Tired of Pressing “One” for English
If our Constitution is written in English and we are an English-speaking people, why in the world do I have to go through listening to: “For English, press one. Se Habla Espanol, press two. For more options… etc.”? And this is coming from a girl who is half Hispanic. Let’s face it: there’s a Spanish translation for everything these days. That new iPhone you just bought, telling you how to call tech support; for directions on how to put together that microwave, the baby crib, and Barbie Dollhouse. Even when you go to a restaurant the bathrooms have a translation on the door (as if the little pictures on the sign weren’t enough to help decipher). And I’m not just talking about signs in public areas and phone calls to the local hardware store.
Now that the Class of 2012 is graduated, the speeches made during the commencement ceremonies are topics of discussion, especially one California high school who became a talking point on Fox and Friends after this year’s Valedictorian for Orestimba High School delivered his speech entirely in Spanish only speaking in English to tell the audience if they didn’t know Espanol, tough luck. He wanted to honor his parents and the people in charge said they didn’t have enough time for translating. Oh, the outrage! Oh, the nerve! Last year a principle made local headlines for giving parts of his speech in Spanish and then translating in English for those who couldn’t understand. The principle explained in an interview afterwards that he was trying to be all-encompassing, stating that he didn’t want to alienate those who would better understand if he spoke in their native tongue.
And it’s not just principals and students alienating English-speaking citizens that causes such outrage amongst Americans. Just open a voting guide where half the book is dedicated to the Spanish language to “protect minority rights” and help voters know who’s running.
The Liberal Left’s argument includes politically correct language like: an English-only attitude in the public arena would “prohibit a progressive mind-set to create a more diverse America and bring cultural awareness to society.” Hispanics are the poor minority we’re suppressing so they must be allowed to speak their native language. After-all, languages are ever-evolving anyways, so why bother insisting we’re a people of one language?
The rebuttal from Conservatives like myself to that argument is this: speaking one language everyone can understand doesn’t promote a sense of racial superiority amongst a country’s people. It unifies them so that they can understand each other and communicate effectively. Just imagine the jumbled mess we’d experience every day if you couldn’t tell your French-speaking butcher you wanted beef, and not pork. After all, we are the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution (the latter of which we all follow as the law of the land) were both written in English, therefore it’s natural to be an English-speaking people.
On the case of Hispanic immigrants whose English is no bueno, I say only this: this trend needs to change. You don’t go to foreign countries expecting to be part of the people without first wanting to learn the language so as not to offend the locals. It’s common sense. Not only is it offensive, but also arrogant. People have worked hard to make this country so great. Wars have been fought, blood has been spilt, and many years of back-breaking work by its citizens of all racial backgrounds is what has made this country the free and independent place we all enjoy. Expecting everyone else to speak a language that may not be part of their initial heritage or is beyond their skill just so one group of people feel welcomed is demeaning and haughty. You move to a country because you appreciate its values, its culture, and its people. That includes learning the native language. Here in America we speak English. Let’s decrease the risk of Carpal Tunnel and stop making our citizens push “one” for our native language, shall we?