Education

English-Only Ballots, English-Only Signs

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Mark Stewart
English-Only Ballots, English-Only Signs

In the United States, where we let beautiful cultures flourish, the language of business and the language of our shared culture happens to be English. We want all immigrants to fully participate in the business and culture of this nation. To leave a segment of Latino Americans without the fullness of America is to cripple opportunity for some of our most vibrant people. Please do not confuse people who believe in English-only signs and English–only ballots with lacking compassion. I am compassionate; I have a deep empathy for immigrant-Americans. I know that learning a new language is HARD. But I know we can’t throw out STANDARDS in the name of ease. We who believe in English only know it’s MORE compassionate to immigrants who want to assimilate, to immigrants who WANT to be inclusive. To immigrants who do NOT want to assimilate, please know that America will still make you comfortable. America will never restrict your ability to worship in your own way, to speak your own language, to celebrate your own holidays. If you are not on the road to citizenship, you will always be free to work here, attend our schools, and use our infrastructure, so long as you pay for their use.
Please know that English ballots and English signs are issues for more than just a few immigrant groups. EVERY one of us has a stake here. We do not want to ever again be a divided nation. Look at the problems with other nations who have competing groups. Indonesia has 8 official languages; it has the fifth largest population in the world, but it’s nowhere near a world power. France was once a world power; it’s becoming a basket case in part because of its leaders’ blindness to the problem of having a permanently divided citizenry.
Latino Americans will be the prime beneficiaries of my program of “Affirmative Education”. Every legal immigrant, young and old, will be offered English immersion classes for a minimal charge. Every immigrant on the road to citizenship will have the ability to learn about American citizenship.
I’m proud that American immigrants have routinely become among the most patriotic Americans. I fear losing that. Please recognize that we who want a better “melting pot” don’t believe in Anglo superiority, but in the superiority of ONE. E-Pluribus unum. Latin speakers know what that means (too few Anglo-Americans do): from many, One.
I thank God that my Russian and my Lithuanian ancestors embraced learning English when they came to these shores. Was it comfortable? Almost certainly not. By contrast, I weep for those who refuse to let their children be immersed in English, who are dooming them to at best a lower-middle class existence. We hold out the hope for every one to have an upper-echelon life. Isn’t that why you came here in the first place?
Please don’t listen to progressives who try to tell you what’s good for you. Think as individuals, and know that every individual here will flourish with English immersion.

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