PA Lawmaker Responds to Latina Colleague's Criticism of 'English-Only' Bill by Turning Her Mic Off


Pennsylvania (the Mississippi of the Northeast) is battling the ever-invisible but always-encroaching menace of Things That Upset the Elderly with a new proposed “English-Only” law. Its author, Republican state legislator Daryl Metcalfe, proved on Monday that he’s exactly the sort of calm and reasonable adult one might expect would advocate such a bill.

Of course by “calm and reasonable,” I mean that he interrupted his only Latina colleague’s statements against the bill and then turned her mic off.

According to Think Progress, the bill would declare English the official language of Pennsylvania. If enacted, Pennsylvania would become the 32nd state with an English-only law.

On Monday, the bill’s sponsors invited a white nationalist to testify in favor of the bill. Democratic Rep Leslie Acosta, who is an immigrant, pointed out that, while she agrees that non-English speaking immigrants should learn English if they hope to achieve success in the US, mandating English as an official language is counterproductive. Then Metcalfe (to use a technical term) lost his shit.

In the middle of that point, Metcalfe interrupted. “You’re out of order,” he said. “I asked for a question.” Acosta then said she was “making a point,” and Metcalfe said “You’re not making points.” Acosta responded that she technically had two minutes to ask a question, to which Metcalfe retorted, “You don’t have two minutes.” Acosta said she had “the right to make my statement,” and Metcalfe said he would come back to her at the end “if we have time for you to finish your comment,” before turning her microphone off.

Think Progress has video of the incident.

Unfortunately for those looking for a silver lining here, the atrocious accent often used by Pittsburgh residents still counts as “English.”

Contact the author at [email protected].

Images via Flickr / Flickr

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