Monday, June 27, 2011

"National panic about American identity"

From a Left Wing's Jennifer Doyle makes a good case against Tim Howard's rant following the Gold Cup medal ceremony, in which the American keeper remarked: "I think it was a f***ing disgrace that the entire post-match ceremony was in Spanish. You can bet your ass if we were in Mexico City it wouldn't be all in English":
For the record: the United States does not have an official language. Every effort to make English the legal law of the land has failed: this is something every American can be proud of.  This makes all kinds of things easier, it makes life richer and more interesting, and public space much more generous (in contrast, for example, with countries that refuse to produce official signs, documents in different languages to support the diversity of the language communities that live within that country).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is the paradox of USA hosting the continental championship: always the host nation, never the home team.

Almost every CONCACAF nation wants the tourney in the USA and for good reasons--good support, great money, poor alternatives. The USMNT should see themselves as the visiting team in cities like LA. Strong support for other CONCACAF teams is, after all, a main reason the US is allowed to host the Cup year after year.

The solution is simple: when the USA wants to be the "home" team, it should just schedule its games, including quarter, semi, and finals, in cities like Columbus and Portland and sell advance tickets--as many as possible--through supporters groups (MLS and national) first. Give supporters groups a one-day jump on knock-out stage games where the sales window is small. USSF can't do this every tournament because it reduces the reasons for allowing the US to host every Gold Cup; but it certainly could do this once in a while if it cared to give the USA home field advantage, or at least a shot at it.

Certianly many agree with Howard, but I think that possition ignores the above.

Doyle's response is misleading on account of the US's strong tradition of federalism. English is the official language in 27 US states, including California, where this ceremony took place. In this light, her comments are fanciful.

Anonymous said...

If there were ever an all-french ceremony in Toronto the people there would go ape-sh*@. They'd still believe themselves to be paragons of tolerance though, cuz they're idiots that way.

Trash any stadiums lately, Totocrap fans?

elliott said...

I've heard conflicting reports, but was the ceremony conducted in only Spanish or both English and Spanish?

I really don't care about "official languages" blah blah - nativism has always existed both legally and in society, Ben Franklin hated the German immigrants for speaking German, the Irish need not apply, and America still loves stereotypical Italian mob movies and tv shows.

My only concern is exclusion - the ceremony should be bilingual in English and Spanish, not one or the other. The US and several Caribbean nations speak English, while lots of CONCACAF countries are Spanish speaking. So present things in both. It's easy. I probably have an iPhone app that could do it!