Freakout du jour

According to wingnuts (and oddly enough a supposed member of the “left wing media“), the American DOE is trying to force “mandatory Arabic language” courses onto the Mansfield Independent School District.  To read these articles and associated comments one would think there some nefarious plot to Islamisize America through language training (along with a healthy dose of “Why doesn’t the world speak English” sentiment).

One thing wrong with these assertions, as a moments thought (and reading the press release would reveal)  is that it is not mandatory.

The statement reads in part…

The District applied for this grant because the Arabic language is listed by the federal government as a critical language. This means that our country has a shortage of Arabic speakers and there is a need for people who are not only proficient in the Arabic language, but also possess knowledge about its cultures and traditions.”

Two things here. 

1) The schoold district applied for this grant, it wasn’t forced on them.

2) Arabic is considered critical by the government and there is a need of speakers who can understand it.

Arabic isn’t the only language covered by these grants,although it appears that Mansfield only applied for the Arabic one.  The following says it all…

The FLAP grant was created to establish programs to address national shortages in languages including Arabic, Chinese and Russian.”

indicating a need for speakers of these languages if the US is to maintain relations with the rest of the world (Arabic for oil, Chinese for outsourced jobs, Russia for Oligarchs).

However, the Teabaggers/nutters don’t see it that way.  With a healthy dose of Islamophobia, they casually wonder why any “furrin” language should be learned.  If English is good enough for the “exceptional” US, it’s good enough for the world.

Finally, we have this, from the Mansfield School District…

There are no “mandatory Arabic classes” as being falsely reported in the media.

Once again, Right wing freakout over nothing…


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