“Speaking American” in the States



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Recently quoted during a conversation with Jeb Bush after he answered a question in comfortable Spanish, Sarah Palin uttered the words, “Here in the United States, we need to speak American.” The phrase “Speak American” has been well overused and taken out of context on occasion. In the U.S. we are well-known for being an immigrant nation. The majority of immigrants who come to this country plan to create and maintain a better life than they may have experienced in their native country.

“The problem with this kind of rhetoric is that it corresponds to no crisis. There hasn’t been any documented tendency for native-born Americans to be uncomfortable in English. Those born here to non-English speaking parents speak their parents’ language not as well, and just as often do not pass it on to their own children.” – John McWhorter


The fact that we call ourselves “the greatest nation in the world” is contradictory in the sense that for unknown reasons,  some Americans don’t feel obligated to accept immigrants who do not speak fluent English. How could we be ‘the greatest’ if a fraction of our residents,  are not socially or professionally accepted solely because they speak little to none of our language? I believe that if we want to be a great, united nation that we must revel in the fact that those foreign to America expect us to be great. This requires us natives accepting them regardless of what tongue they speak in.