I was born in America but English was not my first Language... English was forced upon me

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posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 10:19 AM
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No my parents were not Immigrants... the simple fact is I am Jicarilla Apache a Native American...
the word jicarilla comes from Mexican Spanish meaning "little basket." my people are noted for our basket making skills...At home we speak a broken mix of English Apache and Spanish with a little Zuni and Dine thrown in... the result of where we live in the world and how our close neighbours are....

I remember being in grade school, not that very long ago, the early 60's... I remember in second grade I sat between my two friends another Red Skin and a Mexican girl... we three only spoke broken English so when a concept or idea was lost due to this language gap we would whisper to each other, usually in Spanish and between the three of us might figure out 80% of each lesson... that is unless the the teacher caught us speaking anything other than proper English... I too remember the three of us having to hold the top edge of the desk to have our knuckles soundly rapped with her wooden yard stick... this happened quite often in my case... I remember once she asked me a direct question... I knew the answer just not how to say it in English... So I spoke up loud and proud in my own Native tongue... My teacher thought I called her a bad name... I was ushered off to the principal's office where despite my objections and innocence... was soundly paddled on my backside.... that single lesson taught me one single thing... never to open my mouth in class again....

On paper my grades were good, not great but okay....Many of my future teachers thought I might be a bit slow because I never did a class presentation or spoke up... never volunteered... but there were other's like me who gathered and whispered away from everyone else...It wasn't until; I reached High School that I was allowed a little expression... I took Spanish classes... of course I excelled ... but it wasn't until college I was allowed to speak my own tongue..... that only because a few grad students were recording various tribal languages to preserve them....

I a Native born American, never knew more than a few words of English until I went to school... My own Language was beaten out of me, punished because I did not inherently understand English words...

thank god times have changed because there are still places in the States where hardly a word of true English is spoken... Not just the Natives but you hear German up in the far north of this country Cajun down south and out west they still speak a dialect of Castillo brought here by the early Spanish explores... No not everyone in the states speaks English and I'm glad... otherwise we'll all be cookie cutter copies of each other, then where would be the fun in learning something truly new and wonderful about each other
edit on 18-6-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 10:26 AM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 


S & F on this for sure...that was just awesome...I don't know what else to say!

I am left literally speechless...that very rarely happens.

Good job my friend and thanks you!


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posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 10:36 AM
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As much as I admire your posts, I have to voice my opinion.

Your ancestors and your family were here before the Europeans.
Therefore, your ancestors were here before 'Americans'...
I honestly feel that 'Americans' stole this land from your ancestors.
My family immigrated here in the early 1900's, so I can't say I was a part...(
)

So for you to say English is not your native tongue is admirable, but it shouldn't be.
You are not of European decent or from another country, per say.
This is your land.

Now for those immigrants who did come here, like my family, they had to learn English.
Why? Because that was how they could get by.
We all understood our native language even until the last of my grandparents died.
It was nice to be able to communicate with the locals and get jobs, etc, in English.
But poking fun at people in Italian was much more fun.

If you goto another country, say France, don't you think you should learn the French language?
Or do you expect everyone to know your language and understand it?
Just as my grandpap used to say, "If you didnt learn English, you didn't make it far."
Totally different story now.

Bi-lingual signs, books, teaching in schools...all this is for a more liberal society.
Because god forbid we stick to our guns here in America.

If you want to live in another country, you should learn their language.
Not the other way around.

Period.


But being a native of the land and having the land taken from you...is another story.



edit on 18-6-2011 by havok because: Grammer


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posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 10:46 AM
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I just want to clarafy one thing...
I am not a racist ... no I don't hate whites, or blacks... Maybe I have some trouble with the Grays... (There just so creepy with those big black eyes)

I wrote my story to show that not so long ago things were very different than they are today....
I think as a whole we still have a lot to over come but if we take the time to know and understand each other... what our lives are like...


We old War Horses have this saying... it is easy to kill a stranger you know nothing about... but to kill a friend a brother someone you know....



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:00 AM
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Oh man! beautifully written but also some tough history, my friend - I like reading your self-lived experiences, and about life in America (back then) from a native American perspective.

For me as guy living in Europe, I learn quite a deal of history about the native Americans in general by reading these small pieces here and there from you.

I love reading your stuff and all that is related to the native Americans, and you write good in an interesting way - and I'm looking forward to read more and learn about your people's history!

I am also looking for some good books with similar stories from native Americans, maybe you can recommend some "must read" books regarding the native Americans - with self-lived life stories about their people with history of their tribes & nations etc - some great books written by and from a native American perspective.

Peace!
edit on 18-6-2011 by Chevalerous because: sp & my lousy English grammar - sorry!



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 


I'd bet a year's salary that you were in the public school system. Does anyone here really expect anything different from the public schools in the 1960s or even now? Did they then? No, didn't think so. I'm not saying it's right by any means, I'm wondering what other education was available to you at the time (I'm ignorant of this). Did you live on a reservation? Did your people attempt anything better?
edit on 18/6/2011 by Iamonlyhuman because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:12 AM
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I agree in some regards, on the one hand if the gov'ment had treated your people better from the start we wouldn't have half the reservations subsidized, with 80% unemployment, a high alcoholic demographic etc, i believe a mismanaged system failed your people.

but then again you qualify to own a casino i think



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:13 AM
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Your story puts me in mind of the song Cherokee Nation (Paul Revere & the Raiders) which has always been a favorite of mine. Thank you for your story, it touched me. I cannot change history, but I can be sorry for the way it occurred, and try my best not to be a part of repeating it.



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:22 AM
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Oh, how this story hits home.

I remember going to school and constantly getting in trouble in some of my classes because I chose to speak Spanish to my friends. The teacher would tell us that we are in America and should only speak English and next thing you know I would rebel.

My rebellion would cost me a few pops on the backside, but I didn't care. I was blessed with two languages and I was determined to speak both of them.

Fortunately for me not all teachers made a big deal on the Spanish and we often spoke it during breaks with no problem.



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Iamonlyhuman
reply to post by DaddyBare
 


I'd bet a year's salary that you were in the public school system. Does anyone here really expect anything different from the public schools in the 1960s or even now? Did they then? No, didn't think so. I'm not saying it's right by any means, I'm wondering what other education was available to you at the time (I'm ignorant of this). Did you live on a reservation? Did your people attempt anything better?
edit on 18/6/2011 by Iamonlyhuman because: (no reason given)


Yup... public school... that particular school long gone and faded from memory now... but it was called Old Town Elementary... there was two alternatives at the time... a private catholic school, if your family had money... or the BIA boarding schools... I would rather have cut my own throat than attend a boarding school of that era...
no, I consider myself lucky to have gone to a public school... my life might have been infinitely worse
What Life was like at a BIA boarding school
edit on 18-6-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by Chevalerous


I am also looking for some good books with similar stories from native Americans, maybe you can recommend some "must read" books regarding the native Americans - with self-lived life stories about their people with history of their tribes & nations etc - some great books written by and from a native American perspective.

Peace!
edit on 18-6-2011 by Chevalerous because: sp & my lousy English grammar - sorry!


Most of my fav books come from a small local print house Unervisity of New Mexico Press
Some of my current likes are
Navajos Wear Nikes by Jim Kristofic


Just before starting second grade, Jim Kristofic moved from Pittsburgh across the country to Ganado, Arizona, when his mother took a job at a hospital on the Navajo Reservation. Navajos Wear Nikes reveals the complexity of modern life on the Navajo Reservation, a world where Anglo and Navajo coexisted in a tenuous truce. After the births of his Navajo half-siblings, Jim and his family moved off the Reservation to an Arizona border town where they struggled to readapt to an Anglo world that no longer felt like home.



The Case of the Indian Trader by Paul Berkowitz





This is the story of Billy Gene Malone and the end of an era. Malone lived almost his entire life on the Navajo Reservation working as an Indian trader; the last real Indian trader to operate historic Hubbell Trading Post. In 2004, the National Park Service (NPS) launched an investigation targeting Malone, alleging a long list of crimes that were “similar to Al Capone.” In 2005, federal agent Paul Berkowitz was assigned to take over the year- and-a-half-old case. His investigation uncovered serious problems with the original allegations, raising questions about the integrity of his supervisors and colleagues as well as high-level NPS managers.

In an intriguing account of whistle-blowing, Berkowitz tells how he bypassed his chain-of-command and delivered his findings directly to the Office of the Inspector General.


you might also want to google that name "Gerald Vizenor" Native American poet, novelist and critic truly a remarkable fellow
edit on 18-6-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 11:54 AM
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Oh-see-yo!

I find it so important now to hold onto that which we are within; the atrocities of our fore-fathers and oppressors were unfounded and criminal. The seat of this atrocity is still in play, and always has been, but we can engage our Spirit with honor now as we see that this "White Serpent" of Democracy and European stranglehold begins to die from within. It was never about Freedoms and we know that, they spoke of Brotherhood but then poisoned the very bed they slept from.

Soon we will be Free again, free to create the communities of our Ancestors and our Ancestral Spirits that have always watched over us will rejoice once more!

Bless you Daddybare! Do not ever forget the Warrior you are for being strong enough to endure the wrongs in your life!

One day a new Language will emerge, and it will not speak lies and deceit but rather it will encompass true compassion for the diversity of us all and the Spirits within "all that surround us".

Here is a link for those with an interest in Native Languages; for me my past would encompass the Algonquin language as my tree includes "colored persons" of the Penobscot Tribe from the 1600s as I am 13th Generation American. www.native-languages.org...

Great Spirit will bring us back home soon enough! Oh-see-yo!


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posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 01:20 PM
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English is the lingua franca. It is being taught to children in countries where they may never meet a native English speaker in their entire lives. All business, science, technology, aviation, etc use English. While English may not become the most widely spoken native language in the world, it is already the most widely learned second/third language. In time, thanks to the ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere, instantly, English will become the permanent global language and wherever you travel you will be able to get by with just knowing English. You are only hurting yourselves by refusing to learn English or purposing avoiding it.
edit on 6/18/2011 by SG-17 because: bbcode error



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by SG-17
 


Obviously I never avoided learning it... but it was forced upon me...
given a choice and better teachers I would have been more eager to learn it... as it were it was the language of authority... to me and as a child.... not using their language was my own small rebellion...



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 01:55 PM
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You can speak any language you want to your family or in social situations in which others can also speak this language. But the language of business, shopping, etc, is English. Since most people speak this already and operate by speaking this way, no one should be expected to adjust routines or accommodate those who can not speak English. You really need to learn it to be able to conduct some business and operations here. You will experience inconvenience at the least or major hassle if you were to try to conduct business in another language.

Spanish speakers have been accommodated somewhat in some places where there are more Spanish speakers. There may even be small communities in which people could potentially live and work and speak their native language and do pretty well at least within these communities.

Spanish is becoming more used and there may be someone around to interprete but it will be an inconvenience sometimes to locate someone to interprete.

I don't think anyone should be forced to learn another language other than English. Everyone should know English to be able to conduct business and shop etc.

Teachers in some places must teach Spanish speakers and they first teach ESL classes, and later these students are more and more included into English classes until they can do their work in English.


If you speak a second language and don't mind living around others and forming communities, people have always done this, such as in places like Chinatown, etc. You might potentially live within these areas and never have to speak English I guess. But if something happened you would face a lot of hassle. You should not expect to have people bend over backwards to accomidate you. Mostly people will be nice and try, but there might be situations in which no one can help you or find anyone to interprete for you.


But in the past people were expected to assimilate, and in the past some people were happy and even very proud to assimilate. They still had their own culture within their communities I think, and still practiced their religion, festivals, holidays, and special things, but they also learned to adopt some of the habits of already established Americans. And we adapted some of their holidays, festivals, or cultural habits too.


America is a melting pot and I love all sorts of foods and festivals and fun cultural things, but I speak English and I conduct business in English and so does most everyone. I expect that Spanish may be more and more common but I don't think I will learn it. I think everyone who speaks Spanish or another language should learn to speak English too.

I also think that we should not have to accomidate those who have very drastically different religious beliefs. That is, if your religious beliefs says it is ok to kill a certain person for some reason or to make them your slave or in any way abuse a person for any reason.

I think everyone should follow the laws we have established to the best of their ability. If their religion is so different that they can not follow their religious beliefs and also follow the laws of this country, then they should remain in their native country so they can continue their religious beliefs where it is allowed in their own native country.

They should not come here and then expect that they can change our laws or make everyone to believe what they believe.

Then again, I know years ago that the White Man came here and did this very thing to the native Americans.

In some way I think about how the Natives Americans lived and it makes me sad for that lost world. I don't think we could ever go back to that world though. It would be so interesting to know how the world would look here if White Man had never came, or if they had instead found a way to instead assimlate to the Native way of life.

But what we have now is what we have now. If any changes are made, they will happen slowly I think. Maybe our language will become more dual with English and Spanish.

Or maybe something will happen overnight and it will be chaos with many changes to everyone's beliefs and culture and maybe life as we know it will be turned upside down.

At a time like that it would be good that people can work together and speak the same language.



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 02:04 PM
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reply to post by jessieg
 



as·sim·i·late



verb /əˈsiməˌlāt/ 
assimilated, past participle; assimilated, past tense; assimilates, 3rd person singular present; assimilating, present participle


1.Take in (information, ideas, or culture) and understand fully
- Marie tried to assimilate the week's events


2.
Absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture- pop trends are assimilated into the mainstream with alarming speed
- the converts were assimilated into the society of their conquerors


3.Absorb or integrate and use for one's own benefit
- the music business assimilated whatever aspects of punk it could turn into profit


Assimilate is probably the most frightening concept there is...
Sounds more like mind control

Absorb and integrate (people, ideas, or culture) into a wider society or culture

but this one line makes me said

the converts were assimilated into the society of their conquerors

why did I have to be conquered when I would have happily coexisted???



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by DaddyBare
 



why did I have to be conquered when I would have happily coexisted???


Could you have been able to happily coexisted with such a dominant force?

My dialect/language refused to adopt the language spoken by the establishment for the best part of 900 years.. the time-frames might be different but the same can be said across England.. in the 1880s the songs of Solomon where printed in 24 different dialects.. such is the difference in England itself.

The American Constitution is closer to modern English than the dialect used in my neck of the woods less than 100 years ago and I too was beaten as child for not using modern English spellings grammar and pronunciations.

and this is one of the areas I do feel there is a ongoing conspiracy to subjugate everyone to a single language which then gives the establishment control over the meaning of words.. control the words people use you can control how they behave.. (but I think we are, at least I hope we are, a long way away from that)

But really, do you think there was any scope to co-exist?



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by DaddyBare

I a Native born American, never knew more than a few words of English until I went to school... My own Language was beaten out of me, punished because I did not inherently understand English words...



yeah i really feel for ya.

what should have happened is the entire school , teachers , pupils , janitors, cooks should have learned your language. that would have made much more sense.



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 05:17 PM
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S+F

I wonder if they taught you about the genocide that was done to your people?
edit on 18-6-2011 by Kemal because: grammar xD



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by havok
 


what about when Mexico was still part of USA? all of them stayed there. and like DaddyBare just stated "this was not so long ago"
edit on 18-6-2011 by HisMajesty because: (no reason given)





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