Monday, June 12, 2006

 

Update on Geno's steaks

Boohoo a bunch of people don't want to be bothered to learn "cheesesteak wit" in english. Someone start brewing a pot of STFU. I posted a few weeks ago about Geno's Steaks in Philadelphia. The original post was about Joe Vento, who hass owned and operated Geno's since 1966, putting up sign telling patrons to order in English. Now Vento, who's only practicing his first amendment rights is under "investigation" for violating the city's "Fair Practices Ordinance" (by the way, anyone who has done business with the city could tell you how much of a total CROCK that ordinance is).
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now let's look at a few things here, first Al-Reuters, that bastion of fair and balanced reporting (for examples of what Reuters considered unbiased look here and here oh yeah and here too) calls it an "investigation". Who need's an investigation, there are pictures all over the news of Ventro with the sign, a simple trip to Geno's will confirm what the sign says and that it's hanging up. However, the word "investigation" makes it appear that Ventro might be doing something wrong! Now let's look at the sign itself, it says.
"This is America - when ordering, speak English."

Click the link for the actual sign. Right underneath that there is a very typical sign that says the "the management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone".
Let's take the 1st sign. It doesn't discriminate on basis of color, gender, ethnicity, sexual persuasion or political party. It simply says when ordering speak english. I have never seen a law that prohibits discrimination on speaking a set language (if anyone knows of one let me know, American law please). So if I, an American citizen, relatively well versed in the language here decided to walk up to the counter and say "ewrf werqewgf ewfg" they could/would refuse me service (and maybe call a pysch ward). Under that example no one would be bitching would they? I made the choice to speak gibberish and not be understood and they made the choice to say "next customer". However, because someone is another nationality and makes the CHOICE not to learn basic English the vendor should still have the right to say "next customer". No one has a problem with the sign below concerning management reserving the right but yet when management actually goes ahead and says they will enforce the right there's an issue? Seriously, someone hand these people a cup of STFU!
Now let's look at the group (actually part of city government)who is "investigating". Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations is the one currently in need of a cup of STFU (24 ounce please). Lets read this piece from their home page.
Established in 1951 under the City Charter, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) is the city agency that enforces civil rights laws and deals with all matters of intergroup conflict within the city.
What civil rights laws have been broken? There isn't an "intergroup" conflict either, but rather a group that has it's panties in a bunch because they couldn't be bothered to learn the basics of our language (remember we are talking about ordering a cheesesteak, not reciting Shakespeare). Ventro didn't discriminate against a racial group but rather asked for the courtesy for his English speaking employees to get their orders in English. Once again, here's your cup of STFU.
Now lets look at another section of their home page.

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PCHR's Compliance Division enforces the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance. Discrimination is prohibited in employment, housing, public accommodations and the delivery of City services. In employment, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, sex, sexual orientation, disability, marital status. and gender identity. In housing, the bases are race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, physical disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity, the presence of children or an individual's source of income. In public accommodations and the delivery of City services, the bases are the same as employment except age is not covered in public accommodations. Individuals can also file retaliation complaints in employment and housing cases if they feel they have been retaliated against for either complaining about discriminatory practices or for having filed a discrimnation complaint
Excuse me, but where in there does it say that this city funded department needs to police cheesesteaks? Where does it say that the city government must now enforce the right of people to put undue stress and pressure on it's citizens by making them learn other languages to accept the food orders of customers? For that matter the question of defending someone's right to not speak the language isn't in their charter is it? What about Ventro's rights to defend what he feels is an assault on American culture? What about Ventro's employees rights not to have to fee undue stress about not being able to understand the person in front of them when there are 25 very hungry people waiting on food and complaining in English? Where the hell is the ACLU to defend Ventro's right to run his business his way? If Taco Bell decided that you had to order in Spanish to get food would these same people be complaining? Or would they say that it's the "right of the business"? Here's a nice cup of STFU to all those who think that the Ventro can't run his business his way. They don't want to learn the language then let them avoid his business, at least then the lines might be a little shorter when I go.

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