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Readers sound off on official English, the royal wedding and military parade


Bigoted loudmouth (Facebook)
English and ‘official’ intolerance

Astoria: To Voicer Dennis Shivers: You are 100% incorrect. The "official language" of the United States is not English. The United States has no official language. We have no official language and no official religion. We are a nation of immigrants from every walk of life. It is not, by any means, "rude, impolite and insulting" to hear Spanish spoken while you are "shopping, at a restaurant, etc." I don't speak a word of Spanish, and I am not the least bit bothered by it.

To Voicer Tony Baredda: On lawyer Aaron Schlossberg, I can state with certainty that he does not "speak Jewish." There is no such language. If you are referring to either Hebrew or Yiddish, I can also tell you that the assumption that all Jews speak either of these languages is ridiculous. Most Jews speak neither. Jeffrey Schein

Manhattan: To those who feel it's rude to speak any other language but English in the U.S.: You're lucky my ancestors surrendered New Amsterdam to the Brits. You'd be speaking Dutch now. You can't even pronounce the name of the popular cheese Gouda correctly: It's GOWda, not GOOda! Not to mention the surname of the artist Vincent van Gogh (hint: It's not "van go"). In this day and age, it's best to be bi- and tri-lingual. Those who complain about hearing Spanish spoken in NYC are — as we say in Dutch — making an elephant out of a fly. Eva Kloot

The language of freedom

Ozone Park: Voicer Dennis Shivers makes it clear that this is the U.S.A. and English is the official language. Inasmuch as he is American, I have got to mention that I am an immigrant who speaks, reads and writes Spanish. I studied it as a foreign language and, after my service with the U.S. Army, I also became an American. Perhaps my service qualifies me to be more American than the average Joe. Now if I go to France, should France say to me that this is France, we only speak French? And by the way, I am not of Spanish descent. I came here from Trinidad and volunteered to serve my country. My son, Ray Rakhar, who is a captain, has recently returned from Afghanistan. Freedom of speech and expression are the cornerstone of democracy. Tolerance is always better than ignorance. Jay Rakhar

State your case

Manhattan: To Voicer Dennis Shivers: English is not the official language of the U.S. on a federal level. However, states can declare English as their official language; New York is not one of them. In any event, official language applies to what the people in the government speak, and not to the public. The language spoken by the public cannot be changed by law. So, people can speak whatever language they want to: Chinese, Spanish, Russian or whatever, no matter where they are. Vanessa Enger

Speak however you wish

Somers, N.Y.: I was taken aback when I read Voicer Dennis Shivers' comments. Yes, this is the United States of America and English is not the official language. It is the most commonly used language, but it is not a rule of law that anyone must speak English. More than 500 languages are spoken in this country. Employees and customers have an American right to speak Spanish or whatever language they feel more comfortable with. When I go to order takeout from a Chinese restaurant, I give my order in English, but the employer talks to the kitchen in Chinese, and believe me, I am not insulted at all. People can speak English but also can communicate with others in any other language. Aaron Schlossberg's tirade was completely out of line, and Shivers' comment is completely ignorant of our great freedoms here in America. Michael Gold

Loyal to his master

Ozone Park: Again, another school shooting has happened in an all-too-familiar scene in our country, yet President Trump continues to preach that he will do everything he can to protect our students. He talks tough, but he is nothing more than an NRA flunky. Thoughts and prayers will not cut it anymore. Trump's responsibility is to the American people, not the NRA. Worst President ever! Mike Colasanti

Dog day afternoon

Brooklyn: In reference to having guns in every school to prevent shootings, I kind of agree, but instead of guns, every school should have a pack of well-trained pit bulls as security. There are documented cases of pit bulls being shot, stopping for a brief moment with a look of "What the heck was that?" and then going ballistic on the shooter. On the other hand, if you've had the pleasure of being in the company of a well-trained pit bull that has been socialized properly, you'd have found out they are, in general, incredibly intelligent, loving and loyal dogs, who shouldn't pose any issue to staff or students. Dan Baddiel

Thanks, Mike

Brooklyn: Correctly, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at the insistence of its founders, was to offer free admission in perpetuity in order to allow the poorest to avail themselves of the incomparable treasures held in the museum ("Cultural treasures, behind a velvet rope," Op-Ed, May 20). It remained thus until the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It was Bloomberg who worked on behalf of eliminating the policy of free admission, by agreeing to change the museum's lease. Now, for those visitors who cannot afford $25 each, and for a family of four that would amount to $100, remember to thank Michael Bloomberg. Barbara Pryce

Posing pot questions

Staten Island: It seems that your paper is endorsing the legalization of marijuana mainly because of the disparate number of arrests in certain communities ("Weed the people," editorial, May 18). However, you have to ask yourself how does the legalization of marijuana make us a better society? How does it make workers better workers, students better students and parents better parents? How does it improve your driving ability, and how after years of smoking will it make you better mentally and physically? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg, and if you are responsible journalists you will raise these issues. John Minichelli

Trump’s veteran

Brooklyn: What's all the fuss about the military parade that the President would like to have? This is nothing for him. In 1995, he helped organize a military parade up Fifth Ave. celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. Much of the materiel used was surplus equipment from the war, such as Jeeps. All of the military branches, veteran organizations and many high school bands participated. The boys who came back to Red Hook, Brooklyn, were overjoyed that a parade was organized to remember all who served. Thousands of people cheered this parade. I am a 94-year-old World War II veteran and know of the animosity the Daily News has for President Trump. I wonder if you have the guts to print this letter. God bless the men and women of the military. God bless America. Frank J. Palagonia

Royal numbers

Edison, N.J.: I watched the royal wedding last Saturday. Wow! The last time I saw a crowd this huge was at Trump's inauguration. Carole Canace

Princess’ hue and cry

Hartsdale, N.Y.: There has been a lot of talk about Britain's new princess. Too much of it has gushed over calling her "biracial." News flash: the former Ms. Markle is not "biracial." No one in America is "biracial." That's just a new wave way of calling someone "nonwhite." Sky News commentator Afua Hirsch said it best, as she provided insight into race relations in Britain, when she described herself as "black British, of mixed heritage." Correct, since scientifically there is no white or black "race." So the new princess is a "black American of mixed heritage," because we know she can never be mistaken as being "white." Right? Norman E. Gaines Jr.

Miscarriage of justice

Scarborough, N.Y.: The law might not be able to touch Louis Scarcella, but the people can ("Spits in all our faces," May 21). There can be all-night protests at his house disturbing his peace. His daughter should also be met by protests at her home and work just for being the spawn of this piece of dung. W. Twirley

News that’s printed to see

Woodside: I read the Post exclusively only because the type style is large enough for my eyes. I would love to buy the Daily News if only the type style were larger. I'm sure many readers feel as I do. Errol Segal