Friday, November 6, 2009

It's The Same Old Cancion Jose, I Mean Joe!

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13:  Elaine Porko, ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Ruben Naverette, columnist recently wrote about a hotel owner in New Mexico who recently fired some of employees for speaking Spanish on the job. Hijole.

The employer also demanded that those employees with Hispanic names anglicize them, the old "Jose" to "Joe", and "Maria" to "Mary" pedo.

He said of course, that this move was "not at all racist" and that he was thinking only for the well being of his customers. Don't some of his customers speak spanish? Maybe not, after all this is New Mexico; why should they?

"Nececito mas Bacon!", rings out from one of the many Hispanic servers to the kitchen area at Hometown Buffet. I am offended! Dang it, how could they run out of Bacon!

I am doing my part. I speak spanish only in bathrooms and in bed with my wife. They say Spanish is a Romance Language. It came from Rome with deep roots in Latin, hence "Latino". I've always wondered why English is not very romantic.

Cesar Chavez used to say that that Spanish is the "language of Love", and English the tongue "you do business with."

When I was a kid, my mom refused to speak English. Mostly she was embarrased by her limited control. So I was the translator. I hated it. When I translated her requests to the teller at Bank of America, I felt ashamed. We were made to. People in line behind us fidgeted, and tossed stares of indignation at the walls and cielings. You could just feel it.

An old employer once asked me not to speak spanish on the job to another employee because his wife and he felt like we might be "talking about them." Sometimes we were!! However, it's interesting how when a Mexican customer entered the store, I was "asked" to go out and wait on him. Hmmm. Somehow, the Spanish was not a bother then.

I also did my part by changing my name "Ricardo" to "Ricky", and "Rios" to "Rivers". I even accepted "Dick" which I hated! I mean what more did they want from me, Blood?

I used to have to hide the bean tacos and chorizo can huevo burritos my mother made me for lunch in elementary schools until one day one of my Gringo pals asked to trade his white bread and "baloney" sandwiches for a taco. We both loved it. When the word spread and the trading was on, I never ate bean tacos again for lunch. But thanks to Taco Bell, I can now eat them shamelessly and openly in public, and not have to make that tedious "run for the border."

But if it's a cleansing of Spanish you really want, you'd better think it over a lot more. Let's see where to we start? Change tge names of States? Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Nevada, Montana, California? Names of cities? Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, El Paso?

Names of cars, Bronco, Cadillac El Dorado. Names of restaurants, El Torito, Taco Bell?

But don't you think we've had enough of this nonsense? Basta. Hasta la vista with this stuff?

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