Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nativist, And Ignorant

Oh, this is rich. Buy a vehicle manufactured in whatever nation you prefer. Express a little nativist hostility if you'd like. But a Suzuki Vitara, very likely manufactured in Asia, I saw this day sporting a bumper sticker reading "This Is America. Speak English" adorning its rear bumper suggests hypocrisy raised to an impressive level. One wonders: Was the driver figuring that the American auto worker who did not have the opportunity to put together his Suzuki an illegal immigrant who spoke Spanish? How much English was the factory worker in Makinohara, Toyokawa, or Hamamatsu speaking when he assembled the Vitara? And did he (or she) appreciate the fine irony of driving a vehicle made in Asia while he was outraged that not enough people are speaking English?

Presumably, the motorist was inspired by South Philadelphia restauranteur Joey Vento, he of Geno's Steaks. Mr. Vento proudly displays a sign reading "This is America- WHEN ORDERING PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH" at his cheesesteak joint which, curiously, Philadelphia's Human Rights Commission a year ago ruled (by 2-1) did not discriminate against anyone.

Like Vento, I suppose, today's motorist can be confident that at least most people in "America" are at this moment speaking English. Except, probably, the vast majority of individuals in most of the other 22 nations comprising the Americas.

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