Tinotopia (Logo)
TinotopiaLog → MultiBunktualism (11 May 2004)
Tuesday 11 May 2004


The governor of Maryland recently said that he agreed with last week’s statements by the Maryland state comptoller, who had complained about people coming to live in the U.S. and refusing to learn to speak English.

Precisely, the governor said that multiculturalism is bunk. And crap:

“I reject the idea of multiculturalism,” Ehrlich (R) said on WBAL-AM (1090) radio. “Once you get into this multicultural crap, this bunk, you run into a problem. With respect to this culture, English is the language. Should we encourage young folks here to be assimilated, to learn the culture and values? Of course.”

That has, of course, been met with Righteous Indignation from the multiculturalists.

Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery), a first-generation immigrant from El Salvador, said she believes the governor and comptroller need diversity training.

Ah, diversity training. What’s up with that, exactly? These days, whenever anyone says anything that the multiculturalists don’t like, the recommendation is for diversity training. Who is this training designed to reach, exactly? Are there people out there who address black men as boy (or boyah) and who refer to Mexicans as wetbacks and so forth simply because they don’t know that these things are considered socially unacceptable by the multi-cultis?

But I digress. The Washington Post quotes Ms. Guiterrez further:

“I think what the governor said absolutely is offensive,” Gutierrez said. “It’s also a dangerous comment. What I am sensing is that these kinds of comments from leadership, from people who are in high-level positions, are really fueling an environment that is very dangerous and negative. It says it is okay to consider people who are different as something less.”

Certainly it cannot have escaped Ms. Guiterrez’s notice that people who cannot speak English are effectively less, in the United States. They’re less successful, less employable, and less wealthy, largely because they’re less-integrated with the mainstream culture.

It will be a long time in the future, if ever, before anyone who cannot speak English is elected President, or governor, or as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, or as Montgomery County Dogcatcher. All the CEOs of the Fortune 500, and I would bet of the Fortune 1000, and, if such a thing existed, of the Fortune 10000, speak English.

It seems to me that the governor has done something that’s rare these days for a politician: he’s admitted the obvious.

This is, according to Ms. Guiterrez and her amigos, ‘dangerous’. It fuels a ‘negative environment’. Ms. Guiterrez would seem to prefer the presumably positive environment of the ghetto.

While it’s true that them as has, gets, the United States’ wealth is due largely to American culture. American culture — which doesn’t mean our sparklingly-witty movies and TV shows — is why people come to the United States in droves, and why hardly anyone leaves.

But for that culture — the culture that makes millionaires out of immigrants — to be useful, the immigrants need to be members of it. Physical location isn’t enough to reap the full benefits. More and more native speakers of English in the United States now speak Spanish as well. I expect this trend to continue, and I expect us all to be richer (in all senses) for it. But saying that it’s ‘dangerous’ to suggest that immigrants should assimilate is just nuts.

* * *

One of the classic stereotypes of the Ugly American is of a fat, sweaty, red-faced man in a Hawaiian shirt shouting at a hapless local in some foreign land: WHERE-O IS THE TOILET-O??! The belief that foreigners understand English better when it’s shouted is one that dies hard.

It is true, though, that Americans don’t speak foreign languages at the same rate as people in similarly-industrialized and -wealthy nations. The main reason for this is that the United States is very large, and most Americans never leave the country or have to deal on a regular basis with people or companies in other countries. Add to that the fact that, if someone in another country speaks only one foreign language, it’s highly likely to be English, and there’s no real pressing need for most Americans to themselves ever learn to speak anything but English.

This is, of course, offered by the multi-cultis as evidence of the average American’s racism, xenophobia, etc.

So: Americans not speaking French or Spanish or German and going to visit France or Spain or Germany? Xenophobia. But people not speaking English and coming to live in the United States? Well, that’s multiculturalism. And if any English-speaking Americans point out that you’ll be more successful in this country if you’re able to communicate with people, now that’s xenophobia and racism, not to mention ‘dangerous’. Yeah, that sounds like a plausible philosophy.

Posted by tino at 17:04 11.05.04
This entry's TrackBack URL::

Links to weblogs that reference 'MultiBunktualism' from Tinotopia.

I wanted to tell you that I enjoy reading your rants. Keep up the good work! A

Posted by: Armand at May 12, 2004 09:40 PM

Try searching for

multiculturalism Ehrlich Schaefer


multiculturalism -Ehrlich Schaefer

in google news.

There were at least two weeks between when Mr. Schaefer made his comment, and when Mr. Ehrlich made his. Why is Bob Ehrlich’s comment news and Donald Schaefer’s comment not news until it is noticed by Mr. Ehrlich?

I am assuming that google news is a fairly good index of the mainstream media.

Posted by: steel at June 1, 2004 04:22 PM

I think it wasn’t news when Schaefer made his original comments because he is a well-known curmudgeon, and a relatively minor figure.

Add to that that the state comptroller isn’t elected, and the governor is, and Erlich’s statement is news while Schaefer’s isn’t, particularly.

Posted by: Tino at June 1, 2004 11:13 PM

I also found out that google news searches for news in the last 30 days. I couldn’t nail down exactly when Mr. Schaefer made his comments, but it’s possible that it has scrolled off the radar.

On the other hand, Mr. Schaefer IS an ex-governor of the State of Maryland, and is a well known, and loved, (or hated) curmudgeon in Maryland.

Posted by: steel at June 2, 2004 06:43 PM