My Wordspace

A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

Very Un-Patriotic

Posted by Iszi on October 4, 2004

Greetings, Readers.

Here’s the part where I actually start to do what this blog suggests, now. BMW. For those who are not familiar with the acronym, that is Bitch, Moan, and Whine. Now, I’ve found something I’m rather pissed about, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Let me start by saying, I have nothing against hispanics in general. No all-inclusive prejudice, or anything to where I’ll hate someone or think less of them just because they have hispanic background. What I do have a problem with are the ignorant hispanics (and any other foreigner for that matter – hispanics just happen to run rampant around here) that come over here to the good old U.S. of A., and think they should be allowed to live, work, and play here for years on end without learning a lick of English. Last I checked, English was the official and primary spoken and written language in America, just as German is in Germany, Portugese in Brazil, Italian in Italy, French in France, et cetera.

In any of those other countries, do you ever dare walk into a place of business and automatically expect the people there to speak your (outside) language? No. Do you expect them to provide documents with translations for anything that may be on paper, such as a menu or map? Possibly, but you have also come prepared for if they don’t. Do you expect to go finding a job there, without learning enough of the language to be able to hold up your end of a conversation? Not me, no sir. Lastly of all, do you expect every advertisement in an establishment to be primarily written in your language? Maybe if the place specialized in items imported from your country, but otherwise no.

So why the hell is America so different? This is what has me so pissed off. It’s not so much that there are ignorant foreigners in our country who come and don’t care to learn the language, or care to speak it clearly (if at all) when they do know it. It’s also the fact that our country is catering to these people!

How are we “catering” to them? Everywhere you go, on menus, credit card or bank applications, and various other documents, there are translations written or available in Spanish. I’ll grant that the percentage of hispanics in our population, and in population of tourists to this country warrant having translations on those kinds of documents, but what about job applications? Or here’s a real kicker – what about that spot on some job applications where there’s a signature line for a translator if needed? And I’m not talking about some construction job or something where the person will only ever have to communicate with his co-workers. I’m talking about the fast-food industry, here. Probably one of the jobs that is most demanding (in my experience) of flexibility in the skills of its workers. If you can only work a register, or only work in food prep, you’re a hinderance to that job location whenever (and in fast-food it does happen often) it runs short-handed. And, to be able to work in such a place, when you barely even know enough of the local language to understand when a manager calls for more food to be made, that sticks you in the back of the house with no use elsewhere.

I had to work with a couple people like that in one of my fast-food jobs. All they could do was cook the food, and you could barely talk to them enough to tell them when they needed to do that. But that’s not what’s got me really pissed off about America’s catering to foreigners right now. I’ll tell you what fired me up this time.

As all Americans know by now, it’s election season. So, of course, everybody is putting some sort of electoral spin on their advertisements, most of them flashing red, white, and blue to emphasize how voting is an act of patriotism. Convenience stores are no different. My store has several signs with red, white, and blue all over them, advertising our own spin voting. But there’s something wrong with these signs. It’s not that there’s a spanish translation on them, as you might guess from the now-established theme of this post. It’s that there’s English translations on them instead! Several of the signs inside our store, some of which represent the only signs advertising a particular new product, have the largest text written in spanish, with smaller (maybe one-fifth size) text underneath in english! And it’s still all red, white, and blue, celebrating our Ameircan patriotism.

If you ask me, that’s about the most un-patriotic thing a business could do. It just about equates to flying a foreign country’s flag above or without an American flag, in America! (By the way, a police officer may be wanting to talk to you if you do that.) This isn’t some foreign country here, or some foreign-family-owned business, where things need to be translated into english because the primary language of the nation is something else, or because all of the merchandise is from somewhere else. This is a major American convenience store chain, on American soil, selling many American products, and whatever products aren’t American-made have been made for America and therefore are printed in english! So I’m a proud born-American patriot, getting ready to walk into an American-run business, in the United States of America, selling products made for, if not by the USA, with advertisements designed to promote American patriotism, and the advertisement has to be translated for me? One particular sign is in the back of the store, and can be clearly read in spanish from the front of the store, but cannot be clearly read in english until you are practically underneath it!

If things follow this path too much longer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see subtitles on the news for a spanish-speaking president of the United States! As I said before, I have nothing personally against hispanics or other foreigners in general, but if you people are going to move here, then you damn well better learn the fucking language!

That’s all for this rant. Thanks for letting me vent. Hopefully, this will be all on this subject.

– Iszi

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