Geno’s Steaks in Philadelphia, PA has a sign posted that says, “This is America – when ordering speak English.” Which makes sense to me if no one who works in the restaurant is bi-lingual.

This, of course, has sparked controversy among the Hispanic community in Philadelphia, and leaders are calling for a boycott of Geno’s. One brilliant Hispanic leader said, “I think what’s coming out of his mouth is racist. He is saying, ‘I don’t like these brown faces in my community and I will do everything I can to get them out of there.”

Um, what Santiago (the leader who made that genius statement) must not understand is that Joey Vento is a second-generation American, whose grandparents immigrated from Italy…and when they got here, they didn’t speak English.

I find it laughable that some Hispanics (I know that not all feel this way) think that we should all learn Spanish. If we get a huge influx of Italians should we all learn to speak Italian? What about Swahili? And maybe French, German, Japanese, and Chinese while we’re at it. Clearly we can’t accept other cultures unless we speak their language! Be serious!

When I travel – or if I were to move – to another country, I do not expect everyone I encounter to learn English. I have enough respect for the country that I am visiting or in which I decide to reside to learn their language. With the hundreds of languages and dialects in this world it is ridiculous to insist that those of another country learn my language because I and millions of my friends decide to move there.

I can’t imagine that Joey Vento’s grandparents expected the people they encountered in the US to speak Italian, so, hard as it was, they learned English. This is just another example of the selfish lack of personal responsibility that has so permeated the Western World. People believe that because something’s hard to do that someone else should do it for them, so I praise Joey Vento for not folding to the pressure.

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