Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Whoever wants to

Today a student said to me, "I think people should stop hiring Hispanics, because one Hispanic guy gave my mom the wrong change and she couldn't get him to understand. So, people should stop hire Hispanics less." As quickly as I could, I empathized with the stress of that situation, but said that I disagree for other reasons.

Here are the questions that should always be raised before forcing others to do something.

1.) Is there a problem?
2.) Will the natural consequences to the problem reasonably eliminate the problem?
3.) If not, what other consequences should be enforced?
4.) Who should enforce these consequences and do they have the right?

So, let's apply this to the problem of people who haven't learned English very well.

1.) Yes, there's a problem. That problem as we previously discussed is home culture shock, which results from miscommunication.
2.) First, the natural consequences are: many employers must hire bilingual employees; many employees at low-qualification places cannot effectively communicate in English; immigrants must learn basic English to be able to drive or function in commerce; the education system must train students to become bilingual.

There are more, but lets use these for examples. First, it make sense that employees who can communicate with more people would be more valuable, so I see no problem there. Second, the natural consequence of my student's story is that the company lost $5. If these kinds of problems are consistent, then the company will either pay for its mistakes literally or it will be stricter in hiring. Either way, natural consequences win. It is also natural to expect any immigrant to learn the basics of the language of the nation they are entering. The natural consequence if they do not is that they cannot function well in the society. Education needing to train people? Doesn't sound like a problem to me.

3-4) It appears to me that in all above situations, natural consequences are enough to resolve the situation. With no reason to enforce additional restrictions, no one should do so.

So, the best resolution to our present difficulties is that whoever wants to learn the other language should. If you find yourself unable to communicate and are unwilling to correct the issue by improving yourself, then it is your loss. Prejudice against bilingual people just doesn't make sense!

1 comment:

  1. Those interested in further reading on this topic should definitely read the blog below.

    http://www.socyberty.com/Issues/Bilingual-Nation.75378

    ReplyDelete

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