The following is a response by Phil Kent in response to this post from yesterday:
Thank you, Peach Pundit, for allowing me a response to Charlie Harper’s May 15 shrill criticism of my advocacy of learning English as quickly as possible in Georgia’s public high school classrooms.
Why is it “race-baiting” to ensure that our kindergarten through 12th grade high school students– especially Georgia’s sizeable immigrant and refugee student population– learn and speak English? To become a naturalized U.S. citizen, the law states that the immigrant must demonstrate “the ability to read, write and speak ordinary English.” Is that law somehow “racist”? After all, isn’t the ability to speak and communicate in English the litmus test of whether immigrants are assimilating into “our” mainstream culture?
Most Americans have historically embraced and appreciated the traditional “‘assimilation” model whereby anyone who legally comes here can become an American citizen regardless of background or ethnicity. Our English common tongue is the tie that binds us together. It is the road to success in education and careers. It provides a chance to try to live the American dream.
The jury is still out as to whether the record three-decade wave of Third World immigrants, both legal and illegal, will assimilate or will remain in balkanized neighborhoods where they basically just communicate with one another.
The “melting pot” that assimilated and Americanized scores of millions who came to our country for most of the 20th century is not working well now. In the name of “diversity” immigrant special interest groups aided by their media allies are militant about retaining their own culture and allegiance to their home country— and not this one. Most people I talk with, regardless of their politics, are concerned about this trend.
Be proud of your ethnicity and where you and your family came from, but be proud to be an American.
Hopefully most of us can still agree on fixing the “melting pot” in the interest of maintaining a strong nation and a united people. A good start would be to insist on English fluency in our high schools.