Saturday, June 10, 2006

Geno's store policy: "Speak English!"

Some of you may be aware of this story, since it's not entirely new. However, I'm just now getting around to commenting on it, so there! Anywho, from CBS News (yes, I did verify the story is real! LOL!):
A City Council member jumped into the debate over a sign at one of Philadelphia's best-known cheesesteak joints that reads: "This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING 'SPEAK ENGLISH.'"

During the council's meeting Thursday, Councilman Jim Kenney asked Geno's owner Joseph Vento to take the small sign down. The English-only ordering sign has irritated some activists in the diverse neighborhood of South Philadelphia and drawn national attention.

"It's such an iconic institution and business, one that is that visible for many of our residents, for the region and the world," Kenney said.

Vento, whose grandparents struggled to learn English after immigrating from Sicily in the 1920s, said his staff is glad to help non-native speakers order in English and no one has been turned away because of a language barrier.

"I don't see much of a big deal about learning to say Cheez Whiz," he told ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" on Friday.
This is all a very simple matter that is made more complicated (as usual) by the P.C. thought police: Joey can run his business anyway he damned well pleases!

Look, I don't think it makes good business sense to inflame the anger of a customer base that was likely already ordering in English anyway. Languages may be different, but American dollars are always green. If Joey had customers who didn't speak English, it would have probably been a good idea to have them point at what they wanted so they would still be paying customers.

But you know what? That's how I would run the business if I were Joey...but I'm not. Conversely, if Joey wanted all of his customers to speak Italian (his ancestors' native language), he should also be free to do that. It would likely be a horrendous business move, but that's his call.

If Joey wants to piss off his customers, he should be free to do so and deal with the free market ramifications. Instead, he has to deal with goody-goody hypersensitive Hispandering politicians...and paid antagonists:
Juntos, a neighborhood organization that advocates for Latino communities, said it plans to send people to Geno's to try to order in Spanish. Depending on what happens, the group may pursue court action, said Peter Bloom, the group's director. (On WHAT basis? Their constitutional right to not be offended or have their feelings hurt? Sure, such a right doesn't really exist in the Constitution, but if you get one of those "it's a living, breathing document" activists a la Roe v. Wade, who knows what kinds of rights can be,, interpreted? - Ed.)

"His grandparents encountered the same racism and the same xenophobia," Bloom said. "Why would he begin that process over again?"
Do you know how his grandparents overcame said racism and xenophobia? They learned the freakin' language...what a novel idea! Then again, we didn't have this God (insert deity du jour here) forsaken political correctness shiite going on, did we? Try going to another country and arrogantly demand or expect that they speak your language, and you'll likely be received as well as Ted Kennedy at a Kopechne family reunion!

In a day and age where courts say that personal property can be seized by government kleptocracy to be given to wealthy land developers, it is not certain that common sense and the law will be on Genos' side in this matter.