Monday, July 18, 2005


Rochester's Highland Hospital faces a lawsuit for allegedly discriminating against Hispanic employees who claim they were prohibited from speaking Spanish at work. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the suit in federal court Wednesday on behalf of at least five Highland Hospital employees. Each of the employees still works in the hospital's housekeeping department. Housekeeping supervisor Janette Nunez claims her boss told her she could no longer speak Spanish at work after she asked to translate for one of her co-workers. "He went like this on his desk and said no. You speak English in my office. You are in America," Nunez said.

Nunez says her performance reviews have gone from superior to poor since she took issue with the policy. "I was very, very hurt because of this. I was feeling that I was treated so unfair," she said. "That's not an indication that the hospital is concerned about patient care. It's not concerned about its business. It's concerned about bullying and harassing people who are Hispanic," said attorney J. Nelson Thomas.

Highland Hospital calls this lawsuit unfair and says it's based on one big misunderstanding. The hospital says it asked its housekeeping staff to restrict Spanish use only when around non-Spanish speaking employees. "Our intent was not to restrict anyone from speaking Spanish," said COO Cindy Becker. "It was to assure all of our employees understood and felt they were part of a team." Becker says management received complaints that some Spanish-speaking employees would deliberately switch from English to Spanish and create an atmosphere of mistrust and misunderstanding.

The employees who are going ahead with the lawsuit dispute those claims. They want the policy changed and want money for their pain and suffering. Janette Nunez says what she wants most is justice. "We're looking for people to understand this is America. This is a free country."


Multiculturism - Dishonest and Deadly

Post lifted from Bear to the Right

Bruce Thornton writes an excellent must-read article about multiculturism, "Dishonest and Deadly - Why does the West entertain such a wrongheaded notion as multiculturalism?"

"The news that the London terrorist attacks were carried out by second-generation Muslim immigrants should not surprise us. For years now we in the West have indulged a whole set of destructive ideas whose bitter fruit we will all continue to harvest, as more and more unassimilated and disaffected immigrant children turn against the countries that welcomed their parents and provided them with a prosperity and freedom unknown in their countries of origin.

This baneful idea goes by the name of multiculturalism. Don't be fooled by marketing: multiculturalism is not simply a call to respect cultures different from one's own. In reality multiculturalism is a therapeutic melodrama of Western crimes against peaceful peoples “of color” who were subjected to racism, sexism, slavery, colonialism, imperialism, and environmental degradation. Given its record of evil, the West owes reparations to all those victims, especially those who emigrate to the West. There these victims will be given public assistance and soothed with repeated public assertions and recognitions of their culture's superiority, coupled with ritualistic confessions of Western guilt and dysfunction.

Some consider this “cultural relativism,” but it isn't really. A genuine cultural relativism would hold that there are no universal standards by which to judge any culture. But most of the time, those who claim that cultures can be judged only in their own terms have no compunction in judging and condemning the West. Nor will they accept that Nazi Germany or the antebellum South or apartheid South Africa were just “different” and so beyond our judgment. And of course, if you pin them down on the standards and values and principles on which they base their condemnations, these will all turn out to be ideals like freedom or human rights or equality that have their origins and most complete development in the West."

He concludes with:

"To demand that immigrants assimilate and pledge allegiance to their new homes is not xenophobia or racism; it is rather to demand that those who choose to come to the West and enjoy its political and economic goods respect, honor, and embrace the ideals and principles that created those goods in the first place. And it is to recognize that yes, a price must be paid: the discarding of those old ways and ideals that contradict or compromise the new values. After all, by coming to the West the immigrant has already voted with his feet for the Western way. If he now finds that he made the wrong choice and that he believes the culture he left is in fact superior, then he is free to go back."

Before multiculturism became popular in the 1960's, the objective of schools was to cause everyone to assimilate into the American culture. Children pledged allegiance to the Flag, sang America the Beautiful and the Star Spangled Banner, learned that the Founders of our country were ordinary men with extraordinary ideas, and were taught that America provides freedom and opportunity that isn't available elsewhere. Children were taught what it was to be an American and to be glad that they were part of this great country. It was considered important to make sure that children, regardless of where they came from, or what race they were, became assimilated so that they were able to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

Since "Multiculturism" became fashionable, schools, rather than assimilating children into the American mainstream, have been causing children to celebrate their differences. Celebrating differences has the opposite effect. Children feel alienated from the main culture, and feel more of an attachment to their ethnic or racial group. Rather than assimilating children into the American culture, multiculturism has caused them to feel apart from the American culture. That is particularly true among the Muslim community, but extends to the Latino and African-American communities as well.

Celebrating ethnic differences should be reserved to the home and the ethnic community. American schools should abandon the failed multiculturism system and go back to making children become American, teach them to be proud of their country and to feel that they are a part of the American culture.

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