The radio waves have been the gift that keeps on giving lately. Last week we had Billy pontificating on a variety of subjects on WFMD. Now High Sheriff Jenkins gives us the opportunity to learn how he doesn’t believe the English Language Ordinance is about illegal immigration. But then again it is, wait no it certainly is not, okay yes it is! It’s enough to make one’s head explode.
Both Jessica and H.S. Jenkins are guests on Sheilah Kast’s morning show that aired throughout Maryland on NPR. Here’s our breakdown.
First Jessica is allowed to speak. She tells listeners that she believes that the ordinance has been harmful for a variety of reasons. She explains that the ordinance doesn’t have any teeth because the county has to follow State and Federal laws. So basically the ordinance was symbolic, and the symbolism was this: STAY OUT!
Then it’s Jenkins’ turn. He once again informed us that the U.S. is about one language and that we are one culture (Really? Has he traveled anywhere in these here United States?) He continues:The ordinance never changed how we did business and we cannot go down this road because we are in severe danger of becoming a sanctuary county. Now this sanctuary county nonsense is what causes gentle Ms. Kast to ask Jenkins to clarify a point. “Is your reasoning for not wanting this ordinance repealed because you fear illegal immigration”, she asks. Jenkins insists that this ordinance is not about illegal immigration, but that doesn’t stop him from talking of his fears of Frederick becoming a “sanctuary county”two more times.
He also mentions a poll. This poll claims that 84% of Americans want English as our official language. Well, we did a little research and could only find one source of that poll: Rasmussen. A notoriously right winged, frequently used by FOX News, organization which happens to have a terrible track record. So get some more accurate data and then we will talk about this.
Now, let’s talk some more about the High Sheriff. Jessica is very clear to NPR’s listeners that Pro English provided the language of the 2012 ordinance. That the previous BOCC met with this group is no secret. And we all know by now that the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies Pro English as a hate group. Why you may ask? Well, for one thing, the group’s founder likes to talk like this:
“I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”
– Dec. 10, 1993, letter to the late Garrett Hardin, a controversial ecology professor.
He seems nice! But, hmmm, this quote seems familiar to us. Really familiar. Oh yeah, we saw it in this article in the Frederick News Post back in 2014. Remember when our High Sheriff took that trip down South to learn all about the illegal immigration? And remember how we were all up in arms about how it was financed by the Federation for American Immigration Reform? Well guessy who founded and funded both Pro English and F.A.I.R.? That’s right this guy:
We know that this ordinance was not passed because it was costing the county money. For no fiscal analysis was done. We know that the former BOCC met with Pro English and that our High Sheriff accepted a trip from another one of Tanton’s groups that is decidedly anti-immigrant. The supporters of this ordinance love to talk about how it didn’t change anything, so why do away with it? We would like to talk about the flip side of that question. If it doesn’t matter, if we are still required by higher powers to translate documents, then why have it? Why did a bunch of tea party conservatives spend time and money to pass an ordinance they knew didn’t mean anything? In reality it’s not only a message to illegal immigrants, but also to legal immigrants. Because please, please tell us how this ordinance differentiates between the two groups? This ordinance was the brain child of a hateful man and was passed in our county for no other reason than to “send a message.” It’s time for that message to change. And on August 18th, we hope that’s exactly what we will see.