Nativists on Parade

An AP analysis of polls taken of Americans on the eve of the 2008 campaign contains this classic tidbit:

Joseph Lyon, a 22-year-old Republican from Houston, is most troubled by a fear the U.S. will leave Iraq too soon and by immigrants who stream into the U.S. but do not learn English.

“That’s ridiculous,” said Lyon, who begins serving with the Marines early next year. “They come here to live and expect us to assimilate to them. It’s our country.”

When are anti-immigration Americans like Lyon, presumably an American citizen who was born in the United States, going to learn English?

21 Responses to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    What’s the friggin problem? In Michigan we all learned to speak Canadian. Those whinners down south ought to just learn to speak Spanish,eh?

  2. MoeLarryAndJesus Says:

    Looks like Lyon suffered his head injury before even going to Iraq.

  3. Dar Says:

    Funny that Lyon doesn’t like immigrants coming to America.

    But wants America to stay in Iraq.

    Like so many, he can’t see that the two views clash a bit.

  4. angelo Says:

    poor guy

  5. Cole Smithey Says:

    Immigration is the new code for racism.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I think they should crack down on emigration as well…goddamn easterners…bleh!!!

  7. Ted Rall Says:

    Your post inspired this coming Thursday’s cartoon. Email me and there’s a book in it for you.

  8. Owen Says:

    Well, I’d venture a guess that anything this young man says is to be damned from the get go since he’s about to join the military. He could have put his thoughts into the most eloquent statement possible and he would still get lambasted for daring to make such a statement within earshot of the PC police.

    While the right has their “war on terror”, the left embraces their own rediculous crusades. “Immigration” is one of them. It’s a fact that many immigrants (unfortunately many of them latino; I know, that’s “racist”) do come to the U.S. and they don’t make any effort to learn English. Anyone who wants to refute that has only to call a customer service line or go to an ATM. While a offer a multitude of languages to be as politically correct as possible, most offer Spanish and ENglish. Tell me, how come we never hear “Press Two for Hindi” (or Vietnamese, or German…)? Exactly.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t have a blogger login, my apologies, so I must click “anonymous”.

    My English is not the best, as I learned it as an adult. What exactly did this Lyon guy say that wasn’t proper English? Is it a grammar error to say “assimilate to” rather than “assimilate with” or “assimilate into”?

    Also, I’m not a defender of persons who don’t learn the language of the country they decide to live in. It can be done, but not all do it.

  10. MoeLarryAndJesus Says:

    Well, Owen, your rant about Spanish as an option in customer service marks you as bigot. The reason Spanish is the option available is simple to understand – it’s that we have more Hispanic immigrants than immigrants from other groups. This is a matter of geography. And my remark about Lyon isn’t in poor taste at all – it’s a timely comment both on Lyon’s apparent stupidity and the just-revealed fact that the Bushpigs have concealed thousands of brain injuries from the casualty statistics. I’m not surprised that you didn’t get it. You probably approve of everything they do.

  11. gypc_dave Says:

    Owen, if you’re going to criticize people who don’t speak English fluently, remember to use a grammar and spelling checker so the rest of us can consider the content your arguments without being distracted by your poor presentation.

  12. hamburglar Says:

    Golly gee Owen!!!

    LOLz for inventing “facts” out of the thin airz! Do you have citations to back up that amazing brain research? Can you prove that a statistically significant number of ATMs don’t speak English?

    Offering multiple languages is “PC”? Funny, I thought it was for customer service, for example, decrepit aged foreign-born parents of patriotic Americans. L0Lz I forgot to take my irrational xenophobia pills today!

    Bonus points! Offering a lot of languages is PC but you never hear languages besides SpanEnglish offered? Do you make up your flip-flops as you go along, or do you?

  13. Owen Says:

    I’m not surprised that I was attacked for daring to challenge the far left’s irrational and misguided views on immigration. As I stated in my initial posting, the left in this country is just as ridiculous as the right. I made a few comments about the fact that many immigrants, and many Hispanic immigrants, do not attempt to learn English when they come to America. For that I was called a “bigot”. I equate that to being called “anti-American” for daring to challenge the right wing’s views on national security and the “war on terror”.

    To moelarryandjesus,

    You’re intolerance for other peoples’ opinions marks you as an ignorant fool, and most likely very extreme in you beliefs. The fact that it is deplorable that medical statistics regarding brain injuries have been withheld does not necessarily mean that you should take a cheap shot at Lyon, a person you’ve never met.

    To hamburglar,

    I think it is you who is inventing facts. When did I state that ATMs in this country do not provide services in English? I stated that most ATMs provide services in English AND Spanish. I apologize if that was over your head. It most likely was. Anyone who starts a sentence with “LOLZs”… You finish the sentence.

    And Finally, To gypc_dave,

    So you’re the language master. Give yourself a medal and a pat on the back. My post was quite clear, thank you.

  14. MoeLarryAndJesus Says:

    If you’re going to call me “ignorant,” Owen, you would do well to learn the your/you’re distinction first. As for your so-called “challenge” to some straw-man version of “the left’s” position on immigration, I saw no challenges in your comments at all – just a startling lack of historical perspective. The original nativist movement in the US was called the Know-Nothings, and apparently that still holds true today.

  15. Dar Says:

    Thank you Mr. Rall.

    You’re a good man.

  16. Owen Says:

    Sorry for the typo. I didn’t realize you were so sensitive and that you’d get your panties all in a bunch. Need a tissue?

    When did I ever state that I am a “nativist”? I just don’t support open borders and unchecked illegal immigration like you do. It’s called having an infrustructure. Try to understand that.

    Have a nice day.

  17. angelo Says:

    owen, what can be more PC than saying everyone should speak English? There are far more PC police nailing people for suggesting that English should not be compulsory. We knew the language mess we were getting into by taking half of Mexico.
    Read the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. We never took over any Hindi-speaking countries. But Dole and Chiquita Banana lease 90% of the Philippines and only employ 10% of the population. The rest are forced to work abroad. Some end up here. That should count for something, right?
    Anyways, printing a voter info guide costs the same whether that English,Tagalog or Hindi.
    A common misperception is that we are spending millions printing these things. We aren’t.
    And not being able to teach my kids in their native spanish is killing their future.

  18. MightyCthulhu Says:

    I don’t see what is wrong with immigrants learning the language of the country that they have immigrated to.

    It’s the whole “assimilation” thing. You are trying to become a citizen of a new culture, not just transferring your old one to a new location.

    Imagine an American moving to Japan and not trying to learn to speak Japanese. It would be bemoaned as another example of America’s arrogance and presumption. It would be stupid!

    Is it harder to learn a new tongue later in life? Yes. Is it worth while? Yes!

  19. Ted Rall Says:

    “To assimilate” isn’t a transitive verb. One doesn’t assimilate TO anything. One assimilates, period. Or one assimilates something, as in: “During his trip to France, he assimilated a taste for escargot.”
    It’s not a major grammatical error, but it is an error nevertheless. Anyone who criticizes foreigners for not speaking proper English had better speak perfect English, all the time.

  20. Ted Rall Says:


    I agree. It’s a good idea for anyone who moves to a country to learn that country’s language. It’s for their own good. They’ll find better jobs, relate to their friends and neighbors better, and be able to read newspapers.

    That said, it’s amazing to hear anti-immigration Americans, many of whom are dumb as rocks and can’t string a noun and verb together to form a sentence, criticizing foreigners for not learning English (which is, incidentally, a difficult language).

  21. a foreign person Says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Ted. It appears my English needs polishing. I always thought that you assimilate TO something, rather than just, well, assimilating. I must, however, disagree with you about English being a difficult language. English is a fairly simple language, especially to those of us who are already familiar with another germanic language such as germany, swedish, danish et cetera, and even to those who are familiar with romanic languages such as french, spanish, italian etc. Try to learn finnish, there’s a difficult language for you!

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