WGN Radio's Steve Cochran is a relative newcomer to the 50,000-watt station in Chicago, and I truly enjoy listening to him because of his razor-sharp wit and genuine concern for certain social issues. He also is a stand-up comedian who takes his talents "on the road" in this area, many times performing pro bono for one of this favorite causes or charities.
But I didn't find him very funny the morning of April 23 during his "Kid of the Week" segment that recognizes children of all ages for their academic achievements or contributions to their communities.
That day he was speaking on the air with a 10-year-old boy who had been honored by a local police department for helping them communicate with a small Hispanic girl who was lost and spoke no English. The boy, who has been studying Spanish as a second language since age 5, acted as her interpreter as she related her problem to the police.
Cochran, who said he had forgotten much of the Spanish he studied while in college, asked the boy to give quiz him with a few phrases in Spanish and was genuinely impressed with the boy's command of the language.
Cochran [e-mail him—When the link opens, click on "Weekday Shows" and select Cochran's name) then told the boy:
"Statistics show that all of us are going to have to learn Spanish because it will one day be a predominate language in this country. So you're ahead in the game, aren't you?"
Why does Cochran presume that people born in this English-speaking country HAVE TO learn the language of a foreign culture that has taken root in large part because our lame federal government refuses to enforce its own immigration laws?