January 1997 Notebook Entries

Feb. 10, 1997...notebook notes


The English Only debate has been with us for some time now. The recent flare up over Ebonics, (African-American street language), is just the latest in a long series of debates which states that only English should be used in America.

The English Only camp have declared that English is the language that bonds America together into one. If today's immigrants want the fruits of this great nation, then they should work as hard, and expect no favors like their predecessors before them. Overcoming all of these hardships is what made America great. Survival of the fittest and all that. Besides, look at Belgium and French Canada, with all their social discord and riots -- all over language!

. I agree in the importance of our language in that English is the language of international aviation, international diplomacy, and international finance. Because of the vast economic implications I agree with the importance of the English language, but I want to raise an objection from an evolutionary point of view. In America, English is the language of business, and because of that it sets off a series of influential events:
1). English is the language of commerce.
2). Commerce means businesses and jobs.
3). Jobs create incomes which are needed to form staple family units.
4). Staple family units pass strong family values onto their children which contributes to strong communities.
5). Children in safe and secure communities grow up and base behavioral mechanisms as young adults on the family values (or lack of), that they received as children.
6). Repeat the cycle over and over again until you have a strong nation.

Once again, let us go back to the first rule of evolution: Evolution is the adaptation to local environment. Hence, Ebonics represents the local species' attempt at adaptation in local environment void of commerce and jobs. Quite simply, Ebonics is the local language of survival adaptability that has no reason to speak English. If you want to replace Ebonics with English you must have a reason for the people of the area to speak it. If jobs were available in Ebonic-speaking zones, these jobs would mean income which would bring food, shelter, and safety to the region. If the job required English to be spoken, then English would be learned, because it brought survival for the family unit.

So if you want to eliminate Ebonics, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Gaelic, or whatever language that you feel would be a threat to national security, replace it with the language of commerce. Jobs.

Quite simple, yet, at the same time, difficult.