Santorum tells Puerto Rico to speak English

Santorum doubles down on bigotry again:

“We need to work together and determine what type of relationship we want to develop,” he told the newspaper.

But Santorum said he did not support a state in which English was not the primary language.

“Like any other state, there has to be compliance with this and any other federal law,” Santorum said. “And that is that English has to be the principal language. There are other states with more than one language such as Hawaii but to be a state of the United States, English has to be the principal language.”

Jason Links does a good job of pointing out ignorance and incoherency of this outburst (including the fact that there is no law that says you must speak English in order to be admitted as a state) but Santorum is not likely to be the 2012 nominee (2016 is a different matter). Santorum does have the ability to raise campaign topics that the Romney camp would surely wish to keep as silent as possible on. Statehood for Puerto Rico is one of those issues.

Residents of Puerto Rico don’t get to vote in the presidential election but Puerto Ricans living on the US mainland do, and the Puerto Rican community in Florida is possibly large enough to tip the election. And even though the issue of Statehood is contentious amongst those living on the island, Puerto Ricans living on the mainland tend to be overwhelmingly in favor of it. Which would of course make supporting Puerto Rican statehood a no-brainer for a candidate, if only the GOP had not spent the past four years fulminating against ‘illegals’ which their audience (and Latinos) understood was a codeword for ‘Latinos’.

NOTE FROM JOHN: I do wish the Republicans would stop using the English language as code for bashing Latinos and other immigrants.  There is a valid argument to be made for every American citizen learning English, without always having to resort to the hysteria and bigotry that pervades the GOP.

Our language unites us as Americans, whether it’s written in law or not.  And I’m someone who speaks five languages (including Spanish), so I’m sympathetic to immigrants and to other languages, not to mention the fact that my mom is, and all of my grandparents were, immigrants.  But they threw my mom in first grade, right off the boat from Greece, even though she was old enough to be a third grader, and forced her to learn English.  And she did.  And was double promoted and graduated high school with kids her own age.  So I’m sympathetic to immigrants, can’t stand when Republicans use the language issue to cloak their own prejudice, but I also believe that we should all speak a common tongue.  It’s too bad the Republicans have pretty much guaranteed that there’s no way to have a civil discussion on the topic, since civility was never their intent in the first place.

Share This Post

© 2019 AMERICAblog Media, LLC. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS