Monday, July 5, 2010

Freedom of Speech

Over time, I have let y'all into my little community where I live.  For those who are new, it's a small city (about 30,000 people) that is the suburb of a southwest OH metropolis.  It's a fairly culturally diverse area due mainly to the large international corporation in this neck of the woods.  It's a city of means (and I don't mean "meanies," I mean "means" as in resources and income).  It's also a city that still has some of its way back roots of farming and small town living, which is nice.

There are also some scary people who are here.  People you don't want to meet in a dark alley.  I won't go into all of the details, but they are here - living and/or working.

We have a little pub in town.  I have never been there, but I drive by it several times a week and have seen it on the news due to some bad behavior of those who frequent the place.  Quite frankly, I couldn't go there because I would most likely get my ass kicked.  And I'm not looking for an ass kickin' anytime soon.  They have a sign in the window that says "Speak English only."  Their other sign usually has some other equally inflammatory political comment on it.  In 2005, the Civil Rights Commission ruled against the pub for their sign that used to say "For service, speak English."  I guess since the "new" sign doesn't flat out say they won't serve non-English speaking customers, they can get away with it.

It appears some of the businesses around the pub aren't appreciating the "Speak English only" sign too much, because I have noticed other signs.  The dry cleaner, across the street, has a sign that says "We speak clean," and the art dealer, also across the street, has a sign that says, "Art spoken here."

I love that the surrounding business are "using their words" to make their point. 


  1. Bravo to the nearby businesses who are injecting their little editorial remarks with their own clever signs. I love that! It helps to offset the disgust in my heart I feel knowing there are people who would put up a sign like the one the pub owners have. I hate to imagine it there at all, but I especially hate to think THEY might think it's a humorous thing.

    We were eating supper at a popular business here tonight, and it employs a tremendous variety of people. I was appalled when, as we were waiting for our food, I overheard the only Caucasian employee on shift say loudly two two Hispanic woman he was working with that "We speak English here, not whatever language you two do!" I didn't say it to the boy directly, but when he came near our table shortly after making his comment, I addressed it with my husband and made sure to say how grossly inappropriate I felt the boy was within his earshot. Perhaps not enough, but something.

  2. we have famous steak place (cheesesteak, that is) up the street from my house that has got national attention for their slogan "This is America: when ordering speak English".,2933,198757,00.html

    Never mind that the guy talks like he has a mouth full of rocks and the sandwiches aren't that good in the first place.

    I absolutely hate it. And now he sells bumper stickers and t-shirts so all the racist (linguist?) bastards in the neighborhood walk around with the saying all over the place.


  3. Here in NYC they would riot over those signs !! Hilarious !

  4. I live in the South and those signs are everywhere. I just noticed that I don't notice them It's crazy what one can grow accustomed to.