Civil Liberties:

  • The following is a message from Alice Anderton of the Intertribal Wordpath Society and the Oklahoma Green Party.

    More can be found on this issue in continuing coverage at the Oklahoma Indy Media Center.



      Subject: Anti-English Only Rally at the Capitol, 3/3/03 1:30

      Dear Friends,

      The Oklahoma English Act, HB 1020, is scheduled for a vote Wednesday, March 5 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives (but it may come to a vote sooner). Intertribal Wordpath Society is calling for a rally of our members and supporters, and other groups who are opposed to HB 1020, on the South steps of the Capitol on Monday March 3, 1:30-3:30 pm. We are especially interested in working with Indian Tribes, Hispanic and Asian-American organizations, language preservationists and other professionals who see the insult and the folly of making English the official language of Oklahoma and forbidding the state to use most other languages for most purposes.

      We have reserved the Capitol P.A. system for the rally; speakers from a variety of organizations and

      groups will address the crowd on issues related to HB 1020. We have in mind groups like the 39 tribes, LULAC, LCDA,TICAR, OKTESOL, churches, and political parties that are against “English Only” laws, etc. Please help us spread the word to similar organizations, and make us aware of individuals who would like to speak. Appropriate signs and banners naming concerned groups or succinctly stating reasonsfor opposing the law will be welcome. We suggest direct, but not personal (ad-hominem) statements (When you attack my language, You attack my people…HB 1020: English Supremacists Exposed … An attack on one is an attack on all … Don’t let our children be

      language-deprived … Oklahomans for Bilingual ed …Diversity is good … etc. … invent your own!) We would love for supportive legislators to come and address the crowd as well, and we will invite the press. This is being put together with very little lead time, so please organize your contingents as quickly as possible. Take your lunch hour a little later if you can, and join us. Carpool with friends! We hope for a crowd of somewhere (!) between 500 and 5,000 people.

      I hope to see you there!

      Alice

  • Here is a letter to the editor that I have sent to the Daily Disappointment. Let’s see if they’ll run it or not.
      Dear Editor,

      I am writing regarding HB 1020 (sponsored by Rep. Ron Kirby) that proposes to make English the official state language and prohibit the state from using other Oklahoma languages in official state business.

      While I am very concerned about the racist overtones of Rep. Kirby’s bill, my greatest concern is public safety.

      Texas currently offers drivers licence tests in Spanish. There was once reluctance there to take this step but in time the people of Texas have realized that doing this supports their own economy (through the ability of Spanish-only speakers to drive to work) and insures greater safety for the public (since there would be fewer unlicenced and uninsured drivers on the roads).

      It is unfortunate that Rep. Kirby wants Oklahoma to fall behind Texas in ensuring the safety of the driving public.

      J.M. Branum

      Member of the Oklahoma Green Party Executive Committee

      Newcastle, OK