On Monday September 21, the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee is holding a hearing on House Bill 1506, which aims to make English the official language of the Commonwealth. Those slated to speak before the hearing include Jan Ting, Temple University; Andy Hoover, ACLU of Pennsylvania; Matthew Shuman, U.S. English Inc.; and Robert Vandervoot, ProEnglish.
One of the speakers that Representative Darryl Metcalfe’s committee invited was once president with long running ties to a white nationalist organization. The Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights points out that Robert Vandervoot was “the organizer of the white nationalist group, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, while he lived in Illinois” and “while he was in charge, Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance often held joint meetings with the local chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens.” The IREHR points out that Vandervoot’s ties with these organizations got back to 2003 when he started writing about his “admiration for the white nationalist group American Renaissance and its leader Jared Taylor.”
Shockingly, Robert Vandervoot is not the only person at ProEnglish who harbors white nationalist views. Phil Kent, who sits on the board, was caught calling multiculturalism a “virus that has been injected into our system, is destroying what we call the quote-unquote ‘United States of America.”
When House Bill 1506 was introduced, State Representative Ryan Warner claimed that the bill was necessary because “if our budget impasse has taught us anything, it is that we must continue to look for every opportunity to cut wasteful government spending” and “the role of government should be to encourage residents to learn English for their own benefit, not to use taxpayer dollars to support continual translation.”