A cheesesteak restaurant in Philadelphia put up a sign, "This is America. Please order in English." As a result, he was charged with discrimination. But fortunately, he was recently vindicated. Yes, this is America, and Joey Vento, the owner, was ruled within his rights by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.
Why was he even charged with discrimination, though? Millions of immigrants came to this country and learned the majority language. My father came to this country about 80 years ago as a child, and the local druggist made him learn English by not letting him order an ice cream in his native Yiddish after a while. The druggist understood Yiddish and had taken his orders for a while in that language, but he knew that this 11-year-old kid that eventually became my father would need to learn English to function in America. And my father, by the age of 15, had graduated from the 8th grade, though four years previously he had come to this country devoid of the English language. And by the time I was around, years later, my father spoke English without a significant foreign accent.
Joey Vento was right to do what he did. And thank Heaven that the final decision came the way it did, even if it was years in the making.
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