Why English?

or

Why trying to turn America into a bilingual/multilingual society
is an incredibly dumb idea!

“The tie of language is, perhaps, the strongest and the most durable that can unite mankind.” 
by Alexis De Tocqueville, French author of Democracy in America.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

With immigrants coming from nearly every nation, speaking hundreds of different languages, there had to be areas of conformity, or else we would not have a unified nation. The Founding Fathers recognized this when they adopted our national motto “E Pluribus Unum” in 1782 - "Out of many, one." One of the areas of conformity was language. Although the English language was never the official language of the US, there were no provisions for other languages. Everything was done in English and everyone was expected to learn English. This system worked brilliantly for 200 years.

However, for over 30 years now, some horribly misguided people seem to think it’s wonderful that we have more and more people who don’t want English to be their primary language and insist on interpreters. This is upside down, totally illogical thinking. Encouraging Americans to speak multiple language is NOT diversity, it is DIVISION, which will lead to disunity and destruction. Positive diversity is when we like different foods, entertainment, sports, etc.

Historically speaking, everyone knows before they come here that the United States speaks English. It’s not a sudden revelation. If the Government of America had spent the past 230+ years catering to immigrants in their native language, like we have done for the past 30, we wouldn’t be a functioning nation today. If things continue the way they are now, America will become a divided bi-lingual nation and ultimately a multi-lingual non-nation. We are systematically destroying our national unity and condemning our American way of life & heritage to the scrapheap of time.

Language Racists

For over 200 years, people came from Germany, Poland, Norway Sweden, Italy and many other countries and learned English as best they could. Today we have people who don’t want to learn English and believe they should be catered to in their native language. These people are language racists. Why do they think they are better then all the previous immigrants who learned English? Nobody put a gun to their head and ordered them to come to America. They came voluntarily. It’s not our government’s role to make special accommodations for those that won’t learn English. If you choose not to even try to learn at least some English, then LEAVE and go back where you came from.  If making English your primary language offends you and makes you feel culturally deprived, you really don’t belong in America. LEAVE and go back where you came from.

The truth is, the more we do for immigrants in their native language, the less incentive they have to learn English, and assimilate into our American Society. When you come to America, English is now your native language.  As a nation, we need to put in place a systematic plan for immigrants to learn English quickly, especially school age children.  If you are an adult, you may have a hard time (a lot of adults do), but you can learn enough English to get by.  With all the educational opportunities we have in America, there is NO EXCUSE for anyone not understanding “Basic English” words. The REAL issue is do you want to learn?  If not, that is YOUR problem, not America’s.

               What about the private Sector?

In the private sector, it’s really the choice of a corporation to offer products and services in a myriad of languages. Even 100 years ago, you could easily find newspapers in many metropolitan areas that catered to various ethnic groups.   In New York City, and other large urban areas, you could find publications in Italian, German, Polish, Hebrew, Spanish, and a host of other languages.   

Even 40 years ago, long before the illegal migration of many from Mexico & other parts of the world, you could find radio stations broadcasting programs in a variety of languages. However, there was one fundamental difference: People didn't demand the government cater to them in their ancestral language. 

The problem is when we officially recognize a number of different languages in our government and public safety sectors that we create serious problems, as noted above.

In the private sector it is the option for a business to succeed, or fail, based on their marketing decisions.   In the public sector, we simply can’t afford that option.

Should English be the Official Language of the United States?

Most Americans today can’t speak the ancestral language of their immigrant ancestors. This is not cultural deprivation in any way. If you know English that is all you need to know in America.

Declaring English the official language is essential and beneficial for the U.S. government and its citizens. Official English unites Americans, who speak more than 322 languages (2000, U.S. Census), by providing a common means of communication; it encourages immigrants to learn English and participate in our Democratic/Republic process; and it defines a much-needed common sense language policy.

One argument given on why we should not have an official language is that having one would defeat the whole purpose of this country.   They claim that the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, which states that we have the right to a freedom of speech and education.   (It should be noted that nowhere in the Constitution does it proffer a “right” to an education)  They further claim that if English was never the official language for the past two hundred years, why should it change now?   They somehow believe that having multiple languages in this country is beneficial because it fosters diversity and also helps preserve one’s cultural identity. This line of reasoning is factually baseless and completely illogical.

For an individual to know languages other then English is commendable. However, using multiple languages in government is not only divisive, but it is simply unworkable - a fact our Founding Fathers understood 230 years ago. The Constitution of the United States was written and ratified in English, not in a multitude of languages.   All official documents and laws were written in English.   It’s only been in recent times that we’ve had this sudden proliferation of creating official government documents in multiple languages.

There are over 322 different languages spoken in the United States today.  Should we have 322 different traffic signs?  Should we have 322 different election ballots?  Should we have 322 different final exams in our public schools? 

It is estimated that over 50-million people do not speak English at home.  Many of these speak Spanish, but also represented are Vietnamese, Chinese, French, Thai, and literally hundreds of others. According to the Census Bureau, over 20-million speak English less than "very well," if even at all.

Put this into a practical perspective.   When you have an emergency, and call 911, how many different languages should we support and offer?   Do we force all 911 operators to learn multiple languages and dialects just to keep their jobs?   And if so, which ones, and how many?  Should New York City offer all its services (including 911) in the 170 languages spoken there?   Some might argue, just Spanish, as it’s the second most spoken after English.   Would this be fair to people who don’t speak Spanish or English? This is all just totally unworkable and divisive. 

Sections in this article: