Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Makes Me Wanna Holler

The title of this post is taken from a book by Nathan McCall that I had to read my sophomore year in High School. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it was the first time I think I ever got an idea for what it was like to be black in America. That is, until I moved here.

While it would be vastly overstating the situation to compare the experience of a White person in Miami to that of a Black street kid in professional America, it is about as close as any middle-class Caucasian will ever get. You may think this is yet another one of my diatribes about Hispanics in Miami and how much I dislike their culture, which in a sense it is, but this is different. I want to make clear to those of you who are not white Miamians what it is to be one of us. It makes me want to Holler.

These are not my stories, since many will be happy to point out that I do not have a “real” job. But they are the stories of Anglos I know here who are in the corporate world. Stories of supervisors talking to coworkers in Spanish during meetings, giving peers instructions in Spanish and getting mad at Whites for not following them. Never understanding what your coworkers are talking about and feeling left out of the cadre. Being forced to take a 10-week Spanish immersion course to get a finance job in America. Are you getting the point? Me complaining about Hispanics is like them complaining about us in LA. Here, they are the Old Boys Network. We are the ones on the outside forcing a laugh at some Pepito joke we are supposed to find funny. We are the ones desperately trying to fit in so we can climb the corporate ladder. I am not a racist, people, I am a minority who is frustrated by the arrogance of the majority. Not the popular majority, like blacks in Detroit or Mexicans in San Antonio, but the economic and political majority, like Whites in the rest of America.

The point I make over and over and over again about Miami is that it is not simply a city with a predominantly Hispanic population. It is a city run, almost completely, by Hispanics. Want to know why government offices conduct business in a language other than English? One might think that if you could not apply for social services or get a drivers license without knowing the language, it might encourage people to learn. It is because almost all of those gevernemnt agencies are run by Hispanics. Want to know why, if you want to work in almost any type of marketing, advertising, or consumer-related business you are almost always required to be bilingual? One might think that getting a good job should be dependent on speaking the national language. It is because management and those making decisions are Hispanic. People here can run thriving, dominant businesses and never learn a word of English. And no, these businesses do not involve smuggling cocaine.

One thing that I absolutely can’t stand is when I try and explain my frustrations to people from cities like LA or Houston, with large Hispanic populations, and they say, “Yeah, it’s like that here too.” No. It isn’t. Having your food messed up because the guy at Del Taco didn’t speak English is a minor inconvenience, not a major factor in your daily lifestyle. Do you go out for happy hour and have all of your coworkers have their Friday afternoon conversations in Spanish? Do you go to the office Christmas party and not understand a word being said at your table? Are you made to feel like an outsider each and every day at your place of employment because you do not understand the little references everyone is making? If you are a white collar worker in any other city, I’m going to guess the answer is no. While I’m sure some of you would love to not be able to understand the chattering of coworkers, it is still something you take for granted that we do not have. Like idle chit chat with the guy at Starbucks.

Have you ever gone and applied for a job in your city? How many of the people who interviewed you were white? Or at least highly assimilated minorities? I’m going to guess more often than not the majority were. Not the case here. I have never gotten a job here when interviewed by a Hispanic. Ever. Not to say it is impossible, mind you, plenty of whites get good jobs in Miami. But it is harder than it is in other cities. It is harder because people tend to hire people who are like them. This was often the argument for affirmative action (a policy I abhor, but that is another story). I would never blame my not getting a job on my being White, but I also understand that the guy doing the hiring is going to like working with someone who he can make bilingual jokes with better than he is going to enjoy working with me. Living here is as close as a white American will ever get to understanding what it is like to be a minority in America.

If you are Latin and live here and want to call bullshit on me, shut the fuck up right now. You DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE becasue you are not White. So do not tell me you went and tried to get a job in Milwaukee and it was hard because you were Latino, but you did anyway because you were determined. Perhaps you did, but don’t try and tell me that the roles aren’t completely reversed here. I have empathy for minorities in other cities now. I also understand that sometimes you just have to accept that you are on the outside looking in and that you must try harder. But it makes it no less maddening. If you are white and you don’t live here, your city is not the same. So do not regale me with some tale of not being able to get the gardener to cut your lawn right or a frustrating experience with your auto mechanic. It’s not the same and you will never understand unless you move to Dade. It’s the first day of fall in South Florida. It’s about 80 degrees and sunny and the humidity is low. But I just wanted to remind you all who might think of moving here that his place is far from paradise.

64 Comments:

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm from miami (born and raised)and you're a dick...you're crying about some bullshit other races have dealt with - to some degree or another - for CENTURIES. Eat a bowl of dick.

when in rome, assrammer...

 
At 5:19 PM, Blogger B-Brod said...

I hear what you are saying - it's not that you are "crying" at all. In fact, it sounds like the opposite. You have a perspective, unlike most of white America of being disadvantaged due to your race. I do empathize, but can’t say I’ve ever actually experienced it first hand. I’ve talked about this very thing many times with a certain friend rugby playing friend of ours. I actually think it would be a good idea for everyone to experience that sometime in their education. It would definitely bring more understanding to the world at large.

So my question is this – The next time you are back home and happen to make eye contact to one of the Hispanic bar backs, or bus boys; are you going to smile and (in Spanish) let them know they are doing a good job and to keep it up; because you now know what it’s like to be on the other side? Or will you revert to the white role and ignore him?

 
At 5:36 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

I live in a predominately white area and I totally do not relate to your experience.
I do completely empathize with your frustration.
My son is bi-racial and I wonder what kind of shit he is going to have to deal with.

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

Like you said, Miami is not a paradise - there are always tradeoffs, and this is one. Also, since it is a Latin-American city in all but name, why are you treating it as an American one? Moving to Miami is like moving to a South-American country, so I'm somewhat puzzled about your outrage. Yes, legally, English should be the language used, and so on, but let's look at reality here. Things aren't always the way they should be according to laws.

I don't think that this experience is that similar to how non-white minorities feel. If we're looking at black people, language is not an issue at all. If we're looking at people whose first language is not English, then too bad for them. They made a decision to move out of their homeland and move into the country where English is the national language. If they never learn it fully and continue to feel excluded, cry me a river.

P.S. to shut the mouths of all the people who will say "white English-speaking girl, you know nothing", my mother tongue is Russian. I moved to North America at 14, 9 years ago. My English is obviously fluent, and my spelling and grammar are better than those of 99% of native speakers. So like I said, cry me a river.

 
At 6:10 PM, Anonymous pod said...

anonymous just invalidated his whole rant with the assrammer jab.

I don't mind it when people speak Spanish, but however, it is a two-way street. When they interact with me, they should make it clear that they either A) have bad English skills, or B) They know I have bad Spanish skills and we'll try to work it out somehow by gesturing and pointing I guess.

What I don't like is the assumption that you should have to learn another language aside from the de facto language of the nation just to get by. English is the de facto language of the United States, which Miami is a part of.

 
At 7:39 PM, Blogger aikin said...

I abso-friggin-lutely agree. One hundred percent. Me and a British guy are the only ones where I work (there's about 20 people in my office) who do not speak Spanish. Life goes on all around me in Spanish. Sometimes I ignore it; sometimes it pisses me off that, knowing I don't speak Spanish, they choose to exclude me.

The discrimination is so bad here I actually had a black guy tell me, "Now you know what it feels like."

Furthermore, I totally disagree with the attitude of "when in Rome." For one thing, we're not in "Rome." Last I checked, we're in goddamn America. I hate that I can't place a food order without it being screwed up. I hate that I basically can't get anything done without a hassle just because I have blond hair and my name doesn't end with a "z."

I've got about six months left in my job-related commitment to Miami, then, to paraphrase Dr. Dre, "Fuck Miami, ya'll can have it." There's plenty of other places that have sunny weather.

 
At 8:28 PM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

aikin (and WD) - yeah, I agree, we're in America, etc. But you guys are expecting too much! I don't know NYC well, but pick a dangerous neighbourhood. Harlem, Queens, something else. Or pick a dangerous neighbourhood in your own city, call it neighbourhood A.

Let's say that I walk through that neighbourhood alone at night, looking like I have plenty of good stuff to steal from me, and I get robbed. The robber is guilty, of course, but the first thing anyone, including me, will say will be "Why the FUCK were you walking through A alone at night?"

The laws will be on my side, as they are on the side of using English in Miami. But this is one of those things that will never become right, and you cannot realistically expect it to.

That's true, the only solution is moving out of there.

 
At 8:53 PM, Blogger The Lone Gringa said...

People, it is not about speaking Spanish or not speaking Spanish. It's about inclusion vs. exclusion.... and when you're white in Miami, you'll never feel truly included. People blame the high rate of transience here on high housing costs and low salaries, etc. Yes, those are issues. But many white non-hispanics I have known to move to Miami (or remain after leaving college) have left within two years, and it hasn't been a money or work issue. It's been an exclusion issue... that no matter whether you're at work, in a bar, or at Publix, from the top to the bottom, you're always gonna feel a little bit out of it all. And don't say, "Well, maybe you should try to adapt more to the situation, blah blah"... I have plenty of hispanic acquaintences, but I'm not going to play up to that like a white guy in Sean John at an all-black high school. Language barriers aside... the way most Miami Latina girls my age were raised, and interact, the values and stereotypes they hold, the whole culture... it's much different than my background. I'm not going to spend happy hour at Lario's, pretending to find hispanic men attractive, talking about my cousin's upcoming quince, and then go home to my parent's house 'til I'm married. Cause I'm a white girl.

That being said - I do like living in Miami, overall. But for now, not forever.

 
At 4:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post and good perspective, WD. It's one that a lot of us don't have. You are not asking for the situation to change or whining, just telling us how it feels to be excluded, and it's something that most of us whiteys won't understand.

But why would you abhor affirmative action? Seems like you're sort of making a case for it.

 
At 8:14 AM, Anonymous florida hater said...

Learn the effing language and shut up juero!

 
At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are white in Miami, it is kind of like a double-edge sword. While you feel excluded from the Hispanics, the white people you know here form a bond. We are the minority, so we tend to stick together because we share similiar frustrations and expierences while living here. In the end, the white connections I made helped me get the job I have now. It was the small network of whites that helped get my resume to the top of the heap.

Where I work, most of the senior management is white. My bosses are all white males and my former boss was a Miami born and raised gringa. I think it definitely helped that I wasn't from Miami originally and was white to get my job. My boss told me that when I got the job, Miami was the hardest city to recurit good workers and the hardest place to leave and get a new job if you want to go to another state. I think that is based on the hispanic population that lives here.

Here is an example of why at my job, it definitely helps that I am white, not from Miami. I work with sales people from all across the country. Remember most of the country is still a majority white. Imagine if you're from Boston calling the coporate office in Miami only to hear the person that picks up the phone to speak in some form of Spanglish, which you can't understand. Not only that, but the emails and any other communciation you receive from the corporate office has wrong verb tenses and tons of other grammatical errors. Very frustating. When the sales people found out I was white, they were so happy. Why, because I was a college educated, white, not from Miami. They tell me all the time what a relief it is to call the office and actually get a person they understand. It is kind of funny and sad at the same time, but now a lot of them call me all the time because they can't understand anyone on the phone here.

My boyfriend works at the airport and is one of the only whites there. He has told me that when he goes over to the American Airlines and British Airways terminal, it is almost like a secret society, because they are the only whites there. They welcomed him with open arms because he wasn't hispanic. I am sure if he asked them for a job, he would no doubt get it from those two companies in a second.
Recently, ABC news came to do a special on airport security, concentrating on the cargo that's loaded on passenger planes. They recurited my boyfriend, since he was one of the few whites to be in the background because they didn't want the American people (remember, the majority of America is white) to be scared by all the ethnic looking people, that might sort of look like a terrosit. This is not a joke.


On another note, I feel like I have more of a connection with the non-hatian/caribbean black community here then any other race. In other areas of the country where blacks and white don't get along, here in Miami, they do.

On another note, I went to Broward county this weekend and I felt like a tourist. It felt like I was in America again. There are a lot of white people in Broward county.

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger angel, jr. said...

I've gotta read that book!!
I don't feel a supervisor giving instructions in Spanish to workers is professional, especially if there are non-Spanish speaking colleagues in the room.

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger SuperBee said...

I managed to make myself not bi-lingual, but I fluently understand the language, and used to be nearly fluent in speaking it. (Not anymore, as I refuse to speak it unless direly necessary, even though I work in a 100% Cuban office and all my client meetings are exclusively in Spanish.)

To echo what the last anonymous said - this is the first place where I feel an automatic kinship with any Anglo I meet. Sort of like, "We're all in this together..."

Although I speak and understand the language, and can completely function here, and although I've been accused of "turning into the biggest Cuban ever" by my officemates, I still echo everyone elses' sentiments about feeling boxed out, excluded and shoved aside. Because even when you're below the Broward county line, it's hard to find anything really familiar -- hell even doing Jewish Charity, there was a lot of Spanish being spoken. No Yiddish. Spanish.

It's fucking hard to live down here. And I have no long-term plans to remain here. As soon as I can get my shit together, within the next two years, I'm peacing out. Not. Worth. It.

 
At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IC,

Please refrain from using "cry me a river". You used it twice in the same post. Also, how can English legally be made a language? Are you going lobby for an English only law?

You live in Canada and know nothing about life in the US. How can you relate to anything that goes on here?

My suggestion, go back to Russia. You bring the stupidity level of North America up by living here.

Dumbass.

ANON1

 
At 11:10 AM, Blogger Alex said...

WD, I understand your frustration (and yes, it comes from being on the other side) but dude, i don't see what resolution you can get. You could be working in an office full of bilingual Hispanics, but like it or not you just won't fit. You'll be an outsider always. I'm very assimilated, I speak english almost exclusively (even though I do advertising in Spanish), I've been married twice to Anglo girls, I never watch any Spanish TV because is crap and yet I'll always be Cuban. I don't understand Bonanza references, have no fucking clue who Opie was, can't make me eat meatloaf, etc. If I move to Tulsa I'd be fish out of water too even though i understand the language perfectly. So what I'm saying is that you are screwed if you choose to feel that way. Take the good with the bad. What's that shit you Marines say? "Adapt, improvise and overcome"?

BTW #1: To put you all at ease: when we speak Spanish we are not talking about the gringo in the room. Yes it may be rude but you are not that important either.

BTW #2: I do call bullshit that government offices here conduct official business in Spanish. Show me one government place where you can't get help in English and lunch at the Capitol Grille is on me.

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Amen, White Dade. I don't know what it's like, but people might expect that more out of New York. But New York is a place where literally hundreds of languages are spoken, not just two.

Oh, and Anon #1: "When in Rome?" Funny, maybe someone should have told that to the influx of Cuban immigrants about 40 years ago.

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger minijonb said...

one of the anon comments took the words out of my mouth: move to Broward if this bothers you that much.

 
At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is a city run, almost completely, by Hispanics."

Just getting the importance of voting message out there, but if you want Miami to change, vote! They have early voting places all over Miami, so you don't have to wait in line on Nov. 7.

 
At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Alex: I speak english almost exclusively (even though I do advertising in Spanish), I've been married twice to Anglo girls, I never watch any Spanish TV because is crap and yet I'll always be Cuban.
Yes, you are still Cuban and while you think you speal fluent English for Miami standards, anywhere else in the country, people will think you speak Spanglish and I'm sure have a hard time understanding your "English."

 
At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're are not going to change the cultural makeup of a city by voting for certain people. The Cubans helped build Miami.

If you really hate Miami that much because of all of the Spanish people move to Idaho.

ANON1

 
At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

And proudly so, Anonymous. In my business, I've been all over this country and spoken to many people, never had a problem making myself understood. I'll even bet my English is better than yours.

As I have said many times, what bothers people like you is that people like me can come into this country, learn the language and be successful. I can't tell you how much I enjoy seeing you stew over this. And I don't have to hide behind "anonymous" because I'm not a bigot ashamed of myself.

 
At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

Chris: "Funny, maybe someone should have told that to the influx of Cuban immigrants about 40 years ago."

Where do you get that wasn't exactly what they did? Cuban Americans who came 40 years ago and their descendants are among the most acculturated Hipanics. They learned the language, they became citizens, they started businesses, they ran for office. You'll be hard pressed to find people who value independence, entrepeneurial spirit and patriotism more. Isn't that the American way?

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Derek said...

Um, why don't you move? Overall do you like it in Miami?

 
At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Hmm, interesting Dade. In my week in Miami I was able to experience to a very small extent what you are talking about. Like when you tried to verify an appointment and the person on the other end couldn't speak english, or understand to redirect you to someone who does. Also walking into a publix and coming to the realization that I was the only native english speaker there. It really is a different experience. NY has a lot of different stuff, but nothing so dominant. I'm guessing El Paso is probably a lot of the same ... just a much much much bigger hole. El Paso in spanish means "The Suck". I might add I don't think Dade was really complaining, just making a point and explaining his perspective of living in My-aa-me with its majority hispanic population.

 
At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's kind of like when I am getting my nails done and the Korean ladies are laughing at how awful my nails look. I'm like, "Yeah ladies, my nails suck...that's why I'm here." My cuticle situation isn't that hilarious.

 
At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to Alex:
You like all the other self-righteous Cubans think you are the only culture or race that had to leave their country and start over in America because their homeland was overrun with a failing political system.

Cubans aren't the best at making name for themselves in this country. Take a look at the large German community in Cleveland or the Irish and Italians in Boston. Cubans get a "Bitch, please!"

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Did I said "the only" anywhere? Bitch please...

 
At 12:20 AM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

Please refrain from using "cry me a river". You used it twice in the same post. Also, how can English legally be made a language? Are you going lobby for an English only law?

You live in Canada and know nothing about life in the US. How can you relate to anything that goes on here?

My suggestion, go back to Russia. You bring the stupidity level of North America up by living here.

Dumbass.

---------------------------
I've used cry me a river once. The second time was a conscious repetition of the first time.

I was referring to government employees not speaking English, while legally they have to be able to.

Canada is not that different. I've lived in the Bay area for several months and and liked it. I don't know much about Miami, I'm going by what WD posts.

But if I left, all you'd have left would be Bill Gates clones running around everywhere!

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey White Dade,

You are the biggest cry baby I have ever seen...dude...If you hate the culture so much, why do you stay ? You are obviously a well educated person, and it sounds like you work in Finance...why not move to Charlotte or NYC ? You won't be an outsider in either...and in NY you'll at least be able to get great lox and bagels...

 
At 11:02 AM, Anonymous DF said...

yI do have a problem with Hispanics not acclimating. The California immigration protests earlier this year, with many immigrants waving Mexican flags was in my opinion inappropriate. However, I find that many immigrants do assimilate in their own way. Alex has pointed out that many Cubans have but Cuban immigration from 45 years ago was very different from most of the Latin American immigration of today. Many Cuban's that came here in the initial wave were educated and among the elite of Cuban society with the means to escape. The same cannot be said of the Cuban immigration of 20 years ago. It is therefore not surprising that with such educated people in the first wave that they managed to have such a powerful influence in Miami, both culturally and politically.

Now, I am of Latin descent (non-Cuban), born in this country from immigrant parents and I speak Spanish fluently (among other languages) and no, I don't speak Spanglish. When it comes to language I suspect there is more jealousy harbored among Whites that don't speak another language because culturally there is no incentive for them to do so.
Fluency in multiple languages can give you an enormous advantage in international business, which I think almost all business is given the interdependencies of economies. I'm also sure it burns a few Whites that I'm Ivy League educated. Invariably, these “haters” are people that despite their cultural or economic advantage were unable to make much of themselves because of their flawed “entitlement” perspective. There are a lot of people that believe they are entitled to something, a truly unproductive mentality, as opposed to earning it but depending upon the group of people it is displayed in different ways. Whites, African-Americans, and yes, even Hispanics can be guilty of this behavior but transcending it is the only way you can succeed.

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Johnson said...

WD, I'm surprised you've read that McCall book. I read it in high school and really liked it.

Interesting post. It does suck that you’re basically forced to speak another language to get a decent job in Miami but it’s just a fact of life. I hate to say, you might have to move if you don’t want to learn to speak it because I don’t foresee any sort of cultural shift anytime soon. There are very few people in Miami that I know who are successful there without knowing Spanish and the ones I do know that are successful despite not knowing the language are guys who are into computer programming, accounting or law, fields where language either doesn’t matter (programming and accounting b/c math is universal) or where everything is in English (law). Trust me though; you’re really not missing out on much if you can’t understand your co-worker’s chit-chat. It’s all boring drivel no matter what language it’s in.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger Dayngr said...

So sad and so damn true.

As for the "When in Rome" comment, when you travel elsewhere like say, Italy, you aren't greeted in English. You're spoken to in Italian. Miami is the one and only place where the immigrants expect you to speak to them in their native tongue instead of respecting the place they have come to call home. It is a sheer lack of respect.

Sadly, instead of fighting to make changes all the original White Dades picked up and left. Now Miami is what could be and should be considered the equivilent of a third world country on so many levels. Don't even get me started about people selling shit on the street or the traveling vans/trucks with their annoying music/horns driving up and down residential areas trying to pawn their wares(shrimp/fish/fruit/knife sharpening).

Instead of bitching though, what are we going to actually do about it?

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger SuperBee said...

Dayngr -

There's nothing that can be done. I'm going to sell off the family's property and flee back up North, once I get around to it and am done having my time in the sun. There's really no point in staying down here anyway - it's a cultural wasteland, for six months out of the year, and I would never, EVER want to raise a kid down here. Furthermore, this place is going to be ocean in 20 years when Greenland melts, anyway, so I figure I'll enjoy it while it's still here, and sell before it really gets sunk, literally and figuratively.

There's no point in trying to change or improve anything here. Nothing ever gets done, or gets done effectively, so there's no point in trying to improve the situation, because it'll just get gummed up anyway with crooked politics or shoddy workmanship. Fuck it.

I'll put my energy into a city that actually matters. Everywhere else in the country, Miami is a joke - a place to get drunk, get tan and bang hookers. I figure living in this ex-Polo grounds is like being in a relationship that's dysfunctional and more often than not frustrating, but you stay in it until something better comes along.

And save the "WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM!" comments. That's a two-way street.

 
At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who the fuck made you (as GWB says) the "decider" of who's white and who isn't. please refer to yourselves by the proper term "gringos"

 
At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only if you'll refer to yourselves by your proper name, "Mexicans."

 
At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

while i can't relate to not getting a job based on race or language i CAN relate on not getting a job because of religon. when i lived in SLC i couldn't get a damn job anywhere because i wan't mormon. everyone on SLC is mormon or gay. i am neither so i never got a job. hence one of the big reasons i moved back to virginia.

i say kudos to writing a very controversial blog post, white dade. :)

 
At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't you leave to California then return to Miami cause you liked it better here? Didn't you say you get tons of "white" ass cause you're the only "white" guy around? Weren't you jerking off to the 24 hour liquor licenses and the year round 80 degree weather? and who else would you get your coke from? let me guess... you'd go to the "inner-city"

 
At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IC,

I still don't get where you as a Canadian and former communist think the there is a law stating:

"All US government employees must speak English".

I am sure this is an unwritten rule when it comes to the hiring practices of the government but I am almost certain that there is no law.

Please stop acting like you know something about the legal system of the US when clearly you have no idea.

I can't stand Canadians in general but the know it all, obnoxious ones really get to me. Don't you have some moose to chase?

 
At 3:13 AM, Blogger Dan-E said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:15 AM, Blogger Dan-E said...

as a transplant that always lived in ethincally diverse areas, one can only imagine what it might be like to be one of the few asian or pacific islanders (seemingly the forgotten minority, especially in south florida) or even a non-black-tino black person living in miami.

everyone likes to talk race issues as strictly black/white but no one talks about how black people are almost universally reviled by hispanics and asians are all viewed as exotic zoo animals and referred to as "chino" regardless of whether they're chinese, japanese, or whatever. this is merely a small sampling of what i've seen in my life yet many other i've talked to, whether they're transplants or miami natives, have said the exact same thing.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

Here is a wikipedia article stating that Florida is one of the states who have adopted English as their official language:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_in_the_United_States

Here is an article describing what an official language is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Official_language

Here is an article stating that legally, English is the official language of the state of Florida I(in the Languages subsection of the article):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida#Languages

Here is a link to the current Florida constitution stating English is Florida's official language:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?Mode=Constitution&Submenu=3&Tab=statutes#A02S09

According to these laws and the definition of an official language (unfortunately I cannot find a link to the section of the constitution stating precisely what the official language status means), I am pretty sure that government employees must be able to communicate in English in the state of Florida. If an employee is ever unable to, the offended party can easily sue the state of Florida and win the case.

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

P.S. we can ask SuperBee - he's a lawyer. I'm sure he has access to the USA constitution as well as the constitution of each state, and he can give us the legal definition of "official language" and all its implications in usage.

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

P.P.S.

"All US government employees must speak English".

------

Agreed, there is no such law. But I never stated that. In my first post I talked about Miami exclusively, and said "Yes, legally, English should be the language used". In my second post I said "The laws will be on my side, as they are on the side of using English in Miami". Again, Miami only, not all of USA. In my third post I said "I was referring to government employees not speaking English, while legally they have to be able to.". I didn't say ALL government employees.

 
At 9:29 AM, Blogger SuperBee said...

We all have access to the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of each state... The U.S. Constituion says nothing about English. The United States does not have an official language, as mandated by Statute or Ordinance. Nevertheless, the language of the Constitution, the currency, and all business transacted in the three branches of the Federal Government is in English.

Article II, Section 9(a) of the Florida Constitution state that English is the official language. It also states that the Legislature may create laws to enforce the same.

Unless there is a law on the books, mandating that all governmental business be transacted in English, "Official Language" is akin to "official bird" or "official flower." Hell, there could (and should be) a Constitutional Amendment naming me "Official Awesome Guy of Florida," but it's just a title. While the People have granted the Legislature the power to write laws mandating that all business be transacted in English, it hasn't been done, except in some scenarios, including, but not limited to:

Notaries must be able to speak and understand English, Car Titles must be in English, Corporate Filings must be in English...

But as to Official language - by custom English is, and in the rest of the Country it is practically beyond custom and essentially an unwritten law - and there would probably be wide support for a Federal Constitutional Amendment designating English as the Official Language. But absent a law requiring that certain business or transactions be done in English, it's like the Bald Eagle -- symbolic, but of limited utility.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

Thanks, superbee.

So it's even worse than it seems. There is a law, but the law means nothing. I think WD should sue the state of Florida to achieve some clarity in this case.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger SuperBee said...

I think that would be an extraordinarily expensive, stressful and time-consuming way to stand on a principle, leaving him with at least 200K worth of debt in appellate fees, not to mention the angry throngs of villagers swarming outside his door with lit torches and cudgels.

It's almost never worth it for the client to litigate principle, unless knowing that one changed the law is more important than the astronomical debt that litigation entails - especially Administrative litigation.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

Come on, superbee, you're clearly a smart guy, but I am well aware of everything you have said (and extremely cynical, so I don't think it would be possible to prove anything to the government, even if you are perfectly correct).

I deadpan a lot and 90% of what I say is pure sarcasm, so I was just making a joke about WD.

 
At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IC,

Please don't post any futher comments. Just admit you are an idiot who, even after she is proved wrong, tries to prove she is right.

If there is a law passed that said government employees must speak English it will apply TO ALL. You can't single out a certain group. People would line up to sue the government. Please just admit you know nothing about the US. Stay in Canada, use the crappy national healthcare system and maybe move back to Russia.

ANON1

 
At 11:38 AM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

I am not as emotionally invested in this as you, ANON1. I simply like logical debates (and puzzles). I'm not trying to prove anything to you, I am posting about this purely for my personal enjoyment.

A law will apply to ALL gov't employees if it is a federal law. A state law will apply only to that state's gov't employees. You're American, so you know this better than me: there are different laws in different states.

I don't think I have been proven wrong. Anon said there is no law "All US government employees must speak English"." This is irrelevant, because I never said in the first place that there is such a law. I postulated that there legally "English should be the language used" in Florida. The law names English the "official language", so I am correct. The meaning of the law (none, regrettably) was not under discussion, only its existence was.

 
At 11:59 AM, Blogger SuperBee said...

IC - I knew you were deadpanning. WD is not about to line up and sue Miami-Dade County and go through all of the appellate work involved to send the question up to the Supreme Court for it to recommend that the Legislature take up the issue.

I was just making a remark in general, that unless there's REAL money at stake, any litigation is exxxxpennnsive! And litigation on Principle... as noble as it might be, is not worth it to most people.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger imaginaryconversations said...

Ok, SuperBee, let's "be friends". And you're right, WD is too damn lazy to do anything like that.

ITA about litigation on principle. Thankfully there were people who did this, because without it we'd still be in the Middle Ages.

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger White Dade said...

So many comments and I just got back today so I'l lrespond en masse:

I propose no solution at all. My aim in all of this was to inform those not living in South Floirda about the realities of being a White Pewrson in Miami. Sort of the purpose of this whole blog. That, and to give the other whites who read this smething to relate to. A lot of peopel are afraid to criticize the Laitno dominance becasue they don't want to sound like racists, but I don't care.

Whoever suggested I leave this place never read my post about why I don't. It is simple: Every city has its downsides, the dominance of Latin culture I feel is Miami's. but the good far outweighs the bad, more than anywhere else I've lived, so I choose to stay.

No, I am not consdiering anyl itigation but if won the lotterey I might consider it.

Governemnt officed do not conuct business EXCLUSIVELY in Spanish, but it is very easy to get things from the governemtn without learning its "official" language. My poitn was if governemtn refused to conduct any business except for immigration in English, it would provide a much greater incentive for people to learn the language.

And, yes, many immigrants do learn English and many of them resent the one's who don't. But just becasue you achieve power in economics and politics does not mean that you should then condone others not following the course that you did, it is still unacceptable to expect to be spoken to in spanish if you live in the USA in any situation. But that changes nothing.

And no, Ben, I would ignore barbacks regardless of skin color or race.

 
At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dade,

Good comments. Can you please ban IC from posting comments; she is really bringing the IQ level down on this blog.

Now, if she posts a pic and she is hot then don't ban her. But, like other female posters here, I have a feeling she fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Take care,

ANON1

 
At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a-fucking-men. I am so tired of the arrogance of the hispanics in this city, and I agree that it is different than other heavily hispanic American cities. The Cuban community here refuses to integrate into American society in any way, and has thereby created a community in which other latinos can come here and ignore such time honored American values as learning English. I too, am not a racist, but I resent the latin community's perception that, as one commenter wrote, Miami, though technically in the United States, is a South American city. Fuck that. With that mentality, I think Americans can eventually kiss the entire sunbelt goodbye. Where does it end? America is a country of immigrants, but all past immigrants have integrated into American society in a way that people in Miami refuse to do. If you come to America to seek financial or other prosperity, you should show respect by acknowledging the values of the country that took you in. Period.

 
At 11:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from another Miami blogger on the same subject: the melting pot and the salad bowl

 
At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Duran said...

its one thing people talking Spanish around you when you don't know the language, that's rude. BUT White Dade Miami is the Wall Street of Latin America, you are going to business with Latin American investors, so you SHOULD be required to speak Spanish. Many jobs all over the world require applicants to speak more than one language. It is the lazy American education system that has embedded in our minds that English is the only language needed to succeed. Sorry White Dade, you should go and sign up for some Spanish classes at Miami-Dade. I have no sympathy for you there.

 
At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I speak Spanish, but refuse to ever do so again in Miami. They won't learn my language, so why should I speak there's? We are in MY country. I would never move to a country in Latin America and demand that people speak English - the behavior of the latin community in Miami is undefendable.

 
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous rumandpopcorn said...

I found this an interesting post that gives some perspective on feeling excluded in a society from a person for whom that would not regularly be the case.

That being said, I was loath to read the comments for fear of reading a bunch of reductionist, name-calling drivel that don't take into account the complexity and nuances of the situation. Save for a couple of fools, this has been a pretty smart discussion. It looks like there's been some good done here, as there aren't enough discussions like this abou race, culture, and immigration.

 
At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My country." So you own the United States?

Most of you sound like spolied breast feeding babies. This is MY country, they should speak MY language. Blah, blah, blah. Move the fuck out of Miami if you don't like it. Go to Idaho.

My dad works in a mainly hispanic company in Miami. He doesn't have to speak Spanish. Opps, I forgot, he is the CEO though so he can do what he wants.

Biatches.

ANON1

 
At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey ANON 1 -

Your spelling is atrocious. And so is your grammar.

Miami was ours before it was yours. We only ceded it, because we know the White Exodus will have taken place long before the waters of the Atlantic pour in, drowning you like the Egyptians in the Red Sea.

 
At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the f are you talking about idiot above ^^^ Sorry I don't spellcheck blog comments.

 
At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I say that this is "MY country" I mean that I am an American, and this is America. If foreigners want to move to this country - fine, great, even. It adds a dynamic that keeps the United States a cut above the rest of the world. But if you move here, for Chirst's sake, show some respect for the country and people that took you in, and do not try to make them feel like foreigners in their own country. Your dad's the CEO, Anon 1? Congratulations. I'm sure he speaks English, and people like him should use their influence to encourage others who are less educated to Americanize and unite this country instead of dividing it.

And, oh yeah. Why should I move out of Miami? Wouldn't that make me as chicken-shit as the Cubans who wouldn't stand up to Castro?

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ziWOW! Your ignorance grows with every post. Cubans are chicken shit because they wouldn't stand up to Castro? When a dictator controls your food, water, money, job and family there is not much you can do. I guess the people of Iraq are chicken shit because they didn't stand up to Saddam. YOU, my friend, are an idiot. Go back and get your GED.

And move out of Miami if you don't like the area. Who cares if people don't speak English. I have more important things in life to worry about.

 
At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a whitie from the northern USA. We are still in control of Miami, the Cubans just think they are in control. All the major institutions are anglo controlled. The Cubes will never have all the power. They are too abrasive, loud, inconsiderate and materialistic. They are not well liked anywhere in the USA.

 

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