Equality is Unity

English 101

July 9, 2003

America has been known as the land of the opportunity, a place where all people get liberty and justice. As a result many immigrants came to America to have a taste of the American dream, which created a country with diverse ethnic groups and different culture. However instead of getting along with fellow Americans, immigrants have created their comfort-zones such as little Italy, China Town, and Korean town. They have isolated themselves from society by creating a society on their own. In order to bring out people from their comfort-zone, to be part of America, is English. English is the key to unite the diverse ethnic groups to be one.

The common mistake from immigrants is that they believe learning English is a luxury, but in fact it is necessity. Immigrants, who came in earlier periods of history, could’ve easily found a job from farms, gold mines, and factories without knowing a single word of English. However for the newcomers, English is essential tool for them to get a job. Hayakawa, who was a U.S. senator from California, believes that English should be an official language for America. Some States are using program such as bilingual education, which is putting non-English speakers in a comfortable environment to be educated. However, what good is to get educated in another language when the society mainly uses English. “Making English our nation’s official language by law will send the proper signal to newcomers about the importance of learning English and provide the necessary guidance to legislators to preserve our traditional policy of a common language.” (Hayakawa pg393) Programs such as ESL (English Second Language) will guide immigrants to learn English efficiently, also they will have an opportunity share their struggles and efforts with other immigrants group, which will comfort and understand each other by communicating with common language. By making English an official language, society would be able to produce better environments and workers, which could even lead to an improvement in country.

One may argue that by making English an official language for America will create hostile environment for immigrants, and force 2nd generation of immigrants to loose their identity. Also there is nothing mentioned about the official language for America in constitution. King, who was a professor and dean from well-known universities, believes that a language difference does not threaten American Unity. Bilingual education and ballots will help to preserve immigrants to hold their tongue; it will also prevent them to feel discriminated. “In spite of all our racial divisions and economic unfairness, we have the frontier tradition, respect for the individual, and opportunity.” (King pg387) America is the land that was created by immigrants, and our wide types of ethnic groups make America beautiful, which is a uniqueness that differentiate us with other country.

King has pointed out that there are 99% of people who are literate of English in America, and he argued that it would be meaningless for English to be official. However, it would bring significant difference to society if English became official. Not only the percentage will go even up to 100%, but also it will bring harmony in people. Places like China town and Korean town use their native language for advertisement signs and even a street signs. As a result some residents felt as if as they are living in a foreign country, which might lead to a issue of racial violence. Many states passed the bill acquiring those signs to contain at English, but it is not as affective as federal law. America is insisting immigrant to learn English but in the other hand, America is also letting them to be dependent on their native language.

In conclusion America had many movements formed to bring equality for all. Programs such as bilingual education and multilingualism ballot are given to bring equal opportunity for all people. Ironically it is those programs that separate people into categories of group who speak English and group who don’t want to. Unless there is ballot, education system, and driving test in all type of language in the world, immigrants who don’t get the benefit from that program would feel discriminated. Civil right movements have obviously showed us that segregation