� Pimpjuice! | Main | Freedom Isn't Free �

September 02, 2003

Arnold's Turn on the Spit

I'll confess to being a bit cross about the recent flap over Mecha & Bustamante, but I was not prepared for a bit of a deeper look to land me where it did. In a twist of irony, I find that I need Arnold to answer some tough questions about his participation in US English.

The short version of this story is that Tagorda may have been prophetic in his warning to conservatives not to push Bustamante's buttons too harshly. Because of the fact that I would hardly expect a bodybuilder/movie star's sex life to pass any amount of scrutiny, I haven't paid attentions to scandals surrounding Arnold. As well, I have dismissed guilty by association accusations about him and Kurt Waldheim. What I cannot dismiss is his 12 year board membership with US English, founded as it was by a new creep I have just discovered by the name of John Tanton.

I take my lead from Body & Soul:

Put aside, for a moment, the fact that "English only" laws -- the focus of the group's work -- don't serve to encourage immigrants to learn English (ESL classes in most places are packed full), but rather to restrict the government's ability to communicate with and provide services to non-English-speaking residents. Beyond that, U.S. English is hardly a benign organization. Its co-founder, John Tanton, founded or helped fund at least 13 anti-immigration groups, three of which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as "hate groups," including this charming collection of vigilantes. Tanton's no longer associated with U.S. English, but one of their current spokesmen is James Lubinskas, a contributing editor to the neo-Confederate American Renaissance magazine.

These are not the antics of highschoolers and sophomores. This is a bit more serious. I've dealt with AmRen folks online before, and nothing describes them better than 'angry white male'. They are not the worst kind of bigots, but they try the patience of anyone without blood & soil sympathies.

Arnold Schwartzenegger has serious questions to answer and I'm more than a bit shocked that I want him to. I'm sure there will be a lot more to come on this matter.

By the way, Proposition 54 is showstopper anyway.

Posted by mbowen at September 2, 2003 01:48 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Arnold's Turn on the Spit:

I don't have to say anything about MEChA, do I? from Prometheus 6
I do? Okay. They're not as bad as Arnold's boys.... [Read More]

Tracked on September 2, 2003 04:14 PM


Ron Unz, who is pro-immigration, has been a major advocate of English education for students. The following website deals with this issue, from the perspective of Mr. Unz and other pro-immigrant, pro-America, pro-English leaders:

I think that the strongest advocates for opposing multi-lingual education, and encouraging English immersion, to thereby help the children succeed, are people who are immigrants, and who may not have had English as their first language. All across the world, people are learning English, because they recognize that this is the language of opportunity. All of our nation's youth should be taught English as soon as possible, so that we can be one nation, united in communication by a single language. This is what is best for our youth, for all of our citizens (regardless of ethnicity, origin, and background), and for our nation as a whole.

Posted by: Aakash at September 2, 2003 03:43 PM

You are right of course. This is the reason I find French citizenship directly analogous to ours. You speak the language, you embrace open society, you join into pluralism and you reap the benefits. Americans do not have a monopoly of liberty or democracy. There is nothing in any form of legitimate multiculturalism which conflicts with these ideas.

There is a difference however, between language immersion & advocacy for strong English skills, and anti-immigration sentiment. There is nothing I have seen from those affiliated with American Renaissence that indicates to me that that they are anything other than monoculturalists with white supremacist appeals. This is what USEnglish appears to be as a creation of Tanton now run by Lubinskas.

I would be interested to know which educational groups and English professors find positive things to say about USEnglish' programs and perscriptions. Even given the benefit of the doubt that they are not actually nativist, I don't see the great need for such organizations. Generations upon generations of American immigrants have learned English without the help of non-profit groups. To be blunt about it, all the public schools teach English and the public libraries are still free. The value of speaking English in America is self-evident and there is nothing about the multicultural movement that suggests that English be marginalized.

Posted by: Cobb at September 2, 2003 04:00 PM