Fafblog! the whole world's only source for Fafblog. finds the silver lining in an ugly cloud of bigotry at a health care town hall.
Unfortunately, the silver lining is this:
On the bright side, though, the Mayan zombie gods should wipe us all out in just a couple years
Assuming that it’s bigoted to demand that town meetings in a largely English speaking part of the country be conducted 100% in English so that all is in the open (which you, in the land of the Sunshine Law should understand), what about the OTHER bigotry?:
“On the bright side, though, the Mayan zombie gods should wipe us all out in just a couple years”
That is an extremely bigotted and biased statement if ANY of this was. So it’s bigotted to demand that townhalls be conducted in the official language of the United States, when they concern critical matters of legislation, but it’s not biggoted to malign and belittle a belief system that is not that of the blogger or you? (After all these were just a bunch of primitives who believed rediculous things that no Yale-man would ever cotten to!)
What if Congressional sessions started being conducted in languages other than English. Would THAT be OK? How about if statutes were written in foreign languages – would THAT be OK? No, this man spoke English just fine, so it was not required to accomodate him over the needs of the others in that room. But it’s just so easy to start labelling people as bigots, so why not.
Sunshine is about access to information and to records. If the conversation was in public, not to mentioned taped and publicly available (as this was) so anyone who cares enough can go have a translation made, it meets all the sunshine requirements I can think of.
Given that the Representative is fluent in Spanish — and even translated the question for the monoglots in the audience — I simply cannot see what is the problem with having a citizen speak to a legislator in the language that makes the citizen more comfortable.
It would be wrong to force English speakers to speak Mayan, or even Spanish, to speak to their Representative; it is not wrong to allow speakers of other languages to use their mother tongues in a public meeting if their interlocutor is fluent in it. This is ever so much more true when we allow Spanish, which is spoken by a large fraction of the US population, and is the sole or mother tongue for so many. Why disenfranchise them? How does that make us a better people?
I think anyone who is threatened by what we saw in the video has a problem. Exactly what that problem is may vary — it could be bigotry, paranoia, or no doubt several other things. But this event seems utterly harmless to me. And I don’t speak Spanish.
Sunshine laws ALSO apply to such things as meetings (per court interpretation of “records”). You can find it all on your Attorney General’s website, if you aren’t sure still.
But you ignore MY point which is that it is equally bigotted to presume that since the person was hispanic, that they naturally have some association with the Mayans – and then belittle that religion, by joking about it, then for YOU to repeat the joke. Hardy-har-har. (Unless you were simply providing a public service warning about what you believe to be our impending fate, in which case, I stand corrected.) If the person was Haitian, and (was able to) asked a question in Hatian Creole, would a joke about Hatian Voodoo be appropriate? What about if he was Jewish and asked a question in Yiddish? Would it have been OK to make a joke about it not mattering because the Elders of Zion were in charge anyway? Do you even understand the point?
The PROPER way to handle such a situation is to either provide real-time translation at the meeting, or politely ask that the person ask his question in English for the benefit of the vast majority there who did not speak Spanish. This was a townhall meeting, with a political representative, on a divisive subject, not some casual encounter at a book signing.
Of course they do.
And, no, I didn’t read Fafblog to be tying the Mayan reference to the Bishop speaking in the video, but rather as a more general astrological comment.
But finally, the proper way to deal with a foreign speaker understood by the moderator is to deal with it exactly as the Representative did: to listen respectfully, and then provide a translation for the speaker. You don’t ask the speaker to do the translation because you have to presume that if if the speaker were sufficiently comfortable in English to do the translation, then he would have spoken in English in the first place.