Friday, June 09, 2006

English is racist

Sweet, Fancy Moses, this is utterly ridiculous.
A sign in a landmark Philadelphia restaurant asking customers to order in English is sparking controversy in the metropolis known as the "City of Brotherly Love."

The owner of Geno's Steaks said on Thursday that the sign, "This is America -- when ordering speak English," is intended to encourage immigrants to learn the language and assimilate into U.S. society, but one Latino activist said it's racist.
Uh, you want to tell me exactly how asking people to speak the common language of the country they're in is racist? I mean, people are always complaining about they stereotype of the "ugly American," traveling abroad, bellowing in English--is that racist, too?
"They should be glad that I put the sign up. I'm trying to help them to speak English," said Joey Vento, 66, whose grandparents moved to the United States from Italy. "Without the English language, they are going to have a lot of problems in this country.

"There is nobody who can say they are turned down because of the language," he added. "They can point if they want to."
Holy shit! That kind of talk is so racist that he might as well put on a Klan hood and burn a cross outside his restaurant. Oh, and I might emphasize that last part--it's his restaurant. Private property where he can do as he damn well pleases.
Roberto Santiago, executive director of Philadelphia's Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations, said he was "appalled" by the policy.

"I think what's coming out of his mouth is racist," said Santiago. "He is saying, 'I don't like these brown faces in my community and I will do everything I can to get them out of there.'"
Um, actually, I'm pretty sure he's saying "This is America -- when ordering speak English." He didn't even post a sign asking people specifically not to speak Spanish, and I'm sure Philadelphia is home to immigrants who speak a whole host of other languages as well. It seems to me that Mr. Santiago is reading an awful lot into that sign.

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