Indecisive America

Until recent years, the question of whether America should consider English as its national language has been accentuated by activists from both sides of the spectrum. Some individuals covet to have an America where it is fairly easy to communicate with one another. On the other hand, others strive to preserve the myriad of languages that imbued America’s diversity with unique cultures and traditions. The question is as follows, will implement English as a national language take the country a step closer to a utopian society? Or will it take a step in the opposite direction?

Charles Krauthammer a political and Nobel prize winner analyst approached the question in a way that supports the argument of having English as the national language to keep the nation in one piece and to prevent any type of crisis.

In so, Krauthammer provides examples from his personal professional life. Krauthammer who lived in Canada for the beginning part of his life compares and contrasts America’s situation with language.

He explains that Canada was on the verge of breaking up by having the country struggle to cope with two majorly different languages, French and English. He claims that, unlike Canada, America was blessed with having one nationwide language, English. “Why ?” he asks, why would America ever think about having more than one national language? In addition, Krauthammer emphasizes the great danger America has been experiencing, concerning its unprecedented problem with immigration. He states, “But all of that changes when you have an enormous, linguistically monocle-

nal immigration as we do today from Latin America” Krauthammer, Charles.

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“In Plain English: Let’s Make It Official”. Time Magazine, 2006. He counterclaims the idea of having many other languages in America by using an example of the great number of Spanish-speaking immigrants in America. Unlike “Brooklyn” he explains that having many cultures and traditions in the country is acceptable, however, he interprets that having one special language can alter America’s success in the future. During the time in which he was writing this piece, the Senate shortly passed two very distinct amendments to the Compreimplementinghensive Immigration Reform in 2006. One of which declared English as the national language allowing the government to print all of its documents in English only. The other claimed English as the common and unifying language of the country, therefore, allowing the government to print government documents in another language other than English.

Firoozeh Dumas, an author, and graduate from UCLA takes a different approach than Krauthammer and leans into having a more diversified America, where it should not only allow other different languages to be present but also have the idea of people acknowledging other people’s backgrounds. Alike Kramathammer’s way of discussing his point of view, Firoozeh implements a very detailed personal life where she faces prejudice in elementary school in Poughkeepsie based on her cultural background. However, this all soon changes after she claims a new identity and switches her name to Julie. This course of action drastically changes Firoozeh’s lifestyle as she exceptionally gets accepted to jobs and receives callbacks after the institutions receive a newly changed name. In addition, Dumas explains instances when strangers and students from her high school used to say ignorant remarks such as, “Fritzy DumbAss” and “Foorzshit”. She also makes a great connection on how students just like her, immigrants who seek higher education in America can feel secure around other students who have “irregular” names such as Firoozeh. In Krauthammer’s illustration, he tackles how the children of people who speak another language other than English will inevitably learn English. Although this may be true most school systems implement bilingual education whether it is Spanish or not, to place the student in a more advanced position than other students who are secluded in knowing one language. Also, it is vital for an early student or person, in general, to be familiar with the process of learning another language other than English to lessen the difficulty of learning another language in the future. At some point in their (children who are enlisted in bilingual education) careers, they will confront the moment where a specific language will be mandatory to learn to apply for an opportunity whether it is an internship or job in an area that is differentially diverse. Besides the beneficial factors that come with speaking more than one language, it is crucial to acknowledge one another’s culture and background. America was founded by immigrants and was flourished by European families for various reasons including, seeking prosperity, searching for religious freedom, escaping war or national conflict, etc. Although not all Europeans came from one part of Europe in particular, they still adapted to new changes in the community and recognized the customs other people had. Furthermore, a great connection can be drawn out in which immigrants from all around the world seek to come to America for some of the exact reasons the European families had more than a century ago. There shouldn’t be any great distinction between the process of accepting people who are seeking a better life in America and those who set the example for the modern immigrants during the late 17 and 1800s.

In essence, America has been prospering by having English as its number one language but the process in which America has been becoming successful is unlawful and immoral. People from all parts of the world should not be hesitant of speaking their type of language in any part of the country whether they live in a presence of strong anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Krauthammer, Charles. “In Plain English: Let’s Make It Official”. Time Magazine, 2006

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Indecisive America. (2022, Apr 29). Retrieved from

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