Friday, July 25, 2008

ON Languages

J. Reyes-Montblanc
25 July 2008

On Languages

The United States occupies territories formerly part of the Spanish, French and British Empires.

Florida and Louisiana changed hands between Spain France and England several times.
Colonist from each of the Metropolises colonized their sections of North America.

In 1764 at the end of the Seven Years War, (The French & Indian War) (considered by many as the First World War), The French lost their North American colonies in Canada and as a result of War Compensation ceded Louisiana back to Spain having lost New France (Quebec and Acadia) to British North America (the Thirteen Colonies and Canada).

The City of New Orleans was actually rebuilt by the Spanish who repopulated the territory with Spanish colonials from the Canary Islands and Cuba. Politically and religiously Louisiana fell under the Captain General and the Archdiocese of Cuba. In 1803 Napoleon who had conquered Spain, illegally sold Louisiana to the newly established United States of America and the Spanish and French people became US Citizens with all their rights properties and privileges including languages protected by treaty.

In 1819 Spain sold Florida to the US receiving an additional sum in compensation for the illegal purchase of Louisiana. The Spanish settlers of Florida also were similarly protected by treaty guaranteeing their rights, properties and privileges including the Spanish language, The first Florida elected Representative and the first Army General of Spanish origins was Joseph Marion (José Maria) Hernandez.

In 1848 the US entered into a War with Mexico over the former Mexican Province of Texas that had declared its independence in 1836 had asked to be annexed to the USA. At the end of the Mexican War the US had acquired all of the Mexican provinces north of the Rio Grande that became Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Utah, etc. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo guaranteed the rights, properties and privileges including the Spanish language of the former Spanish settlers, Mexican citizens only for about 20 years, and now US Citizens.

English, Spanish and French languages are therefore legacy languages of the United States and NOT foreign languages as some people, in their fear of losing opportunity feel limitated and threatened due to their being English mono-lingual wrongfully believe.

Most Spanish and French speaking Americans have almost no connection, except in some sentimental level with the countries of origins of their American ancestors; they have served in every War since before the Revolutionary War of Independence, pay their taxes and generally are good, productive, loyal citizens.

Immigration and high birth rates through the centuries has increased the number of Spanish speakers to the point of making them one of the largest ethnic groups in the country. Many do not speak Spanish at all for several generations.

In the 1970’s the US government created a classification for census purposes called “Hispanic”. But keep in mind that in Spanish the word means of Spain and the peoples of Spain and their children born in the American, African and Asian Spanish colonies. Historically in the Americas the European children of the Spanish, French and Portuguese colonial settlers are called Criollos, Creoles and Criolos.

In the US, "Hispanic" is not at all a racial term but an artificial
"ethnicity" as under the Census and US laws Hispanics are described as being of any race or combination of race or races and from various countries of origin. More than Half of US Hispanics are Euro-Hispanics, others are Native American-Hispanics, Afro-Hispanics, Asian-Hispanics and others are of all sort of interesting combinations and re-combinations of all of the above, that is why correctly the question about being Hispanic is usually separated from the race question in government forms.

In the last 20 years of so “illegal” immigration has become an increasing problem which is perceived by many to be a tremendously heavy burden on our society. The defenders of the “illegal’s” refer to them as “undocumented" and have worked diligently to try to erase any differences between Legal Immigrants which our country still welcomes in large numbers and the “illegal’s” who brake our laws to jump the border, thus referring as "anti-immigrant" those who oppose the "illegals" and refuse to grant another amnesty or a plan to "legalize" them that would affect the Legal flow of immigrants. There is fundamental principle in English Common Law that says that an illegal cannot result in a legal benefit, somehow this fundamental fact is being ignored by the pro "illegal" immigration faction.

A large number of these “illegals” are classified as Hispanics although many have no traces of Spanish blood and some speak no Spanish at all although coming from Spanish-speaking countries and carrying Spanish names and surnames.

We must never confuse "Legal Immigrants" with the "Illegal Aliens" or consider that opposition to one means opposition to the other.

The richness of our country is in fact found in diversity of our people and the number of other languages they speak, and that they must never give up, but English is the one and only national language and immigrants do well in learning it and the prevailing American customs and practices which eventually they will afffect as other immigrants before have done to create our American Way. When in Rome do as the Romans do is an old saying that was true then and still true today, when in the US, LEARN ENGLISH!!!

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