English Only


When we look at race as a social construction dividing throughout history, then we have to considered different ethnic groups.  Race initially in the United States was more describing the color of a person.  We have seen tremendous changes during the Civil Rights movement abolishing slavery, and giving the Black Americans rights in this country. The steps might have been slow, but Black Americans have accomplished major milestones.  Prior to the Civil Rights movement, Blacks was treated like commodity, being traded and sold like animals.  Today, we have a biracial President of the United States.   


Over the years, race is becoming less of a color issue, but more of an ethnicity issue.  The United States is having rapid growth in our Hispanic/Latino populations.   There has been so much migration to the United States, both legally and illegally.  This has created several concerns throughout the United States, and there are several groups pushing for an “English Only” movement.  The goal is to promote efficiency through the United States and keep English as the official language.  This is no different from the practices from other countries for example, in China the language is Chinese, in Japan it is Japanese, in Germany it is German.  The concept is simple, and the request for “English Only” should be without a doubt.  It is the same customary practices that when you travel abroad; it is unfeasible for you to demand that the country you enter conforms to your language. 


The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states employer can demand employees to speak English at work when it is business related.  This law supports the foundation of having a primary language in the United States.

The Institute for Language and Education Policy (ILEP) in 2006 said that a national language is unfeasible in the United States.  The director said that if the majority of the people in the United States did not speak English, then this policy would threaten the rights of people who have migrated here.  He believe it would exacerbate more division and tension between ethnic and minority groups, which are inconsistent with American values.  He also focus on who’s responsibility would it be to teach English.  The responsibility would no longer be the governments.

If we refuse to have an official language in the United States, imagine the chaos from traveling state to state.  Imagine the chaos within the States, what would be the official language for documentation and communication. The United States of America is a country full of different ethnicities and cultures, but we can all communicate through one language, that is English.  I do not think it is fair to say that the United States cannot have a official language, because of the people who are here that do not speak English.  If we design our language for our Hispanic/Latino populations, how is this not discriminatory to our Korean population.  How can you read the signs on the roads, manage your bank accounts, work, complete legal immigrant paperwork, if you cannot read English.  So, it is only fair to ask that if you would like to reside in this country, in is important for you to speak the language and that is currently English. 



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