On July 4th an incident occurred in Wasserman park in Merrimack, NH which has since grown to reach national news levels.
A group of punks came into the town park and proceeded to cause problems for the lifeguard and break the rules of the park by drinking in an area where alcohol is prohibited. They continued to ignore the lifeguard and continue causing problems to the point where police had to be called in. When the police arrived they explained to the punks that alcohol was not allowed and pointed out the clearly displayed sign which lists the park rules. The punks responding in fluent English claimed they couldn't read the sign because it wasn't in Spanish.
How hard is it to understand Alcohol Prohibited which in Spanish would be Alcohol Prohibido especially considering that you can SPEAK ENGLISH? I would think you wouldn't need a degree in rocket science to translate that one. Clearly some in the Hispanic society however find even that little bit of translating to be too complicated for them to handle to the point they are now pushing the town to adopt bi-lingual signs listing the park rules.
This incident has sparked a debate in Merrimack on whether or not the town should spend tax payer money putting up signs in other languages. Since many of those using the park are from outside downs, some of the local councilors believe correctly that it would be unfair to essentially punish the local tax payers for bad behavior of guests from other towns.
In my opinion this raises a couple of questions, the key question being whether or not spending money on bi-lingual signs will actually solve the problem. Since the reports I've read on the incident that sparked this all pointed out that the troublemakers spoke fluent English to the police and considering how similar the English vs. Spanish translation of Alcohol Prohibited are, I have a hard time buying into the fact that they both could not understand the sign and could not understand the lifeguard's statements. Based on that I wouldn't expect bi-lingual signs to make any difference. That fact I'm sure will be glossed over in the national media coverage (national news vans have begun pulling into Merrimack in the last couple days). And of course the debate on many forums discussing the story have turned to "diversity" and whether or not it's a good thing. I'm sorry but diversity has NOTHING to do with a group of punks breaking park rules. I could say more on "diversity" but I will save it for another article.
The other question I have is why do the most recent immigrant coming into this country expect more then any other group before them? Many of my family came here on a boat from Italy. They never once expected society to bend for them. Instead they did what was needed to learn the language and now as the 2nd generation actually born here I consider myself 100% American and while I know some Italian I speak first and foremost English as did my mother. I can count on my fingers how many times I heard my mother or grandparents speaking Italian it was so infrequent. Many other immigrants coming to this country share similar stories of forcing themselves and their families to speak English in order to better themselves and fit into the culture they chose to move into. Now however we see a far different group. We as a society are expected to bend for them putting signs up in their languages. Why?
Those of us who speak out against such insanity of course are labeled racists, as I'm sure someone will suggest in the feedback. Simply because we believe like our own ancestors the newest immigrants should be expected to rise to the same level of achievement our own did. Simply because we don't expect society to bend for the few but the few to do what it takes to fit into the society the choose to live in.