Barack Obama: Se Habla Espanol?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Sun Jul 13 00:53:58 UTC 2008

*Friday, July 11, 2008*
2:41:00 PM EDT  Barack Obama:  Se Habla Espanol?

Sorry about no symbol over the "n" to represent the "y" sound
(es-pan-yol). President Bush speaks Spanish (to some degree) . Does Barack
Obama speak Spanish?  I darn sure hope he does, after virtually calling
yesterday for every child in this country to be required to learn
SPANISH. No.  Barack Obama did not quite go that far, but close.  He
was talking about the movement to have the English Language as the official
language in this country, and to exempt a REQUIREMENT that employees speak
English from the anti-discrimination laws (the EEOC certainly DOES consider
it discrimination, unless English is NECESSARY to the job--one of those
nebulous things beloved of leftists who don't live in the real world).

Obama, of course, was enganged in DECEIT--typical of the pro-illegal
immigration people, and the people opposing any recognition of English as
the language of this country.  What he was trying to do was suggest that
proponents of English were opposed to people learning to, or knowing how to,
speak English--a LIE (generally).  That is apples and oranges.  The fact
that it is an ASSET and a SKILL to be bilingual has nothing to do with the
question of whether everyone should know English who lives in this country,
and whether we should make it clear that English is the language of the
country (which is NOT any disparagement of the merits of being bilingual).

Obama went so far as to say that the "problem" in this country is NOT that
people do not know English, but that we all don't know Spanish as well as
English.  What can you say about someone who says something like that, other
than you better hope he does not become President?  Obama went on to state a
flat LIE, which alone should disqualify him from even being in the Senate.
He stated that there was no need to worry about Spanish speakers speaking
English, because they KNOW that they have to learn English to succeed in
this country. They WANT to learn English (in the surreal world view of Obama
and the left).

I live in El Paso.  I have described in this blog how I bought a new water
heater two years or so ago.  Home Depot (through a contractor) sent TWO
plumbers out to my house to install the water heater.  NEITHER spoke a
single word of English, and their supervisor on the phone barely spoke

I took Spanish in high school.  I have lived around Spanish speaking people
all of my life.  My wife was (in the sense we are diviorced--she still is
but no longer my wife) Mexican-American, and speaks Spanish (although she
learned as an ADULT to speak fluently).  I have never been able to speak or
understand Spanish on any kind of a conversational level.  I admit that is
somewhat of a failure on my part.  Still, how many people in the U.S. should
be expected to talk to PULUMBERS in Spanish?

That is my problem here.  I long resisted the idea of English as the
official language, because of some unreasonable things that were publicity
in El Paso back in the 20th Century (circa 1970-1980).  Some large
businesses here, like a bank, were criticized for having an "English only"
policy.  This is the DECEPTION/change of subject that Obama was attempting.
That meant that employees were not ALLOWED to speak Spanish, even privately
to other employees.  There IS a REASON for that policy.  You can argue that
it creates employee unrest for some employees to think other employees are
deliberately excluding them from knowing what is being said (not to mention
supervisors).  Employees might get the idea that Spanish speaking employees
are talking about THEM.  Even aside from that angle, the "exclusion"
argument is real.  Some employees and supervisors might reasonably believe
that they are being EXCULED from conversations in a language they don't
understand.  Nevertheless, I think a general policy like that was
oversensitive, and over the top.  If employees made a habit of blatantly
shutting out other employees and supervisors, you could address that.  But a
policy of "no Spanish" never seemed rational to me.

I still believe that, but I have come around to believe that we DO need to
"protect" English as the laguage of this country.  For Obama to say that
Spanish speaking people in El Paso all WANT to speak English merely means
that either Barack Obama is a sociopathic liar or is unfamiliar with Spanish
speaking areas like El Paso (maybe both).

Should you HAVE to speak Spanish to live in El Paso.  I assure you that we
are heading in that direction, although we are not yet there (despite my
plumber experience).  Sure, it has always been an advantage to speak Spanish
in El Paso.  We ARE, after all, on the Mexican border  But there is
something wrong if places like El Paso turn into almost Mexican enclaves in
the United Sates.

Barack Obama was also playing on the "Ugly American" angle--that Americans
go to other countries and expect them to speak English.  Doesn't fly.  That
is the POINT, isn't it.  I used to go to Juarez, Mexico on a regular basis
(not any more, because Mexico is really a much worse place than it once
was--at least along the border).   They may have people to accommodate you
there, as a tourist (to make money, just as it makes sense to have people
able to talk to Mexicans in stores here to make money).  However, I can
assure you that they EXPECT people who live and work there to SPEAK
SPANISH.  There is none of this guff about sending out English speaking
plumbers to a Mexican household in Juarez.

Nope.  Obama has AGAIN shown that he is bound to the Far Left on illegal
immigration, and issues involved with that issue.  DECEIT is the game, and
Obama's speech yesterday suggested that either he has no clue as to the real
issues involved here or he is ALL about DECEIT.  Again, both things may be

I do wish someone would ASK Obama whether HE speaks Spanish.  If you are
going to lecture everybody about learning to speak Spanish, maybe you
should.  Okay, I know that maybe Obama speaks some other language (probably
an effete European language, like French). I would still think he should be
asked whether he speaks SPANISH.  No, I don't know whether McCain does
either.  the problem with McCain is that he will NOT make a point of the
whole illegal immigration/English question because he is only slightly
better than Obama on the whole thing.
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