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WPLN asks, Is English Only worth it?

wpln1Nashville Public Radio WPLN digs deeper into the practical impact of English Only in this story.  Here is an excerpt:

A proposal to amend Metro Government’s founding document and make English the sole language for city business could cause sweeping changes in nearly every department. Or, it could not. No one really knows, which has made the campaign for and against the charter amendment difficult. There are no lists of what would change if the English-only measure passes a referendum vote. WPLN’s Blake Farmer explains.

Audio for this feature is available here.

REPORTER: “Is it worth it?”

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African-Americans, immigrants, others form coalition to oppose English Only

Patricia Stokes

Patricia Stokes

English Only “diminishes the value of individuals”

The Tennessean reports here that a group of African-Americans, immigrants, and others has formed to oppose English Only and held a recent press conference explaining their opposition.  Here is an excerpt:

“It is wrong morally because it diminishes the value of individuals and it speaks against the principles of liberty for all,” said Patricia Stokes, president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee.

Rep. Brenda Gilmore

Rep. Brenda Gilmore

Another excerpt:

State Rep. Brenda Gilmore, a former councilwoman who is Erica Gilmore’s mother, said the passage of the charter amendment would look strange to the rest of the world after the election of Barack Obama, an African-American.

“We cannot afford to send a message that Nashville and Tennessee is out of step with the rest of the country,” she said.

The Tennessean article lists the following groups as being part of the joint effort: the Urban League, the NAACP, the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship and the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition.

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Origin of university presidents’ statement highlights “special” role of leadership against English Only

Belmont University President Bob Fisher

Belmont University President Bob Fisher

“Sometimes you have to encourage people to think again about something that might seem right on its face, but on closer examination is not.”

The Tennessean reports that Belmont University president Bob Fisher came up with the idea of a joint letter to the editor authored by local university presidents.  The resulting joint statement was published today by the Tennessean.

In the story describing the origins of the statement, Fisher describes as “special” his role within the university community:

“More and more, we view our jobs as being CEOs of the university, but when you do that, it’s like a pastor seeing himself as CEO of his church,” Fisher said. “When you do that, you give up some of the special stuff that goes with being part of a university community.”

Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry

Lipscomb University President L. Randolph Lowry

Lipscomb president L. Randolph Lowry echoed the importance of leadership on this and other issues:

“Sometimes you have to encourage people to think again about something that might seem right on its face, but on closer examination is not.”

Read the full Tennessean story here.

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