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English as Official Language Debate Essay

The United States is a nation founded by immigrants. Throughout the years the US has struggled with discrimination and close-mindedness. But, when we put our differences aside we can achieve the impossible. We are a country united by our differences. We celebrate our diversity, independence and individuality. We are a country that believes in choice, and one of those choices should be the option to speak the language which we relate to and understand. It was our forefather’s ambition that got us to the Land of The Free and our determination that made us successful.

So how can we say we stand for freedom if we don’t give our people, immigrants (illegal or not), the right to speak their language? We are a country for the people, but not all of our people speak English. Many Americans argue that those who live in America should speak English but think about this: English is the sum of many other languages. The British brought English to America and forced the Native Americans to convert to their language and their ways.

In modern society, we cringe at the idea of oppression and encourage those who are oppressed to speak out for themselves, yet turn a blind eye when we are the oppressors. A parallel can be drawn with bullying. It is an issue that many children, teens, and adults experience. Bullying has been an active topic in the media in recent years. Teachers, parents and authoritative figures continue to urge those who are bullied or have witnessed an act of bullying to stand up for themselves and get help.

Thus, America is not only being hypocritical and ignorant, but it is also being a bully by forcing other’s to speak “our” language. We are oppressing their beliefs. We are telling them that they must speak our language if they want to be American; they must speak our language if they want to be successful. Understandingly, those who come to America should be educated in our history and be required to pass a citizenship test. But speaking English does not make one an American. A citizen is not inferior because he/she cannot speak English.

Americans today are born with this innate sense of superiority. Yet, over the years we have overcome most of our selfish and antiquated ways and this is just another obstacle which we must surmount. We cannot force a diverse group of people to speak one language when our nation consists of so many. We cannot force a language upon our people without oppressing those people. Making English the official language would make us hypocrites and bullies. Therefore, English should not be the official language of the United States.


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