The United States of America is home to 327.5 million citizens. More than 55 million of them are multilingual. Within recent years, there have been a variety of videos that have surfaced online featuring Americans yelling at those speaking a foreign language. These people are chastized and condemned for conversing in a language other than English. Most often, this seems to affect those that who speak Spanish or Mandarin Chinese.
In May 2018, New York-based lawyer Aaron Schlossberg was caught on video screaming at customers and employees in a Manhattan cafe for speaking Spanish. Caught red-handed, Schlossberg later issued an apology, though he still claimed that he was not racist. The apology was not widely accepted, since Schlossberg was once again caught on camera attending a rally in support of Donald Trump. This raises the suspicion that racists and bigots are showing their true colors now that Trump is in the oval office.
This is how some want to, “make America great again.” These intolerant people are following in the steps of a leader who has made them feel that they have the right to treat others in this manner. Fear is used to drive out those who, according to them, do not belong here.
The United States is built on the idea of the American Dream. This idea has inspired immigrants to come over to the United States. The little money they have is used to escape lives of poverty, persecution and war. Most of these immigrants only want a better life for themselves and their children. The American Dream is now in danger. There is no reason that they should have to erase their culture because some Americans think non-English speaking Americans don’t belong here.
This country was built on immigration. The United States is often referred to as being a melting pot of culture. Immigrants come from all over the world. When someone comes here, they should not have to drop their culture and adopt the idealization of the “American” culture, because really, American culture is meant to be diverse and all-encapsulating. Immigrants pass on their food, language, behaviors and beliefs to the next generation. This diversity teaches us so much about the world around us, and is valuable to current citizens in so many ways. The United States was fostered on the ideology of freedom and acceptance. It is crucial that there is tolerance for everyone, whether or not they are speaking English.
Some people think that everyone in this country should be forced to speak English and only English. Some may be paranoid and assume that those are speaking a different language in front of them may be speaking badly about them or may even be plotting to terrorize the country. The United States does not even have an official language, so their beloved argument of “Speak English, you’re in America” is automatically invalid.
Furthermore, some people who are bilingual, are American by birth and learned the second language from their family.
Every culture is beautiful and should be celebrated. Diversity is what makes us American. One can walk down the streets of any major city and hear various languages spoken, and see restaurants cooking an assortment of cuisines. Cultural-mixing also allows us to be informed on the issues that people of different backgrounds may face.
Videos like the ones discussed previously can make it seem as if a vast majority of Americans hate immigrants. That is vastly far from the truth. It is just that they are making themselves known, because they witness the way Trump conducts himself. Technology has made it easier than ever to record and capture them behaving negatively.
America is known as the land of opportunity. The Statue of Liberty greets weary immigrants, and welcomes them into our home- a home that is just as much theirs as it is ours. Our country is the most diverse that it has ever been. Although some people do not want immigrants here, they should know they are still welcome on our soil.