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Thursday, 17 August 2006 08:39

Irony: Bush's Website Has Spanish Translations of His Speeches, Even the Ones Saying Immigrants Should Learn English

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Looks like George W. Bush gives as much attention to his official website, WhiteHouse.gov, as he does to world affairs. Four weeks ago BuzzFlash wrote about dozens of transcripts we found on the site containing the Latin word sic (used to indicate errors in the original source to show that printed mistakes aren't typos) after many of the President's attacks on the English language.

BuzzFlash recently noticed that Bush provides copies of many of his speeches en espaƱol, including ones where he advocates his belief that immigrants should learn English. Many pages even include a full Spanish audio translation to listen to (do they include his gaffes?).

In addition to the usual amusing irony that often accompanies much of what Bush does, it also reinforces the view that Bush's immigration agenda is politically motivated. While his proposal is actually generally supportive of granting rights to many illegal immigrants, the position is by no means an example of "compassionate conservatism." It's driven by his support for his big business friends, who thrive off cheap labor, as well as an attempt to appeal politically to Hispanics.

Despite Bush's recent contention that "the national anthem ought to be sung in English," it has been documented that Bush sang the Star Spangled Banner in Spanish on the campaign trail in 2000 and had patriotic songs sung in Spanish for his first inauguration.

Clearly, Bush doesn't mind pandering to anyone he thinks he can trick into voting Republican in the latest example of haga como le digo, no como hago (do as I say, not as I do). Here are a few examples:

"Americans are bound together by . . . the ability to speak and write in English."

"We must also ensure that immigrants assimilate into our society and learn our customs and values -- including the English language."

"In this new century we must continue to welcome legal immigrants and help them learn the customs and values that unite all Americans, including . . . the English language."

"Americans are bound together by our shared ideals, an appreciation of our history, respect for the flag we fly, and an ability to speak and write the English language. As business owners and community leaders, you know that English is the key to unlocking the opportunity of America. See, English allows a newcomer to go from picking crops to opening a grocery store. English allows a newcomer from sweeping an office floor to running that office. English allows someone to go from a low-paying job to a diploma, a career, and home ownership. When immigrants assimilate and advance in our society, they realize their dreams. And as they do, they renew our spirit and they add to the unity of our country."

"I fully understand English is the key to unlocking opportunity in America. Part of the greatness of America is that we've been able to help assimilate people into our society."

So here's the ultimate irony: Bush encourages Hispanics to speak only English by talking and writing remarks about speaking English in Spanish. He also insists that English is necessary to assimilate into society, but provides everything he says in Spanish, making knowledge of English unnecessary.

Are you confused?

We are.