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Tulip

Wow! How awful!

"We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language"

So, I guess it's not bad enough that English came here and committed genocide against so many indigenous tribes. Evidently, it one decides to keep using their native tongue, you're not really American. Never mind the fact that many people didn't migrate here willingly (e.g. slaves) but still managed to contribute to the formation of this country even though it often cost them their lives. Never mind the fact that immigrants are still doing work that those born here will not stoop to do. Simply because of the fact that someone feels sufficiently proud of their heritage so as to see no reason to exclude it from their identity, that makes them not "an American at all". How absurd! Thankfully, it does not matter one whit what Teddy Roosevelt thought it took to be an American!

Peg

Uh, Tulip - I think you misunderstand Roosevelt's point.

I don't think that anyone would demand that someone abandon their language of birth, nor that they should not feel proud of their heritage. I certainly do not.

But - when it comes to our underlying culture, it is one that is American; not French, not Russian, not Chinese, not Ethiopian, etc.

Those who come here should live by the laws of the land and the customs of Americans - at least, out in the "marketplace."

Lots of people ended up in the U.S. - some for the best of reasons and some for the worst. We are, however, all tied together by the principles of America.

I think that was his point; nothing more, nothing less.

Bill

Very well said, Peg. Tulip is a good example of what is destroying our society with "multiculturalism", taking a clearly stated position, mis-stating and mis-interpreting it, and then attacking the distortion that has been created.

I have already weighed in on immigration, but I want to re-iterate, that ALL business with the government or any government supported organization should have one language--American English. That alone will produce the greatest effect towards assimilation. Tulip forgets that all immigrants keep the parts they want to. They just learn to do what is necessary to succeed in the American society and culture.

OnWis

in my real life, today, i was told that i 'needed' to post signs on my buildings in spanish as well as english.

i will continue to refuse.

i do have renters who r fluent in only spanish so this would seem harsh.

my problem, tho, is i would not 'know' what the signs say, since i only understand a little spanish, about the same as the renters english and the signs might not reflect our policy.

we do our best to provide good quarters for all, regardless of heritage and welcome them to have and advocate or interpreter if they desire.
i do better with german & thai, tho, so mebee i am the oddball

Peggy is right again....

D

orinocle

Amazing america's orginal illegal aliens and domestic terrorists i.e european whites(puritans & pilgrims) have the audacity to play the gatekeeper..

I am a seminole and I demand all of you leave my soil now...lol,lol,lol

Tulip

Peg, when it comes to YOUR underlying culture, it may be American but that simply isn't the case for an increasing number of Americans and for those who were here before it became "America". America has always been a hodge podge of customs. So which customs are you referring to? Those of the Native Americans who made this place livable for the Europeans that came along afterwards? The customs of the Scotts who settled here? Or the Germans? Or the Irish? Whose customs are the most "American"?

It would be wonderful if we were all united as simply "Americans" but that just isn't the case. Instead of pretending that we are all the same, why not learn to appreciate all that has made us the wonderful country that we are? I find my life enriched by all of the customs we have embraced despite the fact that they weren't here throughout the entire history of this nation. What do we have to lose by doing this? Magnanimousness has always been one of our best features. Why give that up now? Don't the people who hate us win if they can make us turn into the backwater, closed society that they try to portray us as being?

Tulip

Bill, are you simply going to make assertions with no explanations or can you show how I mistated and misinterpreted it? I was of the impression that most opinions (e.g. Roosevelt's) are capable of having several equally valid interpretations. What makes you believe that the one you see is the only valid one?

Regarding your other comment...

You are absolutely incorrect in stating that all immigrants keep the parts of their culture that they want to. They certainly do not as our laws are quite different from those in the countries where they may originate. Sadly, doing "what is necessary to succeed in the American society and culture" sometimes means giving up parts of their culture that our society could definitely benefit from adopting.

I'm not sure how you came up with your psychic abilities but I prefer to use the facts. Even countries that have an official language (which we do not, thanks to the wisdom of our founding fathers) have many problems with the assimilation of immigrants. If having an official language did solve this problem, that would be really neat, wouldn't it? However, reality is much more complex than your simplistic prediction allows for. Nice try, though!

Tulip

OnWis,

Who told you that you needed to post signs on your buildings in Spanish and English? I'm definitely against you being forced to do that. I think that people should be able to basically do what they want with their own property (within reasonable limits for safety reasons). My family owns a great deal of rental property and they've never been told that. Of course, we do live in the south and that sort of nonsense is tolerated a lot less down here.

I can understand why you'd be wary to put up signs that you don't understand. My parents saw the writing on the wall a long time ago and my mother bought the same program that the military used to teach soldiers new languages so that she could learn Spanish. Seeing how beneficial it was for her knowing two languages, I decided to learn even more.

While I don't think that people should be forced to learn another language, the truth is our economy will suffer, or at least not become as thriving as it could, as long as the majority of our citizens only speak one language. Even the English tend to speak more than just English!

Even if English was made our official language, it wouldn't change the demographics in this country. Unless we're going to be like some countries and close off traffic into our nation, we are going to have to deal with the reality that some folks that we'll have to deal with don't and won't speak English.

I totally support those who don't want to learn another language, though. That just makes the market better for those who aren't afraid of learning a bit more in order to make A LOT more money. Globalization can be a wonderful thing!

By the way OnWis, if you are really afraid of having signs or documents in Spanish because you don't understand it, you can have your material professionally translated. That way, there would be someone who could be held responsible if it was mis-translated. That's just an idea though. You can assess whether it would be in your best interests to do it or not.

Peg

Tulip, perhaps I should have not used the word "customs" in my description of what it is to be an American. Surely our nation, a nation of immigrants, descendents of slaves and of native Americans, embraces a wide range of customs and heritage.

Yet, we do have only one Constitution. We are a democratic republic. Immigrants who come here should appreciate that; our nation will not throw out its laws and underlying principles to bow to anyone's religion, or the laws and customs of their nation of origin.

Furthermore, there ought not be catering to the individual languages that represent the various nationalities that come here. That is not out of some mean spiritedness. Rather, it is because it would be impossible to fairly allow for the wide range of dialects representing the many people who come to the U.S.

No one must learn English to be an American. It is, however, the language used to basically "conduct business" - and it would aid those who arrive here if the did become familiar with it. Not necessary; but most helpful.

Tulip

Well, that's a completely different argument. I NEVER stated that immigrants shouldn't have to appreciate our Constitution or the fact that we are a republic. Indeed they do. However, that is a far cry from what Roosevelt's quote stated.

As a matter of fact, our country does bow down to religion all the time and I don't see anything necessarily wrong with that as long as those religious practices are not compulsive for those who do not seek to practice them. Down here, we have Mardi Gras, which is a Catholic holiday, but the city spends a lot of money on it and I hope they continue to do so. Why? It isn't because I'm Catholic or even like going out to the parades. For me, it boils down to one thing. Mardi Gras is profitable for us. It brings in tourists from around the world and they spend millions more than the city invests to get the party going. Sometimes, you have to prime the pump, if you know what I mean.

The tourists don't come here to see us all speak English to each other and teach them about the definition of a democratic republic. They come here to experience a little bit of France and Spain alongside the African-American and Native-American influences.

Even though we have one Constitution, we have many different sets of laws at the state level. Within the framework of the Constitution, there is evidently a lot of leeway to form a variety of community-types and I think that is as it should be. If a city or state has a large immigrant population, I see nothing wrong with that community making laws that cater to the demographics in that particular area. We had no problem with doing this for immigrants when this country began and I see no reason why this would be inherently wrong to do today.

I don't think that anyone but a real wacko would believe that we should attempt to use every single language spoken by an idividual in America but that's not even what I'm arguing for. We don't have to have an all or nothing policy here. Such policies rarely make sense, especially when there are large groups of people involved. Instead, we can try for a reasonable middle ground. If there are a lot of people in a city that speak a particular language, then it can be very good for the marketplace to be business-friendly for them too. Simply making information available in the languages spoken by the biggest four or five ethnic groups in the state would facilitate more business opportunities.

English is only the language that's most often used in certain types of business. Some may not be aware of it but every day across this great nation a lot of business is being successfully conducted in languages other than English. It would be most helpful to those who only speak English to have all immigrants learn it but American businessmen who envision providing goods and services inside AND outside of the U.S.A. have already found that it is helpful, to say the least, for their companies to be equipped to work in languages other than English too.

What would be MOST helpful is if we decided to do as all the other developed nations do and make sure that every child who graduates from school is able to speak at least two languages. Even knowing two languages is quickly becoming obsolete. If you can't speak Spanish, French, and English or English, German, and French, you are going to have a tough time if you decide to travel anywhere besides England and the United States.

I just don't understand why so many people here seem so lazy. We have a free public education system--well, it ain't exactly free because we're all paying for it with our taxes but I think you already understand that. That's something that many immigrating here did not have the opportunity to get. Seeing as we have this system, why not make sure it provides a top-notch education or at least one that is on par with what other countries provide their citizens, for a lot less money, I might add.

Basically, if we did what it would take to make more of our businesses ready for increased globalization, these issues regarding immigrants (who don't speak English well) would also be pretty much solved too.

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