It wasn’t that long ago that those who wanted English to be the official language of the U.S. were suspected of being racists. I think that’s all changed now and I offer as evidenced this blog post by Rick Badie:
I won’t lie: It’s a small annoyance to be asked to choose English or Spanish at an ATM machine. It bugs me when a white contractor pays the initial visit to work on my house, then turns the job over to a crew in which nary a worker speaks English.
The key to assimilation is to learn to speak the primary language of the community so you can operate in it. For us, that’s English. Like currency, it unites us.
And in heightened times like these, when immigration and what to do about it is a red-hot issue, not speaking the same language might drive us further apart.
In Lilburn and Norcross, a Hispanic can function with relative ease and not know a speck of English. Some might say that’s cool, that it’s a sign of progress. It is. On a small scale.
Operating in the shadows isn’t assimilation. It’s isolation. It’s also hinders the purpose for migrating here in the first place. You can’t prosper, truly prosper, if you’re isolated from the larger society, unable to communicate.
Badie is not a flaming liberal, but he’s no conservative either. So, is “English First” now the opinion of most Americans?