No, I don’t think the restaurant owner is acting out of kindness. However, I wasn’t talking about the restaurant owner. I was talking about the Latino activist who thinks Latinos can’t learn English. I think the Latino activist is racist also. And don’t imagine for a second that such “activists” represent the majority of Latinos living in the US.
For more than 150 years, immigrants to the United States have learned English, and nobody ever had a problem with it. Only in the late 1960s did “activists” decide that people should be protected from having to learn English – but not all people, only Hispanics. The result is that Spanish speakers all over the US have been made into a privileged minority who receive all kinds of services that other immigrants don’t. In my state only 2.5 percent of the population is Hispanic – and almost all of them speak English. Nonetheless, when I go to the ATM at the bank, I have to choose between Spanish and English before I can do anything else. My local supermarket provides bilingual signs, Spanish speech on the automatic scanners, and Spanish-language forms of various types for Hispanics who are not there. The same goes for government offices and various social agencies. The large Albanian population here doesn’t get this privilege, nor do the Russians and Poles, and the Arabs only get it in the town that is generally acknowledged as “Arabic”.
A few weeks ago the State of Michigan passed a law making English the official language of the state, and saying that no state agency has the obligation to provide documents or services in any language other than English (however, they can provide them in other languages if they want to). The US government passed a law declaring English as the official language of the US that same week. (Until a few weeks ago, the US had no official language.) The immediate reaction to the laws from Latino activists was to declare that the laws were “racist”. Racist against whom? If Albanians, Arabs, Cambodians, Chinese, Germans, Haitians, Hmong, Japanese, Koreans, Laotians, Poles, Russians, Ukrainians and people from all parts of Africa routinely learn English and function in it, why is it “racist” to expect Latinos to learn English also? Under the circumstances, it is the Latino activist who is the racist, because he is claiming that people of his race cannot be expected to learn English.
Most Hispanics don’t agree with the activist, and they go ahead and learn English. In fact, polls show that the majority of them are in favor of English being the official language, and are against Spanish-English bilingual education in the schools. So, the Latino activists represent someone, but apparently they aren’t representing Latinos.
You also have to think of the predicament of the restaurant owner: He has to be able to supervise everything that goes on in his restaurant, but he probably can’t learn every language that anyone who comes in might speak. If there is harassment or some other problem going on in his restaurant, the government holds him responsible whether he was able to understand it or not. He can be fined thousands or even millions of dollars in a lawsuit. On the other hand, if he requires his employees to speak English on the job, so that he can keep track of what’s going on, the government can sue him for that too.
If you don’t believe me, here are some interesting articles about situations like that:
nathpo.org/News/Language/New … ages5.html
The idiotic thing is that when English is necessary for the safety of employees in a dangerous workplace, the government may still sue the employer if he tries to restrict the use of other languages.