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#281066 11/15/06 12:36 PM
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I live in an area that has thousands of Spanish speaking people. As a result, this area has become, in essence, a bilingual area where both languages are spoken.

What do you think about the infilitration of Spanish into the American culture?

[color:"blue"]Para los hispanohablantes:

Vivo en un area que cuenta con miles de hispanohablantes. Por lo tanto, este area se ha convertido, en esencia, en un area biling�e donde se hablan ambos idiomas.

�Qu� opinas de la infiltraci�n del espa�ol en la cultura estadounidense? [/color]

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#281067 11/22/06 09:01 PM
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I don't know if I would deem it as infiltration or a final reluctant acceptance of what has been there since before the "American Culture" was conceived. I think one of the nicest things I have gotten from studying Hispanic Culture from Pre-Colonial times is to realize how far reaching the impact of the First Nations people like Mayan, Azteca, Inca and the many other Native nations that are huge contributors to the Hispanic population that exists today as well as on a global scale. I just think that acceptance as well as the familiarity are more the case. Besides, Hispanics are becoming more mainstream, educated and involved actively in the political and community process which I am sure helped introduce other cultures to ours. Opinions?


Rebecca Cuevas
Hispanic Culture
#281068 11/25/06 02:15 AM
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It's good to see you here, Rebecca. I was beginning to think I was all alone here...lol.

I agree that Hispanics are becoming more "mainstream" in America. I have certainly seen the change over the past two decades or so. The resentment that some Americans have toward this is the fact that the Spanish language has become such a dominant language in the United States. America has always been a melting pot of cultures from all over the world; however, the reason that we form one nation is because we share a common language. We are not seeing that desire to learn English in many Spanish-speaking communities across the country.

The late Senator S.I. Hayakawa, also an immigrant himself said, "Bilingualism for the individual is fine, but not for a country."

Another great quote comes from U.S. Representative John Porter, "In order to have economic and social mobility in this country, we know that we must speak and write the central language. To the extent that we encourage people who enter our society not to learn American English, we consign them basically to a life without that opportunity."

I will tell you that I am a bilingual police officer in Florida. On an almost daily basis, I meet people who have lived in this country for many years, even decades, without ever making an effort to learn the language. They usually tell me that the Spanish-speaking communities are so large that there is no need to learn English. These same people call for government services "demanding" spanish-speaking people to assist them whereever they go. Today is a good example of this; In the first six hours of today's shift, I spoke Spanish for three of them. This is not unusual either. Sometimes I speak Spanish more than English and then I usually drive past a post office to see what flag is flying (joking on the flag part, not the Spanish part).

I am curious to see what the opinions of our forum members are concerning this topic.

#281069 11/25/06 09:13 PM
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I've always seen the U.S. more as a salad bowl or a good solid stew--individual flavors blend well, but are not completly assimilated into the whole (Glazer and Moyihan and Stout wrote on this sometime back).

The US is one of the few countries in the world that doesn't encourage bilingualism from very earliest stages of school. The world is a small place and we can't afford insular policies/practices.

#281070 11/26/06 01:30 AM
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Quote:
I've always seen the U.S. more as a salad bowl or a good solid stew--individual flavors blend well, but are not completly assimilated into the whole (Glazer and Moyihan and Stout wrote on this sometime back).

The US is one of the few countries in the world that doesn't encourage bilingualism from very earliest stages of school. The world is a small place and we can't afford insular policies/practices.


Actually, it is encouraged here in Florida. There are pilot programs in select elementary schools where students are taught in both languages (all students, not ESOL). There is nothing wrong with bilingual, or trilingual, provided that one of the languages is shared by all.

This is not the case with Spanish in the United States. In Texas, Spanish has become part of the standard curriculum in the Police Academy. Two lawsuits are going to the federal courts against police departments that did not train their officers in basic Spanish. In Tennessee, one agency received an $80,000 federal grant to send officers to Mexico for five weeks for Spanish training.

Over 300 languages are spoken in the United States, what other language gets so much special attention?

What if everyone only chose to speak their native tongue and we did not share a common language? Sounds like a modern day Tower of Babel.

Another example would be if I had written this in Spanish, I am sure that we would not be even having a discussion. You cannot share experiences and opinions without sharing a language.

#281071 11/26/06 12:15 PM
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Pilot programs are nice (for instance, my son's charter school teachers Japanese, Spanish and French to all children), but until we have multi-lingual programs in all schools these efforts don't count.

Many countnries select languages to teach based on either (1)the predominant languages in their country; or (2) the predominant languages of international trade. Either approach is good.

I don't believe in "English Only"--never have, never will.

#281072 11/26/06 03:31 PM
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As the debate gets deeper and deeper I find myself sort of in the middle depending on how I feel.

Today I do see it as an infiltration. A mobbing if you will, a forced, pushed acceptance on American society....as per cited above. Police departments being taken to court because they do not have Spanish curriculum. The Spanish language, and the Spanish culture is being shoved down the throats of American whether we want it or not.

As black man it sort of leaves me on the fence. I understand being forced to accept population notion or what society believed was right/wrong based on mood. But as an American I don't like it.

As a solider who wears the uniform of this Country's protector I don't like it. It turned my stomach to see protests holders waving the MEXICAN, QUATIMALIN, (etc) flag telling me they DEMAD to have A or B.

You DEMAND IT??? On what grounds??

I speak Japanese. My children are bilingual. I lived in Japan for more than 6 years....and when I went it was understood that if I wanted to participate in the Japanese culture, I'd better learn Japanese.

Not so in this country

....more to do with economics than cultures. And explosion of children from the homes of immigrants by parents who couldn't

1. Afford to live in their own countries
2. Can't afford to have children in this, their host countries.

I think it started by business. Here was this group in American society that had money, and business wanted to tap into that untapped Market. So.......well.....I'll just put this label here in Spanish and WALLA!

America is not now, nor has it ever been a "Melting Pot" ON its surface....it may look like but everything in this country is dictated by 80% of the population that makes up one race.

I just don't know.........like I said it all depends on how I'm feeling and on what date.

Right now I feel if you are here, and you are here illegally......you should be rounded up and hauled back to where you came. But America does not have the political will or BALLS to depart 11 million people.

My wife, Japanese, we had to spend a great deal of money on lawyers and spent a great deal of time to get her here......what makes anyone believe that can DEMAND anything from a country and they are not even supposed to be here.

PaRrIs
http://www.falloutzone.net/foz/portal.php


Don't make me take my mouth of Saftey
#281073 11/26/06 08:29 PM
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Part of the difference is, of course, that in Japan there IS a culture. There really isn't "a" culture in America--there are many.

Japanese children learn English in school. Why?
French children learn English in school. Why?
African children learn English in school. Why?

Street signs, etc. in other countries are in multiple languages. Why?

I can enter a police station or public tourism office in Rome or one in Alsace and will always find someone who can speak English.

Our borders are not closed--yet (you can see my views on this "fence" nonsense under current events). We must learn to operate within the reality in which we find ourselves.

#281074 11/26/06 11:34 PM
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On the topic of "being rounded up and hauled...", it's interesting that you're married to a Japanese woman, because one of the three mass racial travesties (the other two being against African and Native Americans) in this country was committed against Japanese Americans when they were "rounded up and hauled" during World War II. It might be good for you to speak to some of the families who suffered those indignities when trying to decide which "side of the fence" you're really on.

#281075 12/04/06 06:51 PM
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Hi all,
Here I am posting a little late, fashionably so, I hope. This is quite an interesting discussion thus far.

socorrista: I know you might feel frustrated with having to learn another language other than English but think of this. If you are going to go back in time then English is not the traditional language spoke in the Americas� nor was it the first language spoken here imported from Europe. I used to live in Miami a long time ago and so I am quite familiar with what you saying but with having taken the oath to serve and protect then you can surely see how you are providing a greater service by speaking the two dominant languages in your area. Currently I live in a country that is completely bilingual and it is amazing to see how well represented all parties are. The acceptance of other cultures is humbling once you come from a land you think is a melting pot and then find yourself right smack face to face with the real deal. It makes one feel quite ashamed to receive such an embrace of my language and accommodations when it isn't even a national language when in return they would not receive the same upon visiting our fair land. I commend you for working even though frustrated to serve those who depend on your dedication. If no one else bothered to thank you for the service allow me to say thank you.

Parris: I am not sure if you are aware of this or not but Mexican's have shed blood in every war that the United States has had from Gettysburg all the way through to present day. As far as a minority group, Hispanics have shed the same amount of blood as any other group that has come to these lands, conquistadores and all.

Civil War: From the first shots at Fort
Sumter, South Carolina, in 1861, to the last
action at Palmito Ranch, Texas, in 1865, Hispanics were involved in every aspect of the war and made notable contributions on behalf of their chosen sides.

Spain once laid claim to much of the land
that stretches from Florida to California. Its campaign
of exploration and conquest began with
Christopher Columbus and continued for three
centuries. As early as 1526 settlers from
Hispaniola arrived at what is present-day South
Carolina, and through the 1500s and 1600s the
Spanish pushed westward and northward, establishing
missions, trading posts, colonies, and presidios.
By the mid-19th century and the approach
of the Civil War, Spanish roots ran especially deep
in two diverse parts of America: in the Gulf states,
particularly Louisiana, and in the Southwest.

On the Seas
Some of the most dramatic fighting of the
Civil War occurred on the high seas where
Hispanics served with valor in the navies of both
sides.
Two Hispanic Union sailors earned Medals
of Honor for their actions in battle. Philip Bazaar
was a seaman on board U.S.S. Santiago de Cuba
in 1865. He was one of six men from the fleet to
enter the enemy works during the assault on Fort
Fisher, North Carolina. He carried dispatches during
the battle while under heavy fire from the
Confederates, and for these actions, Seaman
Bazaar was awarded the Medal of Honor. John
Ortega enlisted in Pennsylvania and served as a
seaman on U.S.S. Saratoga. Conspicuous gallantry
in two actions gained Ortega the Medal of Honor
and a promotion to acting master�s mate.
For his exploits during the Civil War, Adm.
David G. Farragut became one of the most famous
naval commanders in American history. Born to a
Spanish father and an American mother, Farragut
was raised in Tennessee and began his naval
career when only nine years old. He served in the
War of 1812 and the War with Mexico and was 60
when the Civil War broke out. He lived in Virginia
at the time but sided with the Union. Promoted to
rear admiral for success in an expedition that he
commanded to New Orleans, and later appointed
vice admiral, Farragut became famous for his capture
of Mobile Bay and his command, �Damn the
Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead!� In 1866, Farragut
was promoted to full admiral, a rank in the U.S.
Navy created especially for this national hero.

To read more about this and other great contributions made by Hispanics during the Civil war see this government link: http://crm.cr.nps.gov/archive/20-11/20-11-31.pdf

In fact Army Magazine did a feature which states that in every war fought in the Defense of the United States, there have been Hispanics involved thought the Civil war was the first war which had significant numbers involved, yet even during the Revolutionary war there were Hispanics fighting at the Alamo on either side. So are we demanding something we haven't fought for or is it that like other minorities in the United States our history is just being told, so the right we demand along with other groups are realized by earned right?

For your dedication and time in service to our country I also thank you. I find it completely amazing that so many fearless people such as yourself give years of your life in service to what you believe is such a great cause, the United States.

Islander: I am aware of what you are speaking to and I whole heartedly agree. If we do not factor in that we are dealing with human lives and families we are destined to repeat the same mistakes and shame again.

Lynn: Thank you for your insightful and thought provoking contributions. I am glad to have you in the conversation.

Becky


Rebecca Cuevas
Hispanic Culture
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