Dziennik Chicagoski -- September 29, 1894Let Us Speak Polish (Letter)
Our newspapers have always urged us to speak Polish. Our children, especially those who have not attended parochial schools, speak it poerly--a reason why they seldom use it. As a result we have lost morally and materially. There are many Poles in Chicago but only a few are in a position to give employment to their countrymen in their stores. In business establishments, large and small, conducted by Jews, Germans, Irish and Swedes, almost all clerks or of the same nationality as their employers. The number of Poles employed in these establishments is relatively small, despite the fact that almost all large firms do business with us.
The question, then, is: What is the cause of this? The answer is simple. It is our own fault. Our indifference to and disregard of the Polish language are responsible for the fact that a large number of our able youth is not 2employed. As there are only a few Polish business establishments, we are forced to support people of other nationalities, more often than not followers of another faith. While trading in these places, the Poles--men as well as women--do their best not to reveal their nationality. Though incorrectly, they speak English rather than Polish, of which they seem to be ashamed.
If all Poles would talk Polish when they go to the stores, then the storekeepers would be forced to hire Polish clerks to wait on them. And there is a way. We should walk out, without buying anything from a business establishment where Polish is not spoken. Thus we would create employment for many Polish young men.
Germans and Swedes use this system. There is no shortage of jobs for German and Swedish clerks. The Germans have used this system for a long time with good results. They have greater respect for their language than we, and no American condemns them for it.3
For example, the editor of the Laporte Journal does not wish to know Germans who do not speak their language. He says: "They are not worthy of their language because they are ashamed of their descent."
Let us respect our native language and we will be respected.
In a short time we will be buying many things, for winter is approaching. Let the Poles use their language at places of business and demand Polish-speaking clerks. Then our wishes will come true and many Polish young men will be able to find employment and support themselves and their families.
III A, I A 2 b, I D 2 c
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