Hispanic Leaders Blast Schwarzenegger's Advice to Turn Off Spanish TV

Feb 20, 2006
**** Island

Hispanic Leaders Blast Schwarzenegger's Advice to Turn Off Spanish TV
Friday , June 15, 2007

Some Hispanic leaders lashed out Friday at California Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger's advice that immigrants should "turn off the Spanish television set" to better learn how to speak English.

Schwarzenegger, who immigrated to the U.S. from Austria, recently told a group of Hispanic journalists that immigrants should stay away from Spanish-language television, books and newspapers.

"You've got to turn off the Spanish television set," Schwarzenegger said Wednesday night at the annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in San Jose, Calif. "You're just forced to speak English, and that just makes you learn the language faster."

Rep.Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., called the governor's advice a "typical sound bite solution to an important issue," said Jim Dau, a spokesman for Sanchez.
Sanchez said immigrants face the challenge of taking an ESL course because of long lines and up to a three-year wait to get into a class.

A Hispanic advocacy group said Schwarzenegger's comments show his "ignorance on immigration issues."

"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger demonstrated his ignorance on immigration issues once again by perpetuating the myth that immigrants have to reject their old culture and language in order to learn English and assimilate," said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Wilkes said today's Latino immigrants learn English faster than German, Irish and Italian immigrants did a century ago, without TV.

Spanish-language media helps Hispanics stay connected to their cultural heritage and important public information, according to a spokesperson for Univision, a U.S.-based Spanish-language television network.

"Spanish-language media plays the essential roles of providing the Hispanic community with the news and information they need and care about, and keeping them connected to their cultural heritage," a said the Univision spokeswoman, who declined to provide her name.

"In addition to daily news from around the world, Spanish speakers rely on Spanish-language media for information in critical situations, such as severe weather alerts and health emergencies, and for other public services they may not be able to get anywhere else," the spokeswoman said.

Rep.Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., agrees with Schwarzenegger that there should be English language standards.

"Congressman Hunter believes there should be English language standards in place, especially through this citizenship process," said Joe Kasper, a spokesman for Hunter.

But TV viewers should be free to watch whatever basic programming they prefer, Kasper added.

Sanchez agreed.

"People should use whatever news outlets keep them best informed — whether they're in English, Spanish, German or any other language," Sanchez said.

Joey Vento, owner of Geno’s Cheesesteaks in Philadelphia, told FOX News that Hispanics won’t progress until they are forced to learn English.

“The Spanish people will never progress because of the fact that it makes it so easy for them to go to school or have anything and it’s done in Spanish,” Vento said. “You must be forced to learn English to be prosperous, otherwise you will be limited.”

Francisco Hernandez, an immigration attorney, said there’s nothing wrong with encouraging immigrants to learn English but there’s no need for “immigrant bashing.”

“We have to remember that Spanish is part of this country’s heritage. There’s nothing wrong with it,” Hernandez said.

Schwarzenegger answered a question about how Hispanic students can improve academic performance, saying he was about to make a politically-incorrect statement.

"I know this sounds odd and this is the politically incorrect thing to say and I'm going to get myself in trouble," Schwarzenegger said. "But I know that when I came to this country, I very rarely spoke German to anyone."

But the governor's comments didn't sit too well with audience members.

"I'm sitting shaking my head not believing that someone would be so naive and out of it that he would say something like that," Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

Rafael Olmeda, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said most NAHJ members would agree with the governor's statements.

"Most people I've spoken to walked away believing that he was trying to say that we must learn English to succeed in American society," Olmeda said.

The governor's office backed up Schwarzenegger's comments.

The Associated Press 2007.


I'm a douche!
Jun 2, 2006
Ottawa, Canada
He wasn't saying they should ban it, he was just commenting on the method that worked for him to learn the language.


Chin nuts

Your breath smells like a dead baby's coffin.
Mar 17, 2006
Island Park, NY
Remember we are talking about California now.

I applaud Arnold for at least having the balls to say what he did. Balls are extinct when it comes to politicians these days.


Good eeeeeeeevening.
Wackbag Staff
Feb 10, 2006
Oceanside, NY
In this PC world good advice is very easily blown out of proportion, as we see right here. Phrased differently he wouldn't be catching so much heat from his comments. He's just saying practice the language.


Light-skinned, with no Negro dialect.
Feb 11, 2006
Washington D.C.
The pro-amnesty, open borders crowd, essentially, has absolutely ZERO rational arguments to make. It's ALWAYS an immediate ad hominem attack of the other person as some sort of racist or bigot. That's their ENTIRE arguing platform. Bush & crew tried to co-opt it the last few weeks and it blew up in their faces huge.

Because MOST Americans have really serious concerns about immigration, and don't support this open borders nonsense, and they're NOT bigots for feeling that way.

I wonder if all of these groups possibly even fathom that, because I don't think they do. Americans are actually a lot more generous than they're getting credit for, with regards to immigration, but at the least - at the LEAST - the thing we expect immigrants to do, is to learn. The fucking. LANGUAGE.

It really, really isn't that big of a request.


I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
"Most people I've spoken to walked away believing that he was trying to say that we must learn English to succeed in American society," Olmeda said.
Hello, exactly!


Is alive.
Wackbag Staff
Aug 14, 2000
Schwarzenegger was giving advice on how to break through a glass ceiling as he had.

People can learn another language by listening to that language's news and some pointers.

It is a part of total immersion.

Max Johnson

Registered User
Oct 14, 2004
One of the political talking heads said before Ahnuld was elected that being a foreign born guy who was uber successful himself, he may be the only person in the picture who can realistically challenge the non-english speaking foreign hordes who are invading us and destroying our economy with our permission these days. Maybe he's finally feeling up to the challenge now.


Registered User
Aug 10, 2004
At my old job we had ALOT of spanish people there that could speak english,but chose not to when they were speaking with someone else that spoke spanish. The dining room manager asked them nicely while they were at work to not speak spanish because it could be intimidating to the guests and other co-workers that didnt speak spanish. They had a shit fit, saying it was discrimination and of course they didnt listen and it was never mentioned again.


3 letters, 0 meaning
Mar 3, 2005
That's my governor.


Maybe they could learn something from him.

Coffee Diva

Female? Nope. Meaty-breasted? You betcha!
I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire.

The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.

But then I heard Nixon speak. Then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military.

Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.

I said to my friend, I said, "What party is he?"

My friend said, "He's a Republican."

I said, "Then I am a Republican."


I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
I said, "Then I am a Republican."
And he was Nixon...not exactly the best role model.

Don't get me wrong, I love Nixon, I probably think he's our most fascinating president.

Besides, that's story's as true as the "people" the politicians talk about int heir speeches.


I got it from a negro
Nov 6, 2004
The problem with these "immigrants" is that they don't want to be AMERICAN.

I'm sure a lot of people here have grandparents who came to America in the early 20th Century from Italy, Eastern Europe, or wherever not knowing a single word of English. These people would end up settling in an enclave surrounded by other people from their homelands be it Little Italy, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, or wherever, so they could at least be able to have a sense of the old country and be able to communicate with other people.

But unlike today's "immigrants," these people WANTED to be American. They learned English and studied for citizenship tests because they wanted to do better for themselves and their kids than back in the old country, and a lot of them did just that. They also made sure they raised their kids as Americans. My father was raised in a bilingual home by two immigrant parents, yet somehow English is his first language.

America was way less tolerant than it is today, so these immigrants had to get with the program if they wanted to improve their lives, and they more than willingly did so.

Today, people are moving to this country, not learning english because we're basically saying they dont' have to. Even worse, they're having kids and not teaching them english. These kids get to be 6 or 7 or 8 and can't function in school because they can't understand what's being said to them. I have a friend who's a public school teacher in Texas and she has to deal with this all the time. American born kids who can't speak the language of their own country.

What's the solution? I don't fucking know.