So, Matt posed the question to me about the idea of a national language the other day. He later posted a few thoughts on his blog that I have stolen without permission to copy here. I liked the way he put this and couldn’t agree more, but have also been trying to understand the argument on the other side. Here are Matt’s thoughts:
“Some say that we need a national language in order to promote national unity. I say in response that any unity, national or otherwise, that depends on exclusion is false. If for the sake of unity everyone has to be like me, in this case adopt the US language and culture, there is no real unity but only conformity. Unity can only come when both parties learn to understand each other and benefit from each other. Excluding non-English speakers shows the insecurity of our dominant culture.”
My dad has been, as usual, sending me columns that he likes, and since immigration is a big topic, a lot of them have recently been about such items. Next is a long quote from a column by David Limbaugh, obviously a conservative columnist. My dad gets most of his opinion material from Town Hall, I’m not sure what paper or site Limbaugh writes for.
“But because of the outstanding work of people like Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, and the clarion calls of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.,in publicizing his work and other aspects of the problem, we are now seeing that one of the Senate’s proposed immigration reform bills could greatly exacerbate the problems. Even if Rector’s projections about the inflow of new immigrants over the next 20 years are substantially overstated, there is no question that way too many immigrants will come in during that period.
And there is no question that this nation, given the current state of it’s laws and its refusal to encourage assimilation and promote a national identity, simply cannot absorb them.
With all due respect to the casual elite, we are talking about nothing less than the destruction of America as we know it
“,0] ); //–>. This will come about not so much by “foreigners,” but through our own complicity in devaluing the rule of law by neglecting immigration enforcement and the disgraceful abandonment of our national identity. This will prevent us from promoting the English language, our own sovereignty, our unique constitutional system and our traditional values.
Though we are the greatest nation in the history of the world, we often project anything but pride about that. We act as though we are ashamed of the American culture and Western civilization and must promote a destructive, euphemized multiculturalism, instead of an American blend of multiethnicity. We must celebrate our multiple ethnicities, but promote our common cultural identity. To do otherwise is national suicide. Not only will we become a hopelessly balkanized nation if trends continue, but we’ll bankrupt ourselves in the process.”
I guess that sort of speaks for itself. Perhaps younger generations don’t feel that multi-culturalism is the start of the end of America. Perhaps it’s just me. I understand the need for us to enforce our laws and promote our sovereignity and legal system, which is why we need a conprehensive bill that both strengthens border security in a real way and make provisions for people who are already here. But I think it’s outlandish to suggest that like Matt said, unity is only real if it means conformity. Why can’t we have a mroe diverse nation? Did my great-grandparents really come to America because it was the land of the free, home of the brave, or did they come here for economic reasons? Did they come here because they knew they would get better jobs and more opportunities for their children? Sounds a lot like the reasons most Mexicans come here. My grandparents are all children of immigrants, of course they speak English and perhaps remember some of their parents’ languages. But did my great-grandparents really get off the boat and start speaking English fluently, did they really believe that holding on to their mother tongue was some grand scheme to end America as it was known?