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No need to give up heritage

A recent Associated Press article appeared in one of the major newspapers in our state. The article was headlined "Opposition mounting on language proposal." The specific "language proposal" concerns the pre-filed bill that would make English the official language for the conduct of government business in the state of Utah. The newspaper article contains a number of misconceptions, errors and deliberately misleading statements which need to be corrected.

After reading the article in the paper, I made it my business to obtain an actual copy of the proposed bill so that I might verify exactly what it would make into law. Juan Gutierrez, a member of the state's Hispanic Advisory Council is quoted as saying: "Our language and our culture are part of our life, and we cannot let that go. It's very, very important that we not forget that." Nothing in the bill would require anyone to "give up" his or her language or heritage. It would simply require that all the official business of the state of Utah and its subdivision be conducted in English. It would provide maximum incentive for that person to learn English sufficiently to be able to function as an active member of normal American activities.As might be expected, the Anti-Christian Liberties Union, oops, American Civil Liberties Union has entered the fray. ACLU Executive Director Carol Gnade is quoted: "We feel the components of this are bigotry and divisiveness rather than unity." Again, you can read what the bill says and make up your own mind about just who is being divisive.

Only relatively recently have new immigrants been actually encouraged to not become unhyphenated Americans. By encouraging various groups to maintain identities separate from the general population it is clear that we are being "Balkanized" so that one group may be played off against another - divide and conquer is the game.

Albert V. Burns

Spanish Fork