the language of understanding each other
I've been called a lot of things - some of them true and some of them not - but this was a banner week for name calling.
First, my new buddy Vince from Indymedia called me a homophobe. Well, I don't think I have to explain how wrong he is and because he's a cretin and probably doesn't understand things like logic and reasoning and listening when someone else speaks, I won't bother.
Yesterday, in an email, I was called a multiculturalist. This one, I will explain.
I have no problem with people coming here from other countries. America is called the melting pot for a reason. This country was founded by and flourished because of people from other nations who brought their skills and determination to this country.
It's a wonderful thing to acknowledge your heritage, to practice the customs of the place where you and/or your ancestors are from. But once you live here, once you are a citizen of this country, there are few things that should be expected of you and one of them is to learn how to speak the language.
We have cable tv. Of the first 22 channels, seven are broadcast in other languages. Most of them are Spanish language stations. There's one that switches back and forth between Chinese and Arabic. These stations used to be down in the 40's. Somehow over the years they have crept up to the top of the lineup.
There are bilingual signs everywhere. Every company I phone has options for other languages.
There is hardly a fast-food drive-in that I can use around here and be sure my order is going to be right because no one understand what I am saying and I don't understand what they are saying to me.
I don't care if immigrants speak their own language in their own home or to each other, I would never try to trample on someone's language in that extreme. It doesn't even bother me when the nice Korean ladies in the salon talk to each other in front of me in their native language. That is their right and their prerogitave.
What I do care about is the languages other than English being so pervasive in our country that, instead of trying to educate immigrants to get them to speak English, we just do everything in two or three or even four languages.
If I were to move to Germany or Italy or Mexico, I would not have the gall to think that I could just waltz in there and get a job, educate my kids and make friends outside of my home without learning to speak the language of the land which provides me with the means to have those things.
How ingratiated have foreign languages become in American society? In my daughter's school, the term foreign language has been stricken from the books and kids now take classes in LOTE; Languages Other Than English.
Spanish and Latin American dialects are no longer foreign. They have been assimilated into our cutlure, making their culture ours. I see nothing wrong with my stance that if you are going to go to a country to live, breed, work and play, you should make an attempt to not only learn the language of that country, but use it outside of your home as well.
Yes, America is the melting pot. But it is America. It is a country with a language and its own customs and culture. Join us, I don't mind. But don't come here and try to take over our ways and means of doing things. Don't insist that schoolbooks be translated so your children can understand them. Don't get mad when I have no idea what you are saying to me when I order my food or if I am just trying to converse with you at your job. Don't insist on menus and local papers being printed in the language of your choice.
You chose this country. You made it yours. Now get off your ass and learn our language. I would do the same were this situation reversed.
And that, folks, is just one reason why calling me a multicutluralist is just plain stupid.
Y Úsa, gente, es apenas una razˇn por la que llamarme un multicutluralist es apenas est˙pido llano.
Et ce, gens, est juste une raison pour laquelle m'appeler un multicutluralist est juste stupide plat.
E quella, gente, Ŕ appena una ragione per la quale denominarlo un multicutluralist Ŕ appena stupid normale.