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the American Ethnic Coalition which is pushing English Only in Texas, was quoted last November in the Houston Post as saying, “This is an issue of freedom to partake in the language of the ruling class” \(as if anyone would deny that radicals want to “give foreign language the same status as English.” Status that’s what it’s about. Horn alleges that bilingual education has “forced” some schools to “let immigrant students get their high school diplomas without ever learning decent English.” Prejudice against people who speak foreign languages that’s what it’s about. Zaeske said in the Dallas Morning News last November: “We are being increasingly populated by immigrants, many of them illegal,” who think they can live their __ whole lives in their native languages. Prejudice against immigrants that’s what it’s about. Horn says the English Only amendment will “stop a direct attack on the American way of life,” and Zaeske cites a study he alleges showed that many “Hispanics living in the United States” think of themselves as “Hispanics first and Americans second” “that is exactly the thing we are concerned about,” Zaeske added. Making minorities feel ashamed or unpatriotic for using the languages of their motherculture that’s what it’s about. In a slip of the tongue during the discussion we had at UT, Zaeske referred to “different color accents.” He did not mean to say that, but he said it. Different-color accents that’s what it’s about. What it is about? “I think there is a purpose,” wrote Arnold Rosenfeld in the Austin American-Statesman. “It is to express, in the unremitting language of law, official contempt and disrespect for minority cultures in our midst. It is designed to make some people feel superior about themselves and their heritage and others to feel worse and to know who’s in charge around here.” movement goes in exactly the wrong direction. We need to be learning more about the rest of the world, not trying to lock it out. We need to teach students more foreign languages so we can have better and more effective presences in foreign countries. We need to make people who have languages other than English proud of their gifts, while teaching them English, too, just as we outselves should be proud to be bilingual or multilingual, not ashamed or afraid of it. Zaeske regards Europe as a debased gaggle of multi-lingual nations, but when we meet a European who speaks four, or five, or ten languages, if we have any sense we admire and envy the person. Dead on Arrival? THIRTY MINUTES AFTER Joint Resolution 55 was introduced in the House of Representatives Al Luna, chairman of the Mexican American legislative caucus, declared it dead. Luna, a Houston Democrat, followed an English-as-official-language press conference, organized on March 2 by Republican House members Pete Patterson, Jim Horn and Jerry Yost, and declared that he had pledges from 61 members of the House who will vote against the English language resolution. “English-Only is dead in Texas,” Luna said, “because the caucus, in two days, signed up 61 legislators, committing themselves publicly to vote against the proposal. According to the Texas Constitution, 100 members must support a proposed amendment to amend the Texas Constitution. With 61 commited votes against English-Only we have ten more than we need.” The issue is being kept alive by a handful of Republicans and the American Ethnic Coalition, an advocacy group led by Lou Zaeske of Bryan. Zaeske insists that the issue remains alive, describing Luna’s commitments as “soft” if not non-existent. It is Luna’s refusal to make public the list that has drawn the most criticism from the coalition. Zaeske claimed, in a letter to House Speaker Gib Lewis, that Luna is “still scurrying around the House soliciting signatures.” In his letter to the Speaker, Zaeske wrote: “On behalf of our several thousand members and supporters in Texas I urge you and your colleagues in the Texas Legislature to put the interests of Texas above political expediency and join Rep. Patterson and his co-sponsors in supporting the establishment of English as the official language of Texas.” Zaeske claims that if the proposal were put to a public vote it would pass by a margin greater than the 73 percent by which California last year adopted an official language. Rep. Al Luna Californians bypassed legislators and submitted the English language proposal to a public vote by initiative and referendum, an option not available to English-Firsters working in Texas. And it is unlikely that the legislature will consider the issue any time soon. Luna is sitting on his list while insisting that he made it available to the Speaker’s office and that Lewis aide Gordon “Doc” Arnold knows which legislators have signed on. The proposed amendment, filed on the 151st anniversary of Texas’ declaration of independence from Mexico, appears to be lost amomg more than a few issues of substance facing both chambers. Although it is supported by the state Republican Party and opposed by state Democrats Gov. Bill Clements has refused to endorse it. “I think we have much more important issues to talk about,” Clements said. L.D. Pho to by Ala n Pog u e THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7