Blog entry: More Bilingual Blather

By Athena Kerry
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 18, Number 3 (Spring 2008)
Issue theme: "A VDARE Reader"

This is a blog entry from April 23, 2007.

Bilingualism in the U.S. “not only ensures that immigrants participate more fully in society and integrate more quickly, it also makes the nation and its democracy stronger.” At least that’s according to New York University law professor Cristina Rodriguez in the recent article published in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Rodriguez goes on to say:

“There is a beneficial trade-off for society…when the focus does not fall exclusively on having immigrants learn English, but also on having them retain their native language.” “Indeed,” she writes, “bilingual capacity helps companies access foreign markets, and those with language skills are in demand.” Meanwhile, when public services are available in other languages, non-English-speakers can develop more confidence in the government. That can help promote “democratic habits” among immigrants, she says.

Rodriguez recommends we face “the differences in the population directly, rather than [trying] to suppress them with rules that posit a uniformity that does not exist.”

Rodriguez admits that the rise in demand for bilinguals is actually the result of huge numbers of immigrants. But, needless to say, she does not mention the problem VDARE.COM keeps stressing: institutional bilingualism in effect skews hiring toward the linguistic minority, which as a practical matter is more likely to acquire the majority’s language, thus materially disadvantaging English-only native-born Americans.

And there’s this: By encouraging immigrants to be bilingual, we would be requiring Americans and American government to be quadra- deca-, even ventalingual. And who, Ms. Rodriguez, is willing to pay for the price of that? ■

About the author

Athena Kerry recently graduated from a Catholic university somewhere in America.

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(Article copyrights extend to the first date the article was published in The Social Contract)