Discomfort with the concept of diversity runs deep within the U.S. psyche. This assertion is rooted in beliefs spawned in early America about what constituted a new way and spirit. Thoughts on a new way and spirit were intertwined with Enlightenment ideals of egalitarianism, harmony, and a sense of personal freedom from a landed gentry and a state-sponsored religion. Inevitably, the narrative of the United States involved language and concerned itself with what the presence of an array of different languages represents. Within one prevalent U.S. view, different languages represented disunity or loyalties to other causes, worlds, or ethnicities, and a common language—spoken by all citizenry—represented a vehicle toward integration and unity. From the earliest times in America, for many people the goal of unity ...

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