Australia, or, more specifically, the ever-infuriating John Howard, wants to impose a test of proficiency in English as a requirement for citizenship (he also wants to test ‘Australian Values’, but the idea is just too ludicrous to spend any more time on).
I remembered reading Mike Carlton’s take on the concept of language proficiency tests in Australian history and stumbled upon a particular case that I thought must have been a joke. Alas, it turns out to be factual.
Australia’s immigration policy while Howard’s hero, Robert Menzies was Attorney General, included a clause (section 3(a) of the Immigration Act of 1901) that immigrants and visitors could be subject to a dictation test in an unspecified European language. If you don’t believe me, here‘s a facsimile of the act itself.
This wasn’t used much, it seems, but in 1934, an anti-fascist, anti-war Czech intellectual by the name of Egon Kisch…
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Timothy Egan is a liberal op-ed columnist for the New York Times, and has the credentials to prove it, including a share in the Times’s Pulitzer Prize for its series “How Race is Lived in America”. (He also has a National Book Award for nonfiction for his 2009 book The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America.)
It would be hard, then, for leftists to dismiss Egan as an alt-righter or white supremacist, though I suppose that, as he was born in 1954, he could be denigrated as a “boomer.” (That, of course, is ageism.) But I suppose they’ll try, as is always the case when somebody writes a piece like Egan’s latest for the NYT (click on the screenshot below):
The exemplar of someone who’s turned off by “insufferable wokeness” is Egan’s sister, who works cleaning toilets at Wal-Mart:
No matter how…
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