Posted by: reisendame | February 13, 2007

English is not American, and vice versa.

Bill Purcell, mayor of Nashville, vetoed a measure requiring English to be the official language of the city Monday. Purcell said that this action would be unconstitutional, unnecessary, and mean-spirited; furthermore, it would not reflect the true nature of the city. Like many communities in the United States, Nashville’s foreign-born population has vastly increased over the past decade, and imposing an “English-only” standard on all government documents would be an official means of trying to exclude the immigrant population. Other cities in the states have actually passed similar laws, and the importance of foreigners learning English has been a forefrount issue, especially in recent years. What’s interesting about this issue is that although English is the “native” language of our forefathers, it wasn’t even spoken in North America until the British ripped the land away from the native Americans. There is some kind of fear in our generation that “non-Americans” are stealing our jobs, housing, and essentially our “identity.” These people tend to forget that American does not mean white and English-speaking. It’s true that learning the English language can only benefit immigrants in terms of finding employment and actively being engaged in certain aspects of our society. Still, we all have to be prepared to evolve along with our country, and ignoring or degrading foreign-born citizens is completely un-American. English is still the mainstream language of our culture, and I doubt that it is in much danger of becoming obsolete. People all around the world learn to speak it. However, all Americans need to realize that in order to be the “melting pot” culture we claim to be, we have to account for all of the ingredients.

Nashville mayor vetoes English-only measure

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Responses

  1. Well thought out commentary on all of your posts. Please begin to add more multimedia, such as photos, audio, video when appropriate. Keep up the good work.


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