Charging more for not speaking English isn’t ‘racist’ (Opinion)
There were a couple of post going around social media from someone accusing a shop owner of "racism" for hanging a sign that said he'd charge an extra $10 for non-English speaking patrons.
The shop is apparently a knife-sharpening business in Clifton. The owner says he first posted the sign after getting frustrated with a customer who wasn't speaking English, but he's since taken it down.
The person who seems to have first posted about it to social media — setting off a flurry of other posts in community groups and person pages — accuses the man of racism even though there is no evidence that he is a racist
The same Facebook user also says in the comments to his post that the man looks "retarded" Why because he is an older white man with a long beard and is wearing overalls? Why is it OK to call him this because he doesn't look like the accuser, and the accuser doesn't agree with the man's position? Apparently that's just fine.
The man owns a business. The man sharpens knives. Knives can be used as weapons. Maybe the shopkeeper is careful who he sharpens knives for, and without being able to communicate with the customer, he feels uncomfortable sharpening the knives.
Suppose the man is of German decent and a customer comes in speaking German and the shopkeeper charges the person an extra $10 for not speaking English. Is it still "racist?" Perhaps in taking longer to communicate with a non-English speaking customer it takes more time away from the man's business.
Both sets of my grandparents were immigrants and did not speak English until the day they died, and two of them were totally illiterate. They all lived into their 90s and died with money in the bank. They got by with their limited English. One even owned a business where people would routinely try to cheat him. He never thought of calling it racist; he just learned by his experiences.
I speak a second language, but not well. If I went to a country that speaks that language and it cost me more to do business, I would do my very best to improve my language skills.
But in this "cancel culture" we live in, it's OK to try to destroy someone who has built something, even though you have not and probably never will. If a Caucasian were in another country and they charged them more if they didn't speak the language, is that racist or just the cost of doing business in another country?
We have raised a generation of idiots who believe that anything they find offensive or uncomfortable when it comes to people who are different from each other is racist. It's stupid, misguided and dangerous. We continue to foster this mindset by not pointing out how absolutely dumb this is. We've also given people who think this way to do or say anything to the person they believe is being "racist." It's the Trump effect. Orange man bad, so whatever I say or do in opposition to him is "A-OK."
If you're not familiar with that saying, look it up and become more familiar with American English and culture.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy. Any opinions expressed are Dennis' own.