Be prepared, I've got the soap box out and primed. This post is going to piss people off and before you even bother to say it: Yes, I'm aware of the fact that immigrants helped build this country, most of my family came here from somewhere else, so let's skip that particular dead horse, all right?
I was reading the news this morning on MSNBC, as I usually do and I came across an article about the House and the Senate debating the "English as a National Language" issue again. This is an issue that has been debated repeatedly for years. Easch time it is defeated and dropped.
Now it is being discussed again, due in large part to the recent immigration discussions. Here's the kicker: It's being called racist.
All I have to say to that is WTF??????? How is it racist to want the people that live in THIS country to speak the launguage taught in it's schools and spoken by the people NATIVE to the country.
Again, yes I know that this country was built by people from other countries, but not solely, and not all of them were non-english speaking. In fact, a large majority of the first people to settle here were native english speakers...AND...when those people came here from other countries, it was with the intention of becoming American citizens, they WANTED to learn English, and they wanted their children to learn English. So I say again, let's not beat that particular dead horse.
Fact is if I moved to another country, any other country, I would be expected to learn it's launguage. It's true that a lot of countries teach English in their schools, but not all citizens speak it and so I would not be able to rely on that. I would have to learn to speak French or Chinese, or Spanish, or Italian, or whatever the native language was if I intended to live and be sucessful in my new home. Why should it be any different for people living here?
I do belive that it is a good idea for children in our schools to learn a second launguage, but I DO NOT believe that they should have to learn a second language simply because a portion of the population doesn't speak English.
It boils down to this: Just like anyone else, just like any other situation, if you want to be successful you have to adapt. English IS the language spoken in the United States. Yes, there are bilingual households. Yes, speaking a second language is a good thing. However, we are an ENGLISH speaking nation, just like a lot of other English speaking nations, we shouldn't be ashamed of it, we shouldn't apologize for it. It's not racist to want the people that live here to be able to communicate freely.
It would be racist to say that if someone didn't speak English you weren't going to teach them, and you weren't going to let them work, but no one is saying that. It would be racist if people that spoke other languages were shunned and not given good opportunities, when in fact, at many jobs, people that speak other languages qualify for pay increases.
I'm putting the soapbox away now. Just remember, before you send me angry notes....please don't beat the dead horse, he's suffered enough.