Monday, September 7, 2015
“Immigrants should speak American!” says She Who Must Not be Named,
the Alaskan Ice Queen of Tea Party fame.
While I comprehend the words, her meaning remains unclear,
for what exactly does she long to hear?
America is a land of languages, hundreds in fact,
from Spanish and Portuguese and even Nahuatl.
There’s French and there’s Dutch and a dash of Aymara
and let’s not forget the 10-million who speak Quechua.
There are the Mayan languages and the Creoles, Garifuna and Miskito,
from the Yukon, Peru and even from Quito.
One might say that within her ignorant prate,
‘America’ only referred to the States.
Then is English her linguistic glue?
Or perhaps she was referring to the Sioux?
For the words of our natives reverberate in both present and history,
from the Navajo, the Apache to the tongue of Ojibwe.
Or maybe in Alaska she’d like to stick
and only speak the language of the noble Yupik?
But wait, we cannot just fasten our gaze on the States.
We are A Part, not apart.
We are “of” America, with no “All” preceding.
We are cocoa farmers weeding.
We are children playing soccer in the dirt.
We are families and friends seeking fulfillment in concert.
With individual tongues rich and sweet,
yet it is happiness which we ALL seek.
So in response to your words I must exclaim,
oh She Who Must Not be Named,
the Alaskan Ice Queen of Tea Party Fame.
Immigrants SHOULD speak American.
Every language, every phrase, every syllable in every way we can imagine.
“I will!” “I can!” “I believe!” “I dream!” with passion!
In different voices and dialects, more than you can conceive
And one idea gleaned from this human tapestry we weave.
Because from the magma below to the stars above,
there will NEVER exist enough words for love.