Kumar responds to Jacky Rosen’s ‘idiot’ comment

Reno Gazette Journal July 8, 2018


Dear Jacky,

Let me start by thanking you for taking the time to respond to my column from two weeks back. I wasn’t expecting a response and was surprised by it. Given that my reference to you was only a sliver of my column, I had no reason to expect a response.  As a matter of fact, when my friend texted me your response, I thought he was joking. I had to check Twitter to confirm it was real.

Allow me to start by expressing my disappointment. In light of the fact you are auditioning to be a member the greatest deliberative body in the world, the U.S. Senate, I had reason to expect a policy-based response. Instead you proceeded to call me an “idiot” through your de facto spokesman. I am sorry to disappoint you, but I have no desire to engage in name calling. Instead, I prefer a policy discussion. Let’s start by asking ourselves the question, does it help the Hispanic community in this country to learn English or just continue to speak Spanish?

Jacky, as you are well aware, communication skills are important for better-paying jobs. Given that only 13% of the US population speaks Spanish and over 90% speak English, communication in America starts with English. Can you show me a CEO of a major American corporation who cannot speak English? Can you show me a factory Manager who can’t speak English? Heck, can you show me a Starbucks Barista who can’t communicate in English? By encouraging a Spanish-speaking environment, aren’t you stalling the progress of the Hispanic community? Aren’t you depriving them of opportunities to land a better paying job and a better way of life and making them more dependent on government? Is it your desire to keep them working for you as painters and yard workers? Aren’t your actions creating a permanent under-class of Hispanics stuck in low-level jobs?

Perhaps you can help me with this: can you show me a country where bilingualism has produced unity? I see Canada, where in Quebec, the French-speaking Canadians want to secede. I see Spain where the Basque-speaking population and Catalan-speaking populations want to split. Sri Lanka is embroiled in Civil War between Sinhalese and Tamil speaking populations. Soviet Union and Yugoslavia blew up largely along linguistic lines. Jacky, you see, a person speaking multiple languages is gifted. A country speaking multiple languages is divided.

One final point: Jacky, I participate in the democratic process because I believe in the greatness of this country. In some countries, they would have found my body in a dark alley for even disagreeing with someone of your stature. In America, we believe that challenging each other will make this country better. I believe in giving people the benefit of doubt: I feel that we are both trying to make America a better place, even though our approach is diametrically opposed. I hope you feel the same way. I am an eternal optimist and I hope you will be just as enthusiastic in responding to my policy points in this column as you were in calling me an “idiot”.

I look forward to your response. Thank you for your time.