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U.s. Establishing An Official Language

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Differing Opinions on the U.S. Establishing an Official Language Recently, the question of having an official language was revived due to public outrage after presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s controversial decision to speak Spanish on the campaign trail. This issue went dormant in the mid-1980s after a large push in Congress to establish English as the official language of the United States failed (King). However, with immigration coming to the forefront in the upcoming presidential election, it is now more relevant than ever. In light of the growing social and political unrest, specifically due to mounting racial tension throughout the country, the opposing opinions of the argument to create an official language need to be addressed in order to quell rising pressure between ethnic groups in the nation. The English-only, or Official English, movement originated in the 1960s and 1970s as U.S. citizens began celebrating their cultural differences. In 1975, an amendment to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 mandated bilingual voting ballots once the population of voters of a selected language reached five percent in a district. Bilingual education also became popular in the sixties, with the teaching of “black English”, also known as African-American vernacular English or Ebonics. However, opposition to bilingual education and programs arose quickly. In 1981, Senator S. I. Hayakawa proposed an amendment to make English the official language of the United States, as well as ban
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