The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Hispanic Man Attacked For Speaking Spanish

By Hatewatch Staff on February 3, 2009 - 8:05 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Scott Pontzious, 28, was charged with battery and committing a hate crime after he allegedly told a Hispanic man talking in Spanish to learn English and then assaulted him.
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  • GENO the Shadow Wolf

    How is speaking Spanish any different from French, German, Russian and other foriegn languages spoken in the U.S. other than English? Heck even Blacks in the cities have their own language, probably called “thuganomics” or “gangsterism” or something.

    It is so idiotic to assumed that everybody should act the same, look the same, talk the same and so on.

    Since the dude is locked up in the Santa Clara jail, there’s a lotta Hispanics over there. The dude is gonna learn respect one way or another, since Hispanics are a dominating ethnic group in the prison system in Cali making up somewhere around 60% of the prison/jail population.

    Boy this dude`s gonna get a load full. He might be better of in solitary confinement or what they call “the hole” for his own personal safety.

  • mbhall

    It seems that any and all hate crimes are open to the public record. Perhaps the hate crimes against whites are random acts? Or does it stem from the fact that white groups are organized against Latinos (legal or illegal)? Undoubtedly many nativists, like the Know-Nothings of the 19th C, believed in the existence of anti-nativist groups and a national conspiracy. In reality no such national groups existed and La Raza doesn’t qualify today.

  • Luftblasen

    It’s such a shame that we have such absurd acts of intolerance and narrow-mindedness. What if the man was a tourist or a business traveller? How many Americans go through the trouble of learning even the most basic phrases when travelling abroad? I wonder if the Hispanic man would have been attacked had he been speaking a different language, say French or Swedish; and whether it would have made a difference if he was speaking Arabic or Vietnamese. On a side note, “linguistic racism” exists even down to what accents we find “cool” or attractive. All I can say is that we have a very long way to go.

  • Fred

    Funny how there seems to be NO hate crimes at all commited on white people? I guess there are no criminals of any other races today! Gee why don’t we just count the people in our prisons to see how true that is!

  • cindy hawkins-legorreta

    I was born in Queens, NY; I myself am of Italian/German background. I teach ESL to foreign born people and encounter this type of bigotry more often than I care to say: I am a bilingual “Angla”, so I often speak Spanish to my husband, who was born in Mexico but lived in New Orleans for nearly forty years. When we first decided to marry, someone actually said to me (they were serious), “I just hope he’s documented…!” And, back in the 1950’s? HE got beat up for speaking Spanish in the playground. Unfortunately, hate has no season, no expiration date, no statute of limitations. Would that it did….

  • John A. Burrus

    Hate mongering like that doesn’t need a reason. If it did, it would not exist.

  • Patricio Bridges

    Maybe the Hispanic man already knew English did Pontzious bother to ask? Or maybe the Hispanic was in school taking advantage of the “Learn English for free” classes available at the local school. There’s no law saying a person has to speak English in public and even if there were it wouldn’t be Pontzious’ job to enforce it. I hope they throw the book at him and the two jerks who attacked the members of the Russian Ballet Company for speaking Russian. I wonder how these people would feel if they were attacked for speaking English while visiting a foreign country.