Yes, the proposed "E" Amendment would be easy enough to "demagogue." The mere thought of a "literacy test" evokes painful memories of the 1960's civil rights movement. Yet, when the full proposal is laid out and properly explained, a new revelation begins to take shape.
Marty G., an agent from a New York based, E-Publisher recently shared his thoughts on "E" is for English. In a three-way meeting with myself and my book distributor, Marty professed to be a "liberal Democrat." He admitted support for all left wing causes, ranging from abortion rights, same sex marriage, universal health care and a progressive tax system. But he also supported universal English literacy in America.
"I am a Progressive," Marty lauded. "but that doesn't make me a Communist. Your book identifies a block of Americans, perhaps 15, maybe even 20% who are functionally illiterate in English. That's scary!
"What's even more disconcerting," Marty admitted, "is that there are a small number of "power brokers" who want to keep it that way! Because, as you pointed out, illiterate people are easier to control."
When Cary J., the distributor's representitive questioned "IF" nationwide support would be possible for the "E" Amendment, Marty mused. "I grew up in Boston and have lived in both Providence and Montpelier. I can tell you now, those states would ratify the "E" Amendment."
Cary J. is a Chicago native. Calling herself a "Bill Clinton Democrat," her original observation of the book described it as a "sweet spot" between Republican Establishment and Tea party. Marty was opening up a new dimension.
"Face it," Marty explained, "this book is totally non-partisan. But, it is somewhat revolutionary." He went on to note that the public school mandate of six years of a second language, beginning in third grade, would have "heavy support" in the East. So would the teaching of Transformational Grammar.
When I pointed out Dr. Tomas Mauricio's(former University of Kentucky Associate Professor of Liberal Arts) prediction that "half the children would take Spanish, the other half electing a different language," Marty agreed.
"There would be more available Spanish teachers. Besides, 16% of the country has Spanish roots. The thought of their children learning Spanish history, geography and culture, not to mention proper "Castilian" Spanish, as opposed to "back alley "Spanglish" would have these parents aboard! Believe me! They are as focused on assimilation as my Jewish ancestors from Poland were in the 1890's!
"The "slow assent" Jeff described would be just that: a gradual immersion into the language. Third graders would start with "comic books" and word games. In the fifth grade, they would be studying geography and history of those countries that used the language.
"By the time that they were in the eighth grade, they would be reading classics like "Don Quixote.(assuming they had elected Spanish as their second language)." The summer following their Freshmen year, there would be field trips taken to those countries using their selected language."
"What does this have to do with Transformational Grammar?" Cary wanted to know. "As a matter of fact, what is Transformational Grammar?"
At that juncture, I explained that all languages were the same in deep structure. Transformational Grammar is the tranference of language from surface structure to deep structure. The goal is to teach children "how to think."
After agreeing that it all "sounded good," Cary had another question. " Why do we need to make people take a fourth grade English proficiency test to qualify for a voter I.D. card? What does this have to do with teaching six years of a second language in the public schools."
Marty had a ready answer. "Children are our future. We must make them better than we were. Learning a second language will strengthen their use of English.
"But, English is the language that most favor. If we do not "raise the bar," and force people to learn it, they won't! If we make "English only" the law, those resisting will be forced to live by it.
"People are lazy, let's face it!" Marty concluded. "We have made it possible for them not to assimilate!"
Both Marty and Cary were especially impressed with the potential savings that would come from "English only" official use, ranging from voting ballots, drivers license testing, government signage and official documents. Not to mention the immigration plan that was introduced in the book.
"There have been a lot of immigration ideas floating around." Marty reminded. "None have suggested that "passage of a 10th grade English proficiency exam," be part of the mix! But it accomplishes a lot of what the Dream Act would do. At the same time, it clarifies the 14th amendments reference to qualification. Not to mention defining entitlement eligibility."
Marty left convinced that "gaining two-thirds majorities" in both House and Senate would be "easily achievable."
When asked to predict Barack Obama's reaction to the legislation, Marty laughed, "He's a front man. Most of those behind him would not want to lose their "Sheeple." Him personally? I agree with that Chicago lawyer. I think that he would buy it!"
In essence, the "heart and soul" of the proposed "E" Amendment is "accelerated assimulation" through acceptance of English as the official language. But the goal is not for mere ceremonial use! We want our people to be the "masters" of the language, with our children taking the lead.
We also want a society that is culturally deeper. A multi-linguel population will make us stronger as a nation. We need to use this "strand" that binds us as a "unifier." Those opposing English as the official language seek to weaken us. Their aim is a global society where we are mere spoke in the wheel. Our thrust is to maintain American exceptionalism. To achieve this goal, we must be 100% literate in one language.
87% of the country says that language should be English.
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