Letters to the Editor
Denver Rocky Mountain News
P.O. Box 719
Denver, CO 80201
On September 26, you reported that Los Angeles County is printing ballots in six foreign languages to comply with federal voting laws. In the same story you state that the City and County of Denver has only been able to recruit 60 of the 200 bilingual poll workers they will need for this November's elections.
I cannot think of a more fundamental necessity for social assimilation and economic success in a society than becoming fluent in the indigenous language. This is America. The indigenous language is English. And yet, for decades, we have told immigrants they do not have to learn English.
Do you ever wonder why we have so many immigrants of the kind we do not want? First, we offer them an endless smorgasbord of economic, educational, and medical goodies at taxpayer expense, and they form an endless line for these goodies. Then we educate them not in English, but in their native tongue. Then we give them ballots in their native tongue.
If people want to speak their native language in their private affairs, this is fine by me. If companies choose to do business in languages other than English, this is their prerogative. However, it is absurd to tell people they can assimilate and prosper without learning English.
When I was in the insurance business, I had clients from many countries. While some said they did not speak good English, they nevertheless spoke English very competently. Over time their English (and their economic standing) improved. I am more than happy to have these people living in America.
In order to vote, you must be a citizen. In order to be a citizen, you must have lived here five years. If you have lived here five years and do not speak English, this is your problem, and you have no business forcing the taxpayers to subsidize your laziness.
Originally, America took a sink-or-swim approach toward immigrants. We did not print ballots or educate school children in foreign languages. Guess what: these immigrants swam. Today, immigrants who learn English prosper in just about every imaginable endeavor. If these immigrants are capable of learning English, all immigrants are capable of learning English. To suggest otherwise is, to be blunt, racist.
Douglas F. Newman
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Thanks! Doug Newman
Freely Speaking: Speeches and Essays by Doug Newman
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