¶ … United States make English its Official Language?
The calls for English to be adopted as United States' official language have been prevalent since 1919 when President Theodore Roosevelt stated that the country has room for only one language i.e. The English language. The advocacy for English-only in the United States has been fueled by attempts to develop a unique American nationality. Actually, President Roosevelt advocated for English to be adopted as the official language of the United States because of the explicit and unqualified link between language and citizenship. However, since the beginning of this advocacy the issue on whether the United States should make English its official language has attracted various arguments and counter-arguments between supporters and opponents. The determination of a suitable position regarding the issue requires an evaluation of arguments by both sides.
Advocacy for English as America's Official Language
In contrast to popular belief, the United States does not have an official language, which has generated several arguments and counter-arguments for the country to consider establishing an official language (Brice par, 1). The lack of an official language has been characterized by advocacy for the need for an official language in America. The advocacy for English to be established as the country's official language can be traced back to 1919 when President Theodore Roosevelt declared that the link between language and citizenship was unqualified and explicit. President Roosevelt believed that if United States citizens did not speak English, they were not Americans (Miller par, 1). Generally, the call for English to become America's official language has a dark past and regressive vision for the future.
Throughout the years, federal lawmakers have suggested regulations to make English as America's official business language. However, the regulations have not materialized as they continue to die year after year. The seeming inability to enact such regulations can be attributed to the fact that the issue on whether the United States should make English its official language has attracted huge controversies throughout the years. The huge controversies have been characterized by the emergence of arguments and counter-arguments in support and opposition of the issue. As a result, the issue has become divisive mainly because language is viewed as an organic force that is relatively difficult to control (Miller par, 19).
The first reason for such a measure is the belief that there is an unqualified and explicit link between language and citizenship. This belief is not only based on President Roosevelt's declaration but also on his claims that if Americans did not speak English, they were not Americans (Miller par, 1). The belief has been used as a major factor in support of English to be United States' official language since it is the basis of advocacy for English-only in the United States. The use of this reason to support adoption of English as the official language is also based on the fact that political parties in the country have ratified the English language in the official platforms. The strength of this reason is the fact that language is a national identity that is to be preserved and safeguarded by the exclusion of others.
However, opponents have dismissed this argument on the premise that it overrides and ignores the considerations of other races and cultures. While they recognize that language is a national identity to be preserved and protected, they refute the adoption of the English language as the country's official language on the basis that it would overlook important considerations of other people. Even though it is important to recognize the considerations of others, the opponents' claims do not necessarily show how an English official language would interfere with the considerations of others. Therefore, this claim is weak since the adoption of English as America's official language would not interfere with the interests of others but contribute to a national identity that will be maintained and safeguarded. In essence, Americans distinctiveness is not a by-product of uniqueness but shared values. Therefore, the English language should be language that American citizens can rally around since it can create a common bond between Americans (Jackson par, 9). By focusing on the individual, the proponents forget that the group or country loses its identity of what it means to be an American. The country must speak one language…
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