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Posted: 5/13/2004 3:12:39 PM EST
WTF?!?! I can't believe a politician would say something so, so.......TRUE He's like Warren Beatty in that movie, Buford.

Immigrant Remarks By Ehrlich Still Burn
Local Leaders Want an Apology

By Darragh Johnson and Matthew Mosk
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, May 12, 2004; Page B01

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s remarks last week dismissing multiculturalism as "crap" and "bunk" echoed across the state yesterday, as Democratic and Latino leaders demanded an apology and Ehrlich defended his comments as "utter common sense."

In Montgomery County, the County Council unanimously passed a resolution expressing "deep concern" over the governor's "ill-chosen remarks" and suggested "the phrase 'I'm sorry' as appropriate to the occasion."

In Baltimore, Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) addressed the issue -- in Spanish -- during his weekly radio address, saying, "Few of us would be here if our non-English-speaking relatives hadn't struggled for a few years -- or decades -- to learn English."

In Takoma Park, a half-dozen state and local Latino leaders and about 50 immigrant advocates gathered to decry Ehrlich's "far right" remarks and call for more resources to teach immigrants English.

And in Annapolis, reporters crowded around Ehrlich in the State House foyer, asking him to explain the comments he made on a call-in show on WBAL-AM radio Thursday.

"The words stand on their own," Ehrlich (R) replied. "It's a common culture, and the last message we want to send out is for people to separate themselves. We should celebrate the common American culture, the common American values and the common American language. I think that's common sense."

Ehrlich's original remarks about multiculturalism came in defense of a political ally, state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer (D). Schaefer had been criticized for his announcement a day earlier that he would no longer eat at McDonald's because of an uncomfortable encounter with a cashier struggling with English.

On the radio, Ehrlich said his views are "very similar to the comptroller's" and added, "I reject the idea of multiculturalism. Once you get into this multicultural crap, this bunk, you run into a problem. With respect to this culture, English is the language."

Ron Smith, who hosts the conservative talk show on which Ehrlich spoke, said he was surprised at the governor's candor and said the station has received e-mails from listeners "glad to hear a politician tell the truth."

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Ken Witkin, a 66-year-old Air Force retiree who lives in Fort Washington, is among Ehrlich's supporters.

"I spent 30 years in the Air Force fighting communism," he said yesterday. "I gave up 30 years of my life, and I didn't give it up so I could start learning Spanish." He added, "Every single veteran I've talked to feels the same way."

At the same time, some of the governor's critics have been pilloried for their positions.

Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery), who spoke out against Ehrlich's comments last week, said she has received five "nasty messages," including some telling her and her "people to go back home."

CASA de Maryland, a Latino advocacy group, received two similar voice-mail messages, including one that insisted Schaefer "had it right" and they should "ship us to Iraq so we can be bombed on the front lines," CASA's Kimberly Propeack said.

Yesterday, Ehrlich said that the issue has "been hijacked by a politically correct crowd" and that he did not want "to get into this politically correct game."

He declined to wade back into a discussion of Schaefer's complaints about Spanish-speaking immigrants, but he did not back off his contention that immigrants should learn English.

Latino advocates agreed with that goal yesterday, but they said that Maryland is not providing enough resources. In Montgomery alone, 105,000 residents have "limited English" skills, yet the classes for adults who want to learn can accommodate only about 24,000 people, council member Tom Perez (D-Silver Spring) said at the afternoon news conference in Takoma Park. Last year, according to a county report, 2,000 adults were on waiting lists for those classes.

"It's time to put your money where your mouth is," Perez said. "If indeed you want everyone to learn English, support the funding."

Politically, Ehrlich's remarks have provided fodder for his Democratic opponents, with two likely contenders in the governor's race, O'Malley and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, weighing in.

But one political scientist doubted that the controversy would do much harm to Ehrlich's standing with voters, especially his Republican base. "It's probably not something he should harp on all the time, but it doesn't seem to be a huge risk in the short term," said James G. Gimpel of the University of Maryland.

Still, the governor's remarks could hurt the GOP's efforts to bring more Latinos into the party, said Jorge Ribas, a Hispanic Republican from Montgomery. "The Republican Party is not going to grow with those kinds of comments," he said. "Those comments alienate people."

Last year, Ribas formed the Maryland Hispanic Republican Caucus. But after he complained publicly that the governor had no Latinos in his Cabinet, GOP leaders ousted his group from the party and formed their own Hispanic caucus.

Link Posted: 5/13/2004 3:14:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/13/2004 6:43:12 PM EST by Aimless]
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 3:17:18 PM EST
I'd pretty much thought that he was a bit of a tool, but him having the stones to come out and speak the truth
has made me rethink that maybe his isn't 100% too.
What you don't hear is that quite a few of the Hispanic "leaders" agree with him... but that won't make press, as it's
not controversial....
Ah well.....
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 3:17:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By raven:
"I reject the idea of multiculturalism. Once you get into this multicultural crap, this bunk, you run into a problem. With respect to this culture, English is the language."

For the sake of "tolerance", statements like that should not be tolerated!

Link Posted: 5/13/2004 3:18:04 PM EST
The last time I can remember a politican being this frank was when newly-elected Gov. Jesse Ventura addressed some single mothers, who were protesting for increases in state assistance.

Ventura said (and I saw him say it on TV) words to the effect of "No, we're not expanding your benefits. If things are difficult for you, maybe you should have thought about that before you got pregnant without a husband. Takes two to tango." The women shrieked in rage at that, they couldn't believe their ears. (Neither could I!)
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 3:18:13 PM EST
This is America an we speak 'merican damn it.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 3:18:15 PM EST
OH MY GOSH!........I'm agreeing with the Democrat Governor of Maryland?

Link Posted: 5/13/2004 3:20:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By raven:
WTF?!?! I can't believe a politician would say something so, so.......TRUE He's like Warren Beatty in that movie, Buford.

The whole world at your finger tips...

The movie? It was called Bulworth
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 5:14:17 PM EST
I don't think it's a problem to be proud of where you ancestors came from, as long as you accept you are an American (or wherever you live and claim citizenship) first and foremost. The only way diversity works is by accepting that all people are different, then putting it aside to work together for the common good.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 5:19:44 PM EST
Ehrlich is a Republican!

The first republican in MD since Agnew. And he is a Pro-Gun. Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend was his opponent and she had planes flying with banners saying "Ehrlich supports Assault Weapons."

Unfortunately, guns are on the back burner while he tackles the budget issue.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 5:21:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/13/2004 5:22:25 PM EST by gus]
Bob Ehrlich, the great Governor of the shit hole state of Maryland, is a Republican!

Whether he'll get re-elected is another matter, but he's the best gov they've had in many years.

Edited to add: Ye beat me to it, Gunman!
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 5:27:16 PM EST
Gov. Ehrlich is a Republican (who said he'd veto any assault weapons ban the Democrap legislature send him). He is the best state governor I have ever had in two different states I have lived in. Great guy, hope he runs for President.

Link Posted: 5/13/2004 5:28:38 PM EST
Hasn't the governor heard? No dissent from the worship of the MULTICULTI GOD will be tolerated! Free speech? Screw free speech! Different opinions? Stuff 'em!
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 5:35:54 PM EST

What you don't hear is that quite a few of the Hispanic "leaders" agree with him... but that won't make press, as it's not controversial....

Yep....heard Gloria Estefan on Dennis Miller a few years ago say that hispanics should learn english and not make Spanish the second language.

Guess no one heard a successful business person so almost everywhere such as store, gas, bank the first question on the terminal is english or spanish.

I also think this is responsible for other problems in this country as we are losing 'Americans'. Now we have Hispanic-americans, african-americans, etc. Get in or get out.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 6:27:56 PM EST
MY mother was 5 when she came to the USA.....she spoke German and Finnish, my Grandfather spoke 7 languages...he laid the law down...'we are in America...we speak English!'
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 6:39:53 PM EST
Yep my grandfather said the same thing.

My mom and uncle learned English and he stopped them from talking Spanish.

He was a Spanish teacher and had studied in Spain.

His father was Spanish and moved to America but still retained his Spanish citiizenship while working for Spanish consulate (plus he taught Spanish).

Link Posted: 5/13/2004 7:42:52 PM EST
WOOHOO! for your Gov.
Link Posted: 5/14/2004 10:07:17 PM EST
Or even learn the language before getting here
Link Posted: 5/15/2004 12:41:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/15/2004 12:41:51 AM EST by wetidlerjr]
My maternal grandfather spoke fluent German but would not let it be used in his house so as not to disadvantage his children in an English speaking country. I was with him once when I was a child when two of his friends were speaking to him in German. He answered in English.
Link Posted: 5/15/2004 3:11:21 AM EST
Many cultures can mingle and thrive here, however there MUST be a universal language, obviously in this case it is ENGLISH.
Link Posted: 5/15/2004 3:29:44 AM EST
My Green Card interview is coming up in June in Montreal and I have to get a medical exam in Canada beforehand as a requirement. I called up a doctor's office to get an appointment and asked for someone who spoke english because my french is rusty. I got major attitude on the phone which is the way I've always been treated by the french up there. Even if you speak french but not well or with a different accent they give you a hard time.

Multiculturalism is an extremely divisive force. It allows groups of people to maintain a separate culture and breeds animosity between them. Imagine if people in the South (not referring to the illegal immigrants) spoke a different language than those in the North?
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