That White Supremacist Panel at CPAC

Right Wing Watch has a report on the CPAC panel that featured white supremacists and focused on the evils of diversity. Nothing in this should surprise you in the least — including the fact that Rep. Steve King doesn’t think VDARE is a hate group.

Prior to Brimelow’s talk, Vandervoort delivered a rambling speech from Serge Trifkovic (who wasn’t able to attend) that focused on how the “cult of non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual victimhood” and “multiculturalist indoctrination” is ruining the West. “The native Western majorities will melt away,” Trifkovic’s speech concluded, “Europeans and our trans-Atlantic cousins are literally endangered species. The facilitators of our destruction must be neutralized if we are to survive.” Afterwards, Rosalie Porter bemoaned the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act for giving too much political influence to minorities.

Brimelow stayed on message and warned that multiculturalism and bilingualism were “diseases” that could wreck American society as they empower minorities and suppress traditional American (read: white) groups. He claimed that Canada, which is officially bilingual, was a good example of how bilingualism becomes a tool of elites to help minorities (Quebecers) at the expense of the majority, and went on to call multiculturalism and bilingualism a “ferocious attack on the working class.”

But the surprise guest of the panel was the fiercely anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA) who came to discuss his bill to make English the official language of the U.S.

During a panel discussion, Brimelow said that the Democratic Party has “given up on the white working class” and is using immigration to “elect a new polity,” i.e. increase the number of ethnic minorities. Before he could turn to King, the congressman giddily told Brimelow, “I read your books!” King went on to say that Brimelow “eloquently wrote about the balkanization of America.”

Following the panel, King dismissed the Southern Poverty Law Center’s classification of VDARE as a hate group in an interview with BuzzFeed, saying, “I wouldn’t take them seriously.”

I think the hoods just came off.

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  • MikeMa

    New bumper sticker: If you elect an asshole, you are an asshole.

  • raven

    White Americans’ majority to end by mid-century … – USA Todaywww.usatoday.com/news/nation/…/2009-12-16-White-minority_N.ht…Cached – Similar

    16 Dec 2009 – The estimated time when whites will no longer make up the majority of Americans has … and stricter immigration policies have slowed the flow of foreigners into the U.S.. …

    The 2050 estimate is one of four projections released that is based on…

    The US population is projected to go majority nonwhite in 2050. It already is that in 4 states including California with 38 million people.

    So what are the racists of the Tea Party/GOP going to do then. Going to be hard to win national elections on a white supremacists platform.

    If you look at the hates of the Tea Party/GOP it is just about everyone that isn’t an old rich white guy with a defective brain.

    Women who are a majority of the population.

    No Religions, nonxians, and liberal xians who are are large part. US xianity is dying and projected to go under 50% by 2050.

    Nonwhites who are projected to go majority by 2050.

    Just looking at the demographic trends, it doesn’t seem likely that the Tea Party/GOP has much of a future. But who knows, I can’t see that they have much of a present either. The majority did elect a half black Democrat president in the last election after all.

  • d cwilson

    I don’t know. Your headline seems to imply that there were panels at CPAC that weren’t lead by white supremcists.

  • d cwilson

    So what are the racists of the Tea Party/GOP going to do then. Going to be hard to win national elections on a white supremacists platform.

    Why do you think they’ve been so keen on passing measures design to suppress minority votes?

    Brimelow is just one of the few willing to put his reasons for it on the table.

  • laurentweppe

    Europeans and our trans-Atlantic cousins are literally endangered species.

    Oh noooooooo, the purity of the bloodline of Whitedom is in danger: if the evil brown skinned hordes are not oppressed again, more and more white younglings will fall pray of the dark temptations of exogamy instead of embracing the virtuous godly tradition of inbred matrimony.

    *

    White supremacism: an attempt to pretend that one’s incestuous fantasies are a genuine ideology

  • cottonnero

    Sigh. Again with the literally.

    That’s either a misuse of the word, or they actually think white people are a different species. The former is a pet peeve of mine, but the latter is genuinely scary.

  • Zinc Avenger

    Raven, #2:

    The US population is projected to go majority nonwhite in 2050. […] So what are the racists of the Tea Party/GOP going to do then?

    You think they’ll let democracy persist until 2050, knowing that?

  • Zinc Avenger:

    We *are* talking about people who think the voting age should be raised because young people helped elect a black guy…

  • I wonder what Mark Steyn would think of these guys. After all it sounds like they buy into the Eurabia nonsense he and other right wing pundits promote.

    As for King he might want to actually spend some time in Canada before he blabs his mouth off about bilingualism. For all the whining of right wingers about it you will have zero chance of becoming the leader of a Caandian federal political party if you don’t speak English competently. Even the separatist Bloc Quebecois probably wouldn’t choose a unilingual French speaker as leader.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Canada really is strange, though. It’s the only place [1] on Earth where people assume that someone named “Sessions” speaks French.

    No wonder all those Cajuns like Jeff Sessions can’t stand them.

    [1] BC, Ontario, doesn’t matter.

  • Was I the only person to mentally turn “Vandervoot” into “Voldemort”?

  • Chiroptera

    But the surprise guest of the panel was the fiercely anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA) who came to discuss his bill to make English the official language of the U.S.

    What does it mean, to be the “official language” of the US? Is it like being the official soft drink of the Winter Olympic Games?

  • Tualha

    So what are the racists of the Tea Party/GOP going to do then. Going to be hard to win national elections on a white supremacists platform.

    The white minority in South Africa managed pretty well for several decades. The southern states have been quite aggressive in disenfranchising blacks with felony convictions and state laws prohibiting ex-cons from voting (even if they move).

  • bbgunn

    Why all the speakers? Couldn’t they just have played some recordings in the original German?

  • What does it mean, to be the “official language” of the US? Is it like being the official soft drink of the Winter Olympic Games?

    As far as I can tell it’s the language government and civic business is done in. right now I think people have to be accommodated. With English as the official language people who speak only Spanish trying to get anything done with the IRS or DMV can just eat shit and come back when they can read real speakywords!

  • Tony

    Chiroptera:

    What does it mean, to be the “official language” of the US? Is it like being the official soft drink of the Winter Olympic Games?

    -Today must be the day that I just follow you around FtB. Who’s blog is next?

    In all seriousness, I’m rather curious about your query as well. Perhaps “official language” = “if you speak anything other than English, you’re under arrest”.

  • harold

    If you look at the hates of the Tea Party/GOP it is just about everyone that isn’t an old rich white guy with a defective brain.

    And that “defective brains” part is important, because they also hate many rich old white guys, too.

    Canada really is strange, though. It’s the only place [1] on Earth where people assume that someone named “Sessions” speaks French.

    As an dual citizen Anglophone Canadian, this comment makes me curious.

    My brother currently lives in Montreal, is married to a Quebecoise, and can speak very good French with a guy-speaking-French-with-a-Montreal-accent-superimposed-on-an-Anglophone-accent accent. I can function in French, but I speak with a very strong and typical American-or-Anglophone-Canadian accent. It is plausible that I sound somewhat similar to what Mitt Romney sounds like.

    The Canadian part of my childhood was spent in an Anglophone province. Neither of us had any significant exposure to French, outside of cursory high school courses usually taught by Anglophone teachers, before going to college in Montreal.

    In my experience, one hears much more French in New York City than in most parts of Canada outside of Quebec (probably also Los Angeles, and possibly also Miami). Other than in classrooms or the announcements on Air Canada flights at the airport, I can’t imagine hearing much French anywhere in BC. It’s a few years since I’ve been to Vancouver, but not that long. I can’t imagine someone assuming you speak French in BC because your name is Sessions. Hell, I can’t imagine them assuming that if your name is D’artagnan.

    For full disclosure, I am strongly, strongly, strongly in favor of preserving the French heritage of Quebec, of learning second languages in general and French in particular, etc. That’s one of the few things I agree Mitt Romney on.

  • danielkim

    “neutralized”

    You mean like:

    BLOFELD: “Ha ha. Sorry Mr. Bond. It seems your allies within my organization have all been neutralized.”

    BOND: “You monster!”

  • I believe the official language stuff only has an impact when it comes to certain forms and whatnot. I don’t doubt that the racists would love to inconvenience those who don’t speak fluent English, but the practical impact is likely to be minimal. I’m sure forms would continue to be printed in other languages upon request.

    It’s mostly a symbolic gesture. It’s a way to make non-native English speakers feel unwelcome, and it serves as an imprimatur for harassing people who dare speak their native tongue in public.

    What’s really stupid about the whole thing is that English is such a culturally dominant language that the children of immigrants have an English fluency of roughly 100%, and it’s become the de facto lingua franca (pardon the irony) of the global business and scientific communities. English is a common second language in Europe and increasingly so in Asia, where there’s a huge demand for English teachers. English is like the cockroach of the linguistic world. It’s the least likely language on the planet to go extinct.

    So it’s a little hard to see the “official English” policy as being driven by anything other than racism and xenophobia. There is zero practical reason for it.

  • Chiroptera

    Tony, #16: Perhaps “official language” = “if you speak anything other than English, you’re under arrest”.

    Heh. I’m reminded of that Colorado school bus driver who wigged out on the kids on the bus for speaking Spanish.

  • Chiroptera

    Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort, #11: Was I the only person to mentally turn “Vandervoot” into “Voldemort”?

    Not any more. Thanks, Katherine.

  • ischemgeek

    Neither of us had any significant exposure to French, outside of cursory high school courses usually taught by Anglophone teachers…

    ^ I think that’s a fairly common experience for Anglophone kids in Anglophone provinces. I lucked out and had a few years education in French immersion taught by francophones… then moved and was taught in French immersion with a different dialect but still thankfully by francophones, then I went to NS and was taught by an anglophone who thought that the final s in suis (as in Je suis une anglophone) wasn’t silent, and his pronunciation issues only began there…. Then went to high school and was taught by a guy whose French accent was something along the line of “Cape Bretoner trying to ape an Acadian trying to impersonate a Quebecer.”

    So my accent is really messed up.

  • Uncle Glenny

    Official Language:

    That means if you get involved with the government (get arrested, need to use the bureaucracy, whatever) and don’t speak English they go “Nyah, nyah!” Seriously, I’ve wondered that myself. From what I’ve gathered by not paying attention to the battles about that in places like Arizona, I think it means if you don’t speak English you’re SOL.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    King here reminds me of that guy in the movie SLC Punk that said he regarded the Nazi’s as just “a gathering of people.”

  • harold

    Area Man said –

    I believe the official language stuff only has an impact when it comes to certain forms and whatnot.

    No. I live in one of the most linguistically diverse areas of the country, known for “liberalism”, and all the routine bureaucratic forms are, of course, in English.

    Because we are not deep down bad, cruel people, it is hard to remember that such people exist.

    What kind of services are provided in common local languages other than English? Predominantly emergency services and public safety announcements. Which also help visitors, I might add.

    The other thing you often see a second language on is a private product offered by a private company, so that more customers can be attracted. This is a big focus of these pinheads. Getting mad at supermarkets.

    My interpretation of what these creeps are saying is basically this – “If you don’t speak English, I want the fire department to hang up on you, and even though I claim a million times a day to be ‘pro business’, I want to restrict law-abiding merchants from offering you products and services”.

    And I think my interpretation is correct.

    Bigots are mean.

    By the way, although I think it is valuable to be bilingual or multilingual, I am a strong proponent of excellent English language education for everyone. English is the basic common language shared by all US communities, and it is a major international common language as well. The question is not whether or not it is good to be fluent in English. The question is whether we should 1) treat people badly if they aren’t, even if they are in the process of learning, or 2) violate everyone’s precious right to freedom of expression, which I certainly interpret as including my right to express myself in any language I damn well please.

    I advise people who live in the US to learn to speak English, read, and write English as well as they can.

    Bigoted wingnuts often cannot even express themselves correctly in English, even if they know no other language. They do not want to force people to learn good English (something I would object to but partly sympathize with). They do not want to provide excellent facilities for English learners. What they want to do is to pick on vulnerable people who are not yet fluent in English.

  • Aquaria

    Europeans and our trans-Atlantic cousins are literally endangered species.

    I wonder if it’s occurred to this dumbass that Africa would qualify as trans-Atlantic. Including places like Morocco, which is–gasp–predominantly Muslim!

    Somehow, I don’t think he meant that kind of trans-Atlantic.

    The US population is projected to go majority nonwhite in 2050. It already is that in 4 states including California with 38 million people.

    Texas, with nearly 25 million, is one of those four states that is majority non-white. Hispanics will overtakes whites as the largest ethnic group in Texas in 2020-2030, and become an outright majority anywhere from 2040-2050 (depending on whose numbers one goes by).

    Learn Spanish, gueros.

  • John Horstman

    @2: Weird, you’d think they’d be heavily in favor of comprehensive sex education, particularly in public schools, since that’s been shown to drastically reduce unintended pregnancy and birth rates and might possibly bring the teen pregnancy rates in non-White people more in line with those of White people. I guess they hate women and infants even more than brown people (obviously plenty of overlap, too).

    @7: They are trying damn hard for apartheid policies using disenfranchisement and gerrymandering as a starting point. I keep wondering what the tipping point is going to be for all of the personally-pacifist (apparently a lot of them still support Obama’s continuation of our military engagements, torture, secret prisons, and drone attack from the Bush era) Left-of-center folks to start supporting armed conflict or a two-state solution for USA. Maybe there will be enough of a democratic (intentional small “d”) push-back that it won’t come to it.

  • slc1

    Re Harold @ #25

    This morning, when I visited a teller machine, I had the choice of English, French, Spanish, and what appeared to be Vietnamese.

  • AsqJames

    focused on how the “cult of non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual victimhood” and “multiculturalist indoctrination” is ruining the West. “The native Western majorities will melt away,” Trifkovic’s speech concluded, “Europeans and our trans-Atlantic cousins are literally endangered species. The facilitators of our destruction must be neutralized if we are to survive.”

    That is scarily reminiscent of Anders Breivik.

  • My interpretation of what these creeps are saying is basically this – “If you don’t speak English, I want the fire department to hang up on you, and even though I claim a million times a day to be ‘pro business’, I want to restrict law-abiding merchants from offering you products and services”.

    While I don’t doubt that this is what the bigots want, and a lot worse than this, there is little chance of it happening unless the EOL legislation were to specify it. About half the states have passed EOL laws, and as far as I know, none of them refuse as a matter of policy to provide an interpreter if someone who doesn’t speak English calls the fire department. You can imagine what an outcry would ensue if that ever happened. And I’m not aware of any restrictions on private business owners, who if nothing else have free speech rights.

    The courts have mostly maintained that EOL laws are symbolic, which is why they haven’t been struck down as discriminatory or as violations of the 1st amendment. Sort of like “ceremonial deism”.

  • jefferylanam

    One of the things that English-only types really hate is bilingual ballots. Here in Santa Clara county, California, you can get a ballot in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, or Tagalog. Since you have to have a command of ordinary English to be a naturalized citizen, the thinking goes, why do you need a bilingual ballot? Of course, ballot arguments are not necessarily written in ordinary English, and there are various exemptions. The INS website says:

    The applicant must be able to read, write and speak ordinary English unless they are physically unable to do so due to a disability such as being blind or deaf, or suffer from a developmental disability or mental impairment. Individuals over 50 years of age on the date of filing who have lived in the U.S. for a total of at least 20 years after admission as a permanent resident and those individuals who are over 55 years of age and have been legal permanent residents for at least 15 years are also exempt from this requirement.

    Plus, of course, you can be born here and immigrate as a child and still have the right to vote.

  • exdrone

    Declaring an official language has the effect of limiting or at least identifying legal liability for the government. It says that the government is only responsible for providing information and services in that language, say English, and if they do so in another language as well, then they’re doing you a favour. Besides the ideological messaging involved, I think it is meant to head off requiring equal access to that info and services in another language, say Spanish, due to demographics. Gotta keep an eye on those activist judges, after all.

    In Canada, making both English and French official languages tends to impose added effort and expense, albeit justifiable, as well as privileging bilingual speakers in official government positions. In my military job, I often cannot distribute an official document or correspondence unless it in a bilingual format with the text translated by an approved translation service. Establishing an official language can also impact commercial product labelling.

  • But the surprise guest of the panel was the fiercely anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA) who came to discuss his bill to make English the official language of the U.S.

    Why is he trying to make a foreign language the official one?

    ischemgeek “Then went to high school and was taught by a guy whose French accent was something along the line of ‘Cape Bretoner trying to ape an Acadian trying to impersonate a Quebecer.'”

    My Grade 8 French teacher was Scottish. And he was also our PE teacher (often in the same hour). In Grade 9 it was a French guy who would rather watch Floyd on France than teach.

    Slc1 “This morning, when I visited a teller machine, I had the choice of English, French, Spanish, and what appeared to be Vietnamese.”

    And what was your fortune?

  • F

    So, you gotta wonder why it is that the U.S. doesn’t get enough “white” immigrants from the U.K. and Europe to outnumber the not-so-white immigrants from other regions.

  • – That’s why Jews are happy to hear I’m an atheist. They say to themselves, “Well, I don’t have to worry about that guy at least.” It’s not like there are atheists hiding in compounds in Idaho thinking, “Slow day, I think I’m going to oppress me some Jews. I hate their 6,000 years of history, cultural achievements and delicious latkes. – A bit I’m working on for my stand-up routine.

  • Katherine: No. Though on further thought, calling this wanker Voldemort would be an undeserved compliment.

  • dingojack

    Harold (#17) – just a niggle. If your name was D’artagnan* I’d expect you would speak Gascon (or perhaps Béarnais). Until the 19th century few in the country of France spoke, what we would call, ‘French’ (really Parisien with some Orléanais etc. mixed in).

    Languages are much more fluid than wingnuts think, regulating them is rather like trying to nail jelly to a wall. Try a make a language ‘official’ and people will figure a way around it.

    It’s what humans do.

    Dingo

    —–

    * Charles Ogier de Batz de Castelmore, Comte d’Artagnan (c1611 – 1673)

  • vmanis1

    One of the silliest examples of the `English as the official language’ genre was the city of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, which in 1990 passed such a resolution, in spite of the fact that the mayor at the time, Joe Fratesi, was of Italian heritage, and the name of the city is actually in French (notwithstanding that everyone calls it `the Soo’). The resolution lingered for 4 years after passage, until a subsequent council took it out in the back yard and put it out of its misery, with actually nothing at all having been changed as a result of the original resolution.

    This was not the silliest resolution by a Canadian small town council. that honor belongs to Hérouxville, Québec, which in 2007 passed a resolution banning stoning, female genital mutilation, and covering the face with a veil. This resolution went on to explain that Christmas trees were a good thing and that pork and beef were kept on the same shelves in stores. All this in spite of the fact that there was not a single Muslim living anywhere in the area. One should keep town councillors busy, idle hands (and mouths) are the devil’s playground.

    Back to the official language issue: I would support notion of making Old English (what the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Danes spoke after a few hundred years, but before the Norman invastion) the official language, it would be fun watching all these clowns frantically searching for the `thorn’ character on their keyboards. Better yet, require all government communcication to use only George Carlin’s words you can’t say on television, all of which have impeccable Anglo-Saxon roots.

  • frankboyd

    Oh good grief…

    “The native Western majorities will melt away,”

    Yes, I’ve heard this sort of thing before. Goodness me. I’ve also had my share of jousting with VDAREists, the execrable Ilana Mercer especially. Ghastly people, especially in that trickle-feed way the dribble their poison.

    It’s this kind of thing that evokes my sympathy for my transatlantic cousins; I mean, with the American “left” already suborned by the far-right, where does one go? This is why my comrades and I are drunk so often.

    I should say though, don’t confuse the real fight with sidelines, such as the official language business. Every nation needs one official language to ensure a commonality of education, and it seems like a good idea to have the world’s lingua franca in this case.

  • jefferylanam

    vmanis1:

    I would support notion of making Old English (what the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Danes spoke after a few hundred years, but before the Norman invastion) the official language

    Would that be Mercian, Northumbrian, West Saxon, or Kentish? They were about as different from each other as English and Scots,

  • frankboyd

    Oh, come on. There has to be one official language for any nation, and it makes perfect sense that it is the language of the majority, and is an added bonus that this is the language that is Earth’s lingua franca. The reason that stuff like VDARE grows like something on an old, damp sponge is this ludicrous obsession with non-issues.

  • Olav

    ischemgeek (22) says:

    [..] then I went to NS and was taught by an anglophone who thought that the final s in suis (as in Je suis une anglophone) wasn’t silent, and his pronunciation issues only began there…

    I am not sure about Canadian French, but in French French your teacher would be right at least about this. When a word is followed by a word that starts with a vowel, the silent consonant at the end often becomes un-silent.

    “Je suis une anglophone” would indeed be a good example for this. BTW, you could leave out the article “une” here, it isn’t necessary.

    Because the H isn’t voiced it works for words that start with that letter too.

    “Je suis malade” – second s in suis is not pronounced.

    “Je suis heureux” – second s in suis is pronounced.

    Funny, I find languages nicer to discuss than white supremacists…

  • Olav

    frankboyd (41) says:

    Oh, come on. There has to be one official language for any nation,

    Why, exactly?

  • KG

    I hate their [Jews’] 6,000 years of history – andrewhall

    OK, this is A attributing to B an attribution of thoughts to A, but no-one has 6,000 years of history. The unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes or Narmer, c. 3100 BCE, is generally regarded as the first specific recorded event. There is no historical or archeological evidence for Abraham, the Egyptian captivity, the Exodus, or an Israelite conquest of Canaan – indeed, most scholars of the ancient Near East now think the Israelites were Canaanites. There isn’t even any firm evidence for the existence of David or Solomon, who if they did exist would be dated to around the tenth century BCE. So 3,000 years would be quite generous for the length of Jewish history.

  • frankboyd

    Olaf, bother to read the definition of a nation:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nation

    It’s a common polity, that must necessarily unite for defence. You need one language for that.

    There’s another reason for this. Language is a visual-oral way of communicating information – to the reasoning human being. To the tribalist, however, language is a way of binding the mind, of forcing others into a conformity with the tribal mindset. That is why I am deeply suspicious of the ‘multiple official languages’ types; it’s always a giveaway of tribalism and primitivism.

  • frankboyd

    Speaking of tribalism KG, who, seriously, gives a fuck what happened three thousand years ago?

  • dingojack

    I could be wrong here but I’m fairly sure that there were other recorded events in human history before “The unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes or Narmer, c. 3100 BCE…”. See Dispilio Tablet.

    ;P Dingo

  • dingojack

    Frank – you ddn’t scroll down I notice.

    nation (ˈneɪʃən)

    — n

    1. an aggregation of people or peoples of one or more cultures, races, etc, organized into a single state: the Australian nation

    2. a community of persons not constituting a state but bound by common descent, language, history, etc: the French-Canadian nation

    3. a. a federation of tribes, esp American Indians

    b. the territory occupied by such a federation

    [C13: via Old French from Latin nātiō birth, tribe, from nascī to be born]

    Note ‘people of one or more cultures,races, etc.’

    Any citations for your bald statement that: “It’s a common polity, that must necessarily unite for defence. You need one language for that”?

    and then there’s: ” That is why I am deeply suspicious of the ‘multiple official languages’ types; it’s always a giveaway of tribalism and primitivism”.

    Therefore what? Everyone must speak English? Double-plus good!

    @@

    Dingo

  • frankboyd

    Therefore what? Everyone must speak English?

    I know this is a hard one for you yankees to grasp, but there are other nations out there. There really, really are. Those places beyond the map aren’t just inventions by FOX/CNN/Whatever it is you watch.

    I was quite specific in talking about the language of the majority. Take these guys, for example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China

    Oddly enough, their majority language and, hence their official language is not english (n.b: pay attention to the whole ‘recognised regional languages bit). Weird how that works.

    However, I do not think it is a coincidence that nations with two or officially recognised languages tend to be culturally backward compared with the mono-linguists. Compare, say, Belgium to France and Germany. That tribal impulse has a stultifying effect. (Incidentally, in the Federal Republic of Germany, most everyone speaks English, but it still has only one official language. Funny how that works, isn’t it?)

    I’m twice as suspicious when the claims are being asserted against the language that is the universal trade language. It reeks of that primitive, tribal mindset.

  • laurentweppe

    Until the 19th century few in the country of France spoke, what we would call, ‘French’ (really Parisien with some Orléanais etc. mixed in).

    Don’t forget that “Academic” French is an artificial language originally meant to be understood and mastered only by the ruling elite.

    ***

    “Je suis heureux” – second s in suis is pronounced.

    But that’s only because in Heureux, the H is said to be “muet” (mute): when the H is said to be “aspiré” (breathed in), it is considered to be a consonant, in which case the liaision is forbidden: for instance, you’ll pronounce the sentence “Je suis honteux” “Je sui / onteux” and not “je sui-z-onteux

    It also affect the spelling of sentences: You say “le haricot” (the bean) and not “l’haricot”, “un beau haricot” and not “un bel haricot”, you’ll write “Elle est tout heureuse” without a E at the end of “tout” but you’ll write “Elle est toute honteuse”

    ***

    who, seriously, gives a fuck what happened three thousand years ago?

    Historians?

    Archeologists?

    People pissed at nationalists useing the founding myths of their country as an argument?

  • Chris from Europe

    know this is a hard one for you yankees to grasp, but there are other nations out there. There really, really are. Those places beyond the map aren’t just inventions by FOX/CNN/Whatever it is you watch.

    It was clear in context that it refers to the United States, you dishonest fucker.

    However, I do not think it is a coincidence that nations with two or officially recognised languages tend to be culturally backward compared with the mono-linguists.

    Do you have any actual evidence for this bold assertion?

    Compare, say, Belgium to France and Germany

    Belgium is not in any way culturally backward compared to France and Germany.

    That tribal impulse has a stultifying effect.

    And nationalist policies that are codifying such an impulse aren’t? That’s obviously inconsistent. The kind of people, members of the majority by the way, that respond to such impulses don’t go away either. They just look for another target and will likely find it (both Germany and France are excellent examples for that).

    (Incidentally, in the Federal Republic of Germany, most everyone speaks English, but it still has only one official language. Funny how that works, isn’t it?)

    Except that it doesn’t. Most people in Germany have learned English, but they don’t have a command of it.

    Germany also protects minority languages like Low German, Frisian, Danish and Sorbian. It should also be noted that Germans usually speak some form of dialect or colloquial influenced by local dialect. A great counter-example is also Switzerland that is doing quite well with for four official languages.

    The lack of an official language isn’t in any way threatening the dominance of English in the United States. But it allows easier integration and participation and limits the opportunities for bigots to discriminate. If the US followed European example, it would have to recognize Spanish and other languages at a local level (beyond New Mexico and Puerto Rico).

    I’m twice as suspicious when the claims are being asserted against the language that is the universal trade language. It reeks of that primitive, tribal mindset.

    That doesn’t follow. Universal trade languages are also replaced from time to time. I find it far more convincing that your mindset reeks of primitivism and tribalism. Given your name, you are someone who speaks English natively. Your “arguments” are nothing but a transparent attempt to coat your own bigotry in nice language.

  • …That is why I am deeply suspicious of the ‘multiple official languages’ types; it’s always a giveaway of tribalism and primitivism.

    Encouraging people to learn more than one language is tribalistic and primitive?

    I’m all in favor of encouraging all the people of one nation to speak at least one common language. But note that I said “at least.” There’s nothing wrong with more than one common language.

  • frankboyd

    Belgium is not in any way culturally backward compared to France and Germany.

    Really? Compare the achievements in arts and sciences in those countries with those of Belgium.

    Germany also protects minority languages like Low German, Frisian, Danish and Sorbian

    Bother to go back and read my point about recognised languages versus official languages, under the heading of China.

    It was clear in context that it refers to the United States

    Not even slightly, m’boy. It was in reference to what I had written, and I made no such context.

    Universal trade languages are also replaced from time to time.

    And when this one is replaced, we’ll look at the issue again.

    Given your name, you are someone who speaks English natively. Your “arguments” are nothing but a transparent attempt to coat your own bigotry in nice language.

    You know, I wondered how long it would be before a tribalist raised his knuckles off the floor long enough to tap out an accusation of bigotry. Won’t work, baby, won’t work. Get real.

    Incidentally, notice that this yahoo focusses on my name and what it implies. The primitive, tribal hooligan mind at work. A half-step above the cave, this one.

  • frankboyd

    RB,

    Encouraging people to learn more than one language is tribalistic and primitive?

    Could you actually quote what I said accurately? I never said that one should only learn one language – I speak two myself. I specifically said that I was talking about the concept of an official language and a drive to have two, or more, languages officially recognised is always a giveaway of the tribalist mentality.

  • dingojack

    My dear Frank – You seem to under the impression that Dingoes are indigenous to America. And you think I’m dumb!

    The number of speakers of a language seems to have little effect on how popular it becomes. Whoever has the technology, wins the language wars. For example Celtic languages seem to have spread across Europe along with technology and trade. The vast bulk of Australia seem to have been colonised by a language of the north-west around 5000 yrs ago. Language can be tricky.

    Belgium? Really that’s your trump card?

    OK then let’s see how ‘stulified’ they are compared to Gremany and France shall we?

    GDP (PPP) per capita*

    IMF (2011)

    Germany: $37,935

    Belgium: $37,667

    France: $35,048

    World Bank (2010)

    Germany: $37,591

    Belgium: $37,448

    France: $33,820

    CIA World Factbook (2010 est.)

    Belgium: $37,800

    Germany: $35,700

    France: $33,100

    Hmm so Belgium is -0.7%, -0.38% or +5.88% relative to Germany and +7.49%, +5.43% or +14.2% relative to France.

    Poor ol’ stifled Belgium and their dual langages!

    Dingo

    —–

    * GDP per capita is a measure of how productive the population is (a measure of GDP per worker would be even better). Purcasing Power Parity (PPP) eliminates the differences in costs of living and gives a more accurate measure of actual wealth being generated. (eg Australia GDP/capita (averaged from the above sources) $56,171.67; GDP (PPP)/capita (averaged from the same sources) $40,414 which seems more realistic relative to average wages & etc. Curiously, without any kind of ‘official’ language and the government going out of their way to communicate in many languages, Australia does better than either Germany and France, go figure!)

  • frankboyd

    Yes, we all know how the dollar is the only measurement of value.

    You seem to under the impression that Dingoes are indigenous to America. And you think I’m dumb!

    Given that it took you two readings to see that that is what I called you, I think I may stand by my view.

    Okay, so you’re not a parochial yankee, you’re a parochial ozzy. Fair enough, I stand corrected on that one.

  • Glenn E Ross AKA HeartlessB

    frankboyd sez:

    Really? Compare the achievements in arts and sciences in those countries with those of Belgium.

    You are obviously not a beer geek. I couldn’t imagine a world without Belgian Ales.

  • frankboyd

    Fair enough, Glenn, I’ll give you that one 🙂

  • dingojack

    Frank – Nope only one, still that’s a side issue.

    I’ve noted your reluctance to rebut my argument (OBTW the currency used wouldn’t effect the results because both are being measured against the same yard-stick (or metre-stick, if you perfer) which is the whole point of PPP).

    Dingo

  • slc1

    Re ChrisfromEurope @ 51

    Actually, Germans from Northern Germany (e.g. Hamburg) ofter have trouble understanding Germans from Bavaria (e.g. Munich) and vice versa. This was related to me, when I was a graduate student, by a colleague from Hamburg who said that he preferred to converse with another colleague, who was from Munich, in English as the latter’s German was execrable (his words).

  • Chiroptera

    frankboyd, #54: I specifically said that I was talking about the concept of an official language and a drive to have two, or more, languages officially recognised is always a giveaway of the tribalist mentality.

    Oh, is it Backwards Day?

  • Chris from Europe

    Bother to go back and read my point about recognised languages versus official languages, under the heading of China.

    I doubt that the German protection of minority languages is comparable to China’s language policy.

    It was in reference to what I had written, and I made no such context.

    Dingo’s reaction wasn’t limited to what you had written. And the context of the discussion was the situation in the United States. Dingo’s reply is easily understandable in that context. What you did was purposeful misunderstanding. It didn’t fool anyone.

    You know, I wondered how long it would be before a tribalist raised his knuckles off the floor long enough to tap out an accusation of bigotry. Won’t work, baby, won’t work. Get real.

    Only an idiot wouldn’t recognize the quite obvious bigotry you promote. The fact that you simply accuse opponents as tribalist, even though that’s actually the accurate description of your argument, is telling. I’m fairly certain that you won’t convince many, if anyone, here. You might have more success with uneducated people that don’t know what words like tribalist mean.

    If you take proportions into account, there’s no need for Belgium to be embarrassed in respect of a comparison with Germany at all. One must be a know-nothing to be convinced by this kind of argument.

    Incidentally, notice that this yahoo focusses on my name and what it implies. The primitive, tribal hooligan mind at work. A half-step above the cave, this one.

    I take your reaction as evidence that you are defeated.

  • Chris from Europe

    @slc1

    The Northern Germans can be assured that the Southerners feel the same way about them. I rather talk to a speaker of Swiss German (and when I’m in good mood, even to Austrians which are said to speak the same dialect*).

    I might understand the SF Tagesschau (news show of Swiss public television) even without subtitles. If you speak German, watch a clip from here and tell me what you think.

    * If you visit Munich, don’t tell people they sound Austrian.

  • harold

    Dingo jack –

    I actually am pretty well aware of the linguistic history of France, and I know I used a Gascon name, but anyway, thanks for out.

  • frankboyd

    Oh jeez, I turn away for a few minutes and the damn fools show up dragging their knuckles over the floor. Where do they get these types, I wonder?

    Only an idiot wouldn’t recognize the quite obvious bigotry you promote.

    Well, why don’t you point it out sunshine?

    Dingo’s reaction wasn’t limited to what you had written. And the context of the discussion was the situation in the United States. Dingo’s reply is easily understandable in that context.

    Correct – as is my response that it is eminently sensible for any nation to have a single official language that is the officially recognised mode of communication within that nation. Hence my comparisons with China etc. Look, if you can’t even properly read one language, why are you getting het up about the possibilities of more of them?

    slc1,

    Actually, Germans from Northern Germany (e.g. Hamburg) ofter have trouble understanding Germans from Bavaria (e.g. Munich)

    I speak German and can understand people from both places just fine.

  • frankboyd

    My original point, incidentally, was that this is why outfits like VDARE get away with what they do. Promote tribalism and primitivism and then act all shocked when you see what hitches a ride.

  • dingojack

    Harold – I just mentioned it because it wasn’t something I knew myself until quite recently (thank-you QI)!

    Apparently something similar occurred in Spain, with Castilian winning out, although a sizeable number speak Basque and Galician (the latter is, I think, related to Portuguese somehow, although I don’t see the resemblance. Maybe a native speaker might be able to help me out). Both are recognised as official languages by the Spanish Government. (GDP (PPP)/ capita $30,697.33 averaged).

    Dingo

  • I specifically said that I was talking about the concept of an official language and a drive to have two, or more, languages officially recognised is always a giveaway of the tribalist mentality.

    And you’re dead wrong. First, a country having more than one “official” language is not necessarily tribalistic, as long as everyone in that country is encouraged to learn all of the “official” languages. And second, having more than one “official” language is — or at least can be — a lot less “tribalistic” than one tribe insisting that everyone else use only their language.

    Also, you’re just being hypocritical. Why is it enlightened and civilized to insist on only one language, but “tribalistic” when someone else wants to use another?

  • Chiroptera

    frankboyd, #66: My original point, incidentally, was that this is why outfits like VDARE get away with what they do.

    Actually, I think that a better point is how (in the US anyway) the only groups that are pushing for “English First” or “English Only” or “English Ins’t Just For Hillbillies Anymore” are pretty much like VDARE.

    Groups that aren’t clearly racist aren’t pushing for a national language.

  • Another important aspect about English as official language is that it might endanger native language education for minority kids across the United States. IANAL, but I do remember that

    – after Hawai’i Pidgin was recognised as a language distinct from English, DOE grants were available for education in Hawai’i Pidgin

    – there was (probably still is) a huge battle over AAVE as a dialect or language, with direct repercussions for funding.

    harold,

    it’s not true that all US communities have English as their common language. In Puerto Rico, with 3.8m people, according to the US census in 2000, only 28% were proficient in English (in the other three territories, the English proficiency might be higher, but they don’t appear in the published Census data).

    Presumably a constitutional amendment would have repercussions for Puerto Rico.

    To all discussing Germany:

    first, there is NO official language in Germany, the constitution does not mention it. (That said, some administrative laws do mention German as the primary language as used by the government, but the impact is far less compared with a constitutional clause)

    So frankboyd, your entire premise is faulty. Also, you come close to being a white supremacist for suggesting that nations with “nations with two or officially recognised languages tend to be culturally backward compared with the mono-linguists”. Outside of Europe, individual multilingualism*) is much more common.

    Also, there are many countries whose official languages are not majority countries. Some of which is a legacy of colonialism, i.e. French or English were chosen as official languages after independence, either because the dominant language was not developed sufficiently (and the opportunity costs of doing so considered too high), and/or the country was too culturally diverse. Indonesia is an interesting case in that it chose a non-majority non-colonial language, Malay (known now as “Indonesian”), to be its official language. Even today it’s estimated that there are only 40-50m native speakers in a nation of 250m people (and 800 languages).

    German conservatives have put forward a proposal to make German the official language of Germany again claiming there would be no practical repercussions, but that’s not true, the status of recognised minority languages, such as the aforementioned Sorbian, Friesian and Danish,**) would be in danger, and probably also bilingual education for minorities.

    Re Bavarian: I think standard German with a Bavarian accent, even a thick one, can be understood mostly without problem by North Germans, but they will struggle with Bavarian dialect speakers.

    *) to me, Belgium and Switzerland are more examples of “societal multilingualism” as the various linguistic communities exist next to each other. By “individual multilingualism” I mean that it is normal to grow up with several languages, for instance, your home community’s language, your parents’ languages, one or two trade languages, maybe regional or national official languages, and English or French as prestige languages.

    **) Low German has an interesting legal status, but going into this would be too far.

  • Chiroptera

    first, there is NO official language in Germany….

    Heh. I was going to ask about that.

    How many countries that we consider to be modern liberal democracies have chosen a single official national language?

  • frankboyd

    Raging Bee,

    I am going to explain this really. reeaaaly. slllooowwwwly, so that maybe, just maybe, this is understood.

    Also, you’re just being hypocritical. Why is it enlightened and civilized to insist on only one language, but “tribalistic” when someone else wants to use another?

    I never wrote anything about people only using one language. No where did I suggest or imply any such thing. I have only ever written about a nation requiring one official language as the lingua franca within it, regardless of how many other languages are spoken in different localities. For example, the official language of the United Kingdom is English, and this does not conflict, does not cause any problem with the speaking of Gaelic in areas of Scotland, Welsh in wales, Mandarin in London’s chinatowns, or any of the languages of the subcontinent that are spoken in, say, the Hindu communities. Nor should such a conflict exist, nor should one be generated.

    Now, do you get this distinction, or do I need to explain it again? I will only proceed to the rest of this argument if this is understood. Now, is it?

  • Chiroptera

    frankboyd, #72: For example, the official language of the United Kingdom is English….

    Oh, come now, even I know that’s not true.

  • frankboyd

    Chrioptera, your need to make specious arguments is duly noted.

    For the record:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany

  • For example, the official language of the United Kingdom is English, and this does not conflict, does not cause any problem with the speaking of Gaelic in areas of Scotland, Welsh in wales…

    Actually, the policy of making English the official language caused HUGE problems for speakers of other languages, especially (IIRC) Welsh speakers. Do you know what a “Welsh-not” is? Your ignorance of history — especially the history of what an “official language” actually entails — is appalling, but not surprising.

    And since you’ve held up the UK as an example, can you show that the UK is more advanced, and less “tribalistic,” than, say, France, Germany or Switzerland?

    Also, was America a more advanced nation back when we were demanding that everyone else speak English?

  • frankboyd,

    Wikipedia is not a legal source. Where in the German Basic Law does it say German is the official and/or national language?

  • Chiroptera

    Actually, my source:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_Kingdom

    According to this, the status of English in the UK is the same as the status of English in the US — a de facto national language but not a legally official one.

    Is this wrong?

  • I have only ever written about a nation requiring one official language as the lingua franca within it, regardless of how many other languages are spoken in different localities.

    And you have failed to demonstrate that nations adopting such a policy are more advanced, or less “tribalistic,” than other nations, as you have asserted.

  • dingojack

    Hmmm speaking Swiss, German, Italian and French really has hurt the economy of Switerland. Who’d want to live in that backward little hell-hole? (17.9% higher than Germany & 29.77% higher than France GDP (PPP)/ capita [averaged]).

    Dingo

  • frankboyd

    RB,

    May I now take it that you have understood the point I was making?

    To the rest of this, here’s some evidence, from one dinky little University:

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/about/awards-announcements-and-prizes/nobel-prize-winners/

    I do know what the Welsh Not is, and you quite neatly prove my point about what happens with a tribalist mind. To quote myself, back at comment 45 To the tribalist, however, language is a way of binding the mind, of forcing others into a conformity with the tribal mindset.

    (if it matters, I was referring to the differences between monolingual nations and those with more than one recognised official language).

    Now, there’s been a certain amount of sickly stuff like this:

    Another important aspect about English as official language is that it might endanger native language education for minority kids across the United States

    Well, given the notorious troubles of the education system in the US, it would seem that it would struggle to instruct even one language correctly. And is a child better off with instruction in a language that is understood anywhere within the nation and a great deal beyond it, or is the child better off with a language that would trap it in a ghetto?

    Salman Rushdie and V.S. Naipaul speak English considerably better than many native speakers, and look how the knowledge of that language has given them a pass-key to cosmopolitanism.

    That is my point about the tribalist impulse and the division inherent in the multiple official languages. A nation is something divided off from the rest of the world by definition; it’s a compromise we cannot seem to do without, but it is arrant lunacy to promote further division and strife arbitrarily. Finally, it is of great advantage to the “english speaking peoples” that their lingua franca gives them this universal access.

  • And is a child better off with instruction in a language that is understood anywhere within the nation and a great deal beyond it, or is the child better off with a language that would trap it in a ghetto?

    You sound more and more like a white supremacist with every post you write here.

  • frankboyd

    Yes, because concern for the children of the disadvantaged and a liking for cosmopolitanism is, of course, a sign of white supremacism. And if the question is instruction of local languages, versus the lingua franca, bother to examine the following:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soweto_uprising

    I really am not surprised that chaps at VDARE get away with spreading their filth, if this is the sort of opposition they get. You reap what you sow.

  • Chiroptera

    frankboyd, #80: That is my point about the tribalist impulse and the division inherent in the multiple official languages.

    Which brings up another question that has been puzzling me.

    Who in the United States is advocating multiple official languages? Isn’t frankboyd’s diatribe more appropriately directed at Switzerland, Finland, and even — considering the official status of the minority languages in the smaller subregions — his own example of the UK?

  • frankboyd

    Incidentally, I’d add the following. There is a very large and brilliant literature written in english written by people from or ancestrally from Africa or Asia. If you think that there’s something inherently “white” about english, that’s your problem pelanum.

    Tribalist dickhead.

  • dingojack

    “To the tribalist, however, language is a way of binding the mind, of forcing others into a conformity with the tribal mindset”.

    Therefore everyone should speak one language, officially, so that they can be not not forced in the ‘tribal mindset’ of speaking a language.

    Some speak are plus-extra double-plus-good!!

    @@

    Dingo

  • frankboyd,

    well, as long as you don’t retract your outrageous claim that “nations with two or officially recognised languages tend to be culturally backward”, a claim that cannot be justified unless you view western culture with its predomiant monolingualism to be superior, you’re treading very close to white supremacist territory, and your ignorant pronouncements about bilingual education just adds to the picture.

  • frankboyd

    Chiroptera, my “diatribe” was prompted by an observation that it’s damaging to a real anti-racist cause to mix it up with non-issues, or, worse, compromise with tribalism and groupthink.

    I’m a lifelong believer in the cosmopolitan ideal, and a basic requirement of that is a common mode of discourse. It’s precisely because I have locked horns aplenty with, say, the Vlaams Belang of Belgium etc. that I can recognise the stink.

  • frankboyd

    Wise guy pelanum, how about, instead, you retract your loathsome insinuation that there is something inherently “white” about speaking English and think about the nasty insult you deliver to writers of the quality of Naipaul, Rushdie and Mandela? Then you can come out of your corner.

  • frankboyd,

    get my ‘nym right, you fuckwit.

    Where did literature come into play now? Of course there is a global literature in English, and that’s a good thing. Which has zilch to do with your racist fantasies about cultural backwardness.

  • Chiroptera

    frankboyd, #87:

    Personally, I would think that if you are pushing for a cause that is being advocated by overtly racist groups and opposed by groups that work to combat anti-racist, then you might want to consider whether you are damaging the anti-racist cause.

  • Salman Rushdie and V.S. Naipaul speak English considerably better than many native speakers, and look how the knowledge of that language has given them a pass-key to cosmopolitanism.

    Yeah, because so few people in any cities spoke their native language that they could never be cosmopolitan until they learned English.

    Boyd, you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. And you still haven’t shown that multilingual nations are less acvanced or more “tribalistic” than monolingual ones. Seriously, is the UK really more advanced than Spain, France, Germany, or any of the other nations we’ve mentioned here? Are the monolingual parts of America less “tribalistic” than, say, Manhattan?

  • dingojack

    Cranky Franky – What about the international language –

    of dance!

    [engages in a vigoruos jig, a few plié and a generalized stomp]

    Dingo

  • a basic requirement of that is a common mode of discourse

    a common mode of discourse which for cosmopolitans of the likes of frankboyd, usually means “learn English, you culturally backward people”.

    (Yes, we don’t need to know how many foreign languages you speak, yawn in advance already)

  • (I also don’t get in what sense FB is trying to use the Soweto uprising as an argument here. Afrikaans was not a local language to those who protested. Imposing Afrikaans on them was as white supremacist as you could get.)

  • Chiroptera

    illiterate me, #90: …groups that work to combat anti-racist….

    I meant, “groups that work to combat racism.”

  • dingojack

    pelamun (#94) – How Boerish of them!

    😉 Dingo

  • From what I was told part of the problem with offical language is that pesky first ammendment which would basically promote one form of speech over another.

    Basically the government cannot legislate to people that they MUST speak English…the only reason English is the one we conduct government business in is that it is most common. If everyone decided to start speaking Spanish we’d switch to making that the default. An official language is inherently against free speech.

  • Chiroptera

    We Are Ing, #97: If everyone decided to start speaking Spanish we’d switch to making that the default.

    Which is exactly what the white nationalists are so afraid of. They don’t really care about a single standard language being a unifying force; they’re afraid of the wrong language being the standard.

    They want legal protections for their language to protect themselves from being at a disadvantage if and when a different one becomes the de facto standard.

  • given the fact that, contrary to what Republicans think, Hispanics too follow the three-generation rule (most Latinos who are third generation or later, are monolingual English speakers), this has a very remote chance to actually happen…

  • Chiroptera

    Well, I didn’t say their fear was a rational one….

  • pelamun: your point about Afrikaans reminds us that a lot depends on WHICH “common language” one insists on. Making Afrikaans the common language of South Africa would have isolsted their people from the rest of the world; but making English the common language would have greatly increased their freedom and opportunities (to the extent that they didn’t already have such opportunities).

    As for the Constitution, I don’t think the First Amendment prevents a government from setting education standards to require everyone to learn the same language(s). HOWEVER, “equal protection of the laws” probably means governments have to do at least some business, and publish some important information, in certain languages if certain immigrant communities would be unfairly disadvantaged otherwise.

  • Raging Bee,

    I’m not sure, because the average denizen of Soweto would probably not have had the luxury of leaving the country anyways. Afrikaans was associated with the odious Apartheid regime, and thus triggered the protests. If there had been no Afrikaans at all, I’m not sure if imposing English wouldn’t have had a similar effect. Though in the case of the uprisings, taking away a choice, the one between English and Afrikaans, exacerbated the reaction, I suppose.

    This is why developing regional languages is so important. In India, the situation is quite complicated:

    1. The primary official language is Hindi

    2. The secondary official language, English, the former colonial language, is supposed to be phased out

    3. The Eighth Schedule to the constitution (now) lists 22 so-called “scheduled languages”

    The meaning of what scheduled languages has changed over time, now it means that the govt of India is obligated to develop all of them, so their status is not constitutionally protected.

    India is linguistically split mostly into two language families, Indo-Aryan (a branch of Indo-European) in the North and Dravidian in the South. For northerners, learning Hindi is like studying a closely related language (a Cantonese person learning Mandarin, or a Spaniard learning Portuguese), but southerners have been very apprehensive about this since the enactment of the constitution, and this is the main reason why English hasn’t been phased out yet. The scheduled languages of course include the major Dravidian languages, but there is talk of amending the constitution to make them properly official languages as well.

    (States can also designate their own official languages, and some have chosen languages that aren’t scheduled, but this wouldn’t impact the federal government, of course)

  • doktorzoom

    I just love it when some Nativist rants on and on about the necessity of English as a lingua franca. I know that the mere irony of calling for English to be the Latin-phrase-meaning-“French language” isn’t a sufficient counterpoint to invalidate the claim, but I take amusement where I can.

  • doktorzoom,

    it means “Frankish language”. “French language” in Latin would have been “lingua (franco-)gallica” or “lingua francica”, not “lingua franca”. Frankish is actually still spoken in the Frankish homeland.

    The crusades were associated with the Franks, so that’s how the term came about. Also it was actually Italian-based, not French-based.

    /pedant

  • frankboyd

    Personally, I would think that if you are pushing for a cause that is being advocated by overtly racist groups and opposed by groups that work to combat anti-racist, then you might want to consider whether you are damaging the anti-racist cause.

    Right. Hoping for greater communication and integration and not wanting to concede anything to tribal linguists is a racist cause. Jesus wept, I knew the American “left” was badly off, but I should remember that I can always be surprised.

    Incidentally, pelamun, might want to take a careful look at the troubles that tribalism and quarrelling of language has caused in India – there’s a very good reason I refuse to call it “Mumbai”.

    Cue the hysterics in three-two-one from people who don’t know shit about either India or the Shiv Sena…

    And, though it fucking breaks my heart to see it happen, something similar went down in South Africa. Those “eleven official” languages were a sure sign that there was a fatal concession to tribalism and tribal politics. I don’t suppose any of you know about that, or care, though just maybe someone’s seen District 9 and has an inkling of what has happened…

    a common mode of discourse which for cosmopolitans of the likes of frankboyd, usually means “learn English, you culturally backward people”.

    Yes, quite. You culturally backward people on this blog should learn english.

    doktorzoom, Nativist huh? What country do you think that I am “native” to? Oh, and English has always had borrow words. Get real. You sound like a High Tory blowing smoke about the presence of Norman and Roman words.

    RB,

    Boyd, you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about.

    Actually, that would be you. I guess you’ve never read either of those men. I think you couldn’t if you tried. I guess your attitude is that “natives should stick to their place and tongue…”

    Basically, some of the VDARE shitheads have the indecent nerve to suggest that English is a “white identity” language, that it can’t be properly learned by “non-whites”. And what do you do? You agree. You sign on wholeheartedly, you just take it the other way around.

    Good grief, come back Trotsky. Your people need you.

  • Chiroptera

    frankboyd, #105: I knew the American “left” was badly off, but I should remember that I can always be surprised.

    To be fair, in the US we have never had to contend against an intelligent, thoughtful Right.*

    That includes today, by the way.

    I’ll note that you still haven’t provided any evidence of a correlation (let alone causation) between a state having several official languages and being backwards compared to those states that don’t.

    You still haven’t acknowledged that the point isn’t even relevant to discussion in the US since no one is advocating for several official languages.

    And I’m still interested in seeing a list (not necessarily from frankboyd — he seems too easily distracted by points irrelevant even to his own argument) of those liberal democracies that have a single, legally official language.

    *Shameless plagiarism on my part.

  • Chiroptera

    Oops. I forgot that you also ignore that the only groups advocating for English as the official language of the US are exactly those who are advocating for tribalism and racism.

  • frankboyd

    Chiroptera,

    If it’s unclear, consider the historic achievements of France versus Belgium, Germany versus Switzerland, or the US – historically – against Canada.

    As to the other – it says nothing good about the states that the political scene is so lousy that only racists and nativists argue for a unifying language. But that doesn’t make it any less of a good idea. And it wouldn’t be the first time that history has advanced by irony and unintended consequence.

  • frankboyd,

    with every post you make here, you look more and more ignorant on top of being borderline racist.

    But since you seem incapable of addressing the points made here, let me spell it out in a numbered list:

    1. retract or rephrase your racist statement about cultural backwardness. There is no way to justify it. You might be able to make your point in a non-racist way, but the way you phrased it is just inexcusable.

    2. explain how exactly your Soweto uprising example was relevant to the discussion.

    3. explain, in light of what I have said about India, whether it is your view that those “culturally backward” southerners should just shut the fuck up and learn Hindi already.

  • Chiroptera

    frankboyd, #108: If it’s unclear, consider the historic achievements of France versus Belgium, Germany versus Switzerland, or the US – historically – against Canada.

    I don’t understand your examples. I would be happy to live in any one of those countries. Which, to me, is more relavant than some ambiguous appeal to “historic achievements,” whatever that is supposed to mean.

  • frankboyd

    pelamun,

    Should I ever make a racist statement, even inadvertently, I will be ecstatically happy to retract it. Until such a time, however, you and other primitives like you are better off retreating to the swamp that spawned you.

  • frankboyd

    Which, to me, is more relavant than some ambiguous appeal to “historic achievements,” whatever that is supposed to mean

    Arts, letters and science – for the umpteenth time.

  • Chiroptera

    pelamun, #109:

    I see that you’ve noticed that frankboyd has backed off the “culturally backwards” thing and is now trying to appeal to “historic achievements.”

  • frankboyd

    As regards India, a place I know more than a little about, and I doubt that this person knows anything about, who dares to say that it has no tribal problems? And who can seriously say that the tribal and group politics have not been enormously to the detriment of a nation that, by rights, should be at a minimum the equal of the United States?

    And what makes me too sick for words is that this tribalistic disease is one that originates in the West. Dumb and irresponsible drivel about identity politics propounded by worthless westerners cause real, and serious damage when they’re taken seriously elsewhere.

  • Chiroptera,

    well, I don’t know if I can count that as retracting. Usually retracting means a statement along the lines of “I retract my earlier statement” with an optional “let me try to make my point in a different way…”

    Well, the historical achievement line still reeks of white supremacism as it could be used to justify imperialism and colonialism.

    But then frankboyd is apparently incapable of engaging in a discussion. I tried listing the points I wanted answered by him in a conveniently numbered list, but it looks like that still went above his head.

  • As regards India, a place I know more than a little about, and I doubt that this person knows anything about, who dares to say that it has no tribal problems?

    Assuming you mean me, where did I say, it doesn’t? I don’t think you should be posting here. You fail at reading comprehension, you fail at addressing other posters’ points, you fail at anything that comes close to a discussion.

  • Chiroptera

    frankboyd, #112:

    It would be interesting for you to make a list of all the countries of the world, designating which ones have made great contributions to arts, letters, and sciences, and which ones haven’t, and then identifying the ones that have a single official national language, several official languages, and no legal official language.

    I’d also like to know what your arguments (which seem more against having several official languages) has to do with the US since no group is trying to designate several official languages over the nation.

  • frankboyd

    Well, the historical achievement line still reeks of white supremacism as it could be used to justify imperialism and colonialism

    Right, pelanum. Because only “whites” have ever achieved anything. You know, I suddenly see what’s going on here: it’s a lot of guilty consciousnesses on display. Shout loudly and you might be able to live with yourself.

    And if I have to lower myself to your wretched level, what, exactly, is the racial difference between the US and Canada, or between France and Belgium?

    Whatever. At least I now know what’s going on here.

  • Chripotera,

    talking about the US, that’s not necessarily correct, as in much that there is one state and three territories, which already have two official languages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_the_United_States#Official_language_status

    But I’d like to see frankboyd argue that Hawai’i and Puerto Rico have achieved less/are culturally backward because they have two official languages.

  • frankboyd,

    where are your answers to my numbered list?

    And if I have to lower myself to your wretched level, what, exactly, is the racial difference between the US and Canada, or between France and Belgium?

    You’re the one making comparisons here about cultural advancedness or historical achievements. For me, this is a moot question.

    The fact remains, that the West is overwhelmingly monolingual, and that is reflected in its official language policies. Many other parts of the world, OTOH, are overwhelmingly multilingual, and this is often reflected in the language policies there. By claiming that official monolingualism is superior, that’s where your line of reasoning becomes problematic.

    Right, pelanum. Because only “whites” have ever achieved anything. You know, I suddenly see what’s going on here: it’s a lot of guilty consciousnesses on display. Shout loudly and you might be able to live with yourself.

    You don’t know anything about my background. Guilt has nothing to do with it.

    And now you even seem to deny the history of western imperialism. It keeps getting better.

  • frankboyd

    And now you even seem to deny the history of western imperialism. It keeps getting better.

    And where, exactly, have I done this?

    Jesus, no wonder the VDAREists get away with everything when they are faced with this sort of thing. Goodness me, but I can also see why you have a problem with the concept of cultural backwardness – I’m sorry I raised such a sore point with you.

    Cretinism of the first order. Marx must be rolling over in his grave.

  • well, how can you keep talking about comparing historic achievements (btw, how would one measure this anyways) without talking about western imperialism?

    Unsurprisingly, you’re also dead wrong about VDARE getting away with anything. On the federal level, the official language issue is dead in the water, and it has been classified as a hate group by a respected institution.

    Where are your answers to my numbered list?

  • frankboyd

    Right, only “the West” has ever achieved anything. And, incidentally, which nation do you think has the second longest continual claim to be part of “the West”? As I said, dirty consciences, very dirty. And don’t my sources tell me the KKK was a democrat movement? Looks clearer every second.

  • Unsurprisingly, you’re also dead wrong about VDARE getting away with anything. On the federal level, the official language issue is dead in the water, and it has been classified as a hate group by a respected institution.

    Oh wait you’re the one advocating an official monolinguialism policy. So tell me why I shouldn’t just lump you together with the VDARE folks.

    I mean, make a coherent statement why official multilingualism is bad. By coherent, I don’t mean throw in some incidents or keywords into the discussion out of context, but explain why such a policy supposedly leads to so much evil.

  • frankboyd

    Jesus, you inbred troll, why don’t you bother to take a look at, say Needham’s Science and Civilization in China before you start running your mouth that discussion of cultural achievement can only mean “white” achievement?

  • …take a careful look at the troubles that tribalism and quarrelling of language has caused in India…

    You actually think that languages are even one of the top ten causes of their quarreling? You think they’d all be getting along fine if they’d all just learned the same language? Seriously? I don’t have to be an India expert to know that their quarreling is due to ethnic, economic and class conflicts that go FAR deeper than just not speaking the same language.

    I’m all in favor of people learning at least one common language, since it opens up lots of opportunities for social mobility and understanding. But it’s not nearly as important as you seem to think it is. In fact, the most ridiculous and hateful tribalistic divisions in America have nothing at all to do with language, and more to do with race, class, religion, culture, wealth distribution, and (lack of) decent secular education.

    And where, exactly, have I done this?

    Where you tried to pretend that UK’s “official language” policy was “no problem” for speakers of Welsh, Gaelic, etc.

    Dumb and irresponsible drivel about identity politics propounded by worthless westerners…

    What, people in India never had divisions along ethnic or tribal lines before the westerners showed up? God you’re a fucking idiot. What are you going to tell us next — that Africans and Native Americans never fought among themselves until western liberals came along with their identity politics?

    Basically, some of the VDARE shitheads have the indecent nerve to suggest that English is a “white identity” language, that it can’t be properly learned by “non-whites”. And what do you do? You agree.

    Quote even one of us saying anything like that, or admit you’re full of shit. You’re an ignorant axe-grinding jackass, and you’re flat-out lying about what we’ve said.

    PS: You STILL haven’t explained how monolingual countries are more advanced than multilingual countries. And you’ll probably never get around to explaining that central thesis of yours, since you’re so busy flailing defensively and trying to rescue some scrap of the credibility you’ve lost.

  • Oh, and if anyone doubts that a monolingual society can be backward and torn by ethnic, tribal, class and/or religious conflicts, just look at the Arab world. (Hint: It’s called “Arab” for a reason…like for starters, they all speak Arabic.)

  • frankboyd,

    would you care to respond to my numbered list?

    The fact that there is no objective way of measuring historical achievements against each other. Another fact is that western supremacists have used the achievement argument to justify imperialism and colonialism.

    So again, your China argument goes amiss. Note that I never said that any culture is superior or inferior, it was you who brought this up, sounding just like the average western supremacist.

  • Raging Bee,

    the Arab world is actually far, far from being monolingual. It’s linguistically highly complex, but no, the so-called Arabic dialects are often mutually intelligible, especially if a Maghribine meets someone from say Iraq. But they can sometimes get by by using Egyptian Arabic, because many TV series use Egyptian Arabic.

    There’s also Standard Arabic, which is learnt in school, but has no native speakers. It’s based on Classical Arabic, the language of the Qur’an.

    Many an Islamic Studies major has regretted their choice of country for their semester abroad..

    A better example might be former Yugoslavia:

    – Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian are essentially dialects of the same language

    – Swedish, Norwegian, Danish: they did have centuries of wars against each other, though they got better.

    – Urdu and Hindi are often cited, but that belies the multilinguality of the countries concerned, as well as the fact that Urdu has more speakers in India than in Pakistan. It’s also by far not the biggest languages in Pakistan.

  • (Standard Arabic is restricted to H-situations, official contexts and would never be used in everyday life, to function as a member of Arab society, you need to be able to speak MSA and the relevant local dialect)

  • I’m sorry, the dialects are often mutually UNintelligible

  • pelamun: correction noted. I knew there were dialects, but I wasn’t sure just how different they were. In any case, the Arab World’s current backwardness — as well as their earlier unity and advancement — are mostly caused by factors other than commonality of language. Boyd’s insistent harping on language differences is just plain simpleminded and shallow, just like nearly all the other “analyses” you hear from racists about what’s “really” wrong with “those people.”

  • Chiroptera

    palamun, #119: But I’d like to see frankboyd argue that Hawai’i and Puerto Rico have achieved less/are culturally backward because they have two official languages.

    Especially compared to Alabama and Mississippi which do have a single official language. (Heh. Apologies to my fellow travelers who live in Alabama and Mississippi.)

    I can’t vouch for the most of the states and territories on the list, but one of the states listed, Alaska, makes every effort to make election and other materials available to speakers of the Native languages, and in the end I’m not so sure what practical effect the law has. I’m guessing a similar thing can be said for California with respect to its minorities.

    That whole list is a huge hodgepodge of stuff that altogether fails to support any position on “official languages” except that it’s largely pointless. And most often just a big “f*** you” to minorities.

  • nemothederv

    For some reason I now have Eric Cartmen’s minorities in my waterpark song stuck in my head.

    It’s like some kind of Colbertesqe art project where everybody decides to be a cartoon character. A whole panel of Eric Cartmens

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