Am I a bigot?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Dinosaur, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    For many years I have noticed that those from Hispanic cultures do not assimilate into the American Culture & seem to usually be catered to.

    Those from Germany, Greece, Italy, & most other cultures assimilate fairly quickly.

    Our culture seems to give special consideration to Spanish speakers with many signs & printed instructions using both Spanish & English.

    I see no reason for such special treatment other than there being a large number of Spanish speaking immigrants.

    In my city (Philadelphia), a year or so ago, there was a hue & cry over a restaurant whose owner posted a sign requesting that patrons order using English. I do not know if that proprietor gave up in the face of objections from both Spanish speaking & non-Spanish speaking patrons.

    I wonder if he had any Spanish speaking employees & do not think that every establishment serving the general public should be required to have Spanish speaking employees.

    I cannot imagine a restaurant or other establishment open to the public being required to accommodate Greek, German, Norwegian, & patrons speaking other languages. Why do Spanish speakers expect special treatment?
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Maybe because it was the first European language to hit the shores of America.
    Maybe the percentage of Spanish speaking folk in the place.
    Maybe because Mexico is a neighbour.
    Why does the situation upset you?
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  5. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    I am more annoyed than upset.

    I prefer living in a country which is at least 60% populated with those from an ethnic background very similar to my own or those who take on my ethnic background & hope it will be that way for my descendants.

    After a few generations, Poles, Germans, & those from various other ethnic backgrounds do not seem much (if any) different from the British culture I belong to. BTW: I am almost 90 & have watched a few generations of immigrants. The Hispanics do not seem similar to the British culture in 2-3 generations.

    I seldom see signs or printed forms in Greek, German, French, etcetera, but often see such in Spanish.
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  7. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    Well, there's the answer to your OP question...
    origin likes this.
  8. Oystein Registered Senior Member

    What's the difference?

    How did you arrive at 60%? Is that a scientifically determined value? Why not 65%? Or 70%?

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  9. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    With respect there is your problem.
    I am 70 and I find myself critical of many things.
    I work not to be so.
    I say these days "things just are" and this gives recognition to the fact we qualify things as good or bad.
    You could see the situation as good and then it wont annoy you...
    And it is good really that you live in a country that embraces diversity.
    There is no need to get annoyed because one group gets a better deal than another group that will always leave you bitter cause there is always some group who gets a better deal or so it may seem.
    Good luck dealing with this.... talking it through will help.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Two things to consider:

    In most of the southwest part of the US Spanish is the original language from the founding of the country. These long time residents, formerly citizens of Mexico and subjects of the Spanish crown, were systematically robbed of their land and excluded from full citizenship rights in the United States for several generations, while living in their home towns where they and their family generations of grandparents etc had lived all their lives. People who spoke English, in particular Anglo Protestants newly arrived, were catered to at all levels of government.

    In the establishment of Mexico as the major source of cheap labor for the corporate businesses that expanded their hiring under Reagan's union-busting oversight, the recruitment efforts (advertised jobs, organized transportation etc, labor supply operations in the 1980s) focused on Spanish speaking populations in Mexico. That's who was imported, deliberately, by the businesses who were recruiting cheap and easily abused labor forces west of the Mississippi. Classes in English were not usually part of the deal.

    Just some context, how we got to where we are now.

    Mind, I fully agree with the policy that all levels of governance in the US should be primarily organized and established in one common language, and by default as well as efficacy that language should be English. I certainly do not want to see the political culture of the Spanish colonial regions imported and adopted in the United States. But the situation created by these decades of slipshod and racist governance is not improved by getting angry at people who had no say in the matter, in the first place. Whatever we do about this, the tone of voice as well as the policies adopted ought to reflect the reality of the situation.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  11. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Are you British or American?
    I see ethnic signs wherever there are ethnic communities. There just happen to be a lot of Spanish immigrants, and it's a marketing choice on behalf of businesses.
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Not true at all! None other than Benjamin Franklin explained how wrong you are about the Germans. Those boors refused to assimilate:

    "Why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our settlements, and by herding together establish their languages and manners to the exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our language or customs, any more than they can acquire our complexion?"

    And Italians? Everyone knew that Italian immigrants were all criminals, coming to the US to create the Mafia. From an essay by Ed Falco:
    After nine Italians were tried and found not guilty of murdering New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessy, a mob dragged them from the jail, along with two other Italians being held on unrelated charges, and lynched them all. The lynchings were followed by mass arrests of Italian immigrants throughout New Orleans, and waves of attacks against Italians nationwide.

    What was the reaction of our country's leaders to the lynchings? Teddy Roosevelt, not yet president, famously said they were "a rather good thing." The response in The New York Times was worse. A March 16, 1891, editorial referred to the victims of the lynchings as "... sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins." An editorial the next day argued that: "Lynch law was the only course open to the people of New Orleans. ..."

    John Parker, who helped organize the lynch mob, later went on to be governor of Louisiana. In 1911, he said of Italians that they were "just a little worse than the Negro, being if anything filthier in [their] habits, lawless, and treacherous."

    So they were the worst of the worst. They refused to change! The Italians brought crime as well as their foods and traditions; the Germans brought beer and kindergarten and frankfurters and Christmas trees. Why couldn't they just adopt the customs of their new homeland, instead of ramming beer and Christmas trees down our throats?
    In some places in LA signs are in Spanish and English. Here in San Diego where I live (Mira Mesa) the signs are often in Filipino; when I spent some time in northern New York after college, many signs were in French and English. It seems to work out OK.
  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    It's also possible that many of the Spanish-speaking populations (and they're different communities in the various states where they have settled) have been deliberately excluded from mainstream - predominantly English-speaking - society. One reason may be that they were migrant labour, considered temporary. Another is that, being paid far below standard wages, they could not afford to move into English-speaking neighbourhoods. Yet another is the employer's specific desire to isolate his peons from regular culture, lest they covet the things English-speakers take for granted, like schools, hospitals, transportation and decent housing.
    The experience of European immigrants is different from that of Mexican and Central Americans, but it's not a simple matter of assimilating "fairly quickly". Many of them, notably Italian and Irish, suffered considerable prejudice for generations; the German and Japanese Americans were not all that well treated all the time; the Chinese have been ghettoized for some time - and let's not dwell too much on native Americans and the descendants of abducted Africans. It's not a happy melting pot; it's an uneasy juxtaposition.

    By catered-to, what do you mean, exactly? That shop-keepers who want to sell things in Hispanic neighbourhoods put up signs in Spanish? Or that the social workers learn to communicate with the the majority of their clients? Or that a language that's second most spoken in a district is recognized by politicians who want their votes?
    There are many kinds of catering, but I do not see most of them offered to Americans of Mexican descent.

    The answer to the OP question is " Yes "
    The logical next question would be "Why?"
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member


    "San Diego". "Los Angeles". "San Francisco". "Mira Mesa". Good old English names, those, right?

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    The Spanish were there first making it the first European language of the Americas. Anyway, Spanish is rather a good and useful language: easy to learn and quite logical in its grammar and spelling, very close to Latin, and spoken by millions in Europe and S America. English is only spoken today in Tejas, California and New Mexico as a result of US imperial conquest.
  15. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    Yes that is a bigotted attitude. The same thing was said about Irish, italians and other immigrant groups over the years.
  16. Bells Staff Member

    Isn't American culture a mix of other cultures anyway?

    There is no "American culture", per say. The culture in California, is not the same as the culture in Texas, New York, Florida. But all are defined as "American culture".

    So which "American culture" are Hispanics supposed to be assimilating into?

    Ermm no they do not.

    You mean the culture where there is a predominate number of people from one part of the world tends to be the dominate culture in that area? That makes sense and it makes sense that signs will be in Spanish, if there is a high number of Hispanics living there. We see the same here in Australia with the many enclaves that exist where people from particular parts of the world tend to congregate. In areas with a high Asian population, many of the signs are in English and the predominate Asian language of those who live there. Same with Greeks, Italians, Sudanese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay, etc..

    It's great. It is a terrific way to experience other cultures, broaden one's horizons, learn new languages, learn their history and eat different foods. There is nothing bad about that at all. I don't understand why you are carrying on as though this is a negative.

    Would that be because these areas have a large portion of Spanish speaking immigrants? I am sure if you went to other areas with migrants from other countries, you would experience the same thing there too.

    Probably gave up because the sign was completely unnecessary and unwarranted.

    It was his way of saying non-English speakers not wanted.

    Considering he was demanding everyone only ordered in English, what do you think the answer to that was?

    There is no requirement for eating establishments to have people who speak Spanish. But in an area with a high Latino population, one would expect that at least some would speak Spanish regardless. That isn't a bad thing. In fact, knowing how to speak other languages is a terrific thing.

    You would probably pitch a fit if you ever visited Europe, where a large portion are able to switch between languages in one conversation without missing a beat and many are fluent in French, Italian, German, Spanish, English..

    Then you have obviously never eaten in restaurants that serve food from other countries. The proper one's that is. Because they always have staff that speak the language and really enjoy when people make the effort to order in that language. What's the big deal? There's one German restaurant in the city I live in, where they all speak German, same with the Mexican restaurants, French, Italian, Lebanese, Sudanese, Indonesian, Moroccan, Thai, Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, Chinese, Mandarin, Japanese and on and on it goes. If you cannot speak the language, you order in English. If you can speak the language, you can order in that language if you so choose. What's the big deal?

    Or do you just have a thing against Latino speaking Spanish?
  17. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    This discussion is interesting to me, as an Englishman. The USA, being a New World country, is quintessentially a country of recent immigrants, unlike European countries for example. We have some of the same debate here, about the recent influx of Poles, Pakistanis etc. We tend to justify restricting the influx on the basis that it is disruptive to communities, traditions and values to have too many outsiders arrive at once, without assimilation.

    Perhaps the USA is now making the transition from New World to Old World and this resentment of (more recent) immigrants is a sign of it. What I am almost sure of is that people feel they can express such frustrations, now that The Chump has been elected.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Uh ... fake question?

    Seriously, all that make believe 'cause you're still bitter about the sandwich shop?

    One hint I'll give you, though, is that you really should take it up with the business community. With the Spanish language,it's simply a matter of numbers.

    But you should have heard "Americans" in Woodburn, Oregon, circa the early and mid-nineties; a lot of people got pissed off when a local grocery store took a look at the world outside their window and decided to add aisle directory signs in Russian.

    You have that many people around who speak a given language, the market responds.

    The same thing eventually happens at the state level. Our driver's manual is printed in multiple languages; our voter's guides are available in other languages.

    It's actually kind of a no-brainer from the market standpoint. The question only gets complicated if someone has some other priority.

    Tell me: If there were no foreign language speakers in America, would the poor behave any better?

    The rich?

    What about the middle class, those stupid, selfish bastards?

    Or do you think American society would go better if we had all those foreign language speakers and just treated them like shit until they satisfy our good ol' down-home American patriotism?

    And, honestly, I think that last is what it is; some people just need someone to treat like shit.

    And as to the sandwich shop, if you can't tell the difference between inclusion and exclusion, it's probably one of those things you ought to learn a bit about ... oh, I don't know, at some point. Dude just wanted someone to treat like shit.
  19. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    When my ancestors moved to Texas, it was part of Mexico. The border moved, not the people. I know people whose family ranches date back to a deed issued by the King of Spain. Texas culture and Hispanic culture are tightly interwoven. It doesn't bother me.
  20. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    My ancestors came from Germany. I wish they hadn't assimilated so much.
  21. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    I was in Germany last year. You know what I saw? I saw signs in stores - in English! I suspect that it's because there are a lot of English speaking people around there and some store manager decided they could sell more stuff if they had signs the English speakers could read. I know it's a radical idea, trying to sell stuff. But maybe that why stores in the good old USA post signs in other languages - you know - they are trying to make a buck.
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  22. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Not just a "large number". Second only to English as the language spoken in US.

    Is that not enough of a reason?

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