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07 September 2005

Compassionate Conservatism

Every once in a while I'll read something that at first glance appears to be brilliant satire. Then I'll realise that, no, the writer actually believes that. Today I came across Shipwrecks, a blog that brings us "news & views through red-tinted lenses."

Yeah, that's an understatement. Chew on this for a while. Then, if you think he's as off the mark as I do, be sure to head over to his site and raise his blood pressure a bit with your "woolly headed liberal" thinking:

What you may not realize, is that this country has allowed a vast number of Spanish speakers to live here, legally, and illegally. Most do not speak English, or speak it poorly. To accommodate this influx, we have to adapt to using their language. That's right, we are adapting. We pay for putting signs up in Spanish, we pay for translators, we pay for Spanish speaking customer service. It does not benefit us as English speakers does it? Remember this is an English speaking country. Immigrants are welcomed here, but it is not for us to be assimilated into their language or culture. They should learn English. They must learn English. It is utter stupidity for us to pamper a minority that has no wish to become American.

How far would you get in Mexico without speaking Spanish? Not far outside the tourist resorts, and the Mexicans aren't going to go out of their way to accommodate your love of English. It's their country anyway, so they can do as they please. So what's wrong with this country encouraging immigrants to speak our language, and not accommodating their languages? They come of their own free will, if they don't realize we speak another language here, then they are dumber than dumb.

What we have developing is not a bi-lingual minority, it is a mono-lingual minority. To communicate with them, we must speak Spanish. No big deal say our liberal friends. But is it fair for us to learn and speak a foreign language, and Spanish is foreign in the majority of States, when these foreigners make little attempt to learn and speak English. Fair's fair.

Now it's not as if we go out of our way to cater to other immigrant languages, Spanish has played winner takes all. If you are still with me, maybe you might realize one big thing: Spanish is not going to fade away. It is getting stronger, as the Hispanic community becomes larger and larger. The larger the Hispanic community is, the more arrogant it will become in demanding the side by side use of Spanish and English. Everything will have to be translated, just for their benefit, not yours. Maybe it will go further than that. Maybe in the near future some cities as they become majority Hispanic, they will cease to use English at all. Now wouldn't that be nice.
The comments section is pretty scary, too. Notes NYGirl:

Isn't it crazy, most comapnies also have to create seperate Spanish speaking positions to accomodate these things.

Those who refuse to assimilate should have their visa revoked. There should be a mandatory english test after two years in the country & those who fail should be deported.
God, it's such a burden being white and priviliged.

Comments on "Compassionate Conservatism"

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/07/2005 05:52:00 PM) : 

I agree.

"Oh no! People aren't accommodating me! WAH! How are we going to make ourselves feel better? I know! More tax cuts for the rich! An while we're at it, let's drive our 5 MPG SUV's through a wildlife preserve! Yay, Bush! USA! USA! USA!"

That's conservatism for you, in a very narrow-minded, very exaggerated nutshell. Granted, they aren't all morons... right?

Don’t lose faith, though. People are waking up.

 

Blogger Brandon said ... (9/07/2005 08:53:00 PM) : 

hilarious.

If only people were knowlegeable enough to realize that the US has no official language.

You could quite easily say that us english speakers weren't assimilating.

 

Blogger MEP said ... (9/08/2005 08:37:00 AM) : 

Right, the US doesn't have an official language and I think it's so stupid when people complain about the increased marketability of people who speak Englisha and Spanish. GOOD FOR THEM! Most people in other countries speak MORE than 2 languages. We are the dumb ones that think we only need to know OURS b/c "it's the best." I guess that fits our ethnocentric attitudes.

 

Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (9/08/2005 08:43:00 AM) : 

Yeah, Hispanic people make up about 13.4% of the population (about 40 million people as of 2003). And Hispanic population growth is at around 2.4% per annum. At that rate, white people may be a minority in a few decades. There are also dozens of cities in which the majority of the population is Hispanic. So they might as well get used to seeing those dual-language signs. :)

 

Blogger MEP said ... (9/08/2005 08:49:00 AM) : 

So, I went to shipwreck's blog and got mad when I read the most recent post. I may have sounded mean in my reply. Oops. But the post was spouting the same sort of ignorance that I blogged about yesterday, so I had to reply.

 

Blogger Dan Trabue said ... (9/08/2005 09:03:00 AM) : 

I wonder how insistent people such as shipwrecked will be that we all learn the dominant language when that language is Spanish?

On a related note, I've been to many of the same sites as you have (shipwrecked included) and other similar ones. I've found that amongst many of them, it is near impossible to carry on a conversation with them. They like to spew and rant and, when confronted with a reasonable question, ignore it and spew and rant some more.

If the type who have no desire for honest dialog (left or right) become the dominant voices, I worry about our nation.

 

Blogger Nicole said ... (9/09/2005 12:36:00 AM) : 

I travelled over there tonight and read this guys blog, and his links. My heart just hurt reading it. I've been praying a lot lately about what to do with my anger on issues such as this..and it's as if God's replacing that anger with grief and sadness with such hatred.

I don't know if it's worth talking to such people. They will summarily reject me, and denigrate me for such qualities as compassion and feeling, along with hard intellectual reasoning. Plus, I don't think my intentions would be pure if I did discuss things with this guy.

So, I'll sit here and be sad and let my heart hurt. But I don't like it..

 

Anonymous Trevor said ... (9/09/2005 04:48:00 AM) : 

Kevin. (And others here). I don't know you. I think that my first and only so far other comment to your blog began that way as well. Even though we don't know each other at all, I have felt some kinsmanship with the ideas that you present here. I remember telling Stephanie that I was hoping you were a forty or fifty year old professor or something, so I wouldn't have to feel so ignorant after reading your stuff. Then I saw on your profile that you are the same age as me. So far I have pretty much agreed with everything you have said on your blog, on Stephanie's, and mine. I have a desire to outgrow my upbringing. Not that I despise my parents, home church, etc. It's just that I want to be exposed to all the viewpoints and be able to choose for myself. I get the impression that you have made such a journey yourself, away from the typical, conservative views of life. But I am not sure if I see the point in going to other people's blogs, people who I assume you don't even know, and stirring up animosity. If I am right in assuming that you made a certain journey to get to the point where you are today, shouldn't you try to help others to make the same journey? Maybe that is your goal, and if so, I think that is a very admiral goal. But I get the impression that a lot of others from your blogs links section are only striving to offend people for the sake of offending them and laughing at them. If your views and conclusions, politically, spiritually, etc., are accurate, then it is because of God's grace that you have the information and wherewithal necessary to come to such conclusions. The Christlike thing to do seems to be to attempt to share that information with others, with the end goal being to bring others to the more accurate views and conclusions. Specifically, is there any hope for Shipwreck to become compassionate? How can we help him to become so? I am tempted to just delete this comment. I am afraid I am going to make a fool of myself. Oh well. I'll give it a shot.

 

Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (9/10/2005 12:47:00 AM) : 

Trevor,

Thanks for the props and for stopping by here from time to time to read my thoughts. Thanks also for chiming in on this. I'm glad you didn't delete your comment and there's no reason for you to feel like a fool. You're right that I've also been on a journey away from my semi-fundamentalist upbringing. I'm still looking and searching and trying to figure out my place, the same as anyone I'd imagine.

As for my comments about Shipwrecks...First of all, the bit about "heading over to his site and raising his blood pressure"
was largely in jest. It certainly wasn't meant as a call to go make fun of him and to attack him and all he holds dear. Was I a bit too mean or hard on him? Perhaps. It's difficult to strike a balance between righteous anger on the one hand and grace and love on the other. Should I not make fun of or call out people who are clearly incorrect in their attitudes (as in the case of those who are blatant racists)? If so, when or how? I dunno. Moses, the prophets, John the Baptist, and Jesus all did that sort of thing from time to time. Maybe the trick is to do so delicately and with balance. I could definitely stand to show more restraint and more grace to people. I'm a lot better than I used to be. I'll continue to try harder. But when I feel it's necessary,I'll also call a spade a spade. Incidentally, Zalm, Brandon, and Kristen have all been talking about and wrestling with these sorts of things lately. You might find what they have to say interesting.

As for everyone else on my blogroll, they are who they are. Some of them are Christians. Some aren't. Just because I have linked to someone doesn't necessarily mean that I always agree with them or condone what they say or do. I just like reading what they have to say, for one reason or another. I don't think it's fair to lump them all into the category of deliberately trying to offend or make fun of people. There are a few people there who are far more pissy than I am. There are also quite a few who are far more gentle and graceful and thoughtful than I, and who I could learn a lot from in that respect.

At any rate, I really do appreciate your thoughts and your perspective. I hope you'll continue to comment.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9/10/2005 02:26:00 PM) : 

Hey Kevin! I don't know if you and your wife noticed this when you were in Europe earlier this summer, but when Micah and I were in Europe a year and a half ago, we were amazed at how accomodating the people there were of our limited language abilities. Everywhere, signs were in Italian, French, English and usually several other languages as well. People were extremely patient and gracious with us when we butchered their language. We kept saying, "They are so much nicer to foreigners here than we are at home!". Some of that may have to do with their being so many countries with differing languages in a relatively "small" area, making this a common problem. Whatever the reason, we appreciated their graciousness towards us. It might not make a difference, but I wonder if the author at Shipwrecked has traveled outside the country much, or ever had the experience of being the "outsider".
Kristen M

 

Blogger Nicole said ... (9/11/2005 01:57:00 PM) : 

Yes, in Europe they were so much more accomodating, and so gracious when we did learn a tiny bit of their respective languages. I wonder, too, if we could put ourselves in the lives of immigrants and see just how difficult it is to be in a strange land all of the time. Exhausting, was my experience.

In my diversity class, we talked about our divisions made at the Tower of Babel, and our commentary considered the fact that the so called "curse" of language might actually be a gift.

See, we humans tend to build only ourselves up when we all get together, and act as if we don't need God. So, in some manner, our divisions and languages and miscommunications, are a constant reminder that God is the only One who can truly bridge the gap. Whatever measures we take will always be incomplete. So differences, and difficulties in communicating, are to be learned and appreciated for that capacity.

 

Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (9/11/2005 05:16:00 PM) : 

I think you're on to something there, Kristen. Europeans were definitely a lot more friendly and willing to transcend the language barrier. I've been meaning to blog about our travels for a while now, but other things keep coming up. I'll be in Tennessee for a couple of weeks very soon, so hopefully I can talk a bit more about that in the next few weeks. The hotel in Hungary was particularly helpful. Several times the owner had to telephone his English speaking son and hand Nicole or I the telephone. :)

 

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