Languages make U.S. strong, not weak
Thank you News & Advance for printing the excellent editorial from The Roanoke Times: “Good wants to upend some historic American Values.” Specifically, Good wants “... to make English the official national language and stop accommodating immigrants and their native tongues, because it’s our unity that is our strength.” I agree that in unity we are strong; in division we are weak, but I do not see how excluding other languages from usage creates unity.
Instead, Mr. Good’s use of language — “stop accommodating ...” is in itself divisive. Perhaps that is his real intention. I do not know. I do know that encouraging Americans to learn other languages has always been a good in the past because learning other languages makes us smarter, not only because we can converse in more than one language, but also because the very act of learning another language, like the study of music (which is another language) increases intelligence.
If we Americans have the opportunity as Europeans have to hear, learn and speak other languages, everyone benefits. Since we are isolated from other countries, as Europe is not, our only way to hear other languages would be to listen to those who visit here or immigrate here.
My parents were as American as you get, from Arkansas, but they both studied French in college and spoke and wrote to each other constantly in that language. I learned French before I learned English! Later I studied French in college and traveled numerous times to France, able to read and speak. How that has expanded my world! I also studied Latin in high school and Spanish in college. My son married a woman from the Czech Republic and as soon as he became engaged to her, I began to study Czech so I could communicate with her parents and their future children.
And finally, since I am a dedicated and devout Scot, I did my best to learn Gaelic, the hardest language I have come across yet. None of these languages has diminished my Americanism, my love and devotion to America. They have only added great pleasure to my life and expanded my knowledge and horizons and intelligence.
By the way, I assumed that English was already the official language of the United States. It looks like the point here is to bring attention, in a negative way, toward immigrants.
Don’t take statues down
Mr. Governor, please don’t tear down what belongs to the nation. When you forget history, it is bound to repeat itself. I pray to God that this part of history does not ever repeat itself.
This monument does not only belong to you and a few others, it belongs to the people. Don’t make a hasty or wrong decision as you have before. A lot of people died in that war, including white and Black soldiers for the North, and white and Black soldiers for the South, and other innocent people who lost their lives and their property.
What will happen if this part of history is torn down? Does this action lead to any other parts of history being destroyed? Will the books, artwork, such as pictures and maybe Mount Rushmore be destroyed and history forgotten? Then maybe history will repeat itself. Lets all pray that wars will never happen again.
Let’s have a national vote or at least have a Virginia state vote. We the citizens of Virginia, (which Richmond is our capital), should have a say in this. So let’s have a vote, which will be fair to all. These statues are a piece of art, the form of the horses and the person or people shaped by the hands of these brilliant and magnificent artists. All history should be studied and discussed, not destroyed as we do not want history to repeat itself let’s vote.