Estimated reading time: 7 minute(s)
It baffles me how much ignorance and arrogance Americans can have. It has gotten to the point where, the very languages people speak is considered unacceptable.
I remember being in a café inside my sister’s gymnasium, sitting down near these two women conversing in another language. All was well until this rude white man goes over to them and asks them to stop because “This is America, we speak English”. The women could understand what he said and protested against his ignorance. I honestly at first thought that this was all staged and John Quiñones was going to come out somewhere like, “Haha hey this is What Would You Do..” Unfortunately that wasn’t the case this was real life.
So I got up, and said to him,”Sir, if you want English, go to England.” Obviously he was a little shocked to have a teenage petite girl tell him to go to England if he wants English so badly. He went on about immigrants and how they should speak English since “this is America”. It was a back and forth conversation and my stance was of course with the women.
If you didn’t know, America has no official language. I told the man this (paraphrasing): “Yes our laws, street signs, and other things are in English, but we have no official language as a country. On top of that, this land didn’t used to speak English until the English illegal immigrants came over here. Shouldn’t you be speaking the languages of the indigenous people?
Oh by the way: while you’re traveling countries and struggling with English trying to learn another language on Rosetta Stone, they have already mastered several languages. They could be bilingual or trilingual.”
After this conversation, the man sort of left it alone. I’m not bringing this up so I’ll be praised as some sort of “hero”, but I hope that we start to see the arrogance that America has towards people who don’t fit its criterion.
I will never understand how Americans brag about this country being a “melting pot”, how this is the land of the free, home of the brave, yet they’re scared of people speaking languages other than English.
How long have some students learned a foreign language in high school and yet come out still knowing one language? Yet the people they criticize for not speaking English are fluent in several other languages. So with all due respect: Take several seats and humble yourself.
(Follow Nzinga Muhammad on Twitter @QueenNzinga13)