Official English—For Indians, Too
Oklahoma Republican House Representative
George Faught, of Muskogee, wants English to be the
language of Americans—or at least of
Oklahomans. He has introduced a bill to that end: HB
1423, the "Oklahoma
English Language Act", which requires that all
business of the state be
conducted in English, made it through committee on
February 7, 2007.
It`s not nearly
the powerful kind of language law that was
passed in California—a state that has one of the
three highest Indian populations in the United States
(though many of the Indians have moved there from other
states). [VDARE.COM note:
Furthermore, the bill expressly states:
"Nothing in this section
shall be construed to diminish the usage of, prevent the
study or development of, or discourage the use of,
any Native American language in any context or for
Yet Cherokee Nation Principal Chief
Chad Smith [send
mail] said he
opposes the bill because it casts Oklahomans as
isolationists who reject
different cultures. "This creates an image of how
Oklahoma will represent itself to the rest of the nation
and the world", Smith said. Smith said state
government should be encouraging people to broaden their
knowledge and learn
as many languages as they can. He called the bill
"a slap in the face of American Indians". . [English-only
bill advances House panel By Jennifer Mock,
Oklahoman, February 8, 2007.]
FoxNews reported that George
Tiger, a member of the
Muscogee (Creek) Nation and chairman of the
United Indian Nations of Oklahoma, said tribal
governments support school language preservation
programs that could be harmed by the measure
Indians Urge Oklahoma State Lawmakers to Oppose `English
Only` Measure, February 09, 2007 ]
But how? Didn`t the tribal leaders read the bill?
Smith stated: "Our great state has been blessed
with more than 35 Indian nations, each of which has a
unique culture. Part of that culture comes from the
richness of native languages, which have been spoken
here for centuries before Oklahoma became a state."
Spoken centuries before statehood. Still spoken
today. Therefore, protected by HB 1423.
Indeed, Smith`s statement is itself the evidence that
there is no relation between HB 1423 and the use of
American Indian language. What he claims as reason to
protest is precisely reason not to be concerned.
It`s just Democrat, Leftist paranoia at work again.
Similarly, Rep. Jerry McPeak, Democrat, says: "I`m
embarrassed to be a part of a Legislature that takes
part in legislation like this." McPeak, a
member of the Creek tribe, said "I am sure that
this piece of legislation is nothing more than political
fluff, designed to scare people."
Why on earth would any American Indian leaders object
to legislation affirming that
English is the language of the United States?
Indians have been
speaking English for
some 300 years now. Are these Indian leaders
seriously worried that such legislation will have any
affect whatsoever on Indian language and culture of the
two hundred Indian languages still spoken today?
Oklahoma legislation is simply about preventing
illegal aliens—Mexicans—from defacing American culture.
It has nothing to do with American Indians.
English-only legislation has been provoked by the
7 to 20 million mostly Spanish-speaking people
illegally immigrated to the United States. Altogether,
there an estimated
40 to 50 million such speakers in the US. Many of
them are bilingual. But
an increasing number are not. And the hordes of
Latino illegal and legal immigrants currently coming to
the America often
don`t speak English. As a result, these days getting
increasingly requires that the
applicant has some
knowledge of Spanish. Certain far-sighted leaders in
America think this is a wrong trend. They want to
correct it. They are right.
Unfortunately, to the
liberal Democratic way of thinking, all
non-white people are
the same interests. That`s another George Soros
specialty, as lately manifested through
Robert Redford`s Sundance Institute, which
They are bragging about how they have made the
"Native American Initiative" film department into a
racist vortex for
Asians, Africans, Pacific Islanders, and homosexuals.
No sir! As an Indian—not
a "Native American"—I definitely
think "English Only" is a good thing.
It means I`m Indian, not Mexican. I`m
Comanche, not Maori! I`m a man, not a herded animal.
Dr. David A. Yeagley [email
is an enrolled member of the
and on his own Web site
and he is a regular speaker for
Young America`s Foundation.
David Yeagley`s columns for VDARE.COM include
An American Indian View of Immigration, and
To Deport or not to Deport.
David Yeagley is the author of Bad Eagle: The Rantings of a Conservative Comanche.