Monday, February 8, 2010

Literacy Tests

Everybody must have heard by now about the nasty remarks made by the former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo about his desire to see the literacy tests for prospective voters brought back as a legal practice. You have to be an obtuse, illiterate racist in order to fail to realize that these vicious literacy tests were used as a tool of excluding black voters from expressing their political will.

However, I believe that something good can be rescued from this practice. Let's administer literacy tests to politicians aspiring to high elected offices. If somebody had thought of this before, a simple literacy test could have saved us eight horrible years with George W. Bush.

P.S. We were going over new vocabulary in my Spanish Intermediate II class. I don't allow students to speak English in class, so when they had to remember what the word "analfabeto" ("illiterate") means, many of them were stumped. One student came up with the following great definition of the word: "Es Presidente Bush!" ("It's president Bush!"). Immediately, everybody understood the meaning of the word.

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