I’m Sick of Hearing Para Espanol O Prima Dos. Enough Already!

I’m fully prepared for the backlash this article will cause.   I will be called ‘intolerant’ and many other names to describe someone who is conservative and dares to tell the truth on polarizing issues. 

I’m sick of “para espanol o prima dos.”   In English this means “for Spanish, press two.”   I’m not sick of this phrase because it bothers me personally or because I have anything against anyone speaking Spanish.  I’m sick of it because of what it’s inviting and what it’s doing to people in this country.

Let me explain. Then you can call me a bigot.  This past week I had a troubling situation with my son and daughter’s school.  So I called the school district main-office to speak to someone  about it.  I reached the automated greeting menu, followed by another 45 seconds worth of Spanish instruction.  I realize the heart of this dual-language menu is to assist those who don’t speak fluent English. It’s part of our “be accepting to all people and all national origins” hoopla plaguing this country.

After listening to the Atlanta Public schools Spanish menu, it seemed to me more tailored to the Mexican population than that of Georgian.  I feel sorry for the children of a parent who require a Spanish menu in order to navigate their child’s school system.

Let’s think about this. You want your child to succeed., right?  You want them to be prepared for living in America.  Their success is contingent upon being fully immersed into the English, American culture and being able to understand how people around you think, feel, communicate and operate. If the parents of a school-aged child in 2016 can’t speak fluent English then that child is likely being raised in an unassimilated household.   Without a miracle, that child is destined for failure.

This phenomenon is adding to our welfare state contributing to the entrapment of many of our minority citizens and increasing taxpayers’ entitlement-costs.  The average underprivileged child has been exposed to 30 million fewer words by the time they enter kindergarten as compared to an privileged child in America.  We then tap our productive resources to neutralize this tragedy through government assistance. 

Knowing two languages, especially Spanish and English, is an advantage. But, growing up in a household where members need assistance understanding English in order to conduct business or communicate with a child’s school is sad. 

From driving down the road, to taxicabs, business websites, door signs, telephone menus to  government facilities, we are saying to Hispanics it’s okay to live in an English-speaking country, unassimilated, and without a full understanding of the culture around you.  Each instance that we cater to such disadvantages we encourage people to use those disadvantages as a crutch.  Further, we discourage the incentive to have them step out of their comfort zone and fully integrate into the English-world around them.

Over my years as a real estate broker and in the process of selling thousands of homes, I’ve served a very diverse crowd of clients and customers. Many of my great clients have been Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern.  Not coincidentally, most of them have been very assimilated into Western culture, have a strong command of the English language and will openly share opinions of what they like and dislike about America.  Ultimately, the overwhelming majority of them love America and have become part of America, while respecting elements of their culture of origin.  These clients were all very successful.  They did not succeed by transporting most of their culture into America expecting us to change for them.  They learned how to successfully work with us. 

I’ve observed many foreign-born minorities seeking church or government assistance who struggle significantly.  They struggle understanding our culture, our language and they are collectivists. 

Cultural-collectivism is essentially the process of putting a group of people ahead of the individuals.   There is nothing wrong with practicing collectivism in a collectivist society.  But, the United States is anything but collectivist.  We are an individualistic society where people must use judgment, think for themselves and step ‘outside the box’ in order to succeed.  You can’t just ‘go with the flow.’

When people from collectivist societies such as Mexico immigrate and are not aware of this significant difference, they fail.  They become a prisoner of entitlements and government assistance in order to survive. 

Some of the tweets, private emails and comments this article will generate calling me intolerant, a bigot, racist or evil are in fact the reason tens of millions of Americans continue to struggle in uninterrupted, generational poverty.  These name-calling commentators are too weak emotionally to respect these immigrants, for once, and tell them the truth.

What is that truth?  Unless you improve your dialect, garner a command of the English language and vehemently study our culture and history, your experience in America may be no better than that of your own country.  You will struggle. 

Oh the hate gets worse!  I dared mention dialect. Let’s face it.  There are bigots and racists in our country and rather than trying to change the hearts and ignorant-minds of those people, our energy is best focused on helping those who struggle, remedy the root causes of their struggles. 

When I first entered radio broadcasting in 1994, it was like being stabbed in the heart when a Nashville program-director told me I sounded like a southern hick. He went further. He said you’ll never make it in this business until you lose this accent.  That stung!  He then picked me up off the floor telling me I had a great voice.  He told me to practice every day if I really wanted to be on the radio.  Months later, he put me there. 

That advice and resulting skills has indirectly led to major financial successes for me. 

Instead of calling me a bigot, for writing this, call me a truth-teller.