Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Speak English...please! Restaurant owner draws fire for posted sign!
I was channel surfing the other evening when I stumbled on an interesting news report on a restaurant owner back east who drew a lot of flak because of a sign that he posted in the window of his establishment.
The gentleman in question posted a notice that his staff only spoke English in the eatery.
Some in the quaint little town - tourists mostly passing through - were disturbed by the sign which they immediately perceived as racist and discriminatory in nature.
Not so, though.
Apparently, the owner of the local restaurant was prompted to post the sign on the heels of an unpleasant incident which went down in recent days.
According to the report, a Latino family entered the restaurant to order a meal, but did not speak any English.
"It was a frustrating experience for me," the man told a reporter.
"They got angry because no one working in the restaurant spoke Spanish. I tried to explain to them that this was America and that English is the language that is spoken in this country. But, they did not understand. They got up, and angrily left the restaurant without eating."
Frankly, I sympathize with the restaurant owner.
Is he expected to hire a Spanish employee to speak Spanish to Latino customers who may saunter in now-and-then?
I have a pet peeve of my own about the current problem with Latinos and the issue of English.
On many occasions, I have gone into McDonald's or Jack-in-the-Box, and had difficulty communicating with the employees on the counter because they did not speak much English.
I have also been particularly annoyed about the fact that on occasion when I have been in a store - wihere Latino workers are employed - they often speak Spanish as I am standing there - and I am subsequently left out of the conversation.
It is not only rude - and shows bad manners - but it is damn annoying!
In fact, I wrote a column on it in my "Mr. Manners" regular feature on the Tattler.
I think it is high time that the Government instituted a Federal law that stipulates only English be spoken in businesses, government offices, and public areas, to ensure that our English language is not pushed aside in favor of Spanish, and or any other language, for that matter.
I am not off-base about this, either.
In Quebec (Canada), for instance, the French Canadians actually have "Language Police" who make sure that the French Language is preserved so that the culture remains intact without threat.
For example, signs in stores must feature French first, in spite of the fact Canada is a bilingual country (English/French).
Also, the signs in French must be prominently displayed, to ensure that the message is loud and clear.
In Quebec, French is the first language, that will not be diminished by English-speaking Canada attempts to ignore its presence (or culture).
Sixty Mintues broadcast an interesting report on this issue which bears watching for those who are concerned about their language and culture not being trampled upon, disrespected, or lost in the throws of an illegal seige on their Nation.