Discrimination | Jerrold Nadler | News

Congressman Nadler: GOP's 'English Only' Crusade Like Other Civil Rights Attacks

NadlerEnglishDuring a House Judiciary Committee hearing today on a GOP-led effort to make English the official national language, Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York likened the legislative crusade to other anti-civil rights efforts, including homophobic discrimination.

Nadler's remarks, via Talking Points Memo:

Having already spent an extraordinary amount of Committee time and resources in an effort to roll-back the civil rights of women, persons with disabilities, gay and lesbian Americans and other minorities, our Majority colleagues are now using the last day before the House adjourns until September to highlight a bill that would place at risk the 24.5 million people in the United States who need language assistance from their government in some situations.

A long-time equality advocate, Nadler is one of the over 80 Democrats who this week urged the Obama administration to spell out how binational same-sex couples will be protected under new, looser immigration enforcement laws.

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  1. Election year ploy to sway those middle of the road independents who resent having to push 1 for English and choose a language at the ATM. Paint the Dems as left wing. Democrats should just pass the bill. Doubt the bill would have much actual impact in the real world anyway, it's sounds ceremonial at best, and passing it would take away an issue Repubs plan to use to portray Dems as un-American.

    Posted by: Eddie | Aug 2, 2012 1:38:01 PM


  2. Why do Republicans LOVE to waste taxpayer's money on things that just do not matter ? They should be jailed for fraud. Why aren't they doing their jobs ? We pay them a lot of money and they just sit around and play games - this is why our economy is not getting better ! If they fail to deliver we should fire them even before their term is over.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Aug 2, 2012 2:00:56 PM


  3. Unfortunately, I agree with the Republicans in theory. I'm sure their effort would mean an end to documents in other languages etc.

    However, I have traveled enough to say that in other nations...you are expected to learn the native language and speak it properly.

    Here we have immigrants that NEVER learn to speak English or speak it properly. Like having to learn spanish phrases to tell a busboy to clean a table...and five years later his English hasn't gotten any better...because he hasn't tried nor been pressured in any way to learn the lingua franca.

    Posted by: qj201 | Aug 2, 2012 2:13:22 PM


  4. I don't think we need an official language, but Nadler is being a drama queen. Most similar western countries have official languages, including our next door neighbor, Canada, where English and French are the 'official' languages.

    And yes, of course it's an election year grandstanding issue. Republicans and Democrats do it, in fact Nadler is doing right here!

    How about we discuss the economy, our wars, out of control healthcare costs [that ObamaCare will do nothing to fix], etc.? Nah...much more fun to whine about official languages, chickfila, Leviticus, gay marriage, blah blah blah. Will the sheeple ever wake up?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 2, 2012 2:16:49 PM


  5. While I believe we should have an official language, we must also encourage new immigrants to learn the language with classes and courses to help those coming to this country to assimilate.

    It will only assist those in communicating and become prosperous!

    While I don't agree with how the republicans are doing it, it could provide cost savings in the long run and help states and cities etc in reducing costs of putting everything in numerous languages.

    Posted by: Guest | Aug 2, 2012 2:34:30 PM


  6. If "Freedom of Speech" does not include the right to speak in whatever language you choose, and to have the government recognize that right, then the whole concept is meaningless. An Official language is a very bad, very un-American idea. Notions of individual liberty, freedom and inalienable rights turn to ash the moment the government tells you how you must move your own tongue.

    Posted by: RWG | Aug 2, 2012 2:41:35 PM


  7. Moving to Mexico? Learn to speak Spanish.

    Moving to France? Learn to speak French.

    Moving to Germany? Learn to speak German.

    Moving to Italy? Learn to speak Italian.

    but...

    Moving to the United States?

    No problem, just speak whatever language you already know, we'll make everything multi-lingual just to make it easier for you because we wouldn't want to look nationalistic or anything or treat someone unfairly by forcing them learn English.

    Idiotic... tail wagging the dog.

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 2, 2012 5:55:08 PM


  8. I'm as liberal and left leaning as it gets but English IS and very well should be maintained as the language of our nation, and to even for one second pretend it's not and shouldn't be is phoney baloney and flawed. In every nation in this country, there are languages mandated and adopted and EXPECTED of you to know. Yet Americans are arrogant for maintaining a language we have consistently used? No, we're not. Learn English and learn to appreciate the main language of the nation you CHOSE to move to.

    Posted by: Kilean | Aug 2, 2012 8:10:49 PM


  9. I think it's slightly arrogant to move to a ccountry where you know the overwhelming majority have a built in language (English) but then demand they learn the language of your native country, which you moved away from. I'm sorry, but something about that is off putting even to this proud liberal.

    Posted by: Art Smith | Aug 2, 2012 8:12:12 PM


  10. There sure are a lot of uninformed comments here, many of which reveal no understanding of language matters in American history.

    Posted by: chuck | Aug 2, 2012 8:39:08 PM


  11. I agree with CHUCK. Every time this fake problem arises, ignorant xenophobes and jingoist come out in force,and step all over their own dicks. Like this gem of English language use: "In every nation in this country". That's just rich. Or how about this little pearl: It will only assist those in communicating and become prosperous!...Yeah right.You know, and I know damned well, that that you don't give a flyin-F about some random immigrant learning the language. Don't even get me started with the nickel and dime crowd, with their "it saves money". The whole argument is contempt for "others" disguised and patriotism. Happens every election cycle. Like clock work.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 2, 2012 10:10:57 PM


  12. Correction 1. Space after Yeah right.
    Correction 2. disguised as patriotism.
    Discuss away.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 2, 2012 10:14:33 PM


  13. I feel that English should be the national language. I am surprised so few people don't know that it's not. Consistant arguments contradicting the need for English continue to show a real need for re-education. We fought for the right in wars not to speak German, Russian, Japanese, Mexican, and other languages. We did it through wars...of which fortunately...few were fought on our own soil. There needs to be consistant application of the language standard. Like was explained above, many other countries hold their language dear. They wouldn't ever consider giving it up. So, why should we?

    Posted by: Todd | Aug 2, 2012 11:45:40 PM


  14. Learn English!

    We speak english in this country, and always will. Even Obama said in every recent immigration debate'learn the language'

    Seriously.

    Posted by: TellerHu | Aug 3, 2012 3:57:48 AM


  15. This sums up my feelings.... Sorkin was a brilliant writer on the West Wing. We do not need to have English as the national language.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihZ_eYMgNF8

    Posted by: Steve Chapman | Aug 4, 2012 4:21:15 PM


  16. Waste tax payer dollars? Having to languages wastes government money every year, while enabling a slave class of in our country, by saying it's ok not learn English. By not learning English, one is almost guaranteed to be poor. That must be why democrats are against the bill. They need to keep their people poor, so they will continue to vote for them.

    Posted by: James | Aug 17, 2012 11:57:17 AM


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