Great article, interesting ideas and original thoughts.

Though disagree with "Imagine the damage excluding and othering those who cannot communicate with us can do! We might do subtle things like befriending only those who speak in our own tongue, to then gossip in that language about others who are physically present, but don’t understand us" .....because then it wouldn't be excluding really, just primitivism, small-mindedness and poor manners. if one group excludes - it excludes - and doesn't care to notice, comment, gossip about excluded in their presence in the language they don't understand because it shows they actually do care to include "excluded" in their conversation and/or their language and their topics are not particularly rich or engaging enough on their own.

Nothing wrong with limiting oneself to conversations with people who converse the same way. it is a wise personal choice, unless one is missionary, teacher, young person etc.

Btw American cultural references are widely understood by people from India, Europe, Africa... most of the world really, because American culture is the most dominant in the world. Even people who don't speak English fluently would get cultural references because of the influence of American culture on their own culture (say, Holly/Bolly)