Press ‘1’ for English

Every now and then, one of my conservative friends in my social circle will post the picture – typically with John Wayne in his macho pose – with the question, “Why do I have to Press ‘1’ for English. This is America.

Forget that the question itself shows more than a little xenophobia. Forget that it demonstrates a narrow world view of the person for whom that resonates. Forget that American history is littered with the vilification of other ethnic minorities over the years like the Irish and the Italians, or religious minorities like the Catholics or the Mormons for whom there is little contempt in modern society. For crying out loud, if you really care about America, read an American History book and get some perspective.

If the English-only movement is of such import to real conservatives, why did both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney run Spanish-language ads during the recent Florida primary race?

I am not going to denounce that as hypocrisy. They know that the latino vote is important to them, just as capitalists know that money from latinos is just as valuable as money from them “regular Americans” and social service organizations know that people need help, regardless of their language proficiency.

… but next time, my social network friends put out the post rhetorically asking why they have to press ‘1’, I will redirect their question to Mitt and Newt.

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2 Responses to “Press ‘1’ for English”

  1. Chris D Says:

    I know it’s beside the point, but lately I’ve noticed that more often than not, you don’t even have to press “1” for English. You do, however, have to wait a grand total of 5 seconds for directions in Spanish to press “2” for Spanish.

  2. meatjelly Says:

    Well put. This problems exists here as well, though it’s Ukrainian versus Russian language.

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