Press 1 for English? What’s The Option for Idiotic?

I am by nature a live and let live kinda person.  Laid back, non-judgemental etc etc.  I usually do not get worked up over the things that just are and I can not change.

Until recently.  I am not sure why this is happening now.  My theory is that since I am done having kids and don’t have to worry about getting knocked up or being knocked up, or diapers and formula and sleep deprivation, I have a lot more free space in my brain to contemplate things outside the realm of my home and family.  Just a thought but whatever it is I am surprised sometimes when I feel strongly about something and an overwhelming  need to take a stand.

I am not a fanatic or out to change the world, I just want to speak my mind.  It’s America the First Amendment says I can. So I am not out to offend anyone, just exercising my rights.

Where I live, immigration and the problem of illegal aliens are touchy subjects.  Everyone seems to have an opinion, I have not heard many middle ground thoughts.  Of course having been a person of the middle ground on lots of other things I can honestly say those of the middle ground tend to not speak out much.  I am not opposed to people wanting to come here.  I am not even greatly opposed to those that cross the border illegally to escape oppression if they find a way to become legal very quickly. 

What pisses me off is that they come here and they don’t want to assimilate.  They want to keep all of their own culture intact including their language.  And while that in itself is not odd, the fact that it is then expected that the people of the United States of America, the legal true citizens find a way to cater to this stubborn refusa decidedly is.  And more irritating is that we do.

Historically, it is my understanding, that people of different cultures and countries have immigrated to America at times that life in their own countries was of less than desirable quality.  They came to seek their fortunes, to be part of the American dream.  It is the main reason I’m sure that America is called the melting pot.  And while it’ true that each culture retained much of its heritage and that the first generation of immigrants were not always open to learning English, there was no doubt that it was the language of this country.  To survive and  thrive here, you had to know it.

 To be an American citizen your first language is now English regardless of what your native tongue is.  It’s a melting pot because our forefathers melted in.  Added their unique qualities and traditions and perfected the blend by learning the common language.

Melting Pot Magazine cover, August 1914 depict...

Image via Wikipedia

The latest wave of immigrants from the south has made it more of an emulsion.  Oil and Water.  We all know they mix but do not stay that way.  Please someone explain to me how in order for me to be productive anymore , I have to learn Spanish?  Job openings which are few these days anyhow, state, bilingual required.  I go places and can not understand what anybody around me is saying.

My kids come home with papers, newsletters, information even homework sheets that are printed also in Spanish. I am not talking on the same paper.  I found out about this by mistake.  My daughter brought home the wrong homework packet and when I looked at it and asked why it was in Spanish was told that it was Jose’s and he can’t speak English –in the second grade mind you– I nearly lost it.   How many tax payer dollars are being wasted on the extra supplies and manpower to do that?

Please tell me why when I make a phone call, I am instructed to press 1 for English.  Are they  mad?  There shouldn’t be any other option. And we all know it’s not a list of possible languages, it is one other language and caters to those that feel above learning the language of the country they now call home.  It irritates the crap out of me.

 Go apply for public assistance and there are more spanish only speaking applicants than anything else (not necessarily fact backed by solid numbers but my observation of course).  I am sorry but if you want to benefit from the offerings of my country, if you want to educate your children in the same schools mine are, that is fine with me but SPEAK ENGLISH.  This catering is wussiness probably brought about by the democrats and is Hooey Bunk!!! If all the immigrants of history had been treated this way, this wouldn’t be the great country it is today.  Doesn’t anybody get that?  If you don’t make it uncomfortable for them, they won’t take the initiative.

And I do apologize to the people I know have immigrated here and have learned the language and melted in.  I know that you are getting heat for simply having come from Mexico and the thing is I bet most of you feel the same way. 

Let’s see if we keep on this path if in oh 10 years this part of the US isn’t a little Mexico.  I am tired of feeling bad because I habla porquita….if you don’t habla english you ought to feel bad enough to learn. Or go home. There.  I said it.

This all came to a head this morning when I went to access my thoughts to see what was brewing for a topic and the voice in my head said

Please press 1 for English.

Are you f*cking  kidding me?

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10 responses to “Press 1 for English? What’s The Option for Idiotic?

  1. Everything you’ve said is exactly right. But for this cultural fracturing to end, two things have to happen…and both will require action that most (legal Americans) would prefer to avoid. First, we need to begin filling the low-paying jobs that attract and support illegals; second, both political parties must unite on a strict immigration enforcement policy…instead of continually waffling their positions in competition for the Hispanic vote.

    Simple as that.

    But for either to happen, Americans need to begin assuming individual responsibility for their actions (or inaction) regarding both issues. They have to start filling those jobs themselves, and quit buying or using products/services from businesses that continue to employ illegals. And then aggressively push both parties to stand tough on the laws of immigration enforcement, including enactment of some VERY unpleasant penalties for employers that break the law.

    In other words, like so many of our problems…whether economic, political or cultural…the solution(s) must begin with a VERY hard look in the mirror. Which you clearly are beginning to do! 😉

    • Where I am they are starting to take a stand, and the economic reasons of allowing this to continue are apparent (cheap labor) however what I don’t get how that translates to translating everything to Spanish…….Just saying… Thank you for taking the time to read my post and comment so thoughtfully. I was not sure what to expect but I had to say it. 😛
      Peace

      • The political ‘wooing’ of the Hispanic vote, coupled with a growing clamor for a ‘politically correct’ overhaul of American cultural values (mainly by liberal democrats), has fueled the growing trend toward government sponsored bilingualism. Couple that with a historic Hispanic desire to reclaim the American Southwest (including most of California) and the result is what you’ve described in your post. Nonetheless, the basic solution is not to attack the language issue directly, but rather focus attention on enforcing and strengthening existing immigration law.

        Because…once (and if) you can effectively remove the economic incentives that fuel most illegal Spanish-speaking immigration–and remove most who are already here–then those remaining will almost inevitably revert to the same ‘assimilation dynamic’ that has been the case throughout our history; i.e., the children born of immigrants rapidly transition to the customs and language of the adopted country, even though their parents may never fully make that transition.

        And then, once the fire has gone out of the boiler, you’ll see the language issue begin to fade accordingly. Not a quick fix, for sure. But nonetheless, the most direct course of action is end the economic stimulus, and the resultant political waffling that is fundamentally responsible for the current Hispanic re-population of the Southwest.

        Period. 😉

      • I am puzzled that the hispanic vote would sway the politics to this level of … Wussiness… Namely because I would think that the hispanics who can vote… ie. The Hispanic American Citizens would wish to also change this dynamic. Therefore why wouldnt they go.for the candidate who took a hard stance against coddling as it does not benefit them …well yes it does but I have a friend who came here from Mexico a few years ago…he crossed illegally then did what he needed to to be legal, brought his family here and learned English. He does not speak Spanish.in front of anyone wno cannot understand and assimilated because he saw value in being in America..he became a citizen and the things I have.described are more.irritants to him than anyone I know. So Im curious if the politician who took a stand would truly.lose the majority of the hispanic vote really. Im not sure which election or candidate but I remember a murmor of letting illegals have driver licenses…might have been local…whoa nelly what an uproar…and the very fact the politicians are such pushovers … Spineless… Makes life harder for the legals….they have to carry proof of legal status everyday…and I have heard the stories of ones who forget them maybe out the door in a rush…and caught without are arrested….who wants to live like that? A man born here of hispanic desent asked for papers…says he is a natural citizen but does not have the required proof…and I can not state this for fact but if you are of hispanic descent right now in this area….even as a citizen you must have birth certificate ss card….it reminds me of another time another country…not as drastic outcome but for pete sake…..why would any legal hispanic vote for someone or the party facilitating this outrage…language or not. I am murky on politics… (part of my chosen ignorance because I get disgusted. ) and PC is for wusses who get their feelings hurt too easily ….I get my feelings hurt alot.. I happen to be very sensitive… But I am not about to insist the terminology for Bipolar, Mentally Ill (although I believe that might be the.PC term) Cracked or completely off my rocker be changed to spare my feelings. Or that I deserve extra lunch money. There are some true necessities for educational.purposes..enlightment of the masses if you will but like everything it seems a false sense of entitlement on so many labeled peoples part has gotten completely out of hand. It is what it is, a spade is a spade…and I am not gonna call it anything.else. I think PC is an insidious form of censorship. No real penalty as if we were in a country where speaking freely gets you things you.dont want, like removed, except possible shame caused by the weird looks you get when the brainwashed masses hear you use a term that is not pc and possibly peg you as the stupid one. Oh dont get me started…wait too late. I am.astonished I have so much to say not all of which is babbling ramble I hope.
        Peace (if it is really possible)

      • My apologies..if I had thought through that instead of shooting from the hip I could have condensed to less than 500 words. Also for any typos and text msg speak I reverted to….i was tying ,am tying on my.teeny tiny phone keyboard. I am such a clumsy oaf…no sorry, typeitcorrectly challenged , on my phone. 🙂

  2. It would be one thing if the services we offered to the “newly assimulating” were temporary. But my son went with a girl whose mother had come from El Salvador and she didn’t speak a word of English yet. But, then again, she had only been living in the United States of America for 35 years!

    Frankly I would think after 35 years you would accidentally learn to speak English.

    Good points. I agree wholeheartedly and I it sounds like its just gotten worse since my kids were attending endoctrination . . . oops I mean public school!

  3. Hi Lizzie Cracked, I will openly tell you that I am an “illegal alien” who’s been living in the U.S. since I was roughly 5; that’ll be 22 years this coming August. I am not illegal by choice or by the mere fact that my parent’s didn’t try to as you say (they did), but couldn’t “find a way to become legal very quickly.” There’s no such thing as a line to stand in for some of us. Unfortunately, I’ve heard that since there’s no line, I should go back. Problem is I have nothing to go back to.

    Now I get your frustration with the whole assimilation thing. I try to educate my community so they can prosper better. I understand the sense of respect in it. But to assume that there is an overall laziness/complete disregard to learn within the new wave of immigrants (aka the Hispanics) as opposed to the old (e.g. Irish, Italian, German, Chinese) is to lack a certain understanding of our personal stories. It is to disregard the inner workings of how global economics affects the most destitute like those in El Salvador.

    U.S. economic agreements like NAFTA has affected farmers in Mexico for the last twenty years; it has forced them to shut down their farms because they cannot compete with U.S. conglomerates. For example, Chiquita Banana was–as you may expect–a U.S. banana company that bought out dozens of land owned by local banana growers in Jamaica and Colombia (my native land). As a result, export revenue benefited the company and impoverished the growers, the former owners. To this day, Jamaica is in debt to the U.S. through the World Bank. So who else is willing to work seventeen hour days in the hot sun in Florida picking tomatoes for a mere couple of of cents a bushel but those who have been stripped of their livelihood in their home country. It’s been that way for centuries. Throughout history, people/animals have migrated (or mainly do so at least) under dire situations, when pushed–for survival. It has shaped our landscapes, our cultures. Did we not celebrate Saint Paddy’s day just this Saturday? That was a cultural tradition brought in by the Irish immigrants. And believe it or not, people said the same about those very same Irish immigrants and their lack of assimilation back then. Google “No Nothings”.

    America, unlike many other nations, does not have an official language (stated nowhere in the Constitution). It does not have a monoculture. It’s culture developed from the many generations of immigrants, some of the first being the English in New England and the Spanish in the South. St. Augustine was settled in Florida long before Jamestown, so America has always had a blend of the Spanish speaking. Texas, where I live, had a long Mexican/Spanish cultural history/tradition before it was ratified as a U.S. state. Not to mention the lost native tongues. Sorry, I know I’m going into the obvious history here…

    Again, I get your frustration, but I also hope to express that it is not as simple as you may think. Some of these people (not all of course) really do want to learn. I know them. I live and speak with them. It’s why I’ve become involved in nonprofit and activist groups over the last three years. Some of these people are nearly illiterate; others are very educated; and many have little time to learn because they work long days and see no one beyond their immediate “community”. Some live in predominantly Spanish speaking communities because there is a natural socio-economic inclination for segregation, particularly in larger cities like NY, Chicago, LA, Houston. I wish I had this one link from a study I’d read. It outlines this very well. In Houston, many of the ER numbers have four languages–English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese. Why shouldn’t they? The older generations didn’t have the benefit of so much enabling technology, which I guess can be a double edge sword.

    It’s not easy and never has been. Not for you as a native born (I assume?) or for me as a struggling immigrant, who has still not been able to become a “lawful/legal, permanent resident” yet and who also has bipolar (among other things). I used to be on this Facebook group called “I Live In America I Shouldn’t Have To Press One For English” and let me say some of the people there were outright hateful. You do not seem that way which is why I appreciate your criticism.

    At a march/protest once, this person–a self-proclaimed Minute man that appeared to be in his sixties–yelled at me and a group of friends (most of which were U.S. citizens)–“Go back home where you belong or we’ll shoot the lot of you!” He nearly hit me with his flag pole. No lie.

    We replied, “we are home!”

    I was shaken up for days. I cannot begin to tell you how that has affected me. I feel at home here, I love this though I do not like governments. And I love my native tongue as much as the English language. I love being bilingual and wish I knew better French. Who’s to say I’m not home here? Who’s to decide which are the good and bad traditions, the good or bad immigrants–the deserving, the undeserving?

    It’s not just here; it is a global issue.

    • I want to thank you for making some really excellent points. It is so hard to convey or cover every angle of the issue at hand and You are right that I did not , and can not begin to consider the issue from the point of view of the immigrants themselves. I hope that I did not offend in anyway… I understand and think that it is the US itself that has caused this problem to become what it is…

      I live in a State where everyday on the news there is something about immigration – where I have to pay more for my car insurance and other things (except fresh picked fruit and vegetables..I am sorry to say but it is true) becaseu of the immigration problem – people have to carry around papers if they look remotely like they have come from the south of us…. Where bigotry and hate has gone too far…because it has been allowed to. I am well aware that the things that I stated in this piece – and to be honest I will have to go back and read it again.. are just as much the American;s fault as anyone – nobody will do – or fall into a wy that they aren;t allowed to and all we have done is facilitate the ease of immigrants to come here and live illegally and not assimilate becaseu we have tried to make it easier…I think I was trying to say that when my forefathers (the Irish) came here…nobody gave them a break – nobody gave a shit..nobody said oh lets do it this way for the Irish and in school we will speak both languages…..nor for the Germans, the Russians, The Koreans….etc etc…..as far as my knowledge and understanding this is the only group in history that has been catered to in the manner it is being done. That being said there is not reason for them not to act exactly as they are treated…It is a bit like raising a child in my mind – you don;t really do them any favors to let them keep misbehaving over and over and not give them any responsibilities do you?

      I have no belief that those like yourself – brought here at a young age and living illegal through no fault of your own are to blsme as much as the ones who bring you here… just in that it is so unfair to you… I can;t even imagine.. I don;t know what becoming legal entails but I can only think that if this is where you grew up and where you call home – it would be hard to think of what COULD happen if some Ahole decided you should be deported rather than given the chance to become legal….. I am sad to hear you are suffering with bipolar- and I can say that if you have no support systems or healthcare options… it is even harder- I too have been there ….can;t afford the meds or the help.. so in a different way I know whay its like to suffer without relief….

      I hope I didn;t offend or come across as uncaring or single minded about my feeling on pressing 1 for English – it is more jsut a bit of humor to a stressful situation for so many…. thank you for taking the time to write and make your very valid points. Take Care. Peace>

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