“Press 1 for English..”

The Hispanicification of the United States: Where does it end?

OK I need to get this off my chest and you can all flame me for it if you wish as I am sure some of you will!

I have become so sick and tired of this country cow-towing and pandering to the Spanish speaking population. What on earth is wrong with America lately? I have absolutely nothing whatsoever against Spanish speaking peoples so do not read this and think it is a racist rant because it isn’t and if you think it is, then you’re as small-minded as everyone else that is following this path of politically correct ass-licking.

I want to make the following very clear to anyone who reads this: I am not racist by nature or by action. I am not advocating or condoning anyone, anything or any group in regards to subject matter such as (but not limited to), racism, illegal aliens, illegal immigration, opening or closing of borders, license to work, right to vote, right to bear arms, protesting, propaganda, or any pro or anti organization that builds its cause or following on any one or all of the aforementioned.

This blog rant is purely about the American language and how concerned I am about the current state of affairs. In a nutshell, what concerns me is the Hispanic demands for bi-lingualism and the apparent insistence that Spanish be spoken by the police, school teachers, educational & administrative staff, hospitals, courts, federal and state government etc., and moreover that American institutions cater to hispanics by “providing Spanish language voting ballots, federal, state and local governmental forms, driver’s license tests, signage, banking etc., etc., ad nauseam.” (Ed. I stole much of that last sentence from someone else because it said what I wanted to say!)

I live in Michigan, we barely have any hispanic people in this state at all. As a percentage of the overall Michigan population, spanish speaking people make up barely 2%. Yet 3 weeks ago, our local Lowes hardware store re-opened after 4 weeks of refurbishment stating to their customers that the restructuring chaos was to ‘reorganize their inventory’ when in fact it has become abundantly clear that the number one reason for the disruption has been to change all the signage to include Spanish. Every single sign, price ticket, label, instructions and electronic till. I can count on one foot how many hispanics live in my town and 50% of those work in the same restaurant! True statement!

Last year the University of Michigan started a study that identified that 10% of the spanish speaking world lives in the US. And rough estimates put that number at approx 13% of the US population.

After doing my own research these are the countries that have spanish as their primary or only language:

Venezuela Uruguay Peru Paraguay
Ecuador Colombia Chile Bolivia
Argentina Panama Nicaragua Honduras
Guatemala El Salvador Costa Rica Belize
Spain (DUH..) Puerto Rico Dominican Republic
Cuba Mexico

As 13% of the US population is approximately 39 million people, that would mean that the entire Spanish speaking population of the world is little more than the population of the United States. Considering the list of countries calling Spanish their mother-tongue (see the list above), I was actually surprised that the number wasn’t a lot higher!

United States — Population: 301,139,947 (July 2007 est.).

Yet, despite little more than one tenth of this population speaking Spanish, it seems more and more businesses in conjunction with our ever-placating Government are determined on making the Spanish language have equity with English. I’m sorry if what I am about to say offends you, but this really irritates me.

This situation is becoming more compounded over time. It goes against defending one’s democratic rights when clearly decisions of national importance with far-reaching consequences are being made not by the people and not for the people.  What kind of country are we leaving for our grand children to inherit? One could theorize that it will not be long before road signs all across America will be bilingual and our schools (and not just the school curriculums [Ed. or is that curriculi?]) will become bilingual too.  This is not alarmist, nor is it racist! It holds water!

With so many places in the world speaking Spanish, why on earth do we need to make America’s second language Spanish? (unofficially or otherwise). Why does America even need a second language? If 50% of the population spoke Spanish today, or even 30% for that matter, and we were still pushing English as the primary language, I could see there being issue with that. I am all for democracy and fairness by proportional representation. However, 13%? Clearly someone in power needs to get some balls of their own and make a stand before this country transitions so damn far there is no turning back.

It frightens me just how comfortable and happy people ‘seem’ to be, even in my own neighborhood, in allowing this to happen. Young parents especially, positively encourage their children, (backed by the teachers who teach them and the schools they attend) to learn Spanish almost like we’re preparing for an inevitable takeover. Are we?  Hardly a day goes by when I am out and about that I don’t see some young mother trying to get their two year old to learn “Vámonos” or count to ten in Spanish, because Dora the Explorer says so. Its not just Dora on TV these days either, its also Diego, Noddy, Nina & Star, Dragon Tales and numerous other characters, shows and presenters popping up more and more frequently on childrens’ TV.

Much of this is because our Government offers financial grants to program developers whose shows contain a “minimum” amount of ethnic educational content (by ethnic they actually mean Spanish) and consequently many childrens’ TV shows that require additional funding in order to be made and aired would not be able to do so without this additional Government financing. The proviso being that they must meet the ethnic criteria laid out in the rules of their funding.  A good example of this is the cartoon Dragon Tales which originally aired as an all-English production but is now half  hispanic.

The bigger picture appears to be a subversion of our culture as a whole. Encouraging children through targetted programming to  learn Spanish at an early age is a great way to expand their overall learning and cultural awareness. I’m all for this when choice is part of the equation.  The problem however is that it is becoming so prevalent and driven that it can no longer be considered a choice.  Parents and children are subtly being programmed to believe that not only is it politically acceptable and socially encouraged to learn Spanish but,  more worryingly, it is slowly becoming an unwritten requirement.  Learning Spanish as a choice is a wonderful thing, as is learning any new language, the concern I raise here however is that choice is slowly being taken away, whether you realize it or not.

The United States of America was founded by people from many cultures and countries but as a developing western nation English was chosen as its main language. So it has been ever since. Surely until such time as the population ethnicity swings largely away from English speaking peoples, should it not it remain that way? Is that a racist comment? Of course not. Its a fact.  If more than 85% of a country’s population speaks one language, that language should be considered the national standard.

I have only lived in the USA for a decade and clearly English as a language is a benefit to me personally. However, I am irked by the political cow-towing that is taking place to hispanic minorities.  It is becoming more than an appeasement and more in line with an agenda.

In a fundamental way, this all seems an insult to America’s true heritage! A smack in the face to the founding fathers and all the struggles that have brought America and its people to this point in time.

We hear “America is a melting pot” all the time, but any first generation or second generation family or individual from western Europe or the old Eastern Block will tell you that once they made it here, they kept their family customs and traditions for themselves, for their families, something to be shared and treasured with each other in the privacy and comfort of their own homes, places of worship, and community gatherings. Outside of these however, they made the effort to become part of American culture, to blend in, to work hard, to learn and speak the language of the country that welcomed them with open arms, to pay their taxes, and even try for a piece of the American dream.

I mean no disrespect to the hispanic community but questions I would ask are:

Q. Why is this not good enough for you?
Q. Why should America feel obliged to adopt your language as part of its culture?
Q. What have you done to deserve this right?
Q. What makes Spanish speaking peoples better than all those that have come before you?
Q. What makes you believe that your rights should be pre-eminent over theirs?

England has a huge population of Indians and Pakistanis. The single largest concentration of Indians and Pakistanis outside of their own countries. Does the England Government get behind making Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Punjabi, Sanskrit or Bengali its second language? Do the English peoples even think they should have a second language? The answer to both of these questions is a resounding NO! If you emigrate to England you are free to wear whatever you want to wear, free to speak freely and free to follow whatever religion or doctrine you want to follow but you cannot and will not change the national language because it simply would not be permitted!

So what went wrong over here? Sadly I do not have the answers and I am not sure who does. Like a rolling stone, some things are very hard to stop once they gain momentum. For myself, I will never learn another language under societal pressure. If I choose to learn Spanish (or any other language) it will be because I want to.

So why did I call this rant “Press 1 for English..”? Well if you haven’t figured it out for yourself it is a sideswipe at the ever growing (and increasingly irritating) automated voicemail response evident on phone answering systems of corporations all across America. Push 1 for English? You have got to be joking? If it says anything it should be “Push 1 for Spanish”! There should be no pushing ANYTHING for English! It should BE in English! With only 13% of the population being hispanic, there should be no question that English is an option!

America is not California. Sorry California but you made a mistake a long time ago. Perhaps you should have given more thought to taking that land from Mexico in the first place? I can certainly see why Mexico might want it back. However, just because 33%+ of your population speaks Spanish should in no way represent the other 49 states.

If you are not a social butterfly or a political sheep, I want to hear from you and get your’s and others’ comments and thoughts.


11 Responses to “Press 1 for English..”

  1. Lana B. says:

    Thank you. I agree with you completely. I’m just afraid that if we crack down on the hispanic people, it will make it more difficult for the Limeys to come to our country! This is true!

    I have been reading in U.K. papers that the same is happening across the pond. It disturbs me that “Mahamad” is the #2 boys name in Great Britan. What can we do?

  2. nitecloak says:

    I don’t know to be perfectly honest. I think it will take a true statesman (or woman) to bring together and lead a bipartisan government (here and across the pond) that has the strength, courage and wisdom to put its country, and more importantly the country’s majority people, at the center of its focus on all things.

    Sadly this is the opposite of what we see today. We see politicians and political parties led by insipid puppet leaders, who bend and weave back and forth like a water reed in the breeze, their decision-making diffident as they endeavor, always, to tow an unachievable middle-line.

    Unfortunately the middle-line zig zags back and forth as it gets pulled this way and that by the most vocal minorities of the moment. One minute its blacks, then its the gun lobbyists, and right now its the hispanics. I think what concerns me the most about the current situation is that I am reading a great deal about how the hispanicification of the US is actually becoming a well concerted, well organized agenda.

    What is it going to take? Its going to take leaders with strength and conviction to look beyond the myriad politically-correct surface issues and hear beneath the loudest voices clammering for most of the attention and instead get in touch with the river of feeling and sentiment that is starting to rise in this country and the UK and, with the right backing, actually do something about it. Lastly.. having the balls to stick with it.

    I cannot speak for the American people, nor would I presume to be so arrogant as to do so. Speaking as a Brit, the British people have a tendency to fight back like a cornered rat when a certain point is reached. Hitler and his Third Reich for example did not expect Great Britain to put up such a vehement fight when we were all that stood between it and the Atlantic (read America).

    Many Americans tell me “We won the war”. meaning America, and “You couldn’t have beaten Germany without our help”. While the latter is true, many Americans seem to conveniently forget that we were fighting that war for 3 years before America decided to step in and help. Being an island, our resources were much depleted by then, but not our spirit. Which brings me back to the point I was trying to make, which is that there comes a point where the common people, the silent majority, finally say “We’ve had enough” and they turn. Beware that monster. For once it rears its head there will be hell to pay. I believe deep down that the American silent majority has yet to rear its head, but it is beginning to feel pushed in to that corner, like a rat, of which I spoke.

  3. Bill says:

    Just stumbled across your blog and it makes for enjoyable reading.

    The PC atmosphere in the U.S. can make it very difficult to discuss these subjects. Unless you’re in a small group where everyone is extremely comfortable with each other, someone will quickly change the subject to preclude the possibility, however remote, of the dialogue turning racist.

    I can see why recent immigrants need access to certain services, like medical and legal, in their own language. But shopping at a store should never be one of them. If your went to buy a hammer, it’s not very likely you’ll get confused by the language and come home with a screw driver!

  4. Laura says:

    Of course a country wouldn’t advertise with so many Asian languages. There’s too many dialects! Spanish is one language that is pretty simple to understand (it’s actually easier to learn than English), and we have A LOT of Spanish people. The Indians only make up 1.8% of the population in the U.K. and for Pakistanis it’s 1.3%. Spanish people make 14.5%, more than any other minority. The second are blacks and they already speak English, and the rest don’t rebel because they’re so small. We have so many Spanish people it’s become a government problem. Besides, I dunno if you’ve noticed, being a newcomer and all, but we’ve had influence on this land way back. The Spanish language has been spoken in North America since the 16th century. St. Augustine (founded by the Spanish) is the oldest city in the U.S. Many of our states have Spanish names: Colorado, Florida, California, Montana, and Nevada; while Texas and New Mexico have heavy Spanish roots.

    The big thing before this was to learn French so one could be more “sophisticated,” now it’s Spanish. So calm down.

    Anyway, we came first (after the Indians). The English came later. But that’s not why you should speak Spanish, in fact, I never heard anyone say you should. Aren’t signs still in English? Also, I’d like to inform, since you are new and all, that the U.S. doesn’t even have an official language. But it’s not like you’ll wake up one day and everything will be in Spanish.

    And lastly, our roots aren’t as clear as you’d like to think. Yes, the founding fathers spoke English, but what about the rest of the people? What about the Native Americans, the Africans, and the Irish. Can you say St. Patrick’s Day? Can you say rhythm & blues? Can you say pizza? Chinese Take-Out? Greek architecure? We borrowed everything; we’re only original in the sense that we are a mesh of all these wonderful things.

    Oh and please stop making comparisons with England. Besides the language, I’d say we’ve lost that cultural connection. We don’t even sound the same and we don’t even spell some words the same. Did you know early Americans hated tea? Anyway, we don’t share slang, most traditions, or sometimes even views (apparently, most of you think we’re too conservative). We’re not big fans of crackers or Christmas pudding. We don’t share most holidays (except the obvious basics like Christmas). Our Top 40 is different from yours; movies that find success in your cinemas don’t always excel in our theaters.

  5. nitecloak says:

    Quote: “The second are blacks and they already speak English, and the rest don’t rebel because they’re so small. ”

    Way to alienate all other ethnicities. The term “blacks” covers a huge diversity of people from African to Bermudan, to Jamaican etc. Many have their own languages. Excluding, for a moment, those that have some heritage here and looking at those that have immigrated in the last 50 years, they choose to speak English when they come to America because it is the majority. Same goes for all the other nationalities you consider “so small” be they from the Middle East (e.g. Caldeans), Far East (Philipino, Chinese, Japanese) or Europeans.

    The point of my “Press 1 for English” rant is that you don’t see any of these peoples lobbying for the country that has taken them under its wing to force bi-lingualism simply because 13 – 14% of the population speak that language. I’m sorry, but 13% simply doesn’t justify a fundamental shift towards bi-lingualism that will effect 77% of the population who have no need to speak it or learn it. The issue here is “choice”. Its one thing to choose to speak or read or write in another language but its a whole other thing to have it rammed down our throats. This is what is happening today with the hispanification of the U.S. and there is no slowing down of it. Spanish speaking peoples are looking for parity on a level that is not in keeping with their numbers.

  6. alfonso velazquez says:

    Tómalo con tranquilidad, hijo. Antes que nada, el español llegó muchos años antes que el inglés a Norteamérica. Y vete preparándote para el futuro. Tus nietos hablarán español!

  7. nitecloak says:

    I think not. I will be moving back to the UK before that happens! 🙂 Still, I value your views thanks for posting.

  8. Monolith says:

    I’m with you Nite… And not just because we’ve been friends for so long! 😉

    The extent of my usual Spanish repertoire is usually, “No hablo espanol!”

  9. JCS says:

    I am a small business owner. Our Company employs 23 people, 8 of which are full-time, 2 of which are hispanic residents of this country. The remaining are seasonal workers who come to our country for 8 months out of the year from Mexico on the H2B Program. We have had the same 15 men come for the past 4 years in a row.
    Never once has any of them suggested that we learn to speak spanish. We have a unique level of communication, lots of gestures, lots of Spanglish and lots of laughing!
    Of course, being responsible for their safety, we do have a translated version of our H & S Manual, and of Company regulations – and the plethora of Government/ Osha required posters and forms. My point however, is this, some bored Washingtonian in Washington got a bug up their ass – and now they’ve got a ’cause’. 90% of the spanish speaking population is quite happy that they can have a ‘private conversation’, and have their own society within our society. Maybe we should listen to the majority, instead of the Washintonians!

    Oh, and by the way, I am also English, lived here for 20 years, and while I have chosen to move here, and bowed to the language of the country by using such words as ‘garbage, hood, fender and trash can’ while listening to the bastardization of the English language, as in ‘Tomato, vitamins, yogurt and Worcestershire sauce’, I have never once said to an American that they should speak in my language.

    And to alfonso – Mientras yo esperaría que mis nietos digan otras lenguas, yo esperaría que como una nación mundial, el español sólo fuera uno de ellos.

  10. Jan says:

    Bloody hell: you live in Michigan too! You’re not my next-door neighbour, are you?

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