Americans Speak English

According to a Center for Immigration Studies report in 2017, 21.8 percent of US residents (67 million people) do not speak English at home.  That statistic has doubled in the last 27 years- it was 11 percent in 1980.  In America's five largest cities, 48 percent of residents now speak a language other than English at home.  Their report states that "In New York City and Houston it is 49 percent; in Los Angeles it is 59 percent; in Chicago it is 36 percent; and in Phoenix it is 38 percent."  "Of school-age children (5-17) who speak a foreign language at home, 85 percent were born in the United States."  "Of those who speak a foreign language at home, 25.9 million (39 percent) told the Census Bureau that they speak English less than very well."

Those statistics should be alarming.  Don't get me wrong- in today's world of charged immigration politics, let me be very clear.  I have absolutely no issue with legal immigrants (and neither does Donald Trump from what I can tell - heck his wife is an immigrant).  Nearly all of us, or our ancestors in the not too distant past, were immigrants to America at some point or another.  The key difference is that most of us, or our ancestors, came to America to become an American - for the promise of what America stands for - individual freedom, individual rights, and a capitalist economic system unencumbered by government obstruction that allowed one to succeed and build a future for their family.  Those traits, which were and still are unique to America today, are made possible by the Constitution (a republican government based on individual rights and freedoms) and a shared culture built on Judeo-Christian values and the English language.  Those traits were then, and still are today, why immigrants are attracted to America and why America is the largest destination for immigrants still today.  America was obviously built from the original thirteen British colonies and most American customs and culture that unite us as a nation today, were British in origin, but adapted to form a culture uniquely American today.  It's this culture and these values which bind Americans together.  John Adams said "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."  The most basic building block for these values is the shared English language.


Teddy Roosevelt summed it up well when he said 
“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American … There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag … We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language … and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Obviously, I'm not saying we could or should force people to speak a particular language in their homes - that is absolutely their right and choice, and part of the freedom that makes America the special place that it is.  Sure, a small percentage of those who do not speak English at home are learning to speak English, and will hopefully speak English at home in the near future, but what is concerning is that likely a large majority of the 21.8 percent of US residents choose not to speak English at home, meaning they choose not to embrace the values of America, and choose not to assimilate to become an American, or for their children to become Americans, and that should be extremely concerning to all of us, because when we lose our shared language, culture, and values, we cease to exist as a cohesive and functional society.  We cease to be Americans and we devolve into a mishmash of multiculturalism that simply cannot function as a single country any longer.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Coronavirus / COVID-19

Normalcy Bias

5G and the History of Cellular Networks