I bet these guys ask the real hard-hitting questions.
It's a good thing we're fanatics about Fox's morning news show, Fox & Friends. Otherwise we might have missed this morning's special guest, Eric Crafton.
You can probably already guess why Crafton was on. And, if you've been following the debate around English Only for more than a hot minute, you can probably already guess what was said. But that doesn't mean you still shouldn't watch (video here
, Fox doesn't seem to allow embeds).
Crafton, it seems, has a new anecdote he's peddling. This one, like the last (the California politicians can't speak English
quote in the NYTimes) also seeks to turn the Left Coast into Enemy Territory #1. And this one, like the last, is purposefully vague, the better to make it seem like the world is black-and-white and you'd have to be an idiot not to see it that way.
From the 2:05 mark in the video:
Crafton: In fact, out in Oakland California, they have a law in the books that says if you apply for government job that interacts with the public, then you not only have to be able to speak English, but you have to be able to speak Spanish or Chinese. So I just don't think that's the road we have to travel.
Fox News: (Disapproving harrumph) Where does it end?
OK. So on this one Crafton is right, sorta. Oakland does in fact require its PCP (public contact positions) to be bilingual. It's a result of their Equal Access Ordinance, a law passed in 2001 that sought to make interaction between government and its citizens more efficient.
According to Monique Tsang, Oakland's Equal Access Director, it does NOT mean that everyone in the city of Oakland must speak Mandarin. It just means that if you apply for a receptionist's job in a city where every third person
is either Chinese or Hispanic, you had better know how to communicate effectively with said constituents. It's all so goddamn logical and tolerant it just make me want to puke.
Said Tsang, a native of Hong Kong, when we explained Crafton's explanation of her city's ordinance: "I think he's confused." Remember: Crafton's spin on the national media carousel continues this afternoon on Lou Dobbs' radio show. Will he drop the Oakland anecdote again or does he have a new one for us to parse? We can't wait!