Yee Haw Y’all

9 Responses to “Yee Haw Y’all”


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  1. Marta says:

    Would the plural then be:
    All Y’all Comebolas??
    Score for the home team.

  2. Mami Hen says:

    Totally, Marta…

    Statement by Mayor Bill Purcell:

    English is our language. It has been so since before the city existed
    more than 200 years ago.

    It is the language we use to conduct the city’s business. In order to
    get ahead in Nashville a person needs to be able to speak English.

    This has been the case for more than 200 years. It is not going to

    We don’t need a law to tell us what language we are already speaking.

    We don’t need a law that will make it harder for a police officer to do
    his job, for a school teacher to teach or for a doctor to help a

    This ordinance was introduced last September and for the last six
    months the sponsors have been twisting arms and trading votes to get it
    passed. Some sponsors say it is an important law while other sponsors
    say it has no effect at all. The truth is that no one knows how this law
    may ultimately be interpreted. If this law takes effect, this city will
    be engaged in years of lawsuits testing the effect and constitutionality
    of the ordinance. That means hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal
    fees whether we win or lose, for no good reason.

    This is not who we are. At the heart of this ordinance is the issue of
    immigration. We are dealing with that issue by supporting the
    deportation of illegal aliens who commit crimes. But this ordinance goes
    beyond illegal immigration to put at risk our community and its ability
    to welcome and work with those people who come to our city legally and
    want to be a part of our city.

    The Legal Department is clear in its opinion today that advised me that
    this ordinance is unconstitutional. The ordinance states that “all
    communications . . . shall be in English.” The exceptions are so broad
    that there is no way to know what is and is not allowed.

    What do we do when a Kurdish or other refugee wants to take an English
    class at the Cohn Adult Learning Center?

    What do we do when a Japanese company wants to find out about economic
    development opportunities?

    What do we do when a foreign tourist wants to find out how to get to
    the Parthenon?

    What do we do when someone who only speaks Spanish wants to report
    suspicious activity in a neighborhood, or a codes violation, or a

    This ordinance does not reflect who we are. When the waves of
    immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries came to Nashville, they became
    part of our community. Germantown and the Oktoberfest are reminders of
    those immigrants.. Most recently the NHL has brought people from all
    over the world to our city to work and to play.

    Last year, the Celebration of Cultures at Centennial Park attracted
    15,000 visitors to celebrate the diversity of the many communities and
    ethnicities in our city. Last year Nashville was chosen as one of three
    cities to host a World Cup soccer exhibition. Last year we welcomed the
    Greek Orthodox Church to a national convention here in Nashville, the
    most successful in history. Then we welcomed Hadassah.
    Last year we welcomed the leadership of Nissan Motor manufacturing.
    This year we are planning to welcome a new Japanese Consulate to our
    city. In April I will lead a delegation of Nashville business leaders to
    what is now the fastest growing economy in the world. The great
    overarching truth in our success in this still new century is that we
    are a welcoming, inclusive, and friendly people and place.

    If this ordinance becomes law, Nashville will be a less safe, less
    friendly, and less successful city. As mayor, I cannot allow that to
    happen. Therefore I am vetoing Ordinance 1185 and returning it to the
    Metro Council where I hope it will remain never to be seen again and
    that we can turn our full attention once again to education and public
    safety and quality of life which are the real work of a city and should
    be the work of its leaders now and forever.

  3. Mariposa says:

    It is so ridiculous and embarrassing that our community thinks this is a good idea. I am appalled. Communication is the key to life. What are they thinking???

  4. El Güinero says:

    Oye, esas cosas viene y se van también. ¿No fue la Florida, o a lo mejor Miami, una de los primeros en legislar inglis-only alla por los años 80 y pico? Y ya vimos el caso que le hicieron los Miamenses a ese inglis-only.

    Pero me alegro que ese alcalde explicó su razonamiento en esos términos, muy bien dicho.

  5. Marta says:

    Can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying my “immersion” in Music City cultural education.
    Thanks, Carrie.

  6. dax says:

    I totally disagree.
    When I came to the US as a little boy in 1964, the best thing that happened to me was that I HAD to learn English. Learning English helped me to quickly interact with kids my age and gave me a firm footing for the rest of my life.
    No I’m not a comebola or come mierda ;-)
    If you come to the US, learn English. What’s the worst that could happen? The more languages you learn the broader your horizon will be.

  7. Mami Hen says:

    That’s exactly what is wrong with a bill like this…other than my grandmother, most people do, and want to, learn English…particularly in an area of the country such as Nashville, where there aren’t a zillion other immigrants from your own country to help you along. This bill also was not aimed at children, who because of school, learn English quickly. It was a complete “You ain’t from here and we ain’t gonna help you be from here either. Now git.”

  8. class factotum says:

    I don’t know all the issues with the Nashville bill, but I know what I think when I see ballots printed in a language other than English — “My tax money paid for this???” If you’re voting, you’re a citizen (or supposed to be). If you’re a citizen, you’re supposed to speak English. So vote in English.

    I do think government communications should be in English, just because I don’t think tax money should be spent on translating everything. I don’t think a non-English speaker has a right to a taxpayer-funded translator if he is put on trial. I wouldn’t get that if I were accused of a crime in another country. Basically, I think it is up to the non-English speaker to learn English; it’s not up to us to accomodate him.

    Neither of my grandmothers spoke English until they went to kindergarten. They learned how to speak English then.

    I lived in Chile for two years. No one there made an effort to accomodate me and speak English — and I didn’t expect them to. I was in their country. They speak Spanish there.

  9. Robert says:

    One of the most polarizing issues in certain parts of America today is language. Here in the “capital del exilio”, the ridiculous English-only ordinance passed in 1980 shortly after the Mariel boatlift was rescinded unanimously by the Miami-Dade County Commission in the early 1990s.

    These English-only efforts stem out of fear, namely fear of the unknown. Fear that “them Foreigners” are taking over the country.

    It would surprise those folks if I told them that even in Miami, the second and third generation Hispanics are struggling to maintain even halfway-decent Spanish speaking skills. Being a strong proponent of bilingualism, that’s not exactly something that I brag about, but it shows how pervasive the English language and mainstream culture is in all corners of this country.

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