84: National Language
Title text: She's pretty sharp when provoked.
This comic is about the concept of nativism, which is the view that those who are native to a place should have more rights than immigrants. A frequently expressed view in the U.S. (and in other countries) is that immigrants should learn English, which is the primary language in the United States; usually this comes in response to frustration in dealing with an immigrant who does not speak English or does not speak it well. This can sometimes be frustrating in cases where the person who does not speak or understand English well is working in a service position and you have difficulty communicating with them.
In the comic one character is arrogantly arguing the nativist position. However, the woman next to him interrupts him and says a phrase in the Cherokee language - "Hello, my name is Sarah" - which is an Iroquoian language used by the Cherokee Native American people. Although Cherokee seems to be a relatively young culture, it is much more native to America than any European culture. Some Indian cultures reach back millennia.
The woman is therefore effectively suggesting a "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" argument that if the Europeans did not have to learn the native language, why should current immigrants learn English? She points out that even the English speakers are immigrants who did not learn the native language. Or perhaps she is suggesting the old adage: Those who don't learn history are doomed to repeat it, and that immigrants will one day take over the US and English speakers will be displaced like the natives were.
- This happened to my friend:
- [Men and women are standing in a row.]
- Cueball: English should be the national language. These immigrants should have to learn English when they come here.
- Megan: Yeah.
- Cueball: When you go to live somewhere, you learn the language they speak there. English is the language of the land.
- Ponytail: Excuse me, but osio Sarah dawado.
- Cueball: What the hell was that?
- Ponytail: Cherokee.