Don#8217;t judge a person by the language they speak

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 29, 2006

Making judgments before having the details is wrong

Remember the picture I took of the McDonalds sign that had a phrase in Spanish? Well, that sign concerns me.

It isn’t really the sign that concerns me; it is what it evoked from a number of our readers.

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Five people who saw the sign, which by the way was advertising the fact that there were jobs available in all aspects of the restaurant, called our Sound Off Line to complain. And most of the complaints they expressed were about how Hispanics come to this country and don’t have to learn the language.

Somehow, after reading that sign, and most of the callers admitted they didn’t know what it said, they all came to the same conclusion n that Hispanics are not taking the initiative to learn our language n and the callers are offended by this.

But wait a minute. Who is to say that the Hispanics being targeted by that sign are not trying to assimilate, to learn our language and other customs?

They might be taking classes at night and working during the day to become as much an American as the next guy or gal.

Why must they be guilty of non-assimilation before being given the benefit of the doubt? Isn’t America the country where we are all innocent until proven otherwise?

And if they are in fact working to become “one of us,” then why shouldn’t they also be afforded the opportunity to work and pay taxes, just like millions of other Americans do?

Wouldn’t it be better to have them working and paying their own way, as opposed to coming to America and living off of the rest of us?

And if there is anybody out there who is afraid that a Spanish-speaking person is going to take a job at McDonalds away from them, then, I suggest they go ahead and apply.

How many of us have ancestors who came here from non-English-speaking countries? It’s a question we posed to our readers in Thursday’s question of the day on the front page and our Web site. The results were: 37 percent had ancestors who came from non-English-speaking countries and 14 percent were not sure.

How soon we forget that many of us are of Italian, German, Greek, Russian or other descent, and that our forefathers and mothers more than likely came here speaking only their native tongue. Had they not been given the opportunity to assimilate, many of us would not be here today.

Yes, I know there are illegal immigrants entering this country each and every day. And, like you, I am not happy about having to pay their way through life.

But simply reading that sign, and then making judgments about a certain aspect of society because it wasn’t in our “accepted” tongue, is wrong.

I wonder if it would have ticked off others had it been in Russian, or Vietnamese, or some other language.

Bottom line is we must not make such broad-brush judgments before all the details are known.

A little benefit of the doubt goes a long way.

Good job

I had a city worker come to my house the other night to tell me there had been a water-main break and the water would be off for about three hours.

It actually took them about four hours to fix it, but fix it they did.

And the next day they were out there with a big hose washing away all of the mud they had left behind.

We give our city government a lot of grief sometimes, but there are also times that we should be complimentary of the job they do. This is one of them.

I want to personally thank those who worked on that job in Wilson Lake Estates and let them know I appreciate them.