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‘English Only’ is a Distraction, Not a Solution

The U.S. Civil Rights Commission recently filed a complaint against the Albertsons [1] supermarket chain in San Diego for requiring its employees, including Latinos, to speak exclusively in English while at work.

Some in the mainstream media, led by Newsweek [2] and the California talk show host Ethan Bearman, have cheered on the Civil Rights Commission and lamented the “hostile work environment” that Albertsons has created for Latino employees. Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson has entered the fray on the other side to insist that the San Diego supermarket has every right to specify work conditions for its employees. According to Carlson [3], it’s no business of the federal government to monitor every commercial relation in this country, much less assess whether they conform to the latest version of political correctness. This, Tucker maintains, is a form of government overreach that is incompatible with a free society. Unfortunately, we’ve already surrendered to the Deep State the freedom in question, and there may be no way of getting it back except possibly through long and tedious litigation.

But Carlson offers a second reason that makes far less sense to me. He suggests that Albertsons supermarket and others that share its position on “English only” are helping to “unify” our country. The fact that some in this land are not encouraged to speak English is for Carlson “a core weakness.” Treating English as an “official language,” even when it’s not, will make us more cohesive as a nation.

Allow me to challenge this. First, although Carlson’s contention was true at one time, it isn’t any longer, at least not in the United States. In the 19th century, language was viewed as an essential touchstone of national identity. European peoples striving for independence would point to their continuing use of a particular tongue as proof of their historic identity as a people. The Zionists chose Hebrew as the national language for their Jewish homeland because ancient Jews spoke that Semitic tongue. Of course, linguistic nationalism had other unifying factors, like shared history and ethnicity, which were also seen by those demanding national autonomy as essential to their identity.

But what was true for Poles, Germans, and Lithuanians in 1820, and for Jews in 1920, no longer applies to most English speakers. Today, English is a universal language, learned because of its commercial value and because it’s relatively easy to pick up, quite independently of any national culture. If the Latinos who work at Albertsons are forced to chat in English, it’s unlikely to lead them into embracing an Anglophone literary heritage going back to Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and William Faulkner. Students whom I taught in college mumbled to each other in something like American-English but rarely showed the slightest interest in our Anglo-American literary or cultural heritage. I also didn’t espy many of them delving into the Federalist Papers as a result of their ability to speak (usually quite ungrammatically) the language of Madison, Hamilton, and Jay.

Further, groups or individuals that hold radically divergent views on political and moral questions are rarely brought together by the fact that they converse in English (or some approximation thereof). Carlson provides no evidence for his contention, which he regards, strangely enough, as self-evident. If an alt-right blogger and a representative of Black Lives Matter engaged in a discussion (assuming this were possible), would their mutual intelligibility create a sense of brotherhood? In all probability their capacity to understand each other would make them hate each other even more. Like religion, language may unite, but where there is no deeper source of unity, it can also cause further division.

It seems foolish to believe that as soon as we can get people on the same page linguistically, they’ll warm to each other. This was the illusion of the Hapsburg Empire in the late 19th century, whose leaders imagined that if their Slavic subjects could be made to learn German, they would come to accept imperial rule. Many Hapsburg subjects did learn German but then used their acquired language to scream at each other and their rulers in the Austrian Imperial Diet. Also, not incidentally, IRA operatives who blew up the British spoke exemplary English.

It also seems unwise to urge people who are notoriously ignorant of foreign languages to discourage their use. Needless to say, I’m not defending the indefensible, which in this case is the boondoggle of teaching English as a second language in public schools and the effort made by the left to treat beneficiaries of multicultural favoritism as exempt from learning English. Nor would I deny the practical benefit of knowing English in the United States, even for those who never dip into our political and literary classics. What I am saying is that Americans would do well to study foreign languages instead of frowning upon their use. It also wouldn’t hurt (or diminish our alleged exceptionalism) if American leaders learned other world languages. One should applaud the diligence exhibited by French President Emmanuel Macron in expressing himself in English (even with his occasional gaffes).

change_me

Finally, it can be annoying to listen to people trying to convey an underlying message or motive praise English as a source of national unity. I happen to share with the left the view that much of the talk about the need to use English conceals other attitudes that some (although not Tucker Carlson) don’t want to betray. Unity is often the least of their concerns.

It is true that many Americans are worrying about the continuing demographic and cultural transformation of their country. Some who want everyone to “please speak English only” have had it with the cult of diversity and the accompanying disparagement of our Euro-American traditions. I’m all for holding more public conversations centered on such issues. But it’s far more profitable to hold conversations than worry about someone speaking Spanish at a grocery store in San Diego.

Paul Gottfried is Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus at Elizabethtown College, where he taught for 25 years. He is a Guggenheim recipient and a Yale Ph.D. He writes for many websites and scholarly journals and is the author of 13 books, most recently Fascism: Career of a Concept and Revisions and Dissents [4]. His books have been translated into multiple languages and seem to enjoy special success in Eastern Europe.

85 Comments (Open | Close)

85 Comments To "‘English Only’ is a Distraction, Not a Solution"

#1 Comment By grumpy realist On May 15, 2018 @ 11:09 pm

The Economist many years ago pointed out that being the possessor of the world’s lingua franca was problematic, inasmuch you were transparent to everyone else, but the reverse was not true. The Chinese can create a whopping technology transport barrier simply by only publishing in Chinese. How many people in the US can read Chinese? Ditto for Korea. No wonder they’re able to take us to the cleaners. We Americans are far too lazy to learn sufficient languages to keep ourselves going as a global enterprise.

If I ever run for POTUS, it’s going to be on a platform of bringing Latin back as our common language. Heck, Europe ran on Latin as the common tongue for years.

(I actually was asked, at one point in Japan, “if speaking three languages is “trilingual”, and speaking two languages is “bilingual”, then what is speaking one language?” Without a pause, I responded: “American.”)

#2 Comment By Ray Woodcock On May 15, 2018 @ 11:52 pm

I’ve read the article and the comments to date. I should have kept notes while I was going through. I’ll offer quick responses to a few that stick with me now.

To me, the article was not entirely clear on what was involved. For instance, were employees prohibited from speaking Spanish to Spanish-only customers?

I would have preferred to see citations to research on such questions as the unifying effect of a shared language and the long-term outcomes of policies compelling single-language instruction.

I found the article generally reasonable and persuasive. But in an era of political fracture, I shared some commenters’ disinclination to abandon too easily the credible possibility that a single language could contribute to a sense of shared purpose.

I was surprised that nobody mentioned market forces. Wouldn’t it make sense to let grocery chains experiment, so as to arrive at the approach that works best for their purposes? Then maybe legislate on it at that point, with more experience and evidence on the alternatives.

My years in the Southwest suggest that assimilated Hispanics would not be especially interested in rejoining any Latin nation. In other words, this is not Quebec.

On the other hand, there seems to be a pronounced difference between those, comfortable with English, who seem to view themselves as ordinary Americans, and those non-Anglophones who persist, across generations, in substantial separatism from American society. To me, a desire in effect to recreate Latin America’s barrios in the Southwest is not supportable.

It is true that German-Americans persisted in speaking German in some areas. In my childhood neighborhood, the arrival of WWI changed that. German-Americans are no longer associated with whatever Germany might do. Similarly, it may be comfortable and even (for those who can’t learn English) necessary for Latino immigrants to continue to be associated, to the maximum possible extent, with Latin America’s chronic social maladies. I just don’t know that it’s in their descendants’ best interests.

#3 Comment By M. Orban On May 16, 2018 @ 2:10 am

I am bilingual, meaning I can switch between English and my mother tongue without even thinking about it.
Having said so, I think it is common courtesy to speak English when in the company of others than one’s compatriots.
If Albertson’s issued a blanket ban on speaking any other language than English on their premises,… They may thought it simplifies things, but as Esteban pointed out, it generates resentments.

#4 Comment By M. Orban On May 16, 2018 @ 2:15 am

@anyone…
When people talk of unity and that English proficiency would greatly contribute to it, what do they actually mean? Unity in what? How and when would it manifest itself?

#5 Comment By Mia On May 16, 2018 @ 7:32 am

Most of the animosity toward foreign language in the US originated in World War I:

[5]

Prior to that, it was hit or miss having bilingual schools and newspapers, etc. Since the World Wars, it has been taken as fact that it’s just wrong and evil to know anything but English, which has no real basis in fact, as the author of this piece pointed out.

#6 Comment By SteveK9 On May 16, 2018 @ 7:43 am

“We all care about American culture. But forcing people to speak our language isn’t the way to preserve it.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Language is the absolute cornerstone of culture. If you would like a superb essay on this subject look up ‘The Diversity Myth’ by Bernard Schwarz of The Atlantic. Written in 1995 and even more relevant today.

#7 Comment By Jon On May 16, 2018 @ 10:42 am

English is a difficult language to master with all of its irregularities and of course idiomatic expressions. For many none speakers, pronunciation is a formidable challenge.

We often forget how the foreign-born struggle with our native tongue this unofficial lingua franca of our land. Perhaps if an anglophone were to be immersed in another culture where English is rarely spoken, one would get a taste of this dilemma. But, others appreciative of the foreigner’s struggle, offer their assistance and delight in seeing how a visitor to their countries strives to speak their language. We lose sight of this in our treatment of our foreign-born citizens and visitors.

But this English (American Standard) that we speak has slowly eroded over time. Since the introduction of certain expletives into our literature by such authors as the English writer D.H. Lawrence, these frank anglo saxonisms have now become standard fare in both the written and spoken word. But the descent continues when words such as ‘gay’ have been hijacked. But worse, neologisms emerge such as herstory for history and shero for heroine.

English as with all languages evolves through time. But, this debauchery, this slow slide into deeper levels of decadence, this butchering of language is unconscionable in that it has sloughed off its literary aesthetic aspect that at times had carried over into speech.

We in America are at a loss on how to restore our precious language. Should we follow the French example by erecting our version of the Académie française with our own les immortels? Perhaps this is overdue and would help stem the tide against this ongoing and unrelenting assault on our language.

#8 Comment By MM On May 16, 2018 @ 12:18 pm

YWK: “But it does happen.”

I’m sure it happens here. And the U.K. And France. And Germany. And Spain. And Japan.

So what? These sorts of anecdotes are pointless. Unless you’re trying to build some kind of progressive utopia out of rhetorical rubbish.

Now, half of millennials supporting actual government restrictions on speech they don’t like, that’s substantial.

#9 Comment By MM On May 16, 2018 @ 12:20 pm

GregR: “The following who were KILLED for not speaking English.”

Police reports, please. Sorry for not taking your word for the criminal motivations involved. The devil is always in the details, you know, like calling a domestic violence incident an act of right-wing terrorism, as the SPLC is wont to often do.

#10 Comment By mrscracker On May 16, 2018 @ 12:37 pm

Tulan G ,
Thank you for your comments.
Sure, it makes sense to know how to speak English in America.

I don’t know which SW state your experiences were in but a large part of US border town retail sales are to Mexican nationals who cross over to do shopping. And in that case it also makes sense for store owners & employees to be fluent in Spanish.

#11 Comment By Kurt Gayle On May 16, 2018 @ 1:17 pm

Sorry: A correction. I posted this comment earlier, but left out the word “NOT” in the last sentence–an omission that changes the whole meaning of my comment. It is now corrected in the last sentence.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – not the U.S. Civil Rights Commission – said that it found “reasonable cause to believe” that the two employees who brought suit against Albertsons “were subjected to disparate treatment and a hostile work environment because of their national origin (Hispanic and/or Mexican) in 2 violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”

Tucker Carlson’s point is that what the EEOC calls “an unwritten English-only policy” has nothing to do with the employees’ national origin. Carlson points that employees born in the US who speak a second language–Carlson mentions Swedish–would also be required to speak only English on Albertsons premises.

Of some interest is the fact that the Albertsons store in question is unionized and that one of the employees who later asked the EEOC to bring suit complained to the union. According to the EEOC suit “a union representative investigated the complaint.” The union rep then told the employee that she needed to comply with Albertson’s rule and “speak English.”

Indeed, the union – before undertaking a costly grievance or some other action on behalf of the complaining employee – would likely have been advised by the union legal counsel that Albertsons policy did NOT violate Title VII because it did not deal with the employees’ “national origin” but only with the language they spoke on company premises.

#12 Comment By yeahright On May 16, 2018 @ 4:01 pm

/pol/ was right again……

#13 Comment By Robert On May 16, 2018 @ 5:31 pm

Apparently Serbs and Croats have little difficulty in understanding each other’s spoken communications, although different alphabets and different religions are involved.

That ease of spoken communication hasn’t stopped Serbs and Croats from killing each other in vast numbers – any more than it stopped (as Paul Gottfried mentions) the I.R.A. from killing a great many fellow Anglophones.

#14 Comment By Rick Johnson On May 16, 2018 @ 5:36 pm

The Professor’s admonition for many of us to learn another language falls on my tone-deaf ears. Regretably, although of high IQ, I do not have the ability to learn languages. I have relatives who learn other languages quickly, and with with ease, but I do not possess this talent.

P.S. When living and working overseas, the most I could master was how to curse and count in the native language. This alone served me.

#15 Comment By Josep On May 16, 2018 @ 9:18 pm

@ Tulan G
This site needs to be called “Anti American & Anti Conservative”

It is more communist socialist liberal left than anything else.

Thousands of articles in this site have denounced communism, socialism and leftism. Let’s just say this article is an aberration.

There’s no excuse for not learning the official language of the country you’re going to, no matter what language that would be. I have seen anecdotes of English-speaking expats traveling to Europe (e.g. France), complaining about the lack of English proficiency among the locals, and not making much effort (if any) to learn the languages. Those same English-speaking expats not learning those local languages in Europe is tantamount to Mexican immigrants not learning English in the US.

You can do better than this, Mr. Gottfried.

#16 Comment By Youknowho On May 16, 2018 @ 9:51 pm

Just out of FAcebook

Edward Suazo
Yesterday at 1:11pm
So my wife and her best friend Just experience what America is becoming !

They where on there lunch time and ordering there food and just because they where speaking in Spanish to the waiter this asshole jumps in and started to call the waiter and my wife and her best friend all types of names and threatened to call I.C.E on them and the employees !!!!

What a big man talking down to couple of women and a helpless employee. I wish someone tells me I can’t speak in my native language ! First of all they wasn’t talking to you !! Asshole !

My country !! Haha ?
I love the way people are just throwing that world around lately !!
If you love this country this much ! Why don’t you put on uniform and protect it !!

If he was so offended because the waiter was speak in Spanish only because of a native person spoke to him in Spanish, why don’t he start waitering and he won’t have that issue and family stop getting Spanish nannies and stop getting Spanish people to farm and ………
You know where I’m getting !!

So please stop !! Because in the end you need them ! But what you need to do is stop trying to control us ! Slavery stopped a long time ago !!

Deena Gonzalez Emily Serrano

#17 Comment By Youknowho On May 16, 2018 @ 9:57 pm

@Emil Bogdan

You are right. It is just AUTHORITARIAN behavior. Ordering adults around, berating them for not coming up to your standards, hectoring them.

To what end? So that they embrace the US and learn to love it?

In fact, this makes sure that they end up hating a place that gives them no respect, and treats competent adults as wayward children.

The English did their best to eradicate Irish speakers. Ireland still fought and won independence. All those tactics did nothing to make the Irish love England – actually it added to their long list of grievances.

So when you force adults to speak English because “this is America” you are adding to their list of grievances. And you want to create unity that way?

#18 Comment By MM On May 16, 2018 @ 10:15 pm

YKW: “Just out of Facebook”

Again, so what?

As usual, as with most of your comments, I don’t see the point of your point.

Leaving aside the issue of a private firm’s expectations of its hired employees, anyone under the age of 50 who desires to become a naturalized citizen of the United States must, among other requirements, must “demonstrate an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language.”

[6]

That’s the law, whether you like it or not. And I know you don’t.

#19 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 17, 2018 @ 9:20 am

“So please stop !! Because in the end you need them ! But what you need to do is stop trying to control us ! Slavery stopped a long time ago !!

Deena Gonzalez Emily Serrano”

Laughing. That must have been some scene —

However,

welcome to the US and the obnoxiousness of free speech.

No we don’t need them. They could leave tomorrow — every single one, lock stock barrel, and bundle of joy and the country would barely hick-up and that not for long.

Need not one a cold day in summer. And it that attitude , that illegal immigrants are a cog in the wheel that reminds me that cannot go soon enough.

Ruse hosts ok, bad form.

Rude guests — they are summarily excused.

#20 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 17, 2018 @ 9:23 am

correction: Need not on a cold day in summer. And it’s that attitude, that illegal immigrants are a required cog in the wheel that reminds me that they cannot go soon enough.

Rude hosts ok, bad form.

Rude guests — they are summarily excused.

#21 Comment By Youknowho On May 17, 2018 @ 10:34 am

@EliteCommIn

“They cannot go soon enough?”

How do you feel about helping these AMERICAN farmers?
[7]

Or this AMERICAN business owner

[8]

Or these Pence neighbors

#22 Comment By MM On May 17, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

Youknowho: Given your deep concern and knowledge of U.S. agriculture, I’m going to avoid petty politics and just ask you to square your position with the following facts from the government and Federal Reserve:

Consumer prices for food at home up only 1% in 2017:

[9]

U.S. farm income up 3% in 2017:

[10]

U.S. gross agricultural output up slightly in 2017, after significant declines in the final years of the Obama administration:

[11]

U.S. agricultural exports up in 2017, after significant declines in the final years of the Obama administration:

[12]

Given your disdain for immigration enforcement, and its alleged negative economic consequences, please explain why these all of these measures improved last year.

Thanks!

#23 Comment By minimammal On May 17, 2018 @ 1:45 pm

I agree that Americans could stand to learn other languages, but this sentiment must go both ways. It seems all too often that the need to learn Spanish on the part of native-born Americans takes precedence over Hispanic immigrants learning English, and this is simply ridiculous. English may not be the official language of the country but it is the de facto official language of the country and has been since its inception, and thus immigrants, if they want to assimilate into this country and be able to communicate with their fellow countrymen (and not merely their immigrant brethren from the old country within their ethnic enclaves), then they should learn English, just as an immigrant to Mexico would learn Spanish. Instead, I see the exact opposite happening, in which we are rapidly becoming an “English-optional” society and Hispanic immigrants are coddled with interpreters for their government assistance, legal proceedings, and subsidized medical care and the ubiquitious Spanish translations of everything from directions on how to use detergent to voter guides. Regardless of whether they acutally want to, Spanish-speakers don’t need to speak English and that rankles me.

This rankles me not because I am a racist xenophobe who can’t stand the sight of outsiders nor bear to hear the exotic trillings of their foreign tongues. This rankles me because my own country is rapidly becoming something else, something foreign and incomprehensible to me. As a monolingual American, I used to take it for granted that I can easily communicate with my fellow Americans in English. Of course, I don’t expect everyone to speak it perfectly or that they all must be monolingual like myself, but I understand English as that unifying means of communication in spite of all our other differences. Now, that’s not the case and whole castes of my ostensible fellow citizens are effectively cut off from me due to this linguistic divide. Sure, I could learn Spanish, but I don’t like that this is an option that is essentially forced upon me. If I were to learn Spanish, I would learn it because I want to learn it, not in order to appease stubborn immigrants to my country who refuse to learn the language that my own immigrant ancestors adopted.

And that’s the thing that rankles me the most, the idea that the rules apparently don’t apply to the latest wave of immigrants. Not only are many of these Spanish-speaking immigrants flagrantly breaking the law by illegally crossing the border but then they also refuse or neglect to learn English and demand that the country change to accomodate them and their linguistic preferences. Did my German and Polish ancestors come to this new land and demand that the USA enshrine their languages with preferential status and refuse to learn English? No. Perhaps, they didn’t acquire a fluent command of English but they ensured that their children learned it, and, whatever remnants of the mother tongue that persisted in the first generation, English took over for the generations that followed to the point that I can’t speak a lick of either language of my heritage. And I’m perfectly okay with that. I love English, and, just as Hispanics are proud of Spanish, I am proud of English, not only for its literary heritage but for the beauty, complexity and even absurdity that is unique to it. And I don’t want to see English subsumed or sidelined simply because multicultural sensitivity demands that English not be foisted upon our fragile new immigrants.

And so, as Mr. Gottfried ended his peice, it’s true that “it’s far more profitable to hold conversations than worry about someone speaking Spanish at a grocery store in San Diego,” but how can we hold those conversations without a common language to ensure mutual comprehension among the citizenry? Yes, Americans could stand to be more bilingual – but so could our new immigrants.

#24 Comment By MM On May 17, 2018 @ 2:09 pm

Oh, I almost forgot. Employment in U.S. agriculture did not go down in 2017, it actually inched up slightly:

[13]

Thanks!

#25 Comment By Kurt Gayle On May 17, 2018 @ 2:17 pm

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filings in the US District Court Southern District of California (May 3, 2018) claim that “in or about 2012 Albertsons developed an unwritten English-only policy.”

Two points need to be emphasized:

(1) Albertsons has disputed that EEOC claim. Albertsons store spokeswoman Jenna Watkinson said in a May 3rd interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune: “While we cannot comment on this pending litigation specifically, Albertsons does not require that its employees speak English only. Albertsons serves a diverse customer population and encourages employees with foreign language abilities to use those skills to serve its customers.”

(2) In terms of the US federal laws cited in the EEOC filings—Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991—even if Albertsons or one of its stores had actually stipulated a policy of English-only on store premises, such an English-only policy would not have violated these federal laws. The federal laws cited by the EEOC refer to policies based upon “national origin” and do not refer to policies based upon “language” spoken in the workplace.

In fact in 2012 when one of the two complainants, Guadalupe Zamorano, complained to her union, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the union investigated her complaint to determine if Ms. Zamorano’s rights had been violated and if her complainant was actionable. The union investigation determined that Ms. Zamorano’s rights were not being violated and that she had no actionable complaint.

#26 Comment By mrscracker On May 17, 2018 @ 2:44 pm

Youknowho says:

“The English did their best to eradicate Irish speakers. Ireland still fought and won independence.”
**************
Could be, but I thought the demise of Gaelic had more to do with rural Irish moving to town & thereby speaking more English. Plus business & govt. being conducted in English. Not to mention the effects of radio & TV.

I suppose the English did try in their way to “eradicate” some Irish folk, but I’m not sure they were directly targeting the Irish language.
A great many Irish (like my ancestors) were illiterate, so writing in Gaelic wasn’t a real option for them either.

#27 Comment By Allen Pritzlaff On May 17, 2018 @ 4:23 pm

The Soviet Union had many languages, but Russian dominated. They went through several shifts in language policy, but under the last policy, the Russian language was pushed as the cement to unify the country. This was a sign of the end.

If a majority in America come to believe that English is necessary to unify the country, it is a sign that unity is already lost. I hope we do not come to that place.

#28 Comment By MM On May 18, 2018 @ 12:52 pm

Yoo hoo, Youknowho?

Still waiting for you to address those inconvenient facts about U.S. agriculture.

Is knowledge so difficult for you?

#29 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 18, 2018 @ 5:20 pm

“They cannot go soon enough?”

The US has supplemented US farms in multiple ways. I am not sue what you on about. If you are asking if I would work on a farm . .

Having actually worked manual jobs, including some farm work. I might be willing to do a stint on farm for a summer. And I would expect my fellow workers to be citizens or in the county legally. Otherwise I would be supporting a criminal enterprise.

But thee is a reason why I got a degree and then an advanced degree. I do well in my chosen profession and unlike the president of the US, thee’s not much the latino community can do to me to frighten, chasten lie, misrepresent, distort, whine, or power play me from abandoning it because I won’t fall in line with you careless polity under the pretense of being human. Unlike most US citizens, I am keenly aware there’s a war on and despite my underdog and unpopular status —

I intend to resist and I won’t have to engage in lying, manipulating truth, poisoning, misrepresenting, stealing o any of the unsavory practices used to intimidate opponents of easing immigration, needless was, homosexual pandering o wholesale abdication to everything women want.

You suggestion that unless I return to working on a farm, I don’t support agriculture is rebutted by how much produce I buy every week. I won’t even bother discussing farm subsidies, grants loans, insurance and buyouts . . . with tax dollars —

is dismissed.

Blacklisting me hasn’t tuned me into a liberal.

_______________________

“Yes, Americans could stand to be more bilingual – but so could our new immigrants.”

No pandering. No they don’t unless they so desire and it’s required in dealing with international clients.

#30 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 18, 2018 @ 5:28 pm

I find the last president’s granting the unfair denial of loans to blacks in previous decades to a woman in the county illegal and not in the county at the times in question — a perfect example of cowardice and typical system of buying support.
——————–

“The English did their best to eradicate Irish speakers. Ireland still fought and won independence.”

In the US the press of the fist generation immigrants was that their children do everything possible to be a part of the US social and political system.

“Be American”

First on that list — learn the language – learn english.

#31 Comment By Youknowho On May 18, 2018 @ 5:42 pm

@MM

I will be brief.

You accused me of not answering a previous post, and thus claiming victory.

It does not enter you head that I might have a life, and do not live chained to a computer? Does it occur to you that I AM NOT at your beck and call like a servant?

That you resort to such cheap tricks tells me that you are, as Rex Stout put it, merely a dog baring its teeth, who has thus forfeited the privilege of civilized discourse.

I might want to discuss the points you raise, as soon as they are raised by someone I respect.

Good day, Sir.

#32 Comment By Charles R Williams On May 19, 2018 @ 11:58 am

In isolation an “English only” policy will not do much other than inflame the “victims.” We need reduced immigration, more attention to admitting high skilled people, a longer path to citizenship that requires proficiency in reading and writing English and a general policy that promotes assimilation. Then with respect to language we can stop accommodating residents in their preferred language in public services.

#33 Comment By MM On May 20, 2018 @ 2:11 pm

Youknowwho: “I might want to discuss the points you raise, as soon as they are raised by someone I respect.”

Translation: You know nothing about U.S. agriculture.

Look, if you’re going to make claims about the negative consequences of certain immigration policies and U.S. agriculture, and then those negative consequences don’t occur, I’m going to challenge you on the facts.

Of course, you progressives hate the facts, so I’m not suprised by your complete avoidance of the issue.

But don’t make claims you can’t back up. And don’t get offended when you claims are knocked down. Neither I nor the facts care about your feelings.

#34 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 20, 2018 @ 4:38 pm

“In isolation an “English only” policy will not do much other than inflame the “victims.”

Th only victims are those that have to endure loud and incessant conversations in a foreign tongue by people who are employed to serve members of the US.

My mother God rest her Catholic soul was leaving a military hospital one afternoon And some young men in the service were laughing and exchanging comments back and forth This went on about a minute or two, perhaps longer. When without warning my mother whipped around and in a very “even” manner and in spanish made a very brief statement. The corridor was silent and the two men looked stunned and embarrassed.

Most of us experience moments when our parents transcend who we think they are. I never asked my mother what the young men were talking about or who It was enough for my mother to confront two men in lonely corridor But the message was clear.

Language is as much about respect as it is rights and the mechanics of navigating any societies expectations. There’s no crime in spanish, french, arabic, swahili, portuguse — in going to France and attempting to speak french as lousy as mine was, I understood that their expectation was not against english It was a matter of respect. In the US we speqaak english Whether codified into law or not — it is the national language Making it the official language and expectation for all formal processes, does not hinder anyone else right to speak or learn another language — it acknowledges respect for the country , people /citizens who abide in it and respect for the same.

It is not a solution for all things, but it is a solution to maintaining a sense of place and identity — that all other nations have for themselves.

I have actually read and watched those dystopian books and films about future wolds of no unique language and on its face, they are worlds and I prefer that the US not be a part of that experiment, we have mangled the one we have now — I see no evidence that “multispeak” will solve that.

I love “Blade Runner” Great film great performances, and while I would be turning down Johanna Cassidy, Daryl Hannah or Sean Young for dates, I wouldn’t be asking in “cityspeak” nor would I want to.

#35 Comment By EliteCommInc. On May 22, 2018 @ 5:37 pm

laugh . . .

Okay, it is probably more accurate that none of the aforementioned women would be turning me down for a date– nonetheless —

I wouldn’t be asking in “cityspeak”.