English-only] amendment may conflict with Oklahoma’s obligations to protect the civil rights of limited English proficient (LEP) persons.”

The article also says that several other states have passed similar amendments with no apparent ramifications. Why are they singling Oklahoma out? This seems like something Acorn might be pushing. Just going out on a limb with that statement though.

My opinion, I think it should be English only since this is America where the prevalent language is English. More strong-arming from the feds to pacify immigrants. And most of them are illegal!

I like Jim Inhofe's quote:

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe stated, “This nation’s cultural diversity is one that contributes to the greatness of our country. I support the state’s effort to pass a constitutional amendment making English the official language of the state because it ultimately facilitates better communication across the many lines of diversity within our state. The state legislature has overwhelmingly passed this amendment, and now it is up to the voters of Oklahoma to decide if they wish to accept it. It is entirely unacceptable for the federal government to try to strong arm the state by threatening to remove federal funding. I look forward to hearing the Justice Department’s explanation for such behavior.”

Keep your native tongue and pass it on to your children and grandchildren, but learn English so that you will be prepared when the situation calls for it. It makes life a lot easier for you and those that you will have daily dealings with.

Passing this amendment would also lessen the financial burden on state entities that have to print paperwork in foreign languages, hire translators and so on.

Blast away.

[edit on 7/30/2009 by soldiermom]

[edit on 7/30/2009 by soldiermom]

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 12:49 PM
We all know that the feds can go forth and multiply, alone.

I agree with whats been stated elsewhere; that, not only should English be the official language...

All of those titles like...

. African-American
. Mexican-American
. Polish-American
. British-American
. Italian-American
. Redneck-American
. Etc. ad nausium... should be thrown out as well.

What a crock of ****.

That just screams division. Most people that have been in the country can trace their heritage to many other countries yet it wasn't until recent history that all of those terms came ito the mainstream and with them came all the culture and demands to print everything in everyone's native language.

Seems like we had it right long ago, as I see no other purpose of those titles, than to divide. Keeping the language barriers firmly in place, as well.

No one has seemed to have the testicles to bring it to the legislature until now... WTG OK!

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 12:50 PM
reply to post by soldiermom

Hello SoldierMom

This is a very touchy subject that has been beat to death over and over again on ATS and in the American society. Well I disagree with you on some of your thoughts, I do respect and understand your position and where you stand.

I think what makes the United States unique from most other nations is our lack of a national language. The fact that we are a nation of Multilingualism separates us from the norm. I live in the South, in a very highly concentrated area of Hispanic immigrants. Sure, it can be frustrating sometimes having that barrier when you are trying to communicate with someone when you each have limiting understanding of what the other is saying, but overall I like the diversity it adds.

One thing I have noticed, is that usually only the first generation immigrants have limited English speaking skills. Down here anyways, they really stress the importance of their children keeping their cultural identity while learning English so that they can further themselves and pursue the American dream. English may be the language of business and pivotal to success, but I think that the cultural advantages we gain from the language diversities are worth not having a set national tongue.

On a light closing note, could you imagine eating Tex-Mex foods with purely English words???


posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 12:53 PM
With the hole the fed is in isnt this like some homeless crackhead under a bridge threatening not to give you a dollar if you kick him?

Any state/town with half a conscious should be refusing these extorted funds anyway. It's not their money. It's mine and yours and was taken from us by force.

Would you accept stolen goods? I wouldn't.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 01:14 PM
reply to post by DrMattMaddix

So true. Especially the titles. I'm looking forward to the explanation from the DOJ myself. To be honest, I'm not that knowledgable on the breakdown of federal funding that Oklahoma gets so I can't really say screw 'em. However, I have a feeling that's exactly what many would like to say. Even those in the know.

I'd really like a thorough explanation of why Oklahoma was singled out and not the other states that have already passed this amendment. We weren't threatened when HB 1804 passed which enforces illegal immigration laws. I guess the difference is that now Obama is president and race plays a bigger role. Go figure.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 01:19 PM
I don't know the total extent of Federal Funds in Florida, but it is A LOT!!

I know we would lose WIC, Disability, a bunch of Education, Worker's Comp and others. I only know about Federal funds that interact with Department of Health, but I am certain that Law Enforcement, Fish and Wildlife, and Child Protection also have big Federal Budgets!!

The idea of making a National Language, or a State Language is for educational purposes only. It is insane that we should be forced to tailor our educational system around so called ESL classes!

I don't care what people want to speak, but we should only teach English!

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 01:21 PM

English Being Official National Language Thread

Read up. It's got info on different states making English the 'official' language and the FACT that nothing negative has come from it. If anything - it saves money and makes documentation more efficient.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 01:23 PM
reply to post by Sliadon

The subject is mainly why Oklahoma is being threatened by the feds to have federal funding pulled if we pass this amendment. The fact that it's an English only amendment is a sidebar. It is extremely frustrating when you're trying to do your job and you have a Hispanic that knows no English whatsoever. The only reason I can understand them on occasion is because I've tried to learn some Spanish. If I can make the effort, why can't they?

And, no, I can't imagine trying to order Tex-Mex without knowing a little spanish.

Again, if I can go to my favorite restaurant (where many of them can't speak English) and order from their menu, why can't they do me the favor of knowing the difference between milk and chocolate milk? And not acting like they're put out with me because they made a mistake because they don't understand English?

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 01:30 PM
reply to post by FlyersFan

Exactly. Nothing negative will come of this just as nothing negative has come from the passing of HB 1804. Everyone (opposition) cried that businesses would be affected and our tax base would fall out but none of that has happened. Strangely enough, the illegals don't pay taxes and normally visit Hispanic-owned businesses by and large.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 01:36 PM
reply to post by soldiermom

I live down in Texas, so I do understand the issue of the difficulty with language barriers and why it can be frustrating. I empathize with you 100% on that. There are times when it can be frustrating.

I am not sure I follow with the favorite restaurant argument though. If it is your favorite restaurant I'm sure you would have some sort of relation with the staff and they would know your likes and dislikes. As far as the milk, mistakes happen. I'm not going to act like I know the situation first hand because I don't. However, it could be an issue with the way they interpreted your request for the other type of milk, or food item etc. From reading your posts, you seem articulate and a non-abrasive person.
So I don't think it is in any way a reflection of you. Too many times misinterpretation of situations can accidently become bigger than they are.

To answer your opening statement in terms of how it relates to Oklahoma, look at it from an overall perspective. Whether or not these people speak English or not, the overwhelming majority are legal citizens of the United States. The Federal Government is probably fearful of a massive ACLU case against the United States Government for what could very easily be considered a breach of peoples Civil Rights.

Like I said before, I empathize with you. I have experienced the frustration at times. I just don't think it would be fair to force people into speaking English. From my own experience, immigrants will in time learn English just in order to be able to get around in the nation. They will want to keep their identity and what they hold dear, but at the same time will want to learn English to be able to fit in.


posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 01:43 PM
It is amazing that the US is 233 years old and in not one of those years has the Federal government or a state government enacted and enforced a law that makes English the National language.

I say amazing because up till recently, whites have largely dominated the scene and have had the power to enact such provision, but never did.

I guess the politicians of yesteryear never imagined a day where minorities they invited in or didn't invite would opt to keep their own language.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 01:56 PM
reply to post by soldiermom

This is DUMB ! English is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA's Official language anyways and within this country lies the 50 states who's official language is also English........

There is nothing wrong with wanting to remind people our official language ....

I love Diversity......But I hate when people come into this country and want to change OUR rules and ways and laws........

I don't care that you speak Spanish, but learn english fluently too.......Hell teach me some Spanish , I'd love to learn a second language.

But you see it's not like that.....There is no sharing of culture and language ...

People think they can come here and make an area like thier home...

You can somewhat as long as you respect where you are.......and most don't .....

We should be more willing to work with them in doing this and not always against them though.....

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:01 PM
reply to post by Sliadon

It is my favorite restaurant but I don't have a relationship with the staff. I just go there to eat.
The owner speaks English and I'm grateful for that because the rest of his staff have limited or no English speaking skills. It wasn't a major issue. Just leaves me wondering why you wouldn't want to learn English if you're going to live and work here, as the vast majority of our population speaks English.

I'll have to take issue with your statement of the vast majority of immigrants being here legally. When Oklahoma passed HB 1804, there was a mass exodus of Hispanic immigrants from this state. There can only be one reason for that in my estimation.

If the feds are or were fearful of a massive lawsuit, I can't believe that they didn't speak up when the above mentioned bill was passed. But I certainly don't claim to know how or why the feds do what they do. I'm still trying to figure them out after all these years.

I don't look at it as them being forced to learn English, just encouraged. There's not really any arguing that it would make life easier for them as far as I can see. Like I said before, keep your native tongue and your culture. Pass it on. Just make the effort to learn English the same way I've made the effort to learn a little Spanish for communications sake.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:05 PM
reply to post by LucidDreamer85

English is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA's Official language anyways and within this country lies the 50 states who's official language is also English........

Wrong. The USA does not have an "Official Language" and very few states do.

That is the whole point of this thread, this legislation, and this debate. We have never declared an "official" language, and it has created some sticky situations in SoCal, SoFlorida, and TX. The schools have been forced to change their curriculums to include Spanish speaking teachers, and ESL classes.

I agree that it is a stupid situation, and I don't see how it is so controversial, but it is, and we are stuck in this situation now!

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:14 PM
reply to post by getreadyalready

It is insane that we should be forced to tailor our educational system around so called ESL classes!

I don't care what people want to speak, but we should only teach English!

English only, right? You kinda have me confused with the ESL comment.

Isn't the purpose of ESL classes to help people learn to speak English and integrate into an American culture?

English as a Second Language

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:14 PM
Oklahoma is the best, I love living here and proud we are taking this stand.

True story: Last week McDonald's played an ad on tv about "Mocha Monday" -- they are giving away FREE mochas on mondays, to get you to try the product of course.

So, this past Monday I leave for work a little earlier than usual and drive to a McDonald's. A hispanic chick takes my order for a free mocha.

Well, I didn't order anything else, so I didn't even stop at the "pay window" but as I drove past it, this wild woman is screaming out to me "dinero dinero" (I kid you not.) I drive on up to the window to get my free mocha, and there are THREE mochas sitting there, and the nut from the pay window has come around to this window and blabbering off that I owe something like 7 dollars plus change, and I said no, I wanted only the free mocha, she says Si, three mocha, 7 dollar fity ni centeros.

I just stopped and asked "Do you know any English at all?" She replied "un poquito" I believe that means very little.

I didn't get a free mocha.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:23 PM
reply to post by jam321

You are right, I didn't say that very well. It has been one of those days where things in my head don't translate to my fingers or mouth very well!

ESL classes are OK, they help people transistion. (English as Second Language)

Otherwise, we should not have to teach in any other language. Some schools in Miami, SoCal and TX have entire curriculums in Spanish!

These people are not doing themselves any favors. They will be restricted to jobs in their local area, they won't get any meaningful employment throughout the rest of the country.

As others have said, there really is no downside to making English our Official Language! I don't understand the debate at all??

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:28 PM
The Federal Government has no right to dictate to the states what they can and can not do.

The STATES dictate to the Feds what the Feds can and can not do.

What the Federal Government has done is LOOT the states of wealth through federal taxes, then held the States hostage with their own tax payers money.

Total tyranny.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:30 PM
reply to post by getreadyalready

Otherwise, we should not have to teach in any other language. Some schools in Miami, SoCal and TX have entire curriculums in Spanish!

We have a Spanish curriculum here in my town in the K-12 program. About 90-95% of the kids are non-Hispanics. Parents see great benefit to their children learning a second language.

I'm Hispanic and I think English as National language is ok as long as I can speak my Spanish anywhere I please. But as far as government application and forms, they should be in English only to encourage people to learn the language.

Unfortunately, the votes politicians seek in conjunction with political correctness prevent us from establishing English as our National Language.

posted on Jul, 30 2009 @ 02:34 PM
reply to post by jam321

I agree. Teaching Spanish or other languages is beneficial, but teaching "in Spanish" is not. It doesn't help the kids integrate very well.

So, teaching other languages = good. Making teachers teach math in Spanish = bad.

LOL! I am glad you agree. My brother's wife is Hispanic and my best friend is Russian. They both agree also. They get very angry at their parents for not "using their English"!

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