Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Story Time

From the West Seattle blog: Delridge Library adds something new: Vietnamese Story Time.

Whatever happened to assimilation?

If I moved to Phon Phom, I'd feel surprised and more than a little awkward that the local Vietnamese library felt compelled to have an English Story Time—the kind of story my parents should be reading to me at home.

So what bugs me about this seemingly little half-hour? It's this: It doesn't help a minority group feel a part of a new society. On a grander scale, it's another step in the glacial, but perceptible dissolution of English as being the official language of the United States, which is something so-called progressives in this country have little issue in diluting.

Given the political makeup of where I live, I have little doubt this class was organized by some English speaking, do-gooding liberal local politician who proudly proclaimed it was "for the children!" and founded the class. They mean well, of course. But like too many liberals, they fail to see (or possibly could care less about) the trouble with their good intentions: the unintended consequences.

It is well-known that traditional Vietnamese families, like many Asian families, are fiercely loyal when it comes to speaking their native tongue. This is fine at home. However, outside the home, what motivation is there to learn a language when local government entities are reinforcing the notion that you don't need to learn the official language outside the home. That's a problem because it slows the assimilation process, which in turn creates a barrier to that family/group's success. That is the unintended consequence.

But it's just a reading class, you say. What harm can come from a little old reading class? Plenty, because it won't stop there. And it hasn't stopped there.

Ever been to certain sections of California and see the street signs if English and Spanish? How about a voting ballot or pamphlet?

Lest you think I'm being "hateful" (the courteous liberal's catch word for what they really want to call you: "a racist/bigot right-wing douchebag"), I fully support teaching languages in school and for businesses to be bilingual or multilingual. If banks want to have language choices on their ATMs or recordings, no problem. Banks are private entities (at least until the Obama Administration took many of them over) and if they have research that shows a cost/benefit to having multilingual ATMs, then fabulous—have multilingual ATMs.

But a local, state or federal government entity actively yet silently promotes the notion that it's okay not to learn English or immerse oneself into American culture—and by God you bet your ass we have one—that is 100% unacceptable.


1 comment:

  1. I saw this one, too. I simply MUST stop reading that blog. But of course I won't.