Friday, January 16, 2009

More on the "post-racial" era

Banning Arabic in the schools

"Arabic Speakers Needed to Assist Survivors of Human Trafficking and/or Domestic Violence!"-- Ad from a social service agency

Inauguration day is fast approaching and friends and family are heading to D.C. for the great celebration. Is our long national neocon nightmare finally coming to an end? We can only hope. But as for all this talk about a new post-racism era, well...

The Detroit News reports a move afoot to ban Arabic from being spoken in Dearborn, Michigan public schools. Dearborn is in an area with the highest concentration of Arab speaking families in the country. But the anti-Arab crowd appears to be taking a cue from Bloomberg/Klein and the old NY Sun/NY Post crowd who successfully torpedoed the Khalil Gibran International Academy with its focus on Arabic language and culture, when they pushed out principal, Debbie Almontaser.

The Tennessean reports that Nashville is trying to do the same through the passage of an English-only ordanance.

All this at a time when the State Department has put out a desperate call for more Arab-speaking dipmomats as it continues to ask all foreign service workers to accept assignments in the Middle East and when domestic service agencies cry out for multi-lingual workers to help deal with the needs of rapidly expanding immigrant communities in this time of economic collapse.

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