Debate: Whole Foods Faces Boycott Over English-Only Work Policy

Whole Foods faces boycott over English-only work policy – NBC News.com.

Fact: The United States does not declare an official language.

So what’s the big deal anyway?

Do you think the Whole Food’s policy is needed or racist?

Position 1: Pro-Bilingualism

  • Isn’t it a good thing that there are staff members who are able to communicate bilingually?
  • Maybe the bilingual speakers feel more comfortable or even share camaraderie in their heritage.
  • Bilingual speakers have the ability to help customers who may speak another language.
  • Shouldn’t we be encouraged to speak multiple languages?
  • Some Europeans pride themselves in being able to speak four or five different languages.
  • Does this show that Americans are hesitant towards allowing other heritages from expressing themselves in public?
  • Is this an attempt to squash civil liberties, especially if there is no law.
  • Should big business be allowed to create employee rules that prevent languages other than English from being spoken, essentially “trumping” federal laws/or lack there of?

Position 2: English Only!

  • Some people feel that speaking languages other than the standard one is rude because they think others might be speaking poorly about them.
  • Some may argue that speaking Spanish in the US prevents Latinos from assimilating into the mainstream and holds them back intellectually and economically.
  • Should Latinos be forced to learn English? If there is an expectation that migrant workers learn English, should it be an expectation that all native born Americans earn an A in English class?
  • Does speaking a different language make the workplace more hazardous?
  • Is it still OK to speak a different language if the employee can understand both languages?
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