Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Catching Keith: Counting down Olbermann's errors, part 6

Recently, when Senator Barack Obama made what should surely was an innocuous comment--suggesting that immigrants to the United States should learn English--our friend Keith suggested he was being unnecessarily divisive: "There was something about Senator Obama and this issue of unifying that happened at the debate in Chicago that seems to go right past people. He was talking about roots to citizenship for immigrants. He suggested one of the tests should be are they learning English. In retrospect, I think I should have stopped the debate right there and said, did you really just say that? How unifying is that position going to be among Democrats in, say, Florida and New York and California and Texas?"

Mr. Olbermann, sir, our friends on the left have been assuring us for years that immigrants really do want to learn English, and will learn it. Is that not so, now? Not to mention the fact that a national language will unify us as much as anything can.

Immigrants to America have historically learned English, Mr. Olbermann, and done so fairly quickly. My ancestors did so. So did yours. Are you saying it's divisive to suggest that immigrants should do so today? Think, Mr. Olbermann. Senator Obama wasn't being divisive. He was simply reminding us of what has been a tradition in this country for nearly 200 years.