A recently released survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports says that 87% of Americans believe English should be the official language of The United States of America. Sounds like a plan, right? Sure it does, until we factor in the following: 83% of those surveyed also believe that companies doing business in the U.S. should be given the right to require their employees to speak English as a condition of employment. Eleven percent also believe their employees should be required (made, forced or whatever other word you’d like to use) to speak English on the job.
Don’t get me wrong. As an American, I’m all for making an official declaration that English is our “official” language. Here’s the point I ponder: If and/or when this happens, how many times in a given day will authorities detain a law-abiding American citizen or resident alien based solely on appearance for the purpose of administering an English test?
English at work? Sure!! I couldn’t agree more that essential communication pertaining to one’s job or the business in general should be conducted exclusively in English. This is America. That’s the way we do things. However, what happens to the two employees engaging in casual, non-business related conversation while working or during a break or meal period? Would this be grounds for termination of employment? I’d be willing to bet the farm that in some cases it would be.
To subscribe to the belief that one must speak English at all times or get the hell out is absolutely ludicrous! When was the last time you visited or conducted business in a foreign country and were told to either speak the official language or leave? Do you really believe that when it’s all said and done this idea would fly in the United States? Doubtful!
We must remember that we live in the United States of America, a veritable melting pot of cultures from all over the world. Chances are, your own ancestors immigrated to the United States from another country. The number of Americans who are truly natives of this country is minuscule in comparison to the number of people who actually live in the United States and are proud to call themselves Americans. So before we outlaw cultural diversity in America, let us all take a moment to stop and think about where we or our ancestorsreally came from. To impose such strict laws in a country which was founded by those who’s families originated in foreign lands would be nothing short of bigotry.
Something else to stew on: The above referenced survey was administered to a meager 1,000 Americans. The population of The United States of America as of December, 2009 was in excess of 308 million. Could this survey possibly be representative of the opinions of all Americans? Again, doubtful.