Home / General / A cavalcade of nativist nonsense for your Monday morning

A cavalcade of nativist nonsense for your Monday morning


First up, Megan Neely Duke biostatistics professor:

A Duke University professor who emailed students asking them to “commit to using English 100% of the time” while in department buildings has apologized for her message, saying it was inappropriate.

“I deeply regret the hurt my email has caused,” Megan Neely, an assistant professor of biostatistics, stated in a follow-up email to students Sunday. “It was not my intention. Moving forward, it is my sincerest wish that every student in the Master of Biostatistics is successful in all of their endeavors.”

Until recently, Neely was also the director of graduate studies in Duke’s biostatistics department. Early Saturday afternoon, she sent an email to dozens of Duke students that started out innocuously enough.

“Something to think about . . . ” the subject line read.

The message was addressed to all first- and second-year biostatistics graduate students at the North Carolina university.

Neely said in the email that two faculty members had visited her office earlier that day, asking for pictures of biostatistics graduate students. She said she obliged, then asked why they wanted to know.

According to Neely, her colleagues wanted to identify students they had observed “speaking Chinese (in their words, VERY LOUDLY)” in the student lounge and study areas.

“Both faculty members replied that they wanted to write down the names so they could remember them if the students ever interviewed for an internship or asked to work with them for a master’s project,” she wrote.

Neely underlined the next part of her email in bold: “They were disappointed that these students were not taking the opportunity to improve their English and were being so impolite as to have a conversation that not everyone on the floor could understand.”

If the implication wasn’t clear enough — that Neely was encouraging students to speak only English or else face unseen barriers to future opportunities within the department — she spelled it out in her next paragraph:

“To international students, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep these unintended consequences in mind when you choose to speak in Chinese in the building. I have no idea how hard it has been and still is for you to come to the US and have to learn in a non-native language. As such, I have the upmost [sic] respect for what you are doing. That being said, I encourage you to commit to using English 100% of the time when you are in Hock or any other professional setting.”

Neely closed her message by noting she was copying second-year biostatistics graduate students on the email “as a reminder” because they were in the process of applying for jobs.

“Happy to discuss more,” she wrote. “Just stop by my office.”

Sure, any time Megan.

Next, we have Tom Brokaw, who wants Hispanic parents to encourage their children to speak American:

Criticism erupted after Brokaw, 78, commented on Hispanics and assimilation during Sunday’s broadcast of “Meet the Press.” He said on the show that his view on assimilation is one he’s been sharing “for a long time.”
“You know, they ought not to be just codified in their communities but make sure that all their kids are learning to speak English, and that they feel comfortable in the communities,” he said. “And that’s going to take outreach on both sides [Republican and Democrat], frankly.”
That’s super helpful of you Tom.
Of course no list of this type would be complete without Donald Trump, who loves to give guided tours of the White House:
The president has also claimed to guests, without evidence, that his private dining room off the Oval Office was in “rough shape” and had a hole in the wall when he came into the West Wing and that President Barack Obama used it to watch sports, according to two White House officials and two other people who have heard him discuss the dining room. “He just sat in here and watched basketball all day,” Trump told a recent group, before saying he upgraded Obama’s smaller TV to a sprawling, flat-screen one, the four people said.
Was he eating fried chicken too?
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