Monday, 14 October 2002

English, the de facto official language

“If I were Hispanic, I would be ashamed that so many American institutions take it for granted that people like me can’t understand English. I would notice that there were never any telephone prompts or hyperlinks for Italian or Hindi or Japanese. I would realize that no one assumes that German-, Arab-, or Vietnamese-Americans are unable to communicate in English.

“I don’t know which would depress me more: the knowledge that my fellow citizens feel obliged to condescend to Hispanics or my sense that so many Hispanics prefer it that way…. I am the son of a Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia who immigrated to America in 1948. … My father was forced to learn English; it was the prerequisite to American life…. Not learning English was not an option. My father had to acquire the common American tongue. His life has been better for it.” —Jeff Jacob

Living in Texas, where too much of this sort of thing goes on, I have to say amen, and amen! Lefty multiculturalists love to remind us that the United States is a melting pot of different cultures and that we should respect all for our diversity. What these historically-ignorant windbags fail to grasp, however, is that for us to be Americans, we have to have a common identity. That identity incorporates the diversity we all bring to the pot, yet is distinct from them all.

Part of that distinction is our language. Like it or not, English has been the dominant language throughout the United States since the mid 1800s. It is the de facto official language of this country, even if there is no law stating as such (and there should be).

By all means, speak Spanish, German, Russian, whatever, amongst yourselves and in your homes. Hold on to and cherish your heritage, but integrate your heritage with that of America itself. Be prepared to interact with the rest of us in English, the tongue of Americans.

posted on October 14, 2002 4:31 PM




Copyright © 2002-2013 | XHTML 1.0 | CSS | Powered by Movable Type 4.2-en