Politics - News Analysis

POLL: Half of Republicans Are ‘Bothered’ if They Hear Someone Speak a Foreign Language in Public

According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, close to half of white Republicans in the United States said they would be bothered if they heard someone speak a foreign language in a public place.

According to the new survey, 47 percent of white respondents who identified as Republican or Republican-leaning said they would be bothered “some” or “a lot” by a person speaking a language in public that was not English. By contrast, only 18 percent white respondents who identified as Democrat or Democrat-leaning said they would be bothered.

Fifty-eight percent of white Democrats said that they wouldn’t be bothered at all by hearing someone speak in a foreign language in a public. Twenty-six percent of white Republicans also answered the same.

Outside of political modifiers, the survey found that 34 percent of all white respondents said they would be bothered hearing people speak in a foreign language in public. Twenty-four percent of black respondents, and the same percentage of Asians surveyed, also said they would be bothered; 14 percent of Hispanics said the same.

In contrast, 68 percent of Hispanic respondents said they wouldn’t be bothered if they heard a person speak in a language that was not English in public. Half of Asian respondents said the same, as well as 48 percent of black respondents and 41 percent of white respondents.

Of the Hispanic respondents polled not born in the U.S., 76 percent said this would not bother them at all, while 61 percent of Hispanics who were born in the U.S. said the same.

The survey comes as a number of viral confrontations show white people berating people in public for speaking languages other English.

Earlier this year, a gas station clerk in California was fired after he was captured on video ranting at a customer who speaking Spanish and asking her to prove she was an American citizen.

Dunkin’ Donuts was also forced to issue an apology last year after a video surfaced showing an employee arguing with a Somali-speaking family in an incident the family said began because its members were speaking their native language.


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