Bill conflicts with American ideals

Mahogany Thomas

art by Joanne Lee

House Bill 1186 has a one word description discriminative. While awaiting Senate debate, the bill questions Missouri’s acceptance toward certain ethnicities, alluding to the idea that Missourians find only those who speak English are superior than the rest.
The bill would remove driver license tests in 11 languages. The reasoning behind those who sponsor the bill is to insure that individuals with a license understands the road. However, just because English might be a second language for some individuals doesn’t make them incompetent in terms of managing the road.
A large percent of Missouri’s population is foreign. Two of the largest groups Asians make up 34.4 percent of the community, while 16.8 percent are from Mexico. Together, these two ethnic groups account for nearly half of Missouri’s people. By removing their native languages, House Bill 1186 discriminates against them by putting them at a disadvantage.
Regardless of what one’s native language may be, if America were really the “land of the free,” then if someone is qualified for a license the government should place no restrictions or disadvantages against them. Imagine being forced to only take a crucial exam in an unfamiliar language just to accomplish ordinary things. The same thing would happen to nearly half of Missouri’s people if the government passed HB 1186.
With the rights of the America in mind, in order to continue living in a free nation, its vital for individuals to feel comfortable and accepted. HB 1186 will eliminate these feelings. With no other languages besides English available for the written portion of the driver’s test, immigrants will be discriminated against and lose some freedom of movement.
If America plans to live up to the ideas of being “land of the free,” then it’s inevitable that passing a bill like this one only hinders America’s success. How can America be “land of the free” if English as a second Language learners can’t even take a drivers test in their language? Americans discusses the negative effects of stereotypes often; in conversations about closing the achievement gap and putting an end to racism; however, with laws like HB 1186, America is simply all talk. If our actions don’t reflect our words, then America is just a hypocritical nation. Judgmental stereotypes lives in bills like HB 1186, and by passing it, America and Missouri, is just discriminative.
By Mahogany Thomas