The Tennessean points out
this morning that the ballot referendum version of English Only does not have a provision that the original council bill did for health and safety exceptions. So, basically, if 10,000 of Eric Crafton's drones sign this, and then a rabid, but critical mass of the 1/3 of all Davidson County voters who typically vote make this law in November, then you better hope that the person who calls 911 when your house is on fire or your daughter is being raped or your father is having a heart attack speaks fluent English. Should that Good Samaritan speak mainly Spanish or Kurdish, then you're screwed, and if you sign Crafton's petition or vote for English Only in November, then just call the screwing "karma." The problem is that the rest of us innocent saps who either don't sign or vote "No" (or don't vote) for fear of driving out the angels of our better nature are screwed, too.
But thank God for the ACLU:
Should the proposed Metro charter amendment make it onto the ballot and then become law, it could represent a violation of the First and 14th Amendments — the ones guaranteeing free speech and equal protection under the law — said Hedy Weinberg, American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee's executive director.
"Does this mean you can't dial 911 and tell the operator in some other language about a crime that you fear is taking place next door, or in your own home?" said Weinberg, "These policies don't celebrate the cultural pluralism that makes this city so special. They try to crush it."
I've let my ACLU membership lapse, and I'd also like to thank Eric Crafton for motivating me to renew it once again. Good things grow out of manure.
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