A recent newspaper article proclaimed that the unprecedented rise of the local Hispanic population represents Nevada’s ‘progressive future.’ If so,
we’re in more trouble than we think.

Yes, it’s a multicultural dream come true. Politicians from Harry Reid to Dario Herrera (is there really a difference?) are capitalizing on the influx by pandering to ethnic constituencies with state-sponsored racism. And more people means more business — which, of course, is the bottom line. Hey,
have you played Palace Station’s Asian Pit yet?

But amidst all the ‘celebrating diversity’ and swooning over a Mexican consulate, there’s precious little understanding of the impact on our schools. Well, the Hispanic lobby is working full-time here, too.

The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a self-styled civil rights group for Hispanics, is busy putting together a host of programs designed for Latino students and parents. Grants are in process. Budgets are being tapped. Glowing stories from ‘minority affairs’ reporters are written.

High on the agenda is bilingual instruction. Given the background and proclivities of our education leaders, this comes as no surprise. Nevada’s school superintendent Jack McLaughlin, fresh from Berkeley, calls the English Language Learning (ELL) program his No. 1 priority.

Problem is, the educrats’ bilingual and ELL ventures aren’t really intended to make Spanish-speaking students fluent in English. These programs are rooted in ‘facilitation’ theory, which encourages students to continue using their native tongue. According to advocates’ candid estimates, full transition to English may come in four, seven or 10 years … or never.

Because of this, Hispanic parents are among the fiercest opponents of such programs. But, as always, educators know better. ‘I have to convince them that their language is valuable and worth holding on to,’ lectures one professor setting up a ‘dual language’ scheme at Wengert Elementary School.

The game is to keep Hispanics — and all minorities — in a state of indentured servitude. Expect less of them in the classroom. Retard language acquisition. Then give out medallions to black and brown grads to boost their self-esteem. When this charade is exposed, blame a ‘racist’ society.
It all fuels the growth of the welfare state.

Interestingly, the immigrants arriving in record numbers today are far different from those who landed here 30 years ago. In 1970, the high school completion rate of immigrants was 7 percentage points lower than the native population. By 2000, that gap was 25 percentage points and growing.

The supposedly strapped school district and local governments opened a $2.5 million preschool near Eastern Avenue and Bonanza Road last month. The campus offers free educational services (if one can call them that) to a heavily Hispanic district. Note: This is the second school named after Reynaldo Martinez, who once served as Reid’s chief of staff.

Reid, an astute politician, curries favor with the fastest growing segment of the valley’s population — legal and illegal. Topping the to-do list are expanded social services and redistribution of income, which is what
‘broadening the tax base’ is all about. The recent campaign to create Hispanic legislative seats was yet another example of crude political peonage. And primping for Congress is young Herr Herrera.

The open-border, multicultural crowd embraces diversity for electoral and material gain. Reid, for example, wants to liberalize amnesty laws and concoct new race-based giveaways to buy votes (e.g. subsidies for Hispanic home buyers). All the while, overwhelmed schools exhibit neither the will nor the skill to effectively teach English — let alone the Constitution.

What we have in our ‘progressive’ Shangri-La is a system that’s intentionally rigged to fail. Giving ever-greater power to the state, it fosters a culture of brain-dead dependency. Using faulty language programs,
the elites segregate the proletariat into racial groups — dividing and conquering along the way. Meantime, swelling and semi-literate masses yearn to be free.

Ken Ward (kenricward@juno.com) is a free-lance writer who covers education.
His column appears Wednesday.

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