tary and secondary levels to children ofrnillegal aliens. These two Supreme Courtrndecisions have reinforced the drive torninstitutionalize bilingualism in Americanrneducation.rnFrom the outset, ambiguity surroundedrnthe purpose and definition ofrnbilingualism. At first, the public was ledrnto believe that the emphasis was on thernefficient transition in the short term tornproficiency in English, However, proponentsrnof bilingual education (includingrnthe National Education Association,rnTeachers of English to Speakers of OtherrnLanguages, the National Association forrnBilingual Education, the American CivilrnLiberties Union, and the MexicanrnAmerican Legal Defense and EducationrnFund) have helped redirect it from concentrationrnon the rapid acquisition ofrnEnglish to a confusing array of programsrnproviding for long-term instruction inrnthe student’s native tongue—even, as inrnthe case of the Hmong, when the languagernhas no written form. Supportedrnby ideologues in Jimmy Carter’s newrnDepartment of Education, “bilingualrneducation” quickly emerged as a growthrnindustry. A demand was created forrnSpanish-speaking teachers; one Departmentrnof Education directive even decreedrnthat teachers in “bilingual” programsrnwere not required to speakrnEnglish!rnWhile Crawford warmly endorsesrnbilingual programs, he admits that theyrnrest on shaky pedagogical foundations.rnLIBERAL ARTSrnHUS ORIGINAL?rn”I have kept the editing of this 1855rnfirst edition to a minimum. Somernspellings (i.e., loafe) have been modernized,rnand Whitman’s language,rnthough remarkably nonsexist for hisrntime, has been humanized where appropriatern(i.e., human or person substitutedrnfor man when the contextrnclearly indicates no sexual referencernis intended). Humanist personalrnpronouns (hu, hus, hum, pronouncedrnwho, whose, whom) have been substitutedrnin cases where distinction ofrngender is ambiguous, irrelevant, orrnmisleading.”rn—from A.S. Ash’s preface to ThernOriginal 1855 Edition of Leaves ofrnGrass, Bandanna Books, J992.rnHe cites Kenji Hakuta, a bilingual educatorrnwho concedes that “an awkwardrntension blankets the lack of empiricalrndemonstration of the success of bilingualrneducation programs. Someonernpromised bacon, but it’s not there.” hideed,rna study by the Carter Administrationrnof 38 Spanish-English projects ofrnat least four years duration, released inrn1978, discovered that most “bilingual”rnprograms extend a student’s reliance uponrna minority language rather thanrnspeed his transition to English. Few ofrnthose who were deficient in Englishrnwhen they first enrolled in the programsrnacquired proficiency. The report concludedrnthat there simply was no evidencernthat bilingual instruction helpedrnTitle VII students perform markedlyrnbetter in either English or Spanish. Thernauthor neglects to refer to this study inrnhis discussion of the topic.rnCrawford, perhaps unintentionally,rnconfirms what critics of bilingualismrnhave suspected from the outset:rnthat proponents of bilingualism haverntheir own special agenda that is onlyrnmarginally concerned with “education.”rnThe author candidly remarks, almostrnoffhandedly, that “bilingual educationrnwas more than an issue of language; itrnwas an issue of power. . . . Obviously,rnthere were political motives behind theserneducational reforms. . . . In sum, thernFederal government had thrown itsrnweight behind a costly and far-reachingrnchange in the way American schoolsrnwere run—all with minimal discussionrnor scrutiny.” though the case for bilingualismrnpresented by minority activistsrnand N E A lobbyists is not a persuasivernone, this does not discourage Crawfordrnfrom devoting most of his book to attackingrnthe critics of bilingual programs.rnHe chooses to dub the opposition thern”English Only” movement, a mischievousrnmisrepresentation of its position.rnIn 1981, then California SenatorrnS. I. Hayakawa—an internationally respectedrnsemanticist and Canadian immigrantrnof Japanese ancestry—introducedrna constitutional amendment torndesignate English as “the official languagernof the United States.” SenatorrnSteve Symms explained the purpose ofrnthe amendment:rnThe English Language Amendmentrnis intended to stop the practicernof voting in foreign languages;rnit is intended to teachrnchildren who don’t know Englishrnthrough appropriate programs; itrnis intended to make English thernonly language for official proceedingsrnof governments at all levels;rnit is intended to make the acceptancernof English a condition ofrnstatehood incumbent upon allrnterritories aspiring to that status.rnContrary to the impression one getsrnfrom Crawford, the amendment wouldrnnot regulate language spoken by individualsrnin their private capacities; its supportersrnactually encourage citizens tornbecome fluent in foreign languages.rnBy 1990, 17 states had adopted lawsrndesignating English as their official language.rnThe author neglects to mentionrnthat many Hispanic-Americans havernsupported these laws in such states asrnCalifornia, Arizona, Colorado, andrnFlorida. First- and second-generationrnAmericans have been among the leadingrnadvocates of officializing English,rnwhich Crawford admits “makes it problematicrnto pin charges of nativism, ethnoeentrism,rnor racism on those whornhold such views.” Yet Crawford accusesrncritics of bilingualism of “exploiting thernpolitics of resentment.” At the samerntime, he makes it clear that “immigrationrnis the paramount reason for linguisticrndiversity in the United States” (his emphasis).rnI le goes on to observe that supportersrnof bilingualism “are mistaken tornassume that antibilingual fervor reflectsrnlittle more than racism. Anglos’ dispossessionrnis real . . . there is no hiding therncomplications or the attendant shifts inrnpower and status.”rnExactly. As former Senator EugenernMcCarthy points out in his trenchantrnnew book, A Colony of the World: ThernUnited States ‘Today, “If one thinks ofrnthe classic definition of colonialism—rnthe arrival of large numbers of peoplernwho impose their cultural values andrnlanguage on the preexisting society—it isrnhard not to define the current wave ofrnimmigration as a colonizing force on thernUnited States. What distinguishes thernUnited States from other colonized societiesrnis that we have the power to preventrnit, and choose not to use it.” Thernbilingual controversy is an aspect of arnlarger problem. I’he central issue isrnwhether the current American majorityrnhas the will to protect its interests andrnpreserve its culture.rnWayne Tutton is the associate editor ofrnthe Social Contract.rn34/CHRONICLESrnrnrn