Friday December 7, 2018
There's nothing wrong with speaking Spanish in public.
I'm alarmed by the xenophobia of those who complain about Latinos speaking Spanish in public places. This bigotry goes against the American tradition of linguistic tolerance. Pennsylvania Dutch was considered a second language in this region since the 18th century. Today nobody demands that the Amish speak English only. Why ask Latinos to do so?
Linguist Geoffrey Pullum affirms that the demand for English only is filled with hatred and suspicion of immigrants, and that to make English the official language would be like making hot dogs the official food at baseball games. Linguist Rachele Lawton argues that the real motivation behind the call for English only is discrimination and disenfranchisement. The American Civil Liberties Union argues that it is inconsistent with free speech.
When Latinos speak Spanish, that does not necessarily mean they don't speak English. Studies show that Latinos shift to English within a generation or two. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of Latinos, about 6 in 10 are bilingual. The same center in 2011 found that 90 percent of Latinos said that it is important to learn English but equally important that the next generation keep using the Spanish language.
I believe that as a matter of identity in a stressful environment, Latinos speak Spanish in public places, and rightfully so.
Nation has room for more than 1 language