8.13.2007

Another Rant

This is going to be another rant. So, click away if you must. I will have a State Fair Update later this week that promises to be a tad more cheerful.
 
But today I have to ask a simple question.
 
When did English become the second language in America?
 
Yes, I know that we're supposed to be this great big melting pot...give me your tired blah blah. That's the whole point of a melting pot. Everything that goes in gets blended to become something that is cooler and more precious (in many cases) than the original elements that went in.
 
And that's fine. Most of the people that inspired that inscription on the Statue of Liberty came to America...to become Americans.
 
Get the difference there?
 
They wanted to be American. They didn't just want to come here and sponge benefits without having to go through the same shit that the rest of us go through (taxes, insurance, paying for healthcare). They wanted to be a part of something bigger.To contribute to the ever changing fabric of a land that offered them so much opportunity that it made their eyes well up and their hearts swell with pride. And they did whatever it took to become Americans.And you better believe they took shit from "real" Americans. Prejudice and racism are not 21st Century conventions by any means. But it didn't matter to them. Becoming American was what mattered to them. So they could look someone in the eyes and (with often heavily accented and sometimes broken english) say "I am American." And woe to you if you tried to tell them otherwise.
 
It's not about forgetting your cultural identity. That's not the point at all. It's about taking pride in something that is bigger than you and I. The concept of the land of the free and the home of the brave.
 
And know this. When I bitch about illegal immigrants, I'm doing just that. Bitching about ILLEGAL immigrants. I worked my last job with a Russian who was here on a work visa and doing whatever it took to become Amercan. Taking classes, learning english. And I applauded him, and helped when I could. That was 10 years ago. He's got a great job and his english is probably better than mine now (although he never lost his accent). When he's home with his family he speaks his native toungue. And I think that's cool.
 
I went to school with dude who's family was Ukranian. As soon as you walked in to their house, it was like you were in another country. English was never spoken (except when he translated something to me that his parents said). Oh, his parents knew english. They just chose to hold on to their traditions and cultural identites. But they were also American citizens.
 
I wonder how long it will be before ALL students are required to learn spanish?
 
Why are my tax dollars being used to teach students, in America, in a language other than English? I really want someone to explain to me when it became shitty to be proud that I was an American?
 
Why the f**k should I have to press '1' for English?? I'm in America. English is the language we speak in America...for..oh I don't know 200+ years now?  Should there even be a choice here? If you can't speak the language...you better frickin' find someone who can speak it and have them translate for you. I'll even be happy to help...draw you pictures, do sign language...whatever it takes.
 
I could go on, but it's really more out of frustration about how we are bending over backwards to make EVERYONE happy. Because we have become a society of pussies that don't want to piss anyone off. And it makes me sick that most of this stems from big business laying pressure on their congress (what, you didn't think your congress actually cared about YOU, did you?) to not drive out the illegal immigrants because that's their cheap labor force (and is better for their profit margin).
 
I think we would do well to heed the words of President Theodore Roosevelt from 1906 "We have room for but one language in this country, and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house"
 
But what the f**k do I know? I'm just some stupid American.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Umm...have you been talking to my DAD?

Oddly OK

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