At war with diversity: US language policy in an age of by James Crawford

By James Crawford

Bilingualism is a fact that many american citizens nonetheless locate tough to just accept; for this reason the prominence of English-only activism in U.S. politics. This selection of essays analyzes the assets of the anti-bilingual move, its altering instructions, and its effect on schooling coverage. The ebook additionally explores efforts to withstand the English-only pattern, together with initiatives to revitalize local American languages.

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Fundraising suffered. The Internal Revenue Service opened an investigation to determine whether the organization was abusing its tax-exempt status by engaging in lobbying and partisan politics. By 1992, a financial crisis forced US English to lay off employees and close regional offices. I. Hayakawa, brought factional strife into the open. When board members accused Tanton’s successor, Stanley Diamond, of misappropriating funds, he alleged that the organization had long engaged in ‘illegal [political] activities’1 (Kaplan, 1992).

Who would think to become lobbyists for a language that the vast majority of Americans take for granted, a seemingly thankless task? What are the incentives for such Anatomy of the English-only Movement 23 activity? To all appearances, US English is not an organization of educators, literary figures, or language lovers. It professes no particular reverence for English – just for some generic common language (Nunberg, 1992). What motivates the English-only leadership? Investigation of their internal documents, funding sources, and organizational ties reveals a covert agenda: determination to resist racial and cultural diversity in the United States.

It would be more precise to call it a broad current fed by numerous social and ideological sources. These include class-based resentments toward prosperous immigrant groups as well as class-based fears about the poorest. Agrarian populism and revolutionary syndicalism have long since died out in the United States. Yet, just as in the Americanization era, outlets are needed for the economic frustrations and insecurities of Anglo-American workers and small producers, whose real incomes have been on a downward trajectory since 1973.

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