Dear America,

Thanks for the job security.
My name is Ethan Unklesbay, and I am a prospective Spanish Immersion teacher. I graduate in December, and in the meantime, I like to volunteer in a Spanish immersion classroom. First graders get to learn math, science, reading, pretty much everything that every other first grader learns, but in Spanish. It takes about a year for their kid brains to differentiate between English and Spanish, and that makes reading out loud a little difficult, but by third grade you have children reading, writing, speaking, listening and performing all their subjects in two languages (and statistics show that they outperform those who speak only English). It’s beautiful.

That said, a lot of controversy has come up because of people who saw an ad for Coke entitled “It’s Beautiful“. The ad features “America the Beautiful”, a time-honored hymn to America, sung in multiple languages. Some few select individuals have decided to spread hatred via the hashtag #SpeakAmerican, and it has not been received well. Backlash continues to flow as millions of Americans recognize the wonderful multiculturality of our nation. Those who believe that English is the only acceptable language in the USA are being marginalized and pushed aside, and while I am not necessarily as progressive as some and more conservative than others, I am in favor of the movement toward a more culture-friendly United States. I’m not going to post any of the controversy here, but I have given you the links to go and find it for yourself.

What I do want to say, is thank you. Thanks to all those who have tweeted, posted, blogged, and ranted about how much we need to #speakAmerican. You have been the beautiful catalyst in a wave of Americans supporting the program that will, in the not too distant future, feed my family. I will be teaching Spanish for a living, and for a life. I hope to open eyes and change lives, and those of you who have been so hateful have shown me that you are the minority. The overwhelming majority support the use and learning of other languages. It also appears that most people understand what Nieves Knapp, PhD. believes about learning or appreciating other languages: “Si cada niño aprendiera otro idioma, habría menos guerra.” In other words, if every child were to learn another language, there would be less war. Shall we not go on in so great a cause?

Thank you #speakAmerican, for exposing the way Americans really feel and for securing my job as an educator and life-changer so long as Coca-Cola (Spanish name, p.s.) shall be sold in the land that our European forefathers fought to protect.

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