Gene Simmons Wishes Immigrants Would Learn English
As a person who came to the United States as a young boy and grew up to be a wealthy and famous American citizen, Gene Simmons knows a thing or two about tips for immigrants, and he wasn't shy about offering one of those keys for success during a recent interview with the Huffington Post.
Sitting down with HuffPo Live (ostensibly to promote the Kiss-driven new reality series '4th and Loud,' inspired by the band's investment in the L.A. Kiss football team), Simmons set aside a few moments to vent his frustration with what he views as a growing number of American immigrants whom he believes can't be bothered to learn the English language.
"I'm actually saying the thing that needs to be said because the politically-correct climate is bulls---," Simmons huffed. "You don't want to upset anybody by saying, 'Learn to speak goddamn English.' So, as an immigrant, I'm telling you: learn to speak goddamn English. It is the key that will unlock the keys to the kingdom."
Indelicate phrasing aside, it's hard to argue with the common sense behind Simmons' advice; getting around or ahead in the U.S. is tough without a basic understanding of English. And according to the latest census data, it's also true that the number of people who describe themselves as having a low proficiency with the language is increasing (although the number of American households described as "linguistically isolated" still only amounts to a relatively minor five percent).
It's also true, however, that funding for public programs that teach English lags behind demand, and it would be interesting to get Simmons' perspective on the issue as a self-described fiscal conservative who's called for reducing government spending.