“The mission of the United States is one of benevolent assimilation.” -William McKinley
“English is the key to full participation in the opportunities of American life.” -S.I. Hayakawa
“Out of Many, One.” – our nation’s motto.
America is known as a melting pot of cultures, religions and customs. It is the diversity that immigration has brought to our shores that has shaped the superpower that we now are. Yet as a melting pot, these cultures, these customs, are intended to fuse into a predominately American persona, the American culture and what it is to be an American. Without a culture of our own, unity amongst the peoples of our great country cannot exist. If we are to be united under the Stars and Stripes, then we must truly be defined as a nation that is out of many, one. The English language is one of the most dominate cultural connectors that Americans have. It is the common language, an American cultural trait. Mandating English as the official language of the United States will promote unity, economically benefit the nation and empower the immigrants who contribute so much to America.
The United States of America – emphasis on united. As a nation, unity is not possible when we cannot be united under an official language. English is the common language of America, yet it is not official. America is a nation comprised of and created by immigrants, yet throughout our entire history we have stuck by our nation’s motto and assimilated those immigrants. A long-standing tradition of that assimilation includes the adoption of English as the common means of communication. The advancement of a multilingual America threatens to tear apart one of the most crucial links we as Americans hold. By mandating English as the official language, the government would present the notion to the immigrants that assimilation includes learning English. By allowing multilingualism to proliferate, the government allows racial and ethnic conflicts to proliferate, as well as geographical divisions to be created.
With the national debt at ridiculous levels, it seems almost contradictory to national welfare to not have an official language. Because America is devoid of an official language, the government is forced to print certain services in over 332 languages in addition to English. It is not the responsibility of our government to succumb to the linguistic necessities of immigrants. It is the responsibility of the immigrant to learn English or find someone capable of translating. The money wasted on multilingual government endeavors is money that could be put to causes that better the nation, such as classes that teach English to immigrants in need.
Contrary to public opinion, immigrants would actually benefit from the creation of English as the official language. The government sends immigrants a mixed message when it allows multilingualism to flourish. By providing non-English speaking persons in American government documents, tests and state forms in languages other than English, the government is in effect telling immigrants and non-English-speaking citizens that it is not necessary to learn English in order to contribute or achieve success. English is a necessity in order for people in our nation to become successful, and by allowing – and in essence fueling – multilingualism, the government is cheating these people out of success. By elevating English to official language status, the message would be clear to immigrants that in order to flourish in our nation and achieve the American Dream, learning English is of the utmost importance. Life without English proficiency in America is a life of low-skilled, low-paying jobs. By propagating multilingualism, the government is subjecting immigrants to this type of life.
We as Americans cannot allow our nation to become out of many, many. We must take action to preserve the truth behind our motto. Elevating English to official language status will benefit the nation in many ways and will bring about the unity that America is losing. Assimilation must include English, citizenship must include English, being American must include English. America is a melting pot, and melded into our nation are numerous cultures, all of which add to the unique American culture.