Ken Blackwell

Being fluent in English is essential if you want to succeed in America. If you’re bilingual, that’s even better, but a top priority for success is being able to speak English in the workplace and in the public square. Someone who can speak English can compete for better jobs, with better pay. Someone who can speak English improves their chances to have a better future for themselves and their children.

This is not just a Hispanic issue, or even an immigrant issue. I grew up in the inner city of Cincinnati, became mayor of that fine city, and served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. One of the greatest keys I have found to success for a young ethnic and racial minority in America today is the ability to speak, read, and write English clearly and persuasively. Anyone with good English skills can get better jobs and opportunities, and enjoy a much better life.

If you care about a child in America today, then you want that child to be able to speak English. Regardless of color or culture, a child who knows how to communicate in English improves his or her chances for success exponentially. And part of getting children to be able to speak English is helping their parents to achieve a basic proficiency in the language by establishing some common sense requirements.

This is an issue the press needs to cover. There should be more articles and interviews on this issue. Yet John Fund’s article is one of the only articles out there.

CNN should be asking this kind of question to candidates during debates, instead of ambushing Republicans with Clinton campaign plants to emphasize the issues that liberal CNN producers consider more important.

But the reason CNN doesn’t talk about this is the reason conservatives should talk about it. Good policy is good politics. This is a perfect example of an issue where Republicans doing the right thing will help them in the polls. Republicans can unite the country by emphasizing English education, and holding the line on this legislation.

I’d like to see Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have to take a stand on this amendment.

An old adage says, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” Give a person special coddling treatment in his native language, and he’ll get through the day. Teach an immigrant, or anyone in this country, how to master the English language, and he can soar on eagle wings to capture the fullest measure of the American dream.

That is one thing all of us should support.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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