GOP freshman seeks to make English NC's 'official language'

Posted March 28, 2011

Freshmen House lawmaker Kelly Hastings (R-Gaston) has filed a proposal for a constitutional amendment to make English the official language of North Carolina. 

It's not clear what House Bill 475 would do, aside from drawing the Republican base to the polls, since it specifically says it would not supersede anyone's rights under the U.S. or NC Constitution. 

Hastings said he was inspired to put forth the amendment when he was “reading it [the U.S. Constitution] again this weekend.”

“English is the language of business across the world,” he noted. “And so I just thought it should be enshrined in the Constitution with an amendment.”

I asked whether he felt the English language was under threat in North Carolina. “I don’t get the sense that it’s really under threat,” Hastings said. Rep. Kelly Hastings, R-Gaston Rep. Kelly Hastings on H475, "English the Official Language" of NC

But, he added, "We need to respect the fact that English has been very important to the history of North Carolina.” 

Watch the video clip for more.


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  • khalilahsabra Apr 3, 2011

    Why does it still remain unclear to many of our Nations’s leaders, that our sons and daughters, are citizens, of whatever age, seek moral and as well as political direction. They are in the position to offer it. We, as an evolving democracy, are still learning to engage one another, accept the differences quickly being thrust upon us, struggling to hand the best principles , convictions and values to the generation succeeding us.
    Khalilah Sabra
    Executive Director
    Muslim America Society Immigrant Justice Center
    Raleigh, North carolina

  • khalilahsabra Apr 3, 2011

    No doubt, some of us don’t really stop and think about our moral responsibility. We are far too focus on ego, personal agenda, a self-centered moment in time, to make a mark that has no moral merit. But then when trouble arrives at our door, along with shock and anxiety, we wonder what it is we should do? We may forget that prior to this particular crisis we were sending messages directly or by implication: in their sum, our notion of how others ought to be treated for being different.

    All to often those who lead do not don’t think to pose for themselves the kind of ironic dilemmas cause by their self-centered decisions. They do not consider that everyone may not have a shrewd eye and ear for hypocrisy. For some it is not just a passing moment of no significance and political posturing. For some it is a decisive break with tolerance and mutual respect.

  • khalilahsabra Apr 3, 2011

    Politics is not suppose to be a means for encouraging bigotry or how to be irresponsive to our humanity. In a multicultural society- in a democracy, it is suppose to be a tool from which we learn to carry our fair share of something called liberty and justice for all. This comes, only, out of a genuine desire to accommodation and fulfill an American destiny by making room in our minds for others.

    Representative Kelly Hastings should not use the State Constitution to provoke un-Constitutional values. His political strategy tells us a lot about his moral compass and his capacity to lead others to fairness and generosity of spirit.

    Khalilah Sabra
    Executive Director
    Muslim America Society Immigrant Justice Center
    Raleigh, North carolina

  • tmh1375 Mar 30, 2011

    This is ridiculous. How about those jobs you all promised? Get to work!

  • emandmikey Mar 30, 2011

    What a waste of time and tax $$... of course English is our 'official' language. This is absurd.

  • nighthunter Mar 30, 2011

    The French, Italians, Swedes, Norwegians, Irish, Germans, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese all learned English when they immigrated here. The Amerinds (Native Americans to you PC folk) learned English - sometimes due to force. Many of the above groups still maintain dual language households. I see no problem in requiring English as the official language.

  • sophiemom Mar 30, 2011

    I will bet he doesn't know any foreign languages. This is a waste of time.

  • Come On_Seriously Mar 29, 2011

    Another freshman republican wasting everyone's time - and ergo, money.

  • vineyard jewel Mar 29, 2011

    Another pet project. Please focus on balancing the budget and more important matters of the state.

  • driverkid3 Mar 29, 2011

    It's about time.