As anti-immigrant sentiments continue to rise, aspiring politicians have found creative ways to harness that resentment. President Trump briefly attempted to separate immigrant children from their parents. Closer to home, struggling Georgia gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams tried to raise his profile by touring the state in a “deportation bus.” And now one Tennessee Gubernatorial candidate has topped them all by suggesting the city of Chattanooga pick a new name.
“This is America, and in America we speak English,” Dianne Black proclaimed from the steps of the state capitol. “That’s why if elected Governor, I will immediately ban the use of non-English languages in all government capacities, from documents and automated telephone systems all the way up to the names of the cities themselves.”
Black is part of a growing movement that argues American cities and states should only have English language names. Advocates contend that changing all foreign names to English names would projected a unified, assimilated and patriotic vision for our country. “Picking a non-English name for your city or state sends the absolute wrong message to our enemies at home and abroad,” Black explained.
Chattanooga is one of many places to be targeted by English-Only activists. Others include Milwaukee, San Francisco, New Orleans, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Chicago, Los Angeles, Kansas, San Antonio, Missouri, Wyoming, Seattle, Kentucky, San Diego, Wichita, Utah, Mississippi, Louisiana, California, Michigan, North Dakota and South Dakota, Alabama, Iowa, Colorado, Ohio, Montana, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Baton Rouge, Idaho, Illinois, Texas, and New Mexico.
“This is about honoring American history,” Dianne Black explained to skeptical reporters. “The best way to honor American history is by honoring the Europeans who moved here. But not the Spanish or or the French ones,” she quickly clarified. “Just the British ones.”
Chattanooga’s name literally translates to “rock coming to a point,” which candidate Black considers a fine name. “I don’t see the need to translate anything… Pointy Rock is a beautiful name for any city, but especially one with a big pointy rock like Chattanooga.”
When reporters explained that the state’s name (Tennessee) is also derived from the Cherokee language, Dianne Black put her thumbs in her ears, closed her eyes and continued to repeat the mantra “This is America, and in America we speak English!”
Dianne Black is one of six Republicans currently running for Governor in Tennessee. The primary will be held August 2nd, and the winner will proceed to the general election to be held November 6, 2018. Early voting has already begun.