Language is only as good as that for which it is used
If anything is truly lowering the “class” of the Roaring Fork Valley, it is people like Dave Weigand due to their lack thereof. His xenophobic views on the way immigration should be are appalling to us.
We ask Mr. Weigand this question: What is the purpose of the social institution that we call public education? Answer: to create well educated citizens. Everyone is at a different level in this education process; non-English speakers are simply a step behind. Where better to learn English than a place that is in the business of teaching? Is it really so horrible that students should learn something in school? We are still taking English classes, and we have spoken English for 17 years.
Who a person is is not a function of what language they speak, but rather a function of their character, values, and personality. We enjoy the diversity that immigrants bring to our valley immensely.
Mr. Weigand, unless you are fully Native-American, you, too, have foreign ancestors. Those ancestors surely went through a process of adapting to American culture just as immigrants still are. Why should these modern immigrants be persecuted for trying? They are simply taking advantage of an opportunity to live freely and fully – an opportunity that they might not get in their home country.
Another question: Why was America founded in the first place? Another answer: It was founded so that people of all races, nationalities, religious beliefs, and cultures (that includes language) could live without persecution.
Perhaps if Mr. Weigand would try to talk to some of these immigrants, instead of just condescendingly viewing them from afar, he would not only find that they do indeed speak proficient English, but he would also find that they are amazing people. Think about what kind of person it takes to leave his or her family behind to live and work in a completely different country, just so that their family back home can eat, as is often the case. What kind of person does it take to start a completely new life in a foreign environment?
A third question: Where in the world is only one language spoken? A third answer: Nowhere! I’m willing to bet that if Mr. Weigand moved to a foreign country in which there was a significant English-speaking population, he would speak English with other speakers of the language.
It is time for Mr. Weigand to break out of his shell in Basalt and live in the same international world as the rest of us, for it truly is an international world, Mr. Weigand – get over it! And remember, a language is only as good as that for which it is used.
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