Yesterday, once again I was listening to The Tom Leykis show, and another controversial topic came up. This time the topic was on immigration, illegal or not. More specifically, about whether or not immigrants want to, or are trying to learn English. It was based on a survey that came out of Utah, stating that 80% of immigrants haven’t learned English because of 4 factors: Not enough time (Tom says most work 60+ hours a week, 6 days a week), insufficient childcare (this wouldn’t be a problem if they stopped popping out kids), the language is too hard, or fear (I was thinking to myself, fear of what? But a caller straightened that out, saying that they fear that with their accents or improper grammar that they will be made fun of). Now the thing I find funny about all of Tom’s opinions, is he has one, and if you beg to differ he doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise. This was evident with his callers, many of which said that immigrants (prominently hispanics) aren’t motivated to learn English, or flat out refuse to learn it. Now Tom (whom I’m assuming is a Democrat) drowned out these callers with so called first hand stories about how generalization is ignorant, and asked questions like “how do you know?”, etc. Then the second caller who made it on the air said that she is hispanic, and she’s offended by the generalization, and he let her rattle on and on about how everyone she knows tries so hard etc., but he only let her talk because she supported his opinion (or he supported hers). Another caller tried to bring up the fact that in many areas of our country, signs are in other languages other than English (spanish, signs in Koreatown) and that this is a boundary for English speakers. Also that out of respect, the signs should carry subtext in English. This is a very good point to me, but more on that in a minute.
The ting that pisses me off here, is that people like Tom are enablers. He and others enable the signs to continue and spread, because its “free industry”. They enable immigrants to not learn the language (because of laziness or otherwise), because we continue to bend over backwards so they don’t have to. As for the four reasons they haven’t learned, ludicrous. There is NO excuse worthy of not learning a language when you live in the country of its origin. If you live in this country, learning the language should be your #1 priority. Working multiple jobs isn’t an excuse. Having too many kids has nothing to do with it (I find it particularly funny Tom is supporting these people when he calls young guys idiots for getting married/having children on a constant basis), and the language is not hard if you put your mind to it. If they spent as much time studying the language as they do making babies, they would already be fluent. Once again, NO EXCUSE!
My ancestors, and many others, all took the same journey long ago. And in the past, it was REQUIRED to learn (if not already know) the language, abide by all applicable laws (get all immigration paperwork squared away), and sometimes even change your name BEFORE you were let into the country. I personally don’t care what language you speak at home. I don’t care if your friends speak your language with you. But if you live in America, speak America’s language: ENGLISH! If people could meet this simple requirement in the past, why can’t they now? Seems to me like laziness, even if Tom doesn’t want to admit it.
Another part of the topic was that they were speaking about immigrants in general, not just hispanics (though the conversation leaned heavily on them). But I have yet to meet an immigrant of any other decent who doesn’t speak English (even if it is broken). Only hispanics think the world owes them a favor. Only they get special treatment (look at the whole amnesty issue). And sure, maybe some of them do want to learn and do things the right way. Those are the only ones owed our respect. As Tom always: “Respect is earned, not given”.