Arizona Republic, Mesa Community Section Feb 5, 2005
Time for a mother-tongue lashing
For years, the battle over what language to speak in Arizona has simmered in our melting pot, but now, thanks to some stirring by our East Valley legislators, it's fi-nally coming to a boil.
And for that, I can only say: muchas gracias.
The coup de grace is here. The piece de resistance. Mesa's own lovely and talented Russell Pearce and his GOP doppelgangers are reviving that cause celebre, Arizona's English-only movement, by sponsoring legislation to tie those foreign tongues once and for all, restoring a much- needed joie de vivre to us lin-guistic aficionados who just wanna speak American.
And we're not talking just an occasional bon mot here and there, but the whole enchilada, a true tour de force. Quicker than you can sing "Frere Jacques," it'll be done. A fait accompli.
You find the whole thing a bit loco? Au contraire!
Let's you and me have a quick tete-a-tete, mano a mano. We're living la vida loca when everyone assumes carte blanche to speak a different tongue. Restrict us to one lan-guage, and we'll all be on the same page, en masse, living la dolce vita, immersed in esprit de corps. All we need to do is redirect the time and effort spent on all these irritating translations, and voila!
Starting in kindergarten, we'll make speaking English de rigueur, and before long, it'll be arrivederci, Roma, to all this multicultural folderol. Anyone flaunting foreign phrases will be persona non grata in our brave new world. Sayonora, baby!
A lesser man might have given up, but our Russell pos-sesses that je ne sais quoi that lifts him above the hoi polloi. Issues like this are his raison d'etre. Only an East Valley rep could summon the zeitgeist and savoir faire required to lead such an effort. So much so that even those elitist bon vi-vants down at Starbuck's should tip a grande to their longtime bete noire. Carpe diem! And doumo arigatou, Mr. Linguisto.
And to those dummkopfs who would resist, dropping their symbolic lederhosen and mooning our moral majority ad nauseum: Sit on a saguaro, senors. It'll take more than a mere mea culpa to get you off the hook when you get caught conversing in unofficial tongues - subscribe to La Voz, and it's caveat emptor!
Your downfall will merely provide the Republicans a little well-earned schadenfreu-de. Instead, in the spirit of glas-nost, you should cheer, "Viva, Russell!" for this awesome dis-play of chutzpah.
I could go on ad infinitum, but space constraints force me to close. Say "buenas dias" to your new lingo, and adios to lesser languages, amigos. The vox populi has spoken, and it's speaking English, dang it. Any-thing else will be verboten. Comprende?
And when it is, a new day will dawn for right-speaking peo-ple statewide, thanks to the leaders from our very own community: the great and mighty city of Table. [Mesa, AZ]. C'est la vie.
R.C. Price is a Mesa resident, marketing coordinator and father of three. He is co-author of "Mesa: Beneath The Shadows of the Superstitions." He can be reached at OneMindRCP@aol.com
Visit our website:
George Lopez, Jr