At its May 2010 meeting, the Executive Council approved the following open letter to Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona.
Dear Governor Brewer,
We write regarding legislative and policy initiatives in the State of Arizona that concern us as teachers and scholars of language and literature. You have recently signed legislation (SB 1070) that may place nonnative speakers of English and speakers of other languages in legal jeopardy. In addition, we understand that the Arizona Department of Education has decided to bar teachers from teaching English if they speak English with an accent. Furthermore, you have signed legislation (HB 2281) critical of ethnic studies curricula.
These actions raise several concerns regarding education and language, topics at the heart of the mission of the Modern Language Association of America (MLA). We urge you to keep the following in mind as the State of Arizona pursues its education policy:
(1) There is no rational basis for making language ability an indicator of an individual’s citizenship or residency status. This is especially the case in the United States, where many different languages are spoken on a daily basis. The MLA documents this diversity of language speakers in the United States with its Language Map (http://www.mla.org/map_main), which we urge you to consult. Many native as well as immigrant populations use languages other than English, and English language fluency is, of course, hardly restricted to the United States: a speaker of English is not necessarily a United States citizen or legal resident.
(2) Native and nonnative speakers alike always display considerable variation in accent. This fact holds for speakers of American English—compare accents from the Northeast with those from the Southwest—as well as for speakers of other languages. Indeed, there is no unaccented English. There are only speakers with different accents. It therefore makes little sense to bar individuals from teaching because they “have an accent,” since accent is always unavoidable. Efforts to exclude individuals on the basis of accent will likely be arbitrary and discriminatory. The recruitment and retention of effective teachers should not be impeded by concerns that are irrelevant to the important goal of facilitating student learning.
(3) For several decades, ethnic studies curricula have provided important gateways for students to learn about the diversity of heritages in the United States, a key educational goal of the liberal arts education that is the bedrock of American higher education. The field has developed sophisticated pedagogies that stretch across the humanities and the social sciences, providing significant insights into American history and society. Students in ethnic studies classes gain an appreciation for a wealth of cultural expression in literature and the arts and a recognition of the multiple traditions that have found a home in our nation. Policies that curtail this vision will weaken the quality of education, thereby depriving students of key learning opportunities as they move on to higher education institutions.
Because citizens of the United States speak many different languages in addition to English, because every speaker of every language has an accent, and because ethnic studies is important to contemporary American education, we urge you to work toward reversing the policy decisions we cited at the beginning of this letter.
The MLA would be delighted to cooperate with you to formulate educational and language policies that are based on sound research and scholarship and that reflect the state of the art in contemporary American education.
Many U.S. cities across this nation have taken a respectable stance against the state of Arizona for its “immigration law.”
Austin, TX became the latest in a growing list of cities that are boycotting Arizona in some capacity to protest the law, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires local law enforcement to ask for documentation from people they suspect are in the country illegally.
A List of Great Cities in Support of Boycotting Arizona (or are considering to boycott AZ and its so-called immigration law):
San Francisco, CA
West Hollywood, CA
El Paso, TX
St. Paul, MN
St. Paul, MN
Baldwin Park, CA
South el Monte, CA
Santa Cruz, CA
And the list continues to grow!
The slogan is “Wake Up and Stand Up.” The mission statement declares that the federal government is “not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”
I fall back upon my classic standards of political partisanship and playing to the left-base, but in truth I am not satisfied by this in the least.
We don’t need word-wars over labeling and branding, we need solutions for America that work.
We don’t need more spin and more talking points, we need honest debate and informed decision making.
What Coffee Party USA offers is civility and a place for democracy to take place in a honest fashion.
I encourage any person who has formed an opinion of me that is one of “ultra-left” to understand I was most moved by U.S. Army veteran Alan P. Alborn’s words that anything I have seen in a very long time.
I understand far more about what motives are behind conservatives and libertarians than I let on and ultimately my views are no different from Alborn’s views in regards to the matter of the free market or the size of government.
This is one element that was always part of what makes me “independent,” and I am tired of being brought nearly to tears dealing with these Tea Party activists who seek to do nothing more than rewrite history and stop all rational debate while neglecting the more important issues of health care and insurance reform.
The Coffee Party is the answer we have been looking for to send the message to Washington that we sent them there to get something done, not just play procedural games while Americans suffer.
We’ll see if they even want me around, they have a statement about “no pundits and partisans and strategists” … that’s me three for three. But punditry can be declared, partisanship can be avoided and they will want my strategies if they ever give me a chance to share them … so maybe I am reading too much into that statement.
I encourage you to join the Coffee Party, too!
We are a group of concerned Americans who want government “that responds to the needs of the majority of its citizens as expressed by our votes and by our voices; NOT corporate interests as expressed by misleading advertisements and campaign contributions.”
(other “dupe” web-groups have already begun to spawn in response to the Coffee Party, only these websites are Coffee Party Movement)
Have you ever seen this YouTube Channel called “LiberalViewer“?
I personally would aspire toward having a blog more to the nature of the work of LiberalViewer in days to come.
See for yourself.
“This Fall, the rubber gloves meet the road.”
Find the MAHD on:
Quoting from MadAsHellDoctors.com:
This issue and it’s seriousness is severely under-reported or completely propagandized in some media outlets.
Quoting Dr. Hochfeld from a radio interview with Alan Colmes of Fox News:
“60% of doctors are in favor of government health insurance. The vast majority of primary care providers are in favor of it.”
“We are down to about 30% primary care providers in this country, we should be at about 50%. The more primary care providers you have, and the more resources you put into primary care, the better your health care outcomes and at a lower cost.”
“We are wasting 20% of our dollars on health care costs. It’s a threat to our security. We can’t afford to throw money at health care.”
“Once we get rid of the insurance companies we can have a health care system run by health care professionals.”
“The way ‘single-payer’ works is we take the money we are now spending on health care .. 60% of this 2.4 trillion dollars is already going through the government .. instead of calling it ‘insurance premiums’ it’s just called ‘health tax’. It’s not more money, it’s the same money. Because we cut out the insurance companies, we actually get more for our health care dollars.”
“I’m mad as hell about the political process.”
“I think he [Obama] learned that the industry is far more powerful than he could ever imagine and our political process is far more corrupt than he could ever have predicted.”
This last quote is vital for me to point out.
I find it disturbing those on the left would find it easy to throw the man we elected to change things for the better down the stairs just because the system is broken.
That’s why we elected him.
Let the man work!
This is called “incrementalism” and in my view President Obama should have just gone for the whole-nine-yards of single-payer but it’s looking like that’s not going to happen. Mostly because they are all corrupt in Congress and hyper-corrupt in the GOP so it’s just plain outside of the list of options before Obama.
Or at least that’s my take.
I support Mad as Hell Doctors and all those fighting for Universal Health Care.
My heart is with you. Let’s keep making this case until the establishment will finally listen.
Please watch this video for an explanation of what McCarthyism is and how FOX News personality Glenn Beck is leading the charge of it’s revival in the US.