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The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Larry Whitten forbade the Hispanic workers at the run-down, Southwestern adobe-style hotel from speaking Spanish in his presence (he thought they’d be talking about him), and ordered some to Anglicize their names.
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Snolax, please don’t confuse my dedication to free enterprise with lack of political courage. I would be on the street protesting if my employer required me to support a cause I didn’t believe in.
If Richard was told to wear a Nazi armband, he’d say Jawohl!
If I were working at a hotel desk in Mexico and my employer asked me nicely to wear a name badge that said “Ricardo” rather than my given name of “Richard,” I would say, “No problemo, Senore.” But that’s just me.
Perhaps someone should have taught Whitten the history of Taos before he invested there.
He might have found out that the people of Taos Pueblo got the courts to return 48,000 acres to the tribe in a 1970 decision that was the first tribal land victory in federal courts.
He might have read about the short career of territorial governor Charles Bent, which ended in Taos one evening in 1847.
He might have noticed that Willa Cather found the intransigence of Taoseños a good foil for her anti-Hispanic hero in Death Comes for the Archbishop
And yet not even those folks were stupid enough to challenge people’s names.
Unfathomable racism. and…unfortunately he is not the only one. There is an elementary school near me where there is an invisible but VERY palpable elment of linguistic racism: children who are “alejandro” at home are “alexander” at school…children who are “luisa” at home are “louise” at school, etc. Pride in one’s heritage, if one is not of European descent is discouraged. The children themselves begin to feel embarassed…unfathomable, inexcusable racism.
I’m not defending his actions, but I questions the AP article. What does his having been a marine forty some years ago have to do with this? I was an air force officer forty years ago and if someone, in a dispute, referred to me as “this tough talking former air force officer,” I would be totally bewildered. His career was hotel management. And by the way, I heard an interview with him on TV – he is soft spoken, and the interviewer was tough talking. I wonder if the AP writer had a perspective to sell.
What a total ass.
Two words: Linguistic imperialism.