Rep. Green: We're Only Speaking English on The Moon

Keith's note: There was a press conference today on Capitol Hill at which a number of members of Congress spoke out in opposition to President Obama's recently announced space policy. For the most part nothing new was said. However, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX-29) made some odd comments.

At [0:53] in this video he says "We have had some discussion on the House floor about English-only in our own country. I do agree that we should have English-only on the moon." Then at 2:57 he says "Every year, we take an astronaut with us and go to middle schools. I have a majority Hispanic district in Houston Texas and east Harris County. And to see those students, middle-school kids, sixth, seventh and eighth-graders, they won't pay attention to me or even Hispanic business folks that go in and talk about what they need to do to be successful. But when you take an astronaut there, whether Hispanic or Anglo and they go in their jumpsuit and they talk about space, they talk about their experiences or their science effort. Those sixth, seventh and eighth-graders, particularly in minority schools, pay attention. I don't want to lose that hope."

First of all, his comment about "English only" on the Moon is just plain silly. Who is he to say who can go to the Moon and what they say when they get there? Secondly, Green is apparently not well versed in how space is explored these days. NASA has prided itself on its international cooperation. The ISS is multi-national and multi-lingual and the very program he seeks to retain, the VSE, openly sought international participation. Lastly, given his overt reference to his large hispanic constituency and education, what sort of message is Green sending to those kids when he says that they won't be allowed to speak the language of their parents and their ancestors on the Moon? I guess Rep. Green never read the Twitter posting by Jose Hernandez from space en Espaol.

US lawmakers urge Obama to save NASA moon program, AFP

"I am concerned that the Russians and the Chinese will get ahead of us... that English won't be the dominant language in space," Republican Representative Michael McCaul from Texas told a House hearing."

Video clips of comments by: Rep. Olson, Rep. Wolf, Rep. Bishop , Rep. McCaul , Rep. Culberson, Rep. Posey, and Rep. Green

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 11, 2010 5:52 PM.

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