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Teaching kids to lose weight... en Espanol!

Check out this ad I saw on TV for childhood obesity prevention, sponsored by the U.S. Government:

Yep. All in Spanish. Here in the United States.

My blood boiled when I saw it.

It brought to mind a particular quote (emphasis mine):

In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.
- Theodore Roosevelt, January 3, 1919

Roosevelt also told the Kansas City Star in 1918 that "Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or to leave the country... English should be the only language taught or used in the public schools."

What a switch, huh? Not only is English not the national language, but it isn't the only language taught in our schools, and we have ads commissioned by our own government in Spanish.

Also, does anyone think that this does Spanish-speaking children any favors? Coddling them won't help them assimilate. It's fine for them to grow up here in the U.S. speaking Spanish, but if we expect them to be able to grow up as productive adults, then they need to learn English. And that isn't going to happen if we're accomodating them with Spanish at every turn.


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Comments (26)

Teddy Roosevelt also had a... (Below threshold)
I'm An Asshat:

Teddy Roosevelt also had a penchant for referring to Latin Americans as "dagoes" and also referred to the 1891 lynching of eleven Italian immigrants as "a rather good thing".

Your argument isn't exactly a smackdown scenario.

Maybe if it were an ad in E... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

Maybe if it were an ad in English with subtitles. That would be another way to teach healthier eating as well as the dominant language of the U.S.

"Also, does anyone think th... (Below threshold)
Herman:

"Also, does anyone think that this does Spanish-speaking children any favors? Coddling them won't help them assimilate." -- Cassy

But helping them avoid obesity will make them healthier. And that's a good thing.

Only if the instructions in... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Only if the instructions in spanish on losing weight included a long walk to the closest border crossing.

Querida Cassy,Ya w... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Querida Cassy,

Ya well, old Roosevelt got a little worked up about the whole immigrant thing around WWI. He also felt that, despite thousands of years of occupation, Native Americans had no claim to their lands. This was because he thought they were all nomads who didn't know how to use land properly. He was pretty damn wrong about that.

Source.

In short: let's not use Roosevelt as the paragon of logic when it comes to talking about who gets to be a citizen and who doesn't.

I'd love to see you try to lobby for a national language. How would we police that? Would we make Spanish and any other non-English a misdemeanor to speak, or worse? I'm sure that would jive well with the democratic ideals of the USA. I mean, "freedom" is only a suggestion, right?

In all honesty, I think your post is a complete over-reaction to a non-issue. I see no reason why speaking Spanish should be such a threat to anyone.

Saludos.


cividis:Only if... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

cividis:

Only if the instructions in spanish on losing weight included a long walk to the closest border crossing

Speaking Spanish is by no means illegal, CD. But you already know that, right?

"Check out this ad I saw on... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Check out this ad I saw on TV.."

Cassy, what station were you watching and when did you see this? From what I saw on the goggle is this Ad was launched last March ('07) and I would think it ran on Spanish language stations since there is a an English version of the the same PSA.

Why don't you come clean and tell us the truth?

People who think it's a ter... (Below threshold)

People who think it's a terrible problem being overrun by Mexican immigrants should pause and reflect how much worse it might be to be overrun by FAT Mexican immigrants.

Native Americans, making Sp... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Native Americans, making Spanish illegal..wtf
this post isn't about any of that crap....

It is about how to convey messages of ANY kind to the general public. Whether liberals like it or not, ENGLISH is the primary language spoken in the USA. EVERY person in the USA must use english if they want to be guaranteed to understand public messages.

Oh and ryan A...
It's not about banning spanish or any other language, it's about WHAT language will be USED to communicate public messages with AMERICAN citizens....ENGLISH WILL be THAT language ..get it!?

I can't believe I'm going to agree with Barney but, I do hope this was on Telemundo or something and NOT ABC,CBS or whatever.

Now that it has been over t... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Now that it has been over two hours without an response I have to assume that Cassy was lying about seeing this on TV recently. My guess is that she saw this on another blog and wanted to make this story her own without back checking.

Other than DJ, Cassy is the least likely to due her due diligence, so I am not surprised.

I'd love to see yo... (Below threshold)
I'd love to see you try to lobby for a national language. How would we police that? Would we make Spanish and any other non-English a misdemeanor to speak, or worse?

who said we had to police it? just allow businesses, schools, and government offices to operate on an english-only basis. i work at a bank in the apple capital of the world, with a large chunk of hispanic customers. following the main roads, we're roughly 1400 miles away from the mexican border. there is no reason i should have to speak a foreign language inside my own country to do business.

Hey Barney..Remember... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Hey Barney..
Remember...don't ASS U ME anything......

You made a point...now don't go being a pain in the ass.

Why are they doing this in ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing PLover:

Why are they doing this in hispanic what about english how much money are they shelling out for this bilinguial poppycock bull kaka?

Still nothing from Cassy? ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Still nothing from Cassy? Maybe she should call Jay and ask her how she can lie her way out of this?

Assimilate?Conform?<... (Below threshold)
anon:

Assimilate?
Conform?
Acquiescence?
Obedience?

When do we start rounding them up?

45 million, yes million, Americans don't speak English at home.

Looks like a long road ahead.

Xenophobia much?

Still nothing from Cassy... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Still nothing from Cassy? Maybe she should call Jay and ask her how she can lie her way out of this?

Unlike you Barney, who probably has an cable modem as an IV line 24/7, Cassy does have other things to do than to stare at the screen on tenterhooks waiting for your rambling verbal ejaculations. You know, she has a family and whatnot.

Addendum...it doesn't matte... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Addendum...it doesn't matter if it was broadcast on Telemundo, ABC, or the X-rated Spice channel, the point (which you chose to ignore) was that this was a GOVERNMENT SPONSORED PSA, and here is the relevant quote from Cassy:

"What a switch, huh? Not only is English not the national language, but it isn't the only language taught in our schools, and we have ads commissioned by our own government in Spanish."

If a private corporation wants to create an ad in Spanish, French, or !Xhoso, that's their business, but leave my tax dollars out of it.

Barney, I'm feeling generou... (Below threshold)

Barney, I'm feeling generous. You have 24 hours to back up your accusation against me, apologize for it, or find a new blog to infest.

J.

I have visited Texas many t... (Below threshold)
Buckeye:

I have visited Texas many times. On one visit I had a conversation with one of their citizens of Mexican descent. She told me that her children learned to speak English because they knew that was necessary to get ahead in America. Pretty smart.

You are right jay. I am so... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

You are right jay. I am sorry for accusing you of being a girl.

Actually, Barney, I saw the... (Below threshold)

Actually, Barney, I saw the ad on MTV yesterday afternoon. After I saw it, I searched on YouTube to see if I could find it. I did, so I wrote a post on it. End of story.

And yes, I do have a life outside of blogging, unlike you apparently. I was not ignoring you -- believe it or not, you do not intimidate me in the least. I just don't police my blogs to make sure that I haven't offended the tender liberal sensibilities of libtards like you.

Congratulations, Barney! Yo... (Below threshold)

Congratulations, Barney! You've been promoted to the exalted rank of Commenter Emeritus, joining the illustrious ranks of astigafa, muirgeo, and nogo postal among other worthies. I hope you enjoy bright future as some other blog's pain in the ass.

J.

Hey if you are a mexican in... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Hey if you are a mexican in the U.S. and you refuse to learn English then you have every right to come on over to my house and clean it--or mow my lawn.

Ads in Spanish from the Fed... (Below threshold)
newton:

Ads in Spanish from the Feds? It has been going on for years! That's old news!

Heck! I've seen many like these in Puerto Rico years ago! And that's a U.S. territory where most people speak everyday Spanish to begin with.

nogo postal....I have fond ... (Below threshold)
David:

nogo postal....I have fond memories of the mentally challenged little guy.

I can't understand how or w... (Below threshold)
The Seedist:

I can't understand how or why people can look at this Spanish issue any way but with offense. If you move to Japan and refuse to speak Japanese, French in France, German in Deutschland, (etc) you can never be considered a true citizen. That's really insulting, too... Must you make a country bend down and adjust to your pleasing?

I share the sentiment that there should be English insistence. Check 'em a year in, and if they haven't learned considerable English by then, they deserve the boot. That's not inhumane or unjust -- that's carrying your load instead of giving it to others.




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