14 October 2005

"For Service, Speak English."

The owner of a bar in Mason, Ohio has come under fire for posting a sign that says: "For Service, Speak English." But is he breaking the law? Some think so... Click here for the full story.


KipEsquire said...

Since when does "national origin" equate to "native language" for purposes of discrimination? How about some plain-language statutory interpretation for a change?

Boyd said...

If we need to establish English as the official language of the US, this is a perfect example of why we would need to do that.

That probably doesn't make too much sense, but I've had a few Scotch whiskys this evening, which would be a likely explanation.

Joe G said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ken Lammers said...

Eh Nonymous said...

kip: as is obvious, it doesn't.

As I reasoned when guest-posting at Evan's on Language Discrimination, this sort of nonsense is

- irrational
- fueled purely by animus
- directed against people who arguably form a discrete and insular minority of the kind referred to in Carolene Prod. fn. 4
- and comparable to homophobia

but not the same as "national origin discrimination." As if that were the proper measure of whether something is a bad idea.

And by bad idea, I don't mean "is unconstitutional" - although I wouldn't be unhappy with a statute outlawing certain forms of it, either under the commerce clause or perhaps the 14th amendment.

Bar owners are justified - is that the idea - in excluding people who would have to order things in a language they can't speak. You know, like "hamburger." Or, "lager." Or, "Coke."

I think that kind of sign should say what it really means. (warning, unsubtle language ahead)

"[Jews, Hispanics, Italians,and Blacks] and people who speak a language I don't, keep moving. This is a Clean Christian town."

(as should be obvious, I think the store-owner's a jerk, but I'm not saying he actually feels the above. Nevertheless, I wish to heap scorn upon him.)

Ken Lammers said...

[note] The brackets in the post above replaced derogatory terms for those groups. I did this because (a) I'm a wuss and do not like such language, (b) I've friends and colleagues who fall into each of those catagories who sometimes read this blawg.

I understand the author is trying to make a point and think the comment as a whole adds to the conversation (and he was kind enough to warn us the language was coming). I'm not trying to discourage any of you from commenting. Just trying to live up to my three rules for this blawg (1) No politics, (2) civility, & (3) no politics.

Anonymous said...

With all the attacks on Christianity I would question IF "This is a Clean Christian town" is really a suble Political comment by Ed...

Think about it...