Letters to the Editor

Person’s language is important part of their culture

If what I see on the Internet and media is true, there is a movement afoot to make English the official language of the United States. Its proponents are pushing it in the name of patriotism, but I wonder if it might simply be Anglo-Saxon arrogance.

A person’s language is as important a part of his culture as his traditions, his beliefs and his food. Too many families of former immigrants have become so assimilated that they have lost their culture — and our country is poorer for it.

To enter one neighborhood after another, breathing the aroma of curry or mole or the sauces of a hundred cuisines and hearing the music of as many languages is the diversity I recognize as America.

At the onset of the last century, Native American children were herded into boarding schools that brutally tried to remove their language, their religion and all other remnants of their culture, but the experiment failed. You cannot take away a person’s identity.

Do I think all immigrants should learn English? Definitely, as I believe I should be expected to learn the language of any country I choose to live in — but I wouldn’t want it shoved down my throat.

Tom Bauer, Morro Bay

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