English spoken here -- so you should learn it

 

Recently I went to a home-improvement store looking for a ceiling fan for our home.

As I attempted to compare labels, I was thwarted by the predominance of labels written in Spanish. I asked to speak with a member of management, who proceeded to point out the labels that were in English -- one out of three on the shelf.

When I reminded him that we live in America, where most people speak English, he informed me that his daughter attended school and had learned Spanish there. I asked him if her classes were taught in Spanish. He said he wasn't going to get into that with me. He did offer to have a sales associate turn around boxes if I needed to read the label.

Another interesting comment he made was this: If we turn them around for the English to be read, what about our Spanish-speaking customers? Well, what about your English -speaking customers? Is that store not interested in serving them any longer?

I have friends who are Hispanic whom I love dearly. I took Spanish in school and so did my children. But we live in America. If someone moves to this country, they are often doing it to improve their standard of living and give their children opportunities they would not have in their native countries.

We are not helping them be all they can be in our country when we continue to separate and isolate them in their Spanish-speaking world. It isn't fair to the Hispanic people in our midst.

Also, have you tried to read a label on a medicine bottle lately? If they only printed them in English, they could use type big enough to be read by everyone. It is not a safety label when it can't be read.

We live in America. We speak English. That's just the way it is.

Terri White

Aiken, S.C.

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