There was a time when immigrants to America assiduously studied English, knowing that their prospects for employment would be adversely affected by their inability to communicate. Then came the days of bilingual education, and the subsequent era of printing documents by state and federal governments in foreign languages to ease the immigrants’ way. In the gradual erosion of the idea of speaking English as a way of uniting Americans, there have been certain landmarks, points in time when the clear path toward the Balkanization of the United States is apparent.
This is one of those points in time. Of course, it happened in California, which has always prided itself on leading the nation in innovation. The valedictorian of Orestimba High School in Newman, California, Saul Tello, gave his entire five-minute speech in Spanish.
Tello said he wanted to give his speech in English and Spanish, but was told there was only time for one, and he chose Spanish, partly because his parents only speak Spanish:
“I actually said in advance that I would like to apologize for people who don’t speak Spanish. In our school there’s a big Spanish-speaking community. I felt that would be good. I’m hearing it was me trying to make a political statement. It’s nothing of that sort. I just wanted to do my speech in Spanish.”
For Tello to give his speech in Spanish certainly isn’t a crime, but it is a telling reminder that the juggernaut of those who refuse to consider English as their primary language continues to roll on unimpeded.