Thursday, February 21, 2019

Bi-Lingual Preferred

by Christopher Gibson (writer), the burbs..., August 11, 2007

My wife is Hispanic. She's beautiful, intelligent, and hard working. She recently lost her job and with her qualifications finding a new job should be an easy task. But she can't find a job. Why? Because she doesn't speak Spanish. Her parents speak Spanish. Her aunts and uncles speak Spanish. She and her brothers though, do not. Why is that you ask? I'll tell you why.

Her parents are both Hispanic. Her father is from Mexico, and her mother was born here in Texas. They were raised with the belief that to be a part of the American culture, one must learn the English language. Learning English was the key to the good life. If you wanted an education, you had to learn English. English was the key to finding a good job. All business was conducted in English. Government forms were all printed in English. Yes, learning English was the key.

Now English is not an easy language to learn. In fact, English is one of the most difficult languages to learn period. I mean if you think about it, American school children are taught English for 12 years, and a large majority of them have failed to master it. Even our own President doesn't seem to be a native speaker, but I digress. If you want to know just how difficult it is to learn, just Google "learn English" and be prepared to wade through the results.

After enduring the difficult task of learning English themselves, my wife's parents, and many other Hispanic parents did what they thought was best for their children. They brought them up in a household where only English was spoken. They did not want their children to endure the racism and hardships brought upon them by not knowing English. Little did they know that they were actually doing them a disservice and would eventually make it more difficult for them as they got older. Not only would this result in them having difficulty finding a job, it would actually cause them to experience a type of reverse racism.

The reverse racism I am speaking of is I guess what you would call race on race racism. That's the only way I can think of to describe it. What I am talking about is my wife and the many others like her being looked down upon by other Hispanics. One time she walked into an Insurance office that had a "NOW HIRING" sign hanging outside of it. Insurance is what my wife does for a living. She is licensed and has over 7 years of experience. She's definitely qualified. So the first question the owner (a Hispanic lady) asks her when she turns in her resume is "You speak Spanish, right?". Upon hearing my wife's answer of "Sorry, no", she impolitely says "Thank you" and that was that. She didn't even bother to look at the resume to determine whether or not my wife was qualified.

This is becoming the case for people of all races now. The recent influx of non-English speaking immigrants is prompting business of all types to hire only “bi-lingual” candidates. Its racism come full circle and it’s time that it be put to an end, but this discussion is better suited for it’s own article.

About the Writer

Christopher Gibson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on Bi-Lingual Preferred

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By Geddy on August 13, 2007 at 04:24 pm
People seem to want to put their own spin on the race thing. I was born in this country (I'm also a white guy) and speak very little Spanish. I have been turned down for jobs because I was not bi-lingual too. Has nothing to do with racism but with the fact that employers nowadays wish to cater to the widest variety of consumers. I was actually told by an owner of a place where I was employed that I need to learn Spanish to better speak with those I managed, most of which who were here illegally. To him it was cheaper to hire illegals than to hire people who spoke English so I was supposed to conform to make it easier for him. Also, if you or I were to go into ANY other country where we didn't speak the language it would be much harder to find a job than a native of that country. I even bet that if you owned a company and a guy walks in speaking only, let's say, Swahili, you would probably not hire him because it would be too hard to communicate. For a business to be successful, I think you'll agree, communication is essential, for both employee/ employer as well as employee/ customer.
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Log In To Vote   Score: 2
By Brett M on December 07, 2007 at 12:30 am
good pov
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