Friday, August 31, 2007

English, Our National Language; Who Would Have Thought?

We can learn a lot by reading. As an old fashioned American, I read English; this is the language of communication in the United States I learned in school. I am told that English is still taught in school here; but you wouldn’t know that if you follow the public debate about whether English is or should be the ‘National’ language’ or, more properly, the ‘Official’ language of the United States.

Some of the things I have learned from reading, for example by reading a column by George Will, is that a Rabbi coined the phrase ‘melting pot’ in 1906 following a large immigration from eastern and southern Europe. Some recent political theorists prefer to view America as a ‘salad bowl’ rather than a melting pot. Why is this the case? Because it reflects the ‘liberal’ orthodoxy that American are not supposed to be ‘one’ people, we are supposed to be a collection of separate elements, like a salad. We are to accept all the separate cultures even if the result is that we are no longer a ‘melting pot of American thought, values and culture’.

George Will further notes that the English requirement was strengthened in 1950 by a law that stated “an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language” was required to attain United States citizenship. Is it surprising to anyone that this law is not enforced, like so many others that seek to protect Americans from threats abroad and at our borders? Will dirty Harry Reid say the 1950 law is racist?

Theodore Roosevelt, one of the great American presidents in my estimation, signed a law requiring those seeking to become American citizens demonstrate ‘oral English literacy’. T.R. said one of the most profound remarks on this subject in our nation’s history.

In 1919, shortly before he died, TR said,

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Not too long ago the senate of the United States had a chance to confirm the principles of the 1950 law and those expressed by Theodore Roosevelt; instead what was it the senate did? Instead of making it clear that English is the ‘Official’ language of our country, they voted that English is our ‘National’ language, whatever that means. Democrats, and too many Republicans, disagreed with the idea that English should be our Official language. These ‘Republicrats’ said that such a law would undue William Jefferson Clinton’s extension of benefits to those not proficient in the English language. Imagine that, illegal aliens that don’t speak English would be ‘deprived’ of benefits to which they should not be entitled in the first place, if we made English our Official language! Shamefully, a majority of Senators bought into this. An original amendment to make English Official was thus ‘watered down enough’ so that Senator McCain was able to say “In my opinion the amendment is watered down enough to make it acceptable”. I may not have known T.R. personally, but well enough to say “McCain you’re no Teddy Roosevelt”.

Interestingly, even the ‘watered down’ version had 34 Senators voting against it; this despite the current law that to become citizens it is required that immigrants understand the Constitution, the Pledge of Allegiance and American history. Even the ‘watered down’ version to make English a ‘common unifying language’, received 34 ‘no’ votes

Is anyone surprised by the ‘consistency’ of these senators to thwart the will of the people they represent ‘for the greater (liberal) good?

English is the ‘Official’ language in 27 states and 51 nations, but not in the United States. It has been stated that a recent Zogby poll showed 84% of our population, including 71% of Hispanics, believe English should be the official language of our government; but the Senate knows better than the people they serve. Can you recall when our representative government has been so out-of-touch with American people? English as a common language is the only chance of preserving our national unity and assimilating non-English speaking immigrants into our American culture; remember our country’s motto, “out of many, one”. Our culture is in jeopardy because so many immigrants are not assimilating into society like earlier immigrants once did.

The lack of assimilation by many immigrants is also due to the liberal fantasy of politically correct multiculturism. Schools do not teach American history as they did previously, or they teach a distorted version. The politically correct approach is to focus on minorities, not the actual historical foundation of our country’s origin and the people that made the United States a great bulwark of freedom.

Assimilation of non-English speaking immigrants is also thwarted by government edicts that require voting ballots in a dozen of different languages. Is this also behind the ‘let’s not make English our official language’ crowd? By the way, if only citizens can vote, and everyone must be able to speak English, why do we need to print ballots in languages other than English?

Many of our institutions are promoting a non-English speaking separation of ethnic groups. The liberal media and college teaching staff encourage us to think of ourselves, not as Americans, but as a member of some tribal group; for example, Hispanics, afro-Americans, Muslim groups, Jews, Christians, or by whatever country we or our ancestors came from. Accepting ‘tribalization’ as part of our national personality defeats assimilation into a unified national identity; just look at the Middle East and Africa. The looming destruction of societies in France, The Netherlands, even England, should be a wake-up call to not let this happen in the United States.

Those of us that believe in our hearts America is a great nation and want our country to stay that way, also believe it is important to maintain English speaking as our nation’s identity. We are not helped in this goal by a president that opposes English as a national; language. The day after the senate voted for the watered down ‘English is our national language bill’, [then] Attorney General Gonzales said Bush “has long opposed making English the country’s national language”. Gonzales emphasized this point: “The president has never supported making English the national language.” Instead, Gonzales said “Bush has long supported a concept called English-Plus”. What in the world is “English-Plus”, and why doesn’t Bush support English ‘alone’ without the ‘plus’ as our national language?

The Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, also criticized the watered-down senate characterization of English as the national language as an “unnecessary addition to immigration legislation that provides no money to teach English” and, more specifically, “The measure contains no additional funding for local governments to teach English and shows how they are out-of-touch [they are] with the rest of the United States”. Excuse me Mayor, but who paid for all the other immigrants that previously came to this country to learn English? Has the US government been “out-of-touch” with rest of the United States for centuries? Unfortunately, this elected Mayor represents the thinking of an entire population of ‘new’ immigrants, and far too many senators.

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