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America and the English Language

America and the English Language To what degree do the words you use define the person you are? This is a central question in the hotly debated issue of making English the official language of the United States. If English did become the official language, the rights of people who do not speak English would be violated and the nation would be further segregated. Just as schools were segregated in our past, this again would show that segregation equals discrimination. People must understand that every citizen deserves the right to celebrate their diversity. The government need not interfere with the words that come out of people's mouths. In a country torn by prejudice and segregation, the official language should serve as a reminder that America is as diverse population where differences are embraced, not ignored. According to Dickstein, a bilingual citizen of Quebec, this scenario is only too familiar. As a Canadian citizen, he experienced the hardships of living in a country torn by a war of language. Quebec is a largely French speaking population that wishes to break away from it's mother land Canada, mainly because of the language barriers. He feels that the U.S is now facing the beginnings of language problems similar to the ones Canada experienced. One example of such problems is the proposal of the English Language Empowerment Act of 1996. This act suggested that all governmental official business be available only on English. The biggest threat of this act comes into play when voting. If the English Language Empowerment Act was passed, ballots would only be distributed in English. Providing citizens with documents and ballots in their chosen tongue allows them to play a vital role in deciding their government. Every citizen deserves to have their vote count. By not providing alternative ballots, the voice of democracy is being disregarded. It is necessary to increase the non-English speakers turn out for voting, not diminis...

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