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Feeling disenfranchised

By Linda Bienvenue
Posted Sunday, October 5, 2014

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Pittsboro, NC - This Labor Day, as my husband and I were driving by the McDonald’s on Lowe’s Drive in Pittsboro, we noticed that the American flag flying in front of the store was wrapped around the flagpole, as it had been for several days. I decided to call them to ask them to fix it. The store manager (whom I asked for) answered the telephone. I asked him if someone could fix the flag that was wrapped around the pole. He did not understand what I was saying, as apparently, he did not comprehend and speak English well enough to understand, “would you please have someone go out and untangle the American flag that is wrapped around your flagpole.”

He proceeded to put another person on the phone, who also did not understand my request (English). The third person seemed to understand some English, but did not acknowledge that anything would be done, nor did he thank me for calling.

Do you want to talk to me about disenfranchisement? This is America — we speak English here. Why is it that McDonald’s (which most likely does not use “E-verify”) or any other employers have employees that do not speak English. While English may not necessarily the “official” language in the United States, it is the language most predominantly used in business, and it is the official language of North Carolina:

The North Carolina General Statutes
CHAPTER 145. State Symbols and Other Official Adoptions.
SECTION 145-12.

§145-12. State Language.

(a) Purpose. - English is the common language of the people of the United States of America and the State of North Carolina. This section is intended to preserve, protect, and strengthen the English language, and not to supersede any of the rights guaranteed to the people by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of North Carolina.

(b) English as the Official Language of North Carolina. - English is the official language of the State of North Carolina.

We are a nation of legal immigrants. Those whose relatives came from Poland, France, Ireland, and the like, came here and learned the English language, which was a requirement to live and work in the United States. There was no signage in different languages. We are doing immigrants a disservice by not having them learn it. We are also doing the rest of us a disservice by not being able to communicate effectively.

 
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