Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

July 11, 2006

Mayor: Say No to McD in Spanish

What kind of logic is this?

The mayor of a small Bergen County town is calling for a McDonald's boycott if the fast-food chain does not take down a Spanish-language billboard advertising iced coffee.

Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan said the advertisement is "offensive" and "divisive" because it sends a message that Hispanic immigrants do not need to learn English.

"The true things that bind us together as neighbors and community is our belief in the American flag and our common language," Lonegan said. "And when McDonald's sends a different message, that we're going to be different now, that causes resentment."
Gee Mayor, if Spanish in public bothers you so much, shouldn't you start with protesting the name of your town first? Bogota, New Jersey? As in Bogota, Colombia? Duh.

I don't really understand what it is about the Spanish language that offends you. First of all, how do you know that people who speak Spanish don't already speak English or want to learn to speak English?

And how do you know how many Spanish speaking residents of your town only speak Spanish and refuse to speak English? Can you read minds? Have you commissioned a study? What's next, you gonna go around town and give everyone who speaks Spanish a ticket?

People who come to this country already realize that to get ahead, they need to speak English. If they don't know that yet, the reality on the street will convince them fast. Do you honestly think that a puny burger ad is enough to make them think otherwise?

The truth is, it's you and your ilk who are being divisive. Instead of celebrating our nation's cultural diversity like McDonald's or even the army does, you are sending the message that anyone who speaks Spanish isn't welcome, whether they are able to speak or want to speak English or not.

You are using language as a tool for exclusion, an instrument to isolate those who are different from you. The message you are sending is loud and clear: if you speak Spanish, you are different. You are not one of us. Therefore, you are not welcome here.

Why don't you stop your empty posturing and just think about it.

Image: nogastaxhike.com.

posted at 12:12 AM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
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-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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