Great summative quote in this on point article in The Hill written by University of Texas at Austin Professor
A monolingual (English-only) multiculturalism is limited, not to mention paradoxical. One big step towards an inclusive vision of multiculturalism in the U.S. would be to fully embrace its multilingual diversity. To move beyond rhetoric and towards respect and recognition.
I like that she calls out Tom Brokaw who disrespects all Spanish-speaking Americans (hear his comments here) and Barbara Ehrenreich for disrespecting one of my Netflix sheros, Marie Kondo. Here's another place where Ethnic Studies could have prepared Tom Brokaw and Ehrenreich, providing them with a deeper understanding not only of diversity, but also how racial, cultural, and linguistic purity are myths—and as a consequence, harmful.
BY MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 03/19/19 09:30 AM
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL
Another day, another “speak English” demand. This time it was in El Paso, Texas, a border city that finds itself at the center of the current debates over national security and the border wall. In the viral video made of the episode, we see a man admonish a woman for speaking Spanish and demand that she “speak English.”
Unlike other viral “speak English” videos, where bystanders both record and speak up in support of the person speaking Spanish, in the El Paso instance, it is the woman herself who records the encounter and her refusal of the man’s demands to “speak English.” According to news reports, the woman is bilingual and the man is white.
What really underlies the demand to “speak English” however seems to have very little to do with whether bilingual immigrants of color can actually speak English. In fact in the El Paso video, the woman who is being berated for speaking Spanish eventually switches to English to address her harasser. Rather, the demand is really about the fact that a non-English language is being spoken in our public spaces.
Does the fact that our public spaces — streets, restaurants, universities and communities — bear testimony to a non-white, bilingual, immigrant culture trigger a racialized anxiety for many white Americans? The evidence suggests so.