So you were born and raised in the USA? Oh, good for you!
I’m going to keep this short and sweet: stop treating anyone who speaks with an accent like a second-class citizen. I get it, sometimes it is frustrating trying to communicate with someone who does not fully understand you. But take a second and think about how YOU would feel if you were in a country and didn’t understand one of the main languages.
The reason I bring this up is because I met some wonderful international students last week. I, admittedly, used to be one of those people who got so pissed when I was put into a group project with someone who spoke English as a second language. I would be the first to write someone off if they had a name that sounded remotely foreign. I have since gotten over most of these prejudices, and last week opened my eyes to how much BS these students go through.
There was a girl (we’ll call her Shelby) who I met at an event at a campus in Central New York. Shelby had a Chinese accent, and I was prepared to let her down easily by telling her the jobs I recruit for cannot hire students who need Visa sponsorship. Shelby, however, was not truly interested in the jobs I recruit for and was just looking to network. It turns out that although Shelby was born in China, she moved to and worked in Chile for years, and spoke fluent Spanish. Not only did she speak fluently, she spoke Spanish with the perfect accent. Quick recap: this girl speaks Mandarin, Spanish, and English. Three languages. That’s two more than most of us. Yet, if you were in a class with her, you would be annoyed because English wasn’t her first language. But she’s a boss!
My second encounter last week that actually boiled my blood occurred when I was on the plane returning home to Boston. There was a quintessentially Boston couple stuck behind an Indian couple trying to put their bags up in the overhead compartments. Frustrated at the Indian couple for taking too long, the Boston guy decided to say some super racist stuff under his breathe to his supah classy girlfriend. I won’t repeat exactly what he said, but be clear that he considered the “foreigners” to be second-class. Why? Because he has an accent and is not a native citizen? GTFOH. I have no time for people who consider themselves better than others because of the langauge they speak and where they are born.
Sorry to break it to you, Americans, but you are not GODS. Simply being born into a free country and speaking one of the most widely spoken languages does not put you above anyone else. Some of those people who you think are dumb and poor can speak languages around your ass. Grow some culture balls and SHUT. THE. HELL. UP.