We don't mean it.
Sunday, the Omaha World-Herald gave lie to our dirty little secret with this story:
A small-town Nebraska librarian who won national recognition for teaching immigrants how to read has resigned in a dispute over expanding her literacy work.NO, WHAT WE really mean when we say that if people want to live in America, they ought to learn English is "Get your damn Mexican butt back to Mexico where you belong. America for Americans!"
Karla Shafer, who was awarded two national grants to teach literacy to immigrants and given an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., resigned her part-time post as director of the Hooper Public Library last month after she was confronted by a City Council member.
Shafer had planned to teach English to immigrants at Nickerson, about nine miles from Hooper, as part of a second $5,000 American Dream grant from the American Library Association.
But she quit her 28-hour-a-week, $10.64-an-hour job, she said, after City Council President Gene Meyer told her she shouldn't do that because it would appear that the village of Hooper approved of the classes.
“I told him, ‘You can't stop me. It's my own vehicle, on my own day off, with my own energy,'” Shafer said. “You can't tell me what I'm doing on my time off.”
When reached, Meyer disputed that description of events.
“I just said it was pretty unusual that we paid the librarian to go to Nickerson,” Meyer said. “She could do that (literacy class) in town.
“She doesn't work there anymore, and I'm not going to go any further on it,” he added.
And if they habla'd that lingo better, towns like Hooper still would be blissfully all-white, and troublesome free-thinking weirdos like Karla Shafer -- what with all her fancy books and pinko ideas -- wouldn't have half the chance to make mischief like she ended up doing with all them socialist "grants" she was getting.
Don't touch that dial! According to the newspaper, this gets even better.
After she resigned, Shafer said, she went to the library to retrieve her personal items, including many decorations and displays she bought with her own funds.THE MORAL of this tale is a familiar one: Good deeds never go unpunished.
She said the city clerk and police chief not only blocked her from retrieving her personal items but also began questioning her about how the grant funds were used and whether any went to her personally.
Shafer said she started crying.
“I felt like a criminal,” she said.
Police Chief Matt Schott and Hooper Mayor Larry Klahn said it ultimately was determined that nothing improper had been done with the grant money.
“We had a few questions. She answered them,” Klahn said.
He said city officials had been concerned that city property and Shafer's personal possessions were intermixed.
Shafer was allowed into the library Friday to get her personal belongings. That came after she hired a lawyer, on the advice of friends and library colleagues, to provide help in answering the allegations about the money and in getting back her things.
Shafer said she had to sell a family recreational vehicle to afford the attorney fees. She has suspended teaching English at the library to two Hispanic families that she said are legal residents.
And that goes double in woebegone little burgs like Hooper, Neb.