Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

No Place Like Home

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Maybe folks have just forgotten about the great  lady standing in the New York Harbor, but there is a reason America is referred to as a "nation of immigrants."

Okay so there is, and has been for some time, a movement that seems to think people who don't speak English don't belong here.  At no point in American history has there ever been just one language, and quite honestly, we don't speak English but a dialect of English. Add to this the number of American dialects, and  English can get kinda tricky, even among native speakers. 

 About 82 percent of Americans speak English. There is a plethora of languages spoken in this country.  If you want to see the breakdown, here is one place you can look. I should point out that in 2011 there were 62 million foreign tourists, foreign tourists spent 168.1 billion dollars last year,  and this year, foreign tourists have already spent 14.4 billion dollars in the US as of March.  While many probably do speak English-I don't know the same could be said for American tourists traveling overseas- I would think we might be a bit more welcoming.  Don't get me wrong, I believe that it is a wise idea if you are going to change your citizenship that you learn the most common language. As anyone who has tried to learn a new language knows, however, this is very difficult. 

But some of the signs, like the one above, actually harkens back to a another kind of sign. 

This particular sign was one that was posted in many a town particularly the South. They were found  in white neighborhoods.   It was quite simple.  If you weren't white, you weren't welcome.  For some, the "speak English" movement is quite simply veiled racism of the past.  But then again, you have to wonder if some of the folks demanding "speak English" actually do.

There was this protest sign from the last election (not really a "speak English" sign, but I thought it was funny).

Oh, yes he does have a birth certificate despite what the Donald thinks.  There was also this sign about speaking English.

But one of the winners for the speak English is this city sign.

One must just wonder why every house doesn't just put this out on the step.