Multiculturalism the United States of Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Specifically, it focuses the attention of authorities on persons of a certain race and creed, in direct opposition to the constitution, which guarantees equal rights and opportunities for everybody. As such, the Act is a manifestation of the underlying racial attitudes still very prevalent in the United States today. Indeed, it once again uncovers what has become invisible in these attitudes: that Americans who believe themselves to be open-minded are willing to give up every basic American principle of equality for the sake of a scape-goat. So, under the Patriot Act, many law-abiding Arabian and Muslim Americans have been targeted, slandered and assumed to harbor terrorist intentions against their country. The Patriot Act, along with the newer Patriot Act II, has therefore been the target of much critical attention. However, the majority of Americans appear to see it as the answer to the problem of terrorism, regardless of its part in exacerbating the already dangerous levels of hysterical racism in the country. In this way the Act highlights already existing problems, instead of solving any incoming terrorism.

As seen above, racism, whether visible or less so, is a problem in American society. The proponents of English as the country's official language feel that the problem is one of communication, and that a single language would act as a unifying force for the country (Toonkel, 2006). These persons see the properties of language and communication as a single entity. This, I believe, is an understandable but fundamentally tragic mistake. Changing the language and words people use to communicate will change nothing. This is because language is not at the root of the cultural divide in the country. The problem is one of deep-seated communication and understanding.

Furthermore, Rowe (2006) suggests that legislation to this effect could be problematic for a variety of reasons. The most important reason is that certain languages, such as Chinese or Spanish, dominate in certain areas of the country. This is fundamental not only to culture, but also to business communication in those areas. Forcing a legislative change to English on business pamphlets and other documentation will prove not only problematic, but may also result in resistance and resentment, which will further divide rather than unify the country.

As mentioned above, the specific language used in the United States is not the same thing as communication. Communication is a much deeper issue. Understanding needs and communication needs to be promoted among the cultures, rather than forcing everybody to speak English. Making English the official language of the country will result only in further conflict and resentment. Rather, the funds and effort should be channelled into events and legislation that would encourage different cultures to learn from and truly communicate with each other, regardless of the language they use to do so.

Sources

American Civil Liberties Union (2003, Oct. 5). Stop the New Patriot Act. http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/17138res20030510.html

Cannon, Lou. (1999, Aug. 30). American Travesty: How justice failed the Rodney King cops. National Review. Online Database: FindArticles.com

Galernter, David. (1995, Oct. 9). The real story of Orenthal James - O.J. Simpson murder trial. National Review. Online Database: FindArticles.com

Linder, Douglas. (2000). The O.J. Simpson Verdict, 10 years later: the impact and the aftermath. The Jurist. http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/trials10.htm

O'Beirne, Kate (1996, July 1). Bread & circuses - English as the official language of the U.S. And bilingual education. National Review. Online Database: FindArticles.com

Rowe, J. (2006). English as Official Language? Associated Content. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/53095/english_as_the_offical_language.html

Toonkel, Rob. (2006). U.S. English, Inc., Towards a United America. http://www.us-english.org/inc/news/preleases/viewRelease.asp?ID=152

Zook, Kristal Brent. (2002). Rodney King. St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. Online Database: Online Database: FindArticles.com

Sources Used in Document:

Sources

American Civil Liberties Union (2003, Oct. 5). Stop the New Patriot Act. http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/17138res20030510.html

Cannon, Lou. (1999, Aug. 30). American Travesty: How justice failed the Rodney King cops. National Review. Online Database: FindArticles.com

Galernter, David. (1995, Oct. 9). The real story of Orenthal James - O.J. Simpson murder trial. National Review. Online Database: FindArticles.com

Linder, Douglas. (2000). The O.J. Simpson Verdict, 10 years later: the impact and the aftermath. The Jurist. http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/trials10.htm

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