Immigrant Remarks By Ehrlich Still Burn
It indeed feels strange looking back to only a few years when a high level government official in America, like Maryland Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. would ever be so careless and also bold in claiming multiculturalism as "crap" or "bunk". America is built by immigrants, and now the newly arrived immigrant population gets all kinds of "craps" from all kinds of folks with old mumpsimus.
When a governor or people like his status speaks this way, it only encourages more bigotry and racial slur thrown at the immigrants. Read the following: "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."
Governor Ehrlich wants the Latino and other immigrants to learn English, but he would not put his mouth where the money is; he would not provide more funding for English learning schools. "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."
Governor does not think his derogative comments would cost him in the coming election in Maryland. "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."
In the game of cost and benefit analysis, bashing the poor immigrants could even gain him more conservative votes!
Mahbubul Karim (Sohel)
May 13, 2004