The Racism of Speaking English
|If you can’t read the inscription, it may not apply to you.|
Interestingly, the US under Trump has just decided to imitate Canada’s immigration policy: choosing immigrants on the basis of having needed skills, and giving preference to those who speak English (or, in Canada, French).
And now we discover that this has all along been unmitigated racism. CNN anchor Jim Acosta, at the announcement press conference, challenged White House Aide Stephen Miller with the charge that this was plainly intended to restrict US immigration to people from the UK or Australia.
This shows a striking ignorance of the world beyond American borders, surely. Gentle reader, do you know what the five countries in th world with the highest population of English-speakers are?
Neither Britain nor Australia are even on that list.
Neither is Canada.
The US is, but it is probably not going to be a major source of immigration to the US.
After the US, the other four are: India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Nigeria. Lily-white enough for you? Interestingly, although it is nobody’s first language, a higher proportion of Filipinos than of Canadians can speak English.
I do not, in fact, agree with Canada’s immigration policy. Unfortunately, it means bringing in the corrupt upper classes from countries that have been destroyed by a corrupt upper class. And it means bringing in people who could easily go home, who therefore lack commitment to their new country. I think we could do better with a few more poor and huddled masses, ready and accustomed to work hard.
But it ought to be a no-brainer to prefer immigrants who speak the language. You want those who are most likely to most easily integrate.