Archive - Jul 3, 2008

Jingo All The Way

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Memo to Rickie Pitre: YOU ARE DUMB.

And you're a dickhole. A huge dickhole. So huge a dickhole that we could catheterize you with a length of industrial drainage pipe and still have to pack something around the outside to keep it from shifting. There is something deeply and fundamentally wrong with you, and I suggest you dig into your psyche and your past and figure out what the fuck it is before you allow yourself to mingle with polite human society again.

Let's place you, a sane, reasonable person, in a... let's say, hypothetical, situation. You are attending a graduation ceremony. The valedictorian, a Vietnamese girl, includes a line of Vietnamese in her speech, and explains it's advice her parents had given her. Her co-valedictorian and cousin also included some Vietnamese in her speech, thanking her parents, who aren't fluent in English.

As a sane, reasonable person, I'm guessing you would think that's nice. As a sane, reasonable person, I'm sure you wouldn't begrudge an honored student speaking to loved ones during that special moment. As a sane, reasonable person, you would have a very difficult time getting onto, and staying onto, the school board in Terrebonne Parrish, Louisiana. Because right after this happened, board member Rickie Pitre and several of his compatriots called for regulating graduation ceremonies so that they will be only in English.

What, exactly, has to go wrong in your brain to make you do that? How much propaganda do you have to be force-fed by racist, anti-immigrant, reactionary nutjobs with microphones and three-hour slots on AM radio? How deeply do you have to internalize the rabid jingoism and the terror that you're being supplanted and replaced by the Other that a few sentences of Vietnamese at a public ceremony force you to take action? And then try, and fail miserably, to justify your fucked-up worldveiw? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"As board members, we get to observe the different ceremonies and there’s some inconsistencies I think the board or administration more importantly needs to address... I don’t like them addressing in a foreign language. They should be in English." - Richie "Waste Of Fucking Oxygen" Pitre.

First, the obvious. From his sentence structure and word choice, I'd bet that not only was Richie Pitre never the valedictorian of anything, anywhere, ever, but I suspect this whole mess could have been avoided if someone had told him they WERE speaking English, just fancy smart-person English, and mocked him for not understanding it.

But really? "Inconsistencies"? That's just replacing ignorant racism with insane arrogance. You're telling me the school board should step in, on behalf of Richie Pitre and the dozen or so school officials who have to attend multiple graduation ceremonies, so that these officials aren't thrown or confused by minor differences in the speeches and presentations? It's a graduation ceremony. It's not about some redneck school board member's comfort. A point lost on fellow board member Roger DeHart.

"I’m not trying to discriminate against any other language said. We should all know what’s being said." All right. First of all, you actually are trying to discriminate against, literally, ANY other language. That's what requiring English means, you swamp-sucking alligator-humper. And second of all, it's a graduation ceremony. I've been to a few in my time. These people have been to a lot more. Enough to figure out by now that the range of topics covered therein is even narrower than the average mind in Louisiana.

You give me the text of a high school graduation speech from any language in the world, and I bet I could give you a pretty good translation just by looking up the words "future", "friends", "thank you", "important", and "time". They're the E, T, A, O, and N of the valedictorian Wheel of Fortune.

And, you know, this is in fucking Louisiana, where they just now decided that students' academic freedom is so fucking important that they will suffer greatly if they're not told in science class about the evils of cloning and how Jesus rode a dinosaur. Yet strangely, students' freedom gets tossed right under the short bus the instant some asshole hears a word he doesn't understand. Awesome. Way to uphold that reputation.