Tags: Doggoned | Easy

So Doggoned Easy

Wednesday, 06 February 2002 12:00 AM

Not to worry! The store – quite familiar with such occurrences – simply called for a Spanish-speaking associate. The man was able to do his business with only the faintest hint of inconvenience.

In states like California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, it is no longer necessary to know the English language. In fact, there are so many Spanish-speaking people in those states that politicians have given up any thought of controlling the border, and instead are competing for what they see as a major voting bloc.

In Texas, Republican Governor Rick Perry has let it be known that he is learning Spanish – and no wonder! His two Democratic rivals will be holding debates on statewide television – in Spanish – competing for the right to challenge Perry in November.

The story of how this came to be is not particularly complicated. These states are just across the "Big River" from Mexico. Things are really crummy for a lot of people to the south of that border; but to the north lies greener pastures – the famous American Way of Life.

So they come. Legally, if they can, but if they have to swim the river, they do that, too. Once they make it across, various forces conspire to keep them here.

Sometimes it's companies looking for cheap labor, hiring them with no questions asked. Other times, it's nothing more than modern-day political correctness that says it's "insensitive" to send them back to Mexico.

Sometimes it's self-serving politicians such as Bill Clinton and Al Gore who bend and break all the immigration laws just to get a few extra votes.

Once they're here, and especially if they have children, we compassionate Americans have no stomach for turning them down – for anything.

We open up our schools, our hospitals, our welfare system, our government. Since they can't speak English, we install bilingual education programs in our schools – and, sometimes, even dual-language programs. We hire Spanish-speaking caseworkers to make sure social services are provided in a timely manner.

And by all means, we make it a point to provide funding to print every single government form in both English and Spanish.

As the Everly Brothers used to sing, "It's so easy; so doggoned easy." Spanish is everywhere. It's all over cable TV; on AM and FM radio stations; it's on ATM machines, and the front of the phone directory explains "como comunicarse con Southwestern Bell." If you have a question about your electric bill, just press "2" for Spanish. For the very first time, the League of Women Voters of Texas will publish a guide to statewide candidates entirely in Spanish.

What, then, is the point of learning English?

It may be somewhat more difficult to get around in the Southwest without a working knowledge of English, but it's far from impossible. And it's getting easier all the time. It's no wonder that so many people from south of the border are looking northward with great anticipation.

Political correctness and the current political climate even dictate that those who enter the country illegally can't be called "illegal aliens." The term "illegal" might offend someone, and the term "alien" is just not warm and fuzzy.

So the PC-approved term "undocumented immigrant" has entered the lexicon. "Undocumented" doesn't sound as harsh as "illegal," and, gosh – aren't we all descendants of noble immigrants?

All this is not to take anything away from the Mexican people, or those Mexicans who have entered our country through legal means and have learned English. It's just that language is one of those things that unite a nation and help form its culture.

Recognizing that, we used to ask people – at the very least – to know some English, and to study our history and traditions if they wished to stay here.

If we're not going to deport the illegals – there's little to indicate that we will – and if

That would mean everyone would have to know at least some English, and that would do more to unite us than any other single thing.

Lynn Woolley's e-mail address is

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Not to worry!The store - quite familiar with such occurrences - simply called for a Spanish-speaking associate.The man was able to do his business with only the faintest hint of inconvenience. In states like California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, it is no longer...
Wednesday, 06 February 2002 12:00 AM
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