RUSH: Have you heard about this? This is from Philadelphia. “An English-only ordering policy at one of the city’s most famous cheesesteak joints drew a warning Monday from officials who threatened to file a discrimination complaint…. [Philadelphia]’s Commission on Human Relations planned to argue that the policy at Geno’s Steaks discourages customers of certain backgrounds from eating there, said Rachel Lawton, acting executive director. Geno’s owner, Joseph Vento, posted two small signs at his shop in South Philadelphia proclaiming: ‘This is America: When ordering, speak English.'” Now Rachel Lawton, the acting executive director for the Commission on Human Relations, “said that violates the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodation and housing.
“‘It’s discouraging patronage by non-English-speaking customers because of their national origin or ancestry,’ she said. Vento, 66 [the owner of Geno’s], whose grandparents struggled to learn English after arriving from Sicily in the 1920s, said Monday that he isn’t discriminating and has no intention of giving in. ‘I would say they would have to handcuff me and take me out because I’m not taking [the signs] down,’ Vento said. He said no customer had ever been turned away because of the policy. Vento said he posted the sign about six months ago because of concern over the debate on immigration reform and the increasing number of people in the area who can’t order in English.
“The historically Italian community has become more diverse as immigrants from Asia and Latin America have moved in.” Lawton said the restaurant would probably be served with a complaint either yesterday or today. She didn’t return calls from al-AP on Monday evening. She said the restaurant “could be ordered to take down the signs or face fines. The dispute could end up in court. ‘Let them do what they want to,’ Vento said. ‘When it comes, then we’ll deal with it.'” Can you believe this? Okay, the guy — if he doesn’t want people coming in there that can’t speak English and order — how is this discriminating? Why is the onus not on those who want to go into a place of business and access it? Obviously… I know. I know. The regulations. I’m just telling you this is another sign. This is Philadelphia. This is not a border town. This is not close to the Mexican border. This is not San Diego. This is not Texas.
This is not Arizona. This is a blue state and a
RUSH: Our last caller, two callers ago, said that John Kerry had his cheesesteak at Geno’s. It was not Geno’s. It was Pat’s. Pat’s is the Democrat place, and Geno’s is the GOP place across the street, and Kerry went to Pat’s to have his cheesesteak, and that’s where he ordered Swiss cheese. Normally it’s Cheez Whiz, maybe some American or provolone. (Laughing.) But he ordered Swiss cheese, and the Washington Post ran a picture of him eating the thing, and the whole story is how he just blew it with the whole experience: the way he ate it, the way he ordered it, and they bring in his $75 haircuts and his Boston Brahman personality and so forth.
Anyway, we’ll link to it at RushLimbaugh.com so you can refresh your memories of John Kerry eating a Philly cheesesteak. You got me to thinking, here, folks. They want to fine Geno’s because he’s got a sign up that says, “This is America. When ordering, please speak English.” In other words, discriminating against customers who can’t speak English. Well, this program airs in Philadelphia, and a number of other places around the world as well. This program airs in Philadelphia and you have to speak English to get on this program. We don’t have a sign posted, but, I mean, it’s clear if you don’t speak English you’re not going to get on this program. I wonder if that exposes the EIB Network to any kind of penalty or liability
“Well,” you might say, “No, Rush. Come on! You can’t do that.”
Why not? This is a federally regulated business, broadcasting — and, you know, anti-discrimination laws in the federal books are just as onerous as what they might be in Philadelphia. You might say, “Well, they’ve probably got Spanish-language stations in Philadelphia.” Well, I’m sure they’ve got restaurants in Philadelphia, too, where if you want to go speak Spanish to order the food, I’m sure they have those specific locales, and I’m sure that if you don’t speak Spanish in those restaurants, you may be out of luck. I don’t know. Wait and see. I’m not confident we might not be cited as well, ladies and gentlemen, for being in violation of Philadelphia’s anti-discrimination statutes, laws, regulations, what have you. Kirk in Lansing, Michigan, welcome to the EIB Network, sir.
CALLER: Rush Limbaugh, I feel sorry for you, sir. I’ve never heard a person as mean-spirited and nasty. Now, what’s wrong with that individual who doesn’t speak English to go into a restaurant and maybe struggle with the language and order a meal?
RUSH: Wait a minute. Did you just say that you’ve never heard anyone as mean-spirited and nasty as I?
CALLER: That is true, Rush. I do not understand where you’re coming from on this.
RUSH: When was I “mean-spirited and nasty”?
CALLER: Let me ask you a question: “Would Jesus have walked around Nazareth or Jerusalem with a sign that said, ‘Don’t talk to me unless you do it in my native tongue’?”
RUSH: You’ve got to be kidding me?
CALLER: Uh, sir, no, I am not. What is wrong with Christian brotherly love, welcoming in people?
CALLER: (clearing throat) I see nothing wrong with that — and I have a bit of advice for Geno [sic–Joseph Vento]. Maybe —
RUSH: Oooh! Oh, here it is. Stick with it long enough…
CALLER: — he could have people out in the line telling people how to order in English.
RUSH: Kirk, let me tell you something. This will explain it. I do not walk around with an obsessive guilt like you do obviously. As a liberal Democrat, you have to be obsessed with tremendous
It’s his business! He can run it the way he wants. If it hurts him, it hurts him. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I, frankly, think the onus ought to be on people, if you want to go in someplace and order something to eat,
CALLER: Hi, Rush, how are you?
RUSH: Fine, sir.
CALLER: Long-time listener, first time caller. The reason I’m calling is I’m listening to all this stuff about English first and so on and so forth. I’m 62 years old. I grew up in Montreal. I remember the FLQ [
RUSH: I know what you’re saying. Let’s define some terms here, set some parameters, as it were. I know what you’re saying about the Balkanization — and this, by the way, is one of the most — I think it’s just now starting to bubble up over the surface; this is one of the most — irritating aspects of illegal immigration, and that is because of it, Americans are having to learn Spanish or put up with multilingual signage and so forth and so on rather
Without doing so, you’re never going to realize your potential in this country. It’s just axiomatic. If you don’t learn the language as an immigrant to this country you don’t stand a chance of being all you can be, of maximizing the opportunities here, and to
Now, you talk about Paris. I’ve been to Paris. I’ve been to France, and there are plenty of places there that speak English. Restaurants, hotels and so forth. But I am not an illegal immigrant when I go to France. I am a visitor. I am an American. (I tried to hide that last time I was there. Nah, I didn’t really.) But, you know, they will accommodate you. You go into a hotel or a restaurant, and they know that in various times of year it’s the peak of tourist season. They will endeavor to understand you and they have people that can. I don’t think — maybe they are — if the French are requiring their people to learn various languages of Islam, I don’t think they are, are they? They’re blowing it a whole bunch of other different ways but they’re not doing that. (interruption)
Chirac walked out. That’s right, he did. Chirac walked out of a business meeting because French wasn’t spoken, because the guy used English. They’re very arrogant over there about this. But I have been to places, on the other hand. I have been to little neighborhood joints. Last time I went to Paris a friend of mine from California recommended this French neighborhood bar restaurant joint —
Well, yeah, I pointed at it. I knew some French words, not enough to carry a conversation. I had a little book and so forth, but (interruption). No, no, no. I did not order snails. It was a breakfast place, a brunch-type place. It wasn’t difficult to do. I’ve got enough experience in recognizing enough words to get by. That’s not my point! The point is you can find places in Paris
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