Monday, June 12, 2006

My fellow Americans

What I'm about to say would get Ann Coulter's panties in a bunch, but here we go: there are times when the actions of my fellow American embarrass me and the Geno's Steaks controversy is another example of that.

I just saw a news report that if accurate seems to indicate that most people are in support of the Geno's steak English only policy. I don't know why this surprises or upsets me - I think I should be beyond the point of expecting Americans to be enlightened. In general we are uneducated, insulated, bigoted bunch. Some of the comments that I heard were downright insulting "why should I have to press 1 for English?" or "everyone else had to learn English, why can't they?"

Who said these people aren't trying to learn English? What ever happened to just giving a helping hand? In a worldwide economy why can't we just be more accepting of other people's differences?

Well I can speak English rather well, and you know what I have to say to Geno's? Fuck you.


Spencer said...

And another thing - a first ammendment right is freedom of speech. At no point does that ammendment say what language that speech is in.

I think I wouldn't be as angry if I felt that that people in charge were out to protect our rights but it seems as if they seem to think that most of the Bill of Rights are an annoyance (other than the righ to bear arms that is).

Cyn said...

LOL -- I like your English.

Don't want you to think I was actually defending the Geno's guy in my other comment -- just trying to explain where his knuckleheadedness was coming from, I guess. Out of ignorance, mostly.

Personally, I think the sign is rude and offensive. I also think the sign is some sort of weird bravado and the guy would take anyone's money no matter what language they spoke if presented with it. It not, he should be prosecuted to whatever extent the law allows.

As you said, Americans are an insulated bigoted bunch. I wasn't brought up that way (although I do have an unwarranted hatred of SUV drivers) but of course observed this ignorance everywhere and probably have resigned myself to it. Sadly.

One of the things that amazed me most in watching the Amazing Race is just how many foreign countries have English signs (and McD's and Starbucks.) No wonder Americans have become so arrogant.

BeDugan said...

Easy bro!!!!!!! Don't go treading on the sanctity of our NATIONAL LANGUAGE!!!!!

radiocynic said...

Wow. I'm getting simultaneously embarrased, pissed, amazed and fatigued by this whole freakin' steak-shop episode.

What the hell ever happened to common courtesy and kindness?

I don't have anything against just plain dumb people; really I don't. If there's any amount of kindheartedness involved, I can deal with dumb. But this recent empowerment of the Dumb/Rude/Mean contingent is really getting out of hand.

I don't even have that much of a problem with the occasional D/R/M representative putting up a mean sign at their place of business. There are plenty of other steak shops, even quite nearby, for the kindhearted folks to patronize instead.

But yikes, what concerns me is that these hateful and fearful views are garnering major support, both locally and nationally, from what seem to be rising throngs of D/R/M's. Business, it seems, has really picked up at Geno's, and Mr. Vento seems to be receiving multitudes of supportive letters and emails. Makes me shudder.

Um, anyone remember compassion and cooperation and common sense? We don't need little take-out stands to employ multilingual employees or anything. But we don't need mean-spirited and intimidating signs, either. How 'bout, if there's a language barrier, the two people involved both attempt to quickly and kindly work through it, using some gesturing or whatever, so that commerce could still be transacted and everyone would be satisfied? Is this becoming so far-fetched?

I may no longer be comfortable admitting I'm from Philadelphia if I see one more television interview of a D/R/M whining, (with major addytood,) "c'mauwn, haow hard izzit ta say 'cheezstayk'?"

But I also saw a story on at least one other Philly take-out restaurant putting up a sign along the lines of "order in whatever language you want". Nice to see the entrepreneurial spirit of the Intelligent/Polite/Nice contingent, trying to take advantage of an unfortunate situation by turning it around.

Let's just hope the D/R/M's aren't really outnumbering the I/P/N's. 'Cause then, y'know, society would start to break down, and people in other countries would start to stereotype all Americans as arrogant, and there'd be too many guns and violence on the street, and even our national elections might start to be affected, and... uh-oh...