Phyllis Schlafly

Obama's statement is not only out of sync with the big majority of Americans, but it is condescending and further evidence of the elitist attitude the Obamas displayed when Barack looked down his nose at Americans whom he said rely on religion and guns because they are "bitter," and when Michelle said that Barack's campaign was "the first time" she was "really proud of my country."

Americans are not backward hicks because we don't learn a second language.

We consider it a waste of time because English is fast becoming the worldwide language and because the ability to speak English is the litmus test of whether or not immigrants are assimilating into U.S. culture.

Obama conceded that immigrants should learn English but, unfortunately, many do not. The Pew Hispanic Center reported that only 52 percent of Hispanic naturalized citizens speak English well or pretty well, and that 28 percent of Hispanic immigrants speak only Spanish on the job.

Obama voted in the U.S. Senate against making English our official language on four roll-call votes. In 2006 and 2007 he voted twice against Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe's amendment to repeal Bill Clinton's Executive Order 13166, and voted twice in favor of Colorado Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar's amendment to make Executive Order 13166 stronger than it already is.

Executive Order 13166 discourages assimilation by committing all executive-branch agencies to provide all federal benefits and services in foreign languages, even though the Supreme Court held in Alexander v. Sandoval that immigrants have no right to demand this.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discourages assimilation by suing more than 200 employers for requiring English to be spoken by employees on the job, even though a Rasmussen survey found that 77 percent of Americans believe that employers should be allowed to do this.

Providing foreign language ballots discourages assimilation. That comes despite the fact only U.S. citizens are supposed to vote and to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, the immigrant must demonstrate "the ability to read, write and speak ordinary English."

Bilingual education, known as language apartheid, discourages assimilation by keeping children with Hispanic-sounding names for years in Spanish-language public school classes — even though the voters in referenda from California to Massachusetts have rejected bilingual education.

It's no surprise that the Rasmussen survey reports that 59 percent of Americans believe government actually encourages immigrants to retain their home-country culture instead of assimilating into America. Senator and Mrs. Obama should tell immigrants to assimilate and get the facts from the new Bradley Foundation report called "E Pluribus Unum: America's National Identity."

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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