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Legislature discusses Oklahoma's official language

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Ah, Oklahoma! A state that honors and respects its many and varied cultures "¦ as long as those cultures stem from Anglo-Saxon speakers of English.

The fight to make English the "official" language in Oklahoma has once again taken root in the Legislature. Senate Bill 1156 passed unanimously in the Senate Judiciary Committee last week and is headed to the Senate floor, according to a story in the Tulsa World.

The bill, by Sen. Patrick Anderson, R-Enid, would make English the "common language" and protect state agencies not providing documents or information in languages other than English.

We're sure this makes all the Native Americans that reside within Oklahoma happy. Of course, English as a "common" language is not good enough for some people. Good ol' Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, has filed House Joint Resolution 1042 to call for a vote of the people to amend the state Constitution. This little beauty of a resolution would make English the "official" language. But wait, there's more! Terrill also wants to repeal the statutes that make driver testing and manuals available in Spanish, according to the World.

Terrill called Anderson's bill "a mostly meaningless, symbolic measure rather than substantive."

Rep. Anastasia Pittman, D-Oklahoma City, disagrees with Terrill's call for something more meaty. "This bill is about discrimination, pure and simple," she said about Terrill's proposed resolution. "The unfortunate part is that many of my colleagues are pretending not to see the real reasons behind his resolution." 

Switching to English only would have just a few minor complications. Where would we send our kids before first grade? They can't go to kindergarten " that's a German word. And habeas corpus? Gone " that's Latin.

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