Learn English or LEAVE: Xenophobia in America

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I haven’t been inspired to write anything about our current political climate in quite sometime. I guess Rage is my muse because I am BAFFLED by some of the things I have seen lately. From various CAPS ads to People posting angry rants on youtube about how Spanish speakers need to learn english or go back to their country.

I can’t explain the countless discussions I’ve had about whether or not we have an official national language. and while some states have designated English as their official language, A lot of them recognize that they have a large population of  people who speak and understand a foreign language. Places like Louisiana, California and even New Mexico have legislated that certain government documents be available in French and Spanish. I have personally translated the immigration test and the oath for people here in Atlanta. And Yet here we are still having the discussions of how it wastes government resources, and it makes people uncomfortable. BET makes me uncomfortable but you don’t see me running around saying that it’s Racist and a waste of resourses. People cater to niches. It’s a part of what makes this country great. The mass amounts of diversity.

I think what bothers me the most is that all of this Xenophobia and prejudice is targeted at Latinos. Not just foreign born Latinos but people who were born and raised right here in the United States.  This is the trend during recessions and in in economic recovery.  When the majority group is struggling then the minorities become targets for SERIOUS discriminatory practices. Politicians take note of this and magnify it. they pass laws and ordinances saying that they are protecting their constituents when in reality the are creating an environment for hate. I have heard various Political commentators  say things about how the Latino population is growing at a high rate and that White people need to have more kids to combat that. Major news outlets have published articles that talk about the black and hispanic population of children under 5 out number that of white children under the age of five. No one shouts “speak english” at Russians, Italians, Germans, or French Speakers. My Mother has told me countless stories where people would call her looking for help with receiving medicaid and the get angry and insist on speaking with “someone who speaks english”.

It seems the further we move in the direction of the tossed salad analogy of american culture, the more they want to go back to the melting pot analogy. It’s okay for Viacom to have MTV TR3S but its not ok for Señor Garcia to answer the phone  and speak spanish. I have read countless scholarly articles about Latinos and education, work, and voting habits. With these types of studies being done and people focusing a lot of attention on Latino voters, it would be ideal of the rate of voting was higher. If you want change you have to take to the voting booth and use your voice. Help educate people through whatever means.

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5 thoughts on “Learn English or LEAVE: Xenophobia in America

  1. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many first-rate point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post

  2. It’s the same everywhere I’ve been in the world. The people that live in a country want newcomers and visitors to speak the predominate language. When I lived in Italy for four years I didn’t expect people to speak my language. I learned Italian. I didn’t want to change their cluture. I embraced it. And they loved me for it.
    My grandparents did not speak English when they moved to the US. But they learned it and taught it to us. They didn’t insist the people here change for them. They embraced the culture here. They wanted to be part of this country, not make it into the country they’d fled. What would be the point of that?
    I would be annoyed if I called a government office in the US and the person working there could not speak English. I must answer phones occasionally in my job, and if someone calls who does not speak English we transfer them to someone who speaks their language. That’s common courtesy.
    I love the US. It’s a unique, and highly tolerant country when compared to many others. Anyone who has traveled widely sees that, and can appreciate it.

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