Carol Platt Liebau: Speaking Spanish in the United States?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Speaking Spanish in the United States?

ABC is reporting that two-thirds of Americans aren't bothered by contacts with Spanish speakers. Somehow, this is being interpreted as indifference as to whether Spanish is widely spoken in the U.S.

This poll seems to conflict with the political reality that 30 states have made English their official language. Surely politicians wouldn't bother if such initiatives didn't have relatively broad support.

Perhaps the confusion is in the way the poll question is presented. Many people -- me included -- have no problem with having "contact" with people who speak Spanish, i.e. who speak English with a Spanish accent. Nor do I particularly care what language they choose to speak at home.

I am, however, bothered by bilingual education, bilingual billboards, and all the rest here in the United States. That's not because I consider English the "master tongue," or for any other bigoted reason. It's because I firmly believe that no country can survive as a healthy, functioning democracy with a wholesome culture if those participating in both can't understand each other. It's the responsibility of those coming to the United States to learn English, just as it would be my responsibility to learn Swedish if I moved to Sweden, or Spanish if I moved to South America.

When a country's people can't understand each other, chaos, division, balkanization and factionalism result. So if we want to have Spanish, let's all speak Spanish in public discourse. Or else, let's all speak English.


Blogger Dr.D said...

A single language, understood well by all, is absolutely essential for a unified nation. Without this, we will have a Balkanized country without the internal coherence necessary to work together to resist our external enemies. The insistence on retaining Spanish is a key element in retaining Hispanic culture and not integrating into American society. Those who come to the US but wish to retain their Hispanic culture are simply seeking to build again here their failed Hispanic nations that they were so anxious to leave. We must not let them do this. It will be enormously destructive to us as Americans, and in the long run will do nothing good for them. It must be stopped.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Carol, you used an interesting word in discussing the possible reasons why the Democrats might not object to their candidates talking about faith. You said it might not be a principled objection. The reasons this is so interesting is that there is only one principle that the Democrats follow and that is that they must prevail. They have no other principles at all; they don't understand the concept of principles in general.

6:49 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home