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Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014

A failure to communicate

Posted Wednesday, August 8, 2007, at 8:32 AM

"Many of the family members don't speak English."

That sad comment by a Utah official about families of the trapped miners tells a major story in itself.

And it speaks volumes about how rescue attempts can go awry when rescuers and rescuees can't communicate.

Each day Shelbyville police officers can be heard referring to "language barriers" when trying to talk with people from central and south America or Africa.

Communication, or lack of, can mean the difference between life and death. We may not have mines in Bedford County, but we do have the potential for numerous types of tragedy.

I'm strongly against taking or limiting anyone's ethnicity or traditions, but all legal immigrants should be required to either know English well enough to get by or to learn it as quickly as possible as a condition of entering the United States. That's not prejudice; it's simply ensuring the ability to survive. I'd have no problem with another country enforcing such conditions on me.

Unfortunately, many of Bedford County's immigrants are illegal -- out of reach of any authority, seemingly -- and unable to speak English, which makes them functionally illiterate in American society. I've been told that some don't speak their own languages very well. That's not so unusual; as we know, some Americans ain't exactly larned their English too good.

I'd be among the first to say that we should listen to what people are saying more than how they're saying it. But when we can't comprehend any of it, all of us are in trouble.


Comments
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I strongly disagree with this, mainly because the majority of the people brought up in the United States are brainwashed to believe that all other cultures and all other people outside of the United States should adapt to our cultures and ways of life. America is supposedly the land of the free, so who are we to stand up against these LEGAL mexicans who come over here and try? Granted they don't speak English, but then again, if the shoe was on the other foot, I wonder how hard it would be for you to learn a completely different language.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Wed, Aug 8, 2007, at 12:57 PM

Well all I have to say to weezie84 is that if I was going to move to Germany or Mexico or France, I would learn their language...why oh why do my children have to learn spanish in classes to talk to other the foreign students....RIDICULOUS!!! THIS IS AMERICA AND YOU SHOULD SPEAK ENGLISH...end of story. Go move yourself to another country and see how much they cater to your language, THEY DON'T....If you move here you should adapt to our cultures and our way of life. I wouldn't go to Germany and DEMAND that they teach their children english in order to talk to my kids, I would expect my kids to adapt to their language...it's people like you that think all the illegals are a good thing, well then you support them all and I can keep my tax money to myself I am personally sick of them all!!!

-- Posted by Vindicated on Wed, Aug 8, 2007, at 2:26 PM

Do you know why this is the Land of the Free Weezie84?

It's because our forefathers (AMERICAN) fought and died for our freedom not because illegal immigrants who come into America. They fought for our rights as Americans not Hispanic rights or Arabic rights. This is America not the melting pot some people wish to call it! America is the Land of the Free but it is for Americans provided by the blood of AMERICAN soldiers.

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 8, 2007, at 2:58 PM

You can say that, but there were PLENTY of slaves fighting in the Civil War... (and they were not American)

And there were plenty of Indians fighting against US as we took over THEIR country.... I honestly don't know if us stealing this country from Indians and then declaring it OURS was the best decision...

I still think, though, that illegal immigrants should LEARN ENGLISH and we should not HAVE to adapt to their language. If I choose to study Spanish, then that's ok... but nobody should be FORCED to learn another language and neither should we force another country to learn accept Christianity or 'Democracy'.. It is in fact a two edged sword!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Aug 8, 2007, at 3:55 PM

The Indians got a raw deal yes I agree with that just like any group of people who lose their land to war or poverty.

The Confederate government never used slaves as soldiers

-- Posted by Dianatn on Wed, Aug 8, 2007, at 7:38 PM

it's people like you that think all the illegals are a good thing, well then you support them all and I can keep my tax money to myself I am personally sick of them all!!!

-You don't know me, and have no idea what I think about illegal immigrants. I was speaking on behalf of the legal Mexican-AMERICANS that come over here and try. If you would take a second and think about what you are saying, and try to explain your opinion instead of lash out at me for my own opinion and claim you know where I stand, then you would plainly see that as the years have progressed, WHITE people in AMERICA are slowly becoming a minority.

-- Posted by weezie84 on Wed, Aug 8, 2007, at 9:13 PM

Slaves did fight in the Civil War...

" In September 1862, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made the freeing of slaves in the South a war goal and gave a higher moral cause to the war, despite opposition from northern Copperheads who tolerated secession and slavery. Emancipation reduced the likelihood of intervention from Britain and France on behalf of the Confederacy. In addition, the goal also allowed the Union to recruit African-Americans for reinforcements, a resource that the Confederacy did not dare exploit until it was too late."

"Vicksburg in 1863; in the face of which, he allowed Lee to invade Pennsylvania).[144] The Emancipation Proclamation enabled African-Americans, both free blacks and escaped slaves, to join the Union Army. About 190,000 volunteered, further enhancing the numerical advantage the Union armies enjoyed over the Confederates, who did not dare emulate the equivalent manpower source for fear of fundamentally undermining the legitimacy of slavery. Emancipated slaves fought in several key battles in the last two years of the war."

-Wikipedia

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Aug 8, 2007, at 11:32 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.