Saturday, April 05, 2008

Press 3 for Farsi

This is just flat awesome in its implications:
The federal government is investigating whether the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety violated the civil rights of Iranian immigrants by refusing to provide them with driver's license tests in their native Farsi language.
Why has it taken so long? Didn't anyone in these state governments not understand that providing tests in only two languages was discriminatory? Apparently not, since this is how they answered:
Public safety officials said Tuesday that offering state driver's license tests in Farsi could force the state to offer tests and other state documents in a host of other languages, creating new costs and administrative burdens. The written portion of Oklahoma's test is currently provided only in English and Spanish.
According to the story the state could lose federal transportation dollars if they are deemed guilty of civil rights violations, which they clearly are. No doubt they'll soon scramble to turn their written test into some kind of pop up book similar to the one in Kansas rather than offering to drop the choice of Spanish to remove the discrimination.

6 comments:

Mustang said...

I cannot begin to tell you how much this p___’s me off. I worked for a testing company who, in evaluating the bidding invitation for the production of end-of-course examinations for NYC, decided, for obvious reasons, to let some other company have it. NYC needed EOCs in 100 languages. Can you imagine being held accountable for producing correct exams in so many languages, and then grading them—particularly in essay or short answer responses? Can you imagine the psychometric ramifications of assessing test results? What in the heck are we thinking about?

“Well, it isn’t fair that Pablo should have to take his end of course examination in English,” or so the argument goes. Well, says I . . . if Pablo wants a US grade certificate in the United States, then he’ll have to take the test in English. Plus, few students Mexican students are literate in formal Spanish.

Oklahomans need to contact their state representatives and senators on this one. There is NO justification for requiring states to adapt to foreign languages (at least 100 of them) to accommodate people who are here because they want to become Americans. Either that, or do away with state driver’s licenses and require the federal government to issue them.

Gosh darn it . . . now I may have to kick by goldfish (I’m afraid of my dog).

A.C. McCloud said...

I'm hoping this shows how silly this PC stuff really is when it's applied in a real-world setting.

Actually, this is why I'm in favor of a robust guest-worker program, featuring ID cards where a foreigner who wants to come here and work--and drive--can get the card then a "restricted license" so long as they carry insurance. The current system is chaos. Sheer chaos.

Z said...

Press 3 for Farsi???

Ditto mustang's first sentence. THIS IS NAUSEATING!!!!

Stormwarning said...

My grandparents learned to speak fluent English in 1916 when they came to this country because they felt it a privilege to be here. Multi-lingualism is no crime. English is the language of the realm. Want to be a citizen? Take the oath in English. Want to vote, well, vote on a ballot writtne in English. All of this accomodation, not just for Farsi (which is farsical), but for all of the ignorant Hispanic illegal immigrants who refuse to learn English beliving that speaking Spanish only is their "right" is astounding.

A.C. McCloud said...

Z, I can't believe most Americans don't share yours and Mustang's sentiments. I certainly do, including everytime I'm asked to identify my language by a business for no reason.

This Farsi thing is a joke and it should pressure OK into immediately dropping the Spanish portion of the driving test. Does anyone have confidence they will? Between PC/bleeding heart pressure on one side and small business pressure on the other, they would sooner accommodate illegal aliens than the will of common citizens. The candidates need to be quizzed on this.

A.C. McCloud said...

English is the language of the realm. Want to be a citizen? Take the oath in English. Want to vote, well, vote on a ballot written in English.

I think most immigrants understand that but figure if they can avoid it, live here and enjoy the fruits without having to learn the language, why not? Maybe I'd do it too if I snuck into Mexico. But I wouldn't get upset or outraged and file complaints when the "natives" got tired of it and changed the policy.