Monday, September 7, 2015
“Immigrants should speak American!” says She Who Must Not be Named,
the Alaskan Ice Queen of Tea Party fame.
While I comprehend the words, her meaning remains unclear,
for what exactly does she long to hear?
America is a land of languages, hundreds in fact,
from Spanish and Portuguese and even Nahuatl.
There’s French and there’s Dutch and a dash of Aymara
and let’s not forget the 10-million who speak Quechua.
There are the Mayan languages and the Creoles, Garifuna and Miskito,
from the Yukon, Peru and even from Quito.
One might say that within her ignorant prate,
‘America’ only referred to the States.
Then is English her linguistic glue?
Or perhaps she was referring to the Sioux?
For the words of our natives reverberate in both present and history,
from the Navajo, the Apache to the tongue of Ojibwe.
Or maybe in Alaska she’d like to stick
and only speak the language of the noble Yupik?
But wait, we cannot just fasten our gaze on the States.
We are A Part, not apart.
We are “of” America, with no “All” preceding.
We are cocoa farmers weeding.
We are children playing soccer in the dirt.
We are families and friends seeking fulfillment in concert.
With individual tongues rich and sweet,
yet it is happiness which we ALL seek.
So in response to your words I must exclaim,
oh She Who Must Not be Named,
the Alaskan Ice Queen of Tea Party Fame.
Immigrants SHOULD speak American.
Every language, every phrase, every syllable in every way we can imagine.
“I will!” “I can!” “I believe!” “I dream!” with passion!
In different voices and dialects, more than you can conceive
And one idea gleaned from this human tapestry we weave.
Because from the magma below to the stars above,
there will NEVER exist enough words for love.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Are you craving a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese? If so, don’t expect to get one at the McDonald’s location in Whitesville, Alabama where Margaret Wheeler is asserting her religious rights by refusing to serve people she sees as gluttonous. Speaking to reporters Wheeler asserted, “Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins and is an affront to the Lord. I cannot go against his teachings and enable people’s sinful lifestyle. If they order too much food, or look like they should not be eating at all, God commands me to not serve them. Proverbs 23:2 says ‘Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.’ I’m helping these people.”
Just as Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis has refused to issue marriage licenses to legally entitled gay citizens citing her religious beliefs, Wheeler has likewise turned away a large number of patrons. However, those who have been denied service are not limited to the obese. “She took out the cookies and some of the fries from our kid’s happy meals” spoke Ned Clanders. “We paid full price and she went in and took it out before handing them to us. She said that our children needed more nourishment from God and less from french fries.”
When asked if she is worried about being fired by the fast food chain she responded, “I answer to God’s law and his law alone. This is a free Christian country and when Jesus wrote the Constitution he did so to protect people like me, the servants of God.”
McDonald’s has yet to make a decision on whether to terminate Wheeler’s employment, stating that “There are legal issues at play in this situation that we must weigh carefully. For the time being, we recommend that visitors to this location may want to consider simply going to a different register.” Of course, there is another issue that Wheeler might want to consider. Gluttony is usually described in relation to food, but it is unlikely anything at McDonald’s could actually be considered “food”, at least in the biblical sense of the term. Thus, this whole issue may be a moot point.
Photo by Jon Bunting