I was sitting, reading a book on my eReader, yesterday over at Hunter’s Garage in Warriors Mark, waiting for new lights to be installed on the plow on my Ford pickup, so that the old truck could get its Pennsylvania inspection sticker, and my eye fell on a large box sitting on the office floor, which was labeled “horno de microonda”* and “sobre la gama.”** It also had a manufacturer’s name, but the identity of its contents was indicated to Americans in Central Pennsylvania entirely in Spanish.
* “horno de microonda” = microwave oven — ** “sobre la gama” = over the range
These days, you can’t purchase pretty much any product or appliance which doesn’t come with labeling and directions provided in Spanish and French with English looking like an afterthought alternative.
When I used the ATM machine in the local supermarket in Purcellville, Virginia, I used to find it mildly irritating that I had to specifically choose English as the language the transaction was going to be conducted in, ruling out choices like Vietnamese and Russian.
I don’t think that it is necessarily a bad thing that George Babbitt is making an effort to accommodate the needs of immigrants and visiting foreigners in American commerce, but I do think that the convenience and natural expectation of native-born citizens that our own national language would represent the default position ought to be respected.
There has been a good deal of discussion the last couple of days about language and legitimate expectation in connection with the Superbowl ad aired by Coca Cola, in which “America the Beautiful” was sung in nine different languages (Spanish, Mandarin, Tagalog, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Senegalese-French, Keres (a spectacularly obscure Amerindian language spoken in some of the Pueblos of New Mexico)… and English, which additionally featured (take that, reactionaries!) an interracial homosexual couple complete with adopted child.
Sanctimonious libs loved the ad for its alleged celebration of “diversity.” But their definition of diversity obviously excludes all normal, native-born Americans of European descent (except for about 4 seconds of a token cowboy). The America they find beautiful is the future brown-skinned majority, sexually-perverse, hijab-wearing, Third World-descended America which they are constantly predicting will shortly be replacing that objectionable earlier white, male-dominated, cis-gendered, European-descended oppressive America.
Coke’s America the Beautiful presented a 30-second vision of the American left’s multicuturalist wet dream fantasy, a brave new America composed of newly-arrived immigrants and minorities, dancing in our streets and eating our lunch, while taking self-congratulatory bows for replacing every last iota of pre-1960s American identity with their own, except –of course– for the 4-second-present cowboy at the beginning, who may really be just riding off into the sunset.
How could anyone possibly object? Aren’t we a nation of immigrants after all?
I’d say that the reason some people object is that immigrants today are commonly not what they used to be. When my own grandparents came here, around the turn of the last century, they came to escape the tyranny of the Russian Tsar and were willing to settle for a deal offering them the opportunity to take the most dangerous and unattractive kind of employment, working in the Anthracite coal mines, in return for citizenship and a New World of freedom and opportunity for their posterity.
My grandparents built their own schools and churches, read their own newspapers in their own language, and lived quietly in their own neighborhood. Today’s immigrants commonly expect special linguistic accommodation, special recognition and privileges, a welfare state, and immediate promotion into the American ruling class.
My grandparents wanted only the opportunity to make a living, the prospect of a better life for their children, and to be left alone. The American left seems to think that today’s immigrants deserve to star in Super bowl commercials. They believe the rest of us have an obligation to accommodate, recognize, and celebrate everybody else’s languages and cultures, everybody’s except, of course, for our own, the language and culture of normal native-born Americans of European descent.
Hurrah for Tagalog-speaking Filippinos, for the Senegalese and the Keres-speakers from the Pueblo, three cheers for sodomy, and to hell with the Mayflower descendants, the offspring of the pioneers who cleared the Wilderness and won the West, and screw all the Catholic European ethnics who built the modern industrial America and won the great World Wars.