Immigration and American English
I was born and raised in America. I have been married for over 40 years to a beautiful, intelligent and wonderful woman who was born and raised in Mexico. My wife came here, legally, with her family in 1960.
A while back, I read in the paper about an 'idiot' who runs a Cheesesteak restaurant, Geno's Steaks, who several months ago posted a sign on the window of his restaurant that states "This is America. When Ordering, Please Speak English".
Now, I am against illegal immigration, amnesty, the farm worker program, voters ballots in languages other than American English and bilingual education. However, telling people who don't speak American English that they are not welcome as customers if they don't or can't order in English is going too far.
I have a fantastic mother-in-law who has lived in the United States for almost 46 years. When she first came to this country she attended night school in order to learn English. She is very intelligent but she dropped out of classes and to this day, although she does understand a fair amount of English and when speaking with someone that she feels comfortable with she can speak English, she does not speak English in public. Why doesn't she speak English in public. It's because so many Americans are rude and inconsiderate.
My mother-in-law, except when she is around her family and friends is a very shy person. She is also a very proud and dignified person and does not handle ridicule well. When she first came to this country and even to this day when she speaks English some Americans ridicule her. She gets so embarrassed that she finds it better to speak in Spanish.
My mother-in-law is an American citizen. She has raised nine (9) wonderful children all of whom are also American citizens. She is not a welfare recipient, she has no criminal record, she raised her children while working as a piece worker in a sweat shop (in Mexico she was a well respected woman who was in the above middle income class).
Her nine (9) children all became homeowners, none of them have criminal records, most of them either have college degrees or have attended some college, they are all gainfully employed or own their own businesses, none of them have collected welfare, all of them are married and none of them have ever been divorced and all of them are better than average American citizens. I am extremely proud to be a part of their family.
Now some ignorant grandchild of other immigrants is saying to this good American citizen, who has contributed more to this country than most Americans, including a son who is a full Colonel in the United States Army, that because she was mistreated by other Americans, she will not be served in his restaurant. He is telling her that because she is shy, she is not worthy of being served in his restaurant. A rapist or murderer who orders in English is good enough but she isn't.
In my opinion Mr. Vento, the owner of the restaurant, is a shameful example of an American. Hopefully, more educated Americans who live in Philadelphia will shun his restaurant. Hopefully the city will shut him down.