English Only At A Nevada Democratic Caucus? Why Not?
February 21, 2016, 04:15 PM
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There’s a horrible report emanating from the Nevada Democratic Caucuses, that some participants wanted an English only caucus. Imagine that!

What could be more divisive than speaking the same language to select a presidential candidate?

The complaint was made by none other than longtime labor/Hispanic activist Dolores Huerta who is still active. She was a fellow activist with the late Cesar Chavez and even bore Cesar’s brother Richard four children.

The details of what actually occurred in Nevada are in dispute, but this article presents both sides:

Actress America Ferrera and Latina civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, both of whom are endorsing Hillary Clinton, say that Bernie Sanders supporters shouted “English only” as Huerta was offering Spanish-language translations at a caucus site in Las Vegas Saturday [February 20tth]. But the Vermont senator’s supporters, including actresses Susan Sarandon and Gaby Hoffmann, say it didn’t happen — at least not the way Huerta described it.

Claim Sanders’ supporters shouted ‘English only’ at Nevada caucus is disputed

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo Politics, Feb. 20, 2016

So what’s the charge?
According to Ferrera and Huerta, some of the Latino caucus-goers who arrived at Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino did not speak English.
So an electoral process designed to select our next president has participants who don’t speak the language of the country.
“I offered to translate,” Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers, tweeted. “Bernie supporters chanted English only! We fought too long & hard to be silenced. Si Se Puede! #ImwithHer #NVcaucus.”
Susan Sarandon says that’s not the case…
But according to Sarandon and Hoffmann, it was the moderator who said “English only” after a neutral translator could not be found….
By “neutral translator” I suppose they mean somebody who supports neither Hillary nor Bernie. So what would they have to do – hire a Republican to translate?

A CNN article on the caucus reports Dolores Huerta saying that she offered to be a translator, and a Bernie supporter also offered to be a translator, but then “the person running the caucus said we won't have a translator."

Back to the Yahoo article

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Huerta said she offered to translate because the caucus “is a kind of complicated procedure.”

“To deprive these voters at this crucial time of having a translation of what was going on — this is something they need to know what’s taking place,” she said. “So the Bernie supporters would rather them not have any sort of translation rather than have someone like myself, who just happened to be a Hillary supporter, do the translation.”

So the caucus is complicated, you have partiicipants who don’t speak the language, and so the solution is to have a translator?
But according to Hoffman, it was actually Clinton’s supporters who applauded when the moderator instructed “English only.”
So each side accuses the other of supporting “English Only”?
….Huerta expressed her dismay with Sanders via her Twitter feed.

“Shame on your supporters for depriving Spanish speaking caucus goers of info they need for full participation!” she wrote.

Here’s a Sanders supporter with another explanation.

“As the senator has said, this campaign is about bringing people together not dividing them,” Symone D. Sanders, Bernie Sanders’ national press secretary, wrote in an email to Yahoo News. “We expect our supporters to be respectful of all people and don’t condone anything otherwise.”

Wouldn’t having people speak the same language be a way of “bringing people together”?