Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Interview from the Archive: U.S. English's Mauro Mujica explains why English should be America's official language

Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 10, 2017.

Story by Joseph Ford Cotto

"The effort to keep our citizenship divided against itself by the use of the hyphen and along the lines of national origin is certain to breed a spirit of bitterness and prejudice and dislike between great bodies of our citizens," Teddy Roosevelt said as World War I raged.

He explained that this sentiment "means down at the bottom an effort against the interest of straight-out American citizenship, an effort to bring into our nation the bitter Old World rivalries and jealousies and hatreds."

That last sentence describes much of 'American' culture today -- disloyal, disruptive, and disgusting.

The fractiousness Roosevelt mentioned has grown so intense that born-and-bred Americans now identify with their ancestors' lands more than the nation in which they were birthed. Since the United States indulged multicultural decadence and shunned its Anglocentric origins, discord has broken out with increasing frequency.

"We must have in this country but one flag, and for the speech of the people but one language, the English language," Roosevelt declared.

He said afterward: "This is a nation ---- not a polyglot boarding house."

It was once.

U.S. English strives to build bridges strong enough to transcend the canyons forged by multicultural ideology. As its name implies, the organization's method of achieving this is via promotion of the English language in American public life.

U.S.ENGLISH, Inc. is the nation’s oldest, largest citizens’ action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States," its website declares. "Founded in 1983 by the late Senator S.I. Hayakawa, an immigrant himself, U.S. English now has over 2 million members nationwide.

"Mauro E. Mujica, an architect and international businessman as well as an immigrant from Chile, has been the Chairman/CEO of U.S.ENGLISH Inc. since 1993 and prior to that, served on the Board of Directors beginning in 1992. Because of his commitment to keeping this nation unified through a common language and his own experience as an immigrant, Mr. Mujica has succeeded in making U.S.ENGLISH Inc. one of the fastest-growing interest groups in the country.
"U.S.ENGLISH believes that the passage of English as the official language will help to expand opportunities for immigrants to learn and speak English, the single greatest empowering tool that immigrants must have to succeed."
I recently spoke with Mujica about the role of English in American society. Our conversation is included below.
Joseph Ford Cotto: Adopting English as our official language is a concept with which most of us are familiar. Given Donald Trump's victory, should now be recognized as an especially opportune time?

Mauro E. Mujica: You are correct!  Many of our members have asked us to take advantage of this opportunity.  The mood of the country has changed.

Cotto: Considering the deep political divisions of today, how might the federal government go about instituting English as our official language?

Mujica: It would have to be passed with mostly republican and conservative votes.  I am sure the President would sign the law.

Cotto: Some believe that America should not have an official language of any kind. They say that such a thing is, essentially, prejudicial against marginalized communities. Do you have an opinion on this view?

Mujica: This is ridiculous!  Learning English, quickly, would only help the new immigrants get better paying jobs and it would give them the ability to move to any region of the USA where there are jobs.  Now they are confined to "linguistics ghettos", where they can exist without having to learn the language of the country.  We all know that English is NOT optional in this country.  It is essential.

Cotto: If English is not instituted as America's official language, what do you predict will ultimately happen?

Mujica: The country might split up along linguistic lines.  Like Belgium.

Cotto: Multiculturalism is spreading across the Western world at rapid speed. That has not only built tribal barriers, but spurred religious and ethnic conflicts. Would adopting English as America's official language help alleviate all of this?

Mujica: Many countries are very sorry that they adopted multiculturalism.  Specially in Europe.

Cotto: In terms of dollars and cents, at what cost does not having English as our official language come?

Mujica: The cost is mostly the lack of good jobs and earnings for the new immigrants.  This would slow down their assimilation.

Cotto: More than anything else, what drives opposition to instituting English as our country's formal language?

Mujica: Political correctness and ignorance.  Many in the opposition are profiting from cheap, ignorant, labor.

Cotto: Despite the federal government's numerous attempts to stimulate the economy, America remains in fiscal discord. Do you believe that our lack of a national official language is somewhat to blame for this?

Mujica: No, I think that the politicians in Washington are responsible for that.  Hopefully, things will change now.

Cotto: Is adopting English as our official language an idea that can gain traction from both ends of the political spectrum?

Mujica: Most of the Democrats are against it.  The Unions that control them are also against.

Cotto: Half a century ago, making English the federal-level official language probably would not have caused much controversy. Today, a very different story unfolds. Why have the times changed to such a radical extent?

Mujica: Our entire country is in decline. Sometimes I think that people are going crazy these days.  Most of the "old good values" are gone!

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