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(The Tennessean)   Welcome to Tennessee. Learn English, or we'll take your kid   ( tennessean.com) divider line
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35801 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Jan 2005 at 2:10 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-01-29 08:51:48 AM  
Tatum said his admonition didn't come out of malice or the urge to Americanize an immigrant.

Now what exactly is wrong with expecting someone immigrating to America, to Americanize to some degree.

If they didnt want to become Americans, why are they in America?
 
BC
2005-01-29 08:53:18 AM  
Yes, I'll invite the flame war. I used the HERO tag.

/bc
 
BC
2005-01-29 08:56:48 AM  
Precisely, jqfarker.

I mean...hey, pack all your stuff, move somewhere in search of an opportunity to make your fortune...that takes guts. I admire that.

But to get there and demand that those giving the opportunity change THEIR ways of life, business, etc, to meet YOUR demands? That's just downright pathetic.
 
2005-01-29 08:58:02 AM  
I dont exactly see how this could generate a flame war.

In the article it was a suggestion. The woman was there because she was not providing proper medical attention for her child.

Its a plain and simple fact. If you are not capable of speaking the language in the country you are in, you severely limit your capability of residing in that country.

But to be fair, I dont think anyone should be forced to learn English in America. Anyone however wishing any sort of immigrant status that is not willing to learn English however, can go.

Most countries have this same requirement.
 
BC
2005-01-29 09:01:59 AM  
But to be fair, I dont think anyone should be forced to learn English in America. Anyone however wishing any sort of immigrant status that is not willing to learn English however, can go.

Agreed.
 
2005-01-29 09:02:21 AM  
Oh yeah just to add because I didnt mention it.

No someone should not have their child taken away for refusing to learn English.

However they should be expidited out of the country, as they have no real interest in becoming and American, and have no reason to be in America past the end of a tourist visa.
 
2005-01-29 09:06:42 AM  
I don't think anyone should be forced to learn English. However, if they don't want to, they certainly shouldn't expect any help.
 
2005-01-29 09:06:55 AM  
BC

I will be more than happy to take the opposing view however, if you were really looking for a flamewar
 
2005-01-29 09:08:11 AM  
I'm all for making Americanized English the national language and making the ability to speak, read and write in it at, at least a 9th grade level a requirement for citizenship.
But this shiat is going too far. This judge has no legal grounds for this. Hero my ass, Asshat more likely.
 
2005-01-29 09:08:54 AM  
I am all for immigration, it adds cultural diversity but then you get some asshats who refuse to learn and respect the customs/language/ways of the country they are immigrating to and expect the countrys population to adapt to them instead.

If you don't like the way we live don't come here.

/rant
 
2005-01-29 09:13:40 AM  
Tatum said his admonition didn't come out of malice or the urge to Americanize an immigrant. Instead, the judge said he worried that the woman's 2-year-old daughter would miss out on opportunities because of her mother's inability to communicate in English.

Yeah he sounds like a regular tyrant.

When parents dont worry about their children, there are judges just like him that are put in place to worry about them.
 
2005-01-29 09:16:47 AM  
The article doesn't seem to be clear on whether or not this was a suggestion or a court order that could lead to the loss of parental rights. Although we don't have a national language, fluency in English can only help someone get ahead. If the judge's statement was a suggestion on how to improve your life I have no problem with this. If the judge is actually threatening to remove someone's children if they don't learn English he should be removed from the bench.
 
2005-01-29 09:17:45 AM  
I second Chaz. hereo, my ass. he's a farkin' tool. Along with the rest of asshats who support him. Sorry, but if you can't see why I say that, you're less of an American than she is.

If you don't like the way we live don't come here.

Oh, and mighty French of you, Malcy.
 
2005-01-29 09:18:34 AM  
I meant...hero, my ass.
 
2005-01-29 09:22:34 AM  
There's nothing compelling us to speak English, to learn English or be able to write English.

No, moving to an English-speaking country doesn't seem like a very compelling reason to me either.
 
2005-01-29 09:23:08 AM  
What a prick.

Learn the language of your new home = good.

Learn the language or the state will take your children = idiotic and oppressive no matter the intentions.
 
2005-01-29 09:29:19 AM  
Miles_OToole:

There's nothing compelling us to speak English, to learn English or be able to write English.

No, moving to an English-speaking country doesn't seem like a very compelling reason to me either.


Those statements are not incompatible. There are no laws compelling people to learn English or speak English just because they live in America. That being said, learning English is probably the biggest thing someone new to America can do to increase their chances of success.
 
2005-01-29 09:30:52 AM  
I find it very disturbing for a judge to tell someone what language to speak and what language to teach their children. Asinine indeed in a free society.

In the same vein, one of the first things immigrants of old did when coming over was to learn the language of their adopted homeland. They knew tht if they were to succeed in their new country, communication was a must. I think it is asinine for the US to bend over backwards to acommodate those that wish to come here and not become a functional part of the unique American culture.
 
2005-01-29 09:31:51 AM  
He said the mother's ability to learn English in this week's case would not directly influence her custody over the toddler.

''There are no repercussions in terms of termination of parental rights,'' Tatum said.

You'll have to put away your "Evil Fascist" signs.
 
2005-01-29 09:33:27 AM  
jqfarker: Most countries have this same requirement.


I don't hear you farkers speaking Chippewa.

This is a nation of immigrants, many of the post-union immigrants from non-english speaking countries never learned to speak english at all, but their children were just fine. They had their ethnic communities to help them out.

The same model is working well today with the new waves of immigration. The same arguments you people are using were being said about your ancestors in one way or another, unless you just happen to have an untainted Mayflower bloodline, but then you'd be a hideous inbred monstrosity.

I'm yer Rasputin.
 
2005-01-29 09:33:43 AM  
The judge didnt say you have no choice. He said if you dont learn English you may miss opportunities for your child because you dont understand the language.

And thats exactly what its like in America and every other country. If you cant speak the native language, you have alot of obstacles for both you and your children.

Funny how being politically correct is the only thing that matters. Being actually right about a statement is a far second .
 
2005-01-29 09:35:11 AM  
I don't hear you farkers speaking Chippewa.

I dont speak Russian either. Good for me neither is the language of my country.

However I am lucky. Canada has both English and French as official languages. As long as I know at least one of them I am fine.
 
2005-01-29 09:35:46 AM  
This judge has no legal grounds for this.

I hate to do anything to earn the ire of NMPH, but there are legal grounds for this. The Mother, as an immigrant, has limited rights under the law. The child, born on American Soil, is a fully entitled American Citizen. If the mother is neglecting her child the state has the right to remove the child and place it into a state home. The 18 year old mother was neglecting the child by failing to follow-up on basic healthcare requirements, which is why she was brought into court.

The 'you need to learn english' case is another mother. We can't honestly comment on that case because the details are sealed as Juvenile Records. Really this is a case of a reporter trying to say 2 + X = 5. Why 5? Because he said so, therefore it must be true.

My core opinion on the matter... I had to learn english, so did everyone on this board. Why should it be any different from anyone else in this country?
 
2005-01-29 09:36:10 AM  
There are no laws compelling people to learn English or speak English just because they live in America.

Nor should there be laws like that. But for the guy to say there were no compelling reasons...that's nonsense.

In the same vein, one of the first things immigrants of old did when coming over was to learn the language of their adopted homeland.

Exactly, Dancin. Three of my four grandparents were immigrants...and I'm told that's exactly what they did.
 
2005-01-29 09:37:37 AM  
jqfarker: I dont speak Russian either. Good for me neither is the language of my country.


Canada does have the requirement to learn at least one of the languages, if I'm not mistaken.

But then, Canada's a monarchy, right?
 
BC
2005-01-29 09:38:33 AM  
YAY! A flame war. :)

I appreciate the offer, jqfarker...but it appears it won't be necessary. :)

Bottom line...you're a parent. It's your responsibility, morally, ethically, and legally, to take basic steps to provide for your children.

That includes learning to speak the farking language.

If you're not willing to do that, I figure you have two choices.

Take your kid and go back to wherever it is they speak your language, or let someone else raise your kid...because you obviously aren't willing to.

/bc
 
2005-01-29 09:38:54 AM  
And for the 3 post

This is a nation of immigrants, many of the post-union immigrants from non-english speaking countries never learned to speak english at all, but their children were just fine. They had their ethnic communities to help them out.

My family is immigrants. They moved here not knowing any English. They had some help from their ethnic communities, but we didnt prosper until my grandfather and father learned English

My grandfather was a ditch digger until he learned English. They he got a job at the local gas company where he spent 25 more years. My father learned english and got the education he needed.

You may get by, but you more than likely wont prosper.
 
2005-01-29 09:41:38 AM  
jqfarker: Canada has both English and French as official languages.


You should be speaking Mic Mac or Mohawk.
 
2005-01-29 09:43:11 AM  
BC:

Bottom line...you're a parent. It's your responsibility, morally, ethically, and legally, to take basic steps to provide for your children.

That includes learning to speak the farking language.



It does not include learning to speak the language. This is America for chrissakes...what ever happend to do what you want and suffer the good or bad the comes from your decision?
 
2005-01-29 09:44:03 AM  
Well said D_I_A, my thoughts exactly.
 
2005-01-29 09:44:49 AM  
BC:

Bottom line...you're a parent. It's your responsibility, morally, ethically, and legally, to take basic steps to provide for your children.

That same line of thought would have us removing children from parents who didn't teach basic sex ed, basic money management or (depending on how you defined "provide") just didn't make enough money. Why should we give the government the right to take children away from parents just because we don't think the parents (who are not breaking any law) aren't raising their kids in the "right" way?
 
BC
2005-01-29 09:45:26 AM  
Dancin_In_anson

...what ever happend to do what you want and suffer the good or bad the comes from your decision?

Her pregnancy.

You wanna live and die your own life on your own merits, fine.

You want to jeopardize your child's welfare because you're a second-handed leech? Not fine.
 
2005-01-29 09:46:12 AM  
agree with Dancin_In_Anson on this one. why the hero tag? let them do what they farking want. this is America and according to capitalism, if they cant compete in the market, they'll be swept under before they know it. that's the way the system works.
 
2005-01-29 09:48:13 AM  
jqfarker

Canada has both English and French as official languages. As long as I know at least one of them I am fine.

On the other hand, you don't see our judges taking kids away from Cantonese immigrants for not having learned either.

I agree with D_I_A (And I've been doing that far too much, lately). One should feel compelled to learn the language of the country they've immigrated into, but it's not up to the judicial wing of government to force them to do so. The fact that they can't get more than under-the-table jobs should be encouragement enough.
 
2005-01-29 09:48:47 AM  
Immigration is a two way street.

The country you emigrate to will give you a chance to benefit from its society.

In turn, you agree to become a productive member of that society.

You choose not to, you dont belong. You can keep your language, your heritage, your customs, your religion. But not acclamating yourself with the customs of the country you move to means you do not deserve what that country gives you.
 
2005-01-29 09:49:29 AM  
jqfarker: You may get by, but you more than likely wont prosper.


Agreed. But to try and require it of someone by law or resent their not knowing is just plain xenophobic.

Here's a little more kerosene. In this country, if you are over 30 and can't speak english, you are considered legally disabled and can draw benefits.
 
2005-01-29 09:49:49 AM  
I think the article wasn't very clear about exactly what the implications of the judge's ruling were, so I'm reluctant to call him an asshat, but he's certainly no hero.

If a parent is neglecting his/her child, make a ruling based on those facts, not based on what language the parent speaks. It's fine to suggest that a parent learn English, and I think it's a good suggestion which would benefit the family in the long run. But to mandate it with some arbitrary time limit and then threaten the parent with losing custody... that's wrong.

Again, it's not clear to me from the article whether the judge is actually doing that -- I'm just talking about what I think is appropriate. As quoted in TFA: "There's no relationship between being a good parent and speaking English."
 
2005-01-29 09:50:03 AM  
GWShenlong05

The judge didnt take anyones kid away.

He suggested to one to learn English to give her child more opportunities in America.

The told the other one to learn it for the same reason or there could be a hearing to decide if she is looking out for the best interests of her child.

Nobody has had a child taken away, dont argue like it has happened.
 
2005-01-29 09:50:50 AM  
I think people need to RTFA better. The article is talking about two different cases. There's the case this week where the judge "insisted that an 18-year-old Mexican woman take language classes and consider using birth control." That's all fine and good. It's merely a suggestion, and as the judge said, "The mother's ability to learn English in this week's case would not directly influence her custody over the toddler."

Then there is the case this Gonzales guy is appealing. In that case, Gonzales is arguing that "Tatum ordered a Mexican woman in a child neglect case last year to learn basic English within six months. If she didn't comply, the lawyer said, a hearing was to be held to consider terminating the mother's parental rights to her 11-year-old daughter."

To reiterate:
Suggesting that a mother learn English for the sake of her child = okay!
Threatening to remove child from mother's home for not knowing English = not okay!
 
2005-01-29 09:51:35 AM  
disgruntella:

I think the article wasn't very clear about exactly what the implications of the judge's ruling were, so I'm reluctant to call him an asshat, but he's certainly no hero.


But local civil rights attorney Jerry Gonzalez said the latest case sounded ominously similar to another recent order issued by Tatum a decision that Gonzalez is appealing.

In that case, Gonzalez said, Tatum ordered a Mexican woman in a child neglect case last year to learn basic English within six months. If she didn't comply, the lawyer said, a hearing was to be held to consider terminating the mother's parental rights to her 11-year-old daughter.
 
2005-01-29 09:55:50 AM  

Agreed. But to try and require it of someone by law or resent their not knowing is just plain xenophobic.


xenophobic would not allowing them the chance to become Americans. Asking that immigrants make an effort to learn English is not xenophobicoontil all government services, education systems, employment opportunites are available in the immigrants language whatever it should be exist, not learning english is very detrimental to both yourself and your children.

Parents job is to make the best life possible for their children. Refusing to learn the local language when its not that difficult, can be dont for almost no cost, and will enrich both you and your childrens lives may not be child neglect, but it sure isnt looking out for your children.
 
2005-01-29 09:56:15 AM  
You wanna live and die your own life on your own merits, fine.

You want to jeopardize your child's welfare because you're a second-handed leech? Not fine


I don't know what your political leanings are, but I'm going to take a stab at somewhere between moderate conservative and Pat Buchanan. For all the talk that so many of you make about personal responsibility and the free market, some of you guys sure have trouble keeping your lines straight.

Weakner said it best. You either learn the language of the country, or you get left behind. That's how the capitalist market works. Adapt or drown. But the way one chooses to run their household, as long as they aren't doing anything illegal, is none of the government's business. Learning the country's language will obviously benifit one's children, but it's not up to the law to force a parent to give their kid a leg up.

Earning a university degree and investing in real estate might give your kids the best shot at a successful life, but you don't see anyone's kids getting taken away because their parent didn't contribute enough to their GICs for that year.
 
2005-01-29 09:57:49 AM  
You Americans need to learn proper English yourselves before you start telling others to speak it.
 
2005-01-29 09:59:26 AM  
jqfarker:

Immigration is a two way street.

The country you emigrate to will give you a chance to benefit from its society.

In turn, you agree to become a productive member of that society.


As an ideal; yes, but we don't require you to be productive nor have laws enforcing your productivity (if we did, I'd be in big trouble). We promise the opportunity to succeed but we don't, and shouldn't, punish people who don't fully take advantage of that opportunity. They just don't do as well.

D_I_A is right on with this one. People are free to do what they want. They just have to live with the consequences.
 
2005-01-29 09:59:31 AM  
jqfarker

I was referring to this other case that was brought up in the article:

...local civil rights attorney Jerry Gonzalez said the latest case sounded ominously similar to another recent order issued by Tatum a decision that Gonzalez is appealing.

In that case, Gonzalez said, Tatum ordered a Mexican woman in a child neglect case last year to learn basic English within six months. If she didn't comply, the lawyer said, a hearing was to be held to consider terminating the mother's parental rights to her 11-year-old daughter.
 
2005-01-29 10:02:12 AM  
miek:

D_I_A is right on with this one. People are free to do what they want. They just have to live with the consequences.

PJ O'Rourke said it best:

"There's only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."
 
2005-01-29 10:02:14 AM  
ceejayoz:

You Americans need to learn proper English yourselves before you start telling others to speak it.

OMGLOL waht do u meen??? ;) :0
 
2005-01-29 10:03:52 AM  
GWShenlong05

Neither of these mothers was in court because of their English.

One was in court for not providing adequate medical coverage to their children, the other for neglecting their children. If not knowing English was a factor in either of these cases, then its a valid point.

This is not a capitalist, socialist, communist point of view. Knowledge of the language is a citizenship requirement in most countries in the world regardless of their form of government.

If you have an objection to learning the language in use in the country you are moving to, or you refuse to accept any parts of the society that you wish to join, why are you moving there?
 
2005-01-29 10:11:59 AM  
threadjack!

The mother in this week's case was brought up on neglect charges for not providing basic immunization. Some parents are legally allowed to neglect their children by not immunizing them, for example, those who oppose immunization due to religious objection (Christian Scientists). Why is it neglect for this immigrant to not immunize her kid, but not neglect for Christian Scientists to not immunize their kids? Doesn't singling out a particular religion to allow them to do things (or not do things) that are otherwise illegal violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment?

/just playing Devil's Advocate here, folks.
 
2005-01-29 10:13:07 AM  
nmph

Nice bait:-P

I'm too busy drinking my big fat mug of coffee and getting ready for a babyshower (whoo hoo!) to respond.
 
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