Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Make America Stronger, speak English or Leave!

Recently I was in an email discussion with some motorcycle education friends about the challenges of teaching folks who don't speak and understand English so well because it's not their second language. My stand is pretty much in favor of folks learning to speak English first before you are out riding and driving the roads of our great country.

One person brought up an interesting point of view. Her great grand parents were non-English speaking immigrants who came to America around the 1900's. They struggled to adapt to the language, customs and cultures of our great country. And they had to do this in Ohio which wasn't the most forward thinking area of the time.

I thought that was an interesting perspective and one that I hadn't given much thought to. Below is part of my response to her.


My frustration isn't so much with the people trying to learn English here, it's with the people that have come to this country and expect us to change for them. Take a look around, businesses all over are putting up signage in Spanish. How is that helping them to transition to our language, customs and culture. There are billboards up all over town written just in Spanish, again how is that helping them to transition? When I go to the ATM or Self Check out at a store I have to choose English or Spanish. And road signs in Spanish, in the US, yes already here! What about translating the US Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem into Spanish?

How do all these translations help to transition a person into speaking English. I don't believe it does. For crying out loud, our anthem and our pledge? No the businesses don't care about helping them transition, they just want their money.

I certainly appreciate your perspective and am glad to know that your great grand parents came to our country so many years ago. But that was a different time and I suspect they were like most of the immigrants of the time, they wanted to be in America and they wanted to be a part of it.

I feel like those coming to our country today, not wanting to learn the language, not wanting to get their citizenship, using fake identities get jobs and get credit, and sending lots of their money back home to Mexico. These people aren't trying to transition into America's language, culture and customs. Instead they want to make America transition to them. �

No comments: