Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Immigrants make her

so angry she can't read

There appears to be something about reading about immigrants -- legal or illegal -- that makes Jessica McBride so upset she can't read straight, let alone write about them.

Earlier, she went on a tirade about the city of Santa Fe wanting to hire some Mexican nationals -- legal immigrants -- for the police force. But she was so blinded by her bias that she thought they were illegal immigrants.

Now, closer to home, Waukesha builders, the technical school and a Latino group have joined efforts to offer Spanish-English classes and try to bridge the language gap that exists on many construction sites. McBride asks:
Why don't they just teach the workers how to speak English? Wouldn't that solve everything?

If you moved to, say, Japan, to find work, would your Japanese bosses learn English or would they expect you to learn Japanese if you wanted employment? Wouldn't they expect you to respect the fact that, in Japan, Japanese is the language of business?
Had she read the Journal Sentinel story on which her post is based -- and some of which she reprinted -- she would have learned that the program is "to teach those in the construction industry to communicate with Spanish- or English-only speaking co-workers."
"Latinos are sweeping the nation in construction jobs," said Hortensia Washington, director of operations at La Casa de Esperanza and instructor for the new language course. "This is about us respecting everyone no matter how limited their English is and cutting out the middle person."

She said the program, named after Waukesha County builder Bryce Styza, aims to teach supervisors, workers and contractors basic Spanish and English terms and phrases used in construction work to improve safety and work efficiency in the field.
So it's a two-way street. The goal is to have the Spanish speakers learn more English, and for the English speakers to learn some Spanish.

The first class was made up of all English-speakers. The story says: "The second session is likely to include Spanish-only speakers."

And what, exactly, is wrong with that?

UPDATE: Robert Miranda bids McBride adios on Hispanic

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