Thursday, May 11, 2006

You Should Hear My Mom

She became an American citizen on March 9, 1959 and counts that as the greatest day in her life. On this subject she can be quite vocal. Become a citizen, speak English as your primary language and learn to adapt to the laws of this country. When we visited a base store and groups of people weren't speaking English, she used to walk up and say "this is America and a military base, speak English". This from a woman who didn't learn to speak English until she was at least 25. You should hear her when we get our voter cards and there are instructions in 6 languages. If you can't understand the issues you shouldn't be voting. She feels if you live here you should learn to get along, not force the country to accomodate your former languages (at our expense) and mores.
Dissonant Voices Inside the Border: "In the camp to severely restrict immigration, there are many like Yeh. Last week, as thousands of mostly Hispanic protesters boycotted work and economic activity, a smaller number staged a news conference in Washington to deride their fellow immigrants under the newly named group 'You Don't Speak for Me.' And on Internet message boards, Asian computer programmers are speaking out against the temporary visas that made their very passage to the United States possible.

Analysts note that previous waves of immigrants have wanted to limit newer arrivals, often to avoid competition for jobs and housing. More than a century ago, Northern and Western Europeans, such as the Irish and Germans, decried the admission of Southern and Eastern Europeans. With the passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, those later groups had tense relations with Asian and Latino newcomers. Now in a more heterogeneous United States, divisions don't necessarily break down by region of origin but by class and legal status, according to Louis DeSipio, a University of California at Irvine professor who has studied Latino movements.

'There is some thinking that the older immigrants went through some very difficult standards, and new, unauthorized immigrants are not doing that,' DeSipio said. 'The newest immigrants tend to live and work around those who have immigrated in the recent past. They see the effects of immigration on neighborhoods and workplaces more than the average American.'"
She feels it is a privilege to live here (until recently) and since this is the country that you moved to, ADAPT and kwityerbitchin.

I feel somewhat the same way. I find that over the last few weeks I have been in public places and unable to understand the conversations around me, from several different languages. Like most Americans I don't like feeling left out in my own country. When I lived in Germany, the Germans would make you ask what you needed in German and then answer in English. It was their country and you would respect it. Of course, that was 1976-77.

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