Lou Dobbs: “Multi-culturalism does not work in any country in the world”

Map of Swiss LanguagesHere’s a little excerpt from the transcript of October 13th Real Time with Bill Maher, which featured Lou Dobbs, Danielle Pletka, and Ben Affleck on the panel:

DOBBS: The fact of the matter is that “English Only” is not racist, and we have to – we have to come to terms with it. And I don’t like the issue of race in this discussion. Because there is this sort of patronizing view that 40 million legal citizens of this country who just happen to be Hispanic are somehow identified on an equivalency with the illegal immigration issue. Half of those people, at least in the state of Arizona, voted for Proposition 200.
And these – these activist groups, whether they be like MALDEF or La Raza, suggesting they’re speaking for the Hispanic American population in this country, is absurd. And for us to adopt some sort of idea that “English Only” is racist is absurd. It is a reaction to a cultural phenomenon in which you are walking in and saying, “Hit one – press two for Spanish,” walking into a school in which you have bilingual requirements that are crushing some school districts, while half of the Hispanic students in this country are dropping out of high school. We have a crisis in public education. [applause]
MAHER: Yes, that’s—
DOBBS: And we’re talking about nonsense.
AFFLECK: But we also, like many countries – and again, I don’t really have a big position – but many countries seem to function with, like, two languages. For example, you go to Canada. You press one for—
DOBBS: Yeah, I’ll tell you. They’ve had a great time up there in Quebec and the rest of the country. It’s been fascinating.
AFFLECK: They haven’t had a great time, but they’ve—
PLETKA: They haven’t had a great time. That’s the point.
DOBBS: It’s a disaster. Multi-culturalism does not work in any country in the world. Name one.
MAHER: Iraq. [laughter] [applause]
AFFLECK: Well, multi – you’re talking multi – multi-language.
AFFLECK: Multi-culturalism—
DOBBS: I’m talking both.
AFFLECK: [overlapping]—is the foundation of this country. I mean—[applause]
DOBBS: No, it is not. No, it is not.

Bill Maher didn’t exactly use the best example when he mentioned Canada. They’ve had their share of issues up there. But what about Switzerland!? There are four official languages, and, for the most part, four corresponding cultures. Yet, the Swiss have achieved a national unity, which is placed above (in terms of living together in peace) those differences.
Swiss International Airlines PlaneEven the less than one percent of Swiss that speak Romansh are represented all over the place. Their language can be spoken in parliament and is on the national airline (Svizra =Switzerland).
India has 23 official languages. And while it’s not the most stable country in the world, it does decently well.
Hispanic students are primarily dropping out of school because their parents are making minimum wage (if they’re legal) or less (if they’re not). Yes, they should learn to speak English, but Dobbs is overlooking the primary problem here.
There is a reason why Spanish is the most-learned second language in the United States… You can actually speak it places. And the U.S. has always lagged behind in foreign language education, which is tied in with foreign culture education, which expands the scope of students’ thinking and allows them to think outside of the “blind patriotic box” that so many do.
A study by Simmons Market Research found that 19% of the Hispanic population speak only Spanish while 9% speak only English, 55% have limited English proficiency and 17% are fully English-Spanish bilingual. It’s no wonder there’s the “press two for spanish” option when calling many 1-800 numbers.
If the increasing number of Spanish-speakers as a result of immigration does nothing but increase the number of English-only speakers that have to learn another language, in this case Spanish, then I already consider it a success. I don’t completely denounce the possibility that the increasing two-language society is going to cause structural problems in this country, but it shouldn’t be something that cannot be managed by the often-called “greatest country in the world,” which goes back to my entry from yesterday.
Image Credit:

  1. “Map of the geographical distribution of the official languages of Switzerland (2000)”. Copyright Marco Zanoli. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Version 2.5 License.
  2. Swiss Air Lines ARJ-100 HB-IXN. Copyright Flickr user ‘caribb‘. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Version 2.0 License.

Austrian Legislative Election Results: Semi-Final (19:30h CET)

Preliminary Results at 19:30 CET
Source: ORF
These are the results with 99.9% of the regular votes counted. There are still 400,000 “voting cards” to be counted.

Party Logo Party Primary Candidate Percent of Votes
ÖVP Dr. Wolfgang Schüssel
SPÖ Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer
FPÖ Heinz-Christian Strache
KPÖ Dr. Mirko Messner
BZÖ Ing. Peter Westenthaler
Dr. Martin
Dr. Martin’s List Dr. Hans-Peter Martin

A Night of Kazakhstan

I drove home today to get some peace and quiet so that I can work on my take-home final for my Introduction to Human Rights class, which is to write a draft about the human rights issue in a country we were assigned, in my case Kazakhstan.
The problem is that I keep getting conflicting information. Even the 2004 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Kazakhstan, by the U.S. Department of the State, in my opinion, conflicts itself several times.
Overall, the State Department report gave the impression that conditions are improving in regards to Human Rights in Kazakhstan, with the major exception being limited abilities for citizens to change their government, as there is lots of foul play regarding elections.
I just read an Associated Press article on David Edwin Marco II’s Weblog that generally states everything is going downhill in Kazakhstan in regards to human rights.
Oh well, it’s going to be a long night.

New Pope

SU faculty, staff, and students waiting to see who the pope will be

The first thing I heard around me today when the pope was announced today (besides my German friend cheering) was talk about “the conservative guy” being elected. This has led me to publish the following rant:
The Catholic Church had to elect the most conservative pope ever because Catholics today are the most liberal they’ve ever been! It’s counterbalance, people!
Under Pope John Paul II, the “Pope of the People that wouldn’t let his people do what they wanted to,” less and less people were “being Catholic.” Catholics around the world reformed the Catholic Church themselves, even if the Vatican didn’t like it.
The fact of the matter is that the pope is a figurehead today. He has no real power outside his institution. About the only thing he can do is keep women from becoming priests and try to prevent homosexuals from from getting married in a Catholic church.
People, even those claiming to be “true Catholics,” are still going to have pre-marital sex, abortions, and beef on Fridays, because he can’t do anything about it. That’s a main reason why Pope John Paul II was so popular in the first place, because he wasn’t feared. He was a lovable man who forgave everyone and gave great holiday blessings.
It doesn’t matter which pope was elected today. Even if it had been the most “liberal,” there wouldn’t have been women priests or sanctioned homosexual marriages and abortions by the Catholic Church.
And either a liberal or conservative pope ought to crack down on priests abusing children, something a lot of people, including myself, believe JPII didn’t do enough about.
Anyway, in a week or two everything will go back to normal. Rome will shrink back to its normal size, and the next time we’ll see the Pope on TV will be around Christmas.