Please, Don’t Speak English at Work

Alejandrina Cabrera wants to serve the citizens of San Luis, Arizona; she is running for a seat on the city council. This fledgling parliamentarian’s hopes and dreams of shepherding the citizenry into the 21st century, contributing at city council meetings through various avant-garde channels of communication such as articulating her thoughts and ideas via charades, nodding and shaking her head when it seemed appropriate, perhaps even employing an interpreter, were unceremoniously ceased and desisted. It was the highest of judicial authority for the state of Arizona, the Arizona Supreme Court, which applied, with prejudice, the legal kibosh on her campaign. Sadly, Alejandrina has been legally barred from serving as an elected official in the state of Arizona.

Alejandrina desperately wants to serve the citizens of San Luis, Arizona, U.S.A., but the legal system has determined that nodding and the use of histrionics was not the appropriate lingua franca needed to perform her elected duties. You see, Alejandrina has a handicap, an impediment preventing her from pursuing a vocation of bureaucratic beguilement: she no habla Inglés.

Before the Arizona Supreme Court derailed her bid for a council seat, County Superior Court Judge John Nelson ruled that her name be stricken from the March ballot. Try as he may, Judge Nelson was hamstrung by highly discriminatory laws.

Arizona state law requires elected officials to be proficient in English since there is a high probability that they may have to communicate with the native tongue speakers in their elected capacity at some point during their tenure. Judge Nelson employed the use of a sociolinguistic expert to ascertain Alejandrina’s ability to communicate with American native tongue speakers without the use of dance and the forming of letters and symbols with her hands. William Eggington, sociolinguistic expert, administered a few simple English proficiently tests to determine if this fledgling pol could read, speak, and comprehend the native tongue of America. Alejandrina, being emblematic of why diplomas from public schools are of catchpenny quality, graduated and received her diploma from Kofa High School in Yuma, sans basal competency of the English language, and probably with honors, to boot. Unfortunately for Alejandrina, she came fortified with a positive and determined attitude and a diploma from a public high school more interested in agendas and graduation rates than actual education: she failed the test. In fact, Eggington stated that her fluency in English was limited to “basic survival level.”

Being a fair and judicious judge, the Honorable Nelson, even when factoring in the failed tests, seemed to be searching for a reason to facilitate the typical American dream shared by Alejandrina and all quasi-Americans of becoming successful in their endeavors in an English speaking country without a fundamental command of the English language. He seemed sympathetic to the fact that she was born in the United States, graduated from a public high school, and has only had 35 short years to learn English.

The Honorable Nelson then asked Alejandrina a few queries during her hearing in hope of a linguistic breakthrough. Unfortunately, Alejandrina answered the questions with samplings of Kurt Vonnegut, and her political career seemed to be all but scrubbed:

Nelson: “Do you understand the seriousness of this hearing?”

Alejandrina: “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.”

Nelson: “Do you feel you understand English proficiently enough to serve the citizens of San Luis?”

Alejandrina: “If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.”

Nelson: “Are you willing to learn the English language?”

Alejandrina: “Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”

Nelson: “Do you understand what I’ve been saying?”

Alejandrina: “Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, ‘Why, why, why?’ Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand.”

The paradigm of the U.S. being an English only language began to come under assault in a 2000 lawsuit the EEOC brought against Premier Operator Services, Inc. for requiring that phone operators speak English to try to improve communications with callers seeking information, phone numbers, and whatnots. The EEOC claimed it constituted unlawful national origin discrimination by requiring English. Premier was fined $709,284. Premier stated through an interpreter who spoke only English, the company will layoff all the employees and move their information division to India to improve communications.

The ramifications of the Premier lawsuit and the attack on the Salvation Army by the EEOC and Congress for their abusive and discriminatory work environment requiring employees to speak English have spawned a new genre of discrimination lawsuits that have made their way to the Supreme Court just this past year to right this pernicious practice, and maybe to gain a little cash for their troubles.

Alejandrina is determined to become a non-English speaking city council member, and follow in Obama’s footsteps, and be the second President of the United States lacking the ability to communicate with the American people. Her fate will rest with the United States Supreme Court. She has three court cases involving speaking Spanish in the workplace to comfort her. Even though the cases were thrown out on technicalities, she hopes to avoid the same technicalities with the aid of Rosetta Stone.

In an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court has taken three discrimination lawsuits under an emergency filing by three separate defendants accusing current and potential employees of discrimination by requiring them to speak English on the job. Justice Ginsburg made the following statement about the court’s sui generis move: “This abhorrent brand of discrimination, as with any facet of a U.S. citizen’s life, should not be left un-legislated, unregulated, or uncontrolled by some branch of bureaucracy. This must end now.” Ginsburg went on to state that if the allegations are true, then she, SotomayorKagan, and Breyer are of the opinion that the plaintiffs’ rights under the 1st, 4th, 5th, 9th, 11th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments have been violated on a level not seen since the Jim Crow era. Believing she had misquoted one of the amendments, she was pressed about how their 19th amendment rights could have possibly been violated. Ginsburg stated, through tightened lips and a tone that manifested her constitutional acumen, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”

A brief summary of the three lawsuits:

Sanchez v. Central Intelligence Agency: The law firm of Bicker and Bicker filed the petition for Aristotle Sanchez. Sanchez was born and raised in Miami; he emigrated from Miami to Virginia at age 22. He has been employed as a shredder tuner at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia for the past 15 years. Aristotle had always enjoyed a high degree of comfort and protection being an immigrant from Miami working for a government that put political correctness ahead of national security, law, and common sense. Sanchez’s very being ached to become a CIA operative, and he fantasized about the life of a spy while tuning shredders, wondering what secrets his finely tuned shredders had seen. He had heard too many a thrilling story in the breakroom in which spies talked shop and swapped stories to not fancy himself as a spy.

After seeing a note on a poster board in the breakroom for a position as a covert operative to infiltrate nefarious domains in the Middle East, Sanchez could hardly contain himself. He applied for the job. After being denied the position as a spy for not having a bachelor’s degree, proper training, failing the aptitude test, being marginally fluent in English, and unable to speak Arabic, Persian, Armenian, and Somali, as was required for the job, he sued alleging racial and linguistic discrimination and unlawful national origin discrimination. Ican Bicker, council, called the CIA’s attitude and hiring practices outrageous and indefensible in today’s politically correct climate.

Gonzalez v. City of Malibu: The law firm of Payne & Suphrun filed the petition for John Wilkes Gonzalez. Gonzalez worked for the phone company Telmex in Tzurumútaro, Mexico as an information and emergency operator for the past 7 years before mysteriously ending up in the United States. Gonzalez spent his days dispensing crucial information as to what areas of the border were safe to cross on a particular day, as crossing the U.S. border is considered an emergency in Mexico–especially if the government is not available that day with crossing information. Being of an industrious nature, he immediately applied for a job as 911 operator for the Malibu, California police department. Gonzalez assumed that his extensive background as an emergency operator with Telmex in Tzurumútaro would certainly qualify him for the position. With his English being limited to three phrases that he was assured would facilitate his professional advancement in California, “Barack Obama is my friend,”“no hablo inglés,” and “I am a Democrat,” he was unfortunately not offered the position. To make matters worse, the name on his social security card read “Joe Biden,” and during the interview, as he answered all questions with one of the three phrases, John Wilkes Gonzalez was deemed not qualified to handle emergency calls that are primarily in English. His attorney, Iman Payne, called the actions of the City of Malibu one of the most egregious forms of discrimination he has witnessed in his six months as an attorney, and it was clear that Gonzalez was a victim of racial and linguistic discrimination, and unlawful national origin discrimination.

Castro v. Yale University: The firm of Rush, Rush, & Delay filed the petition for Lyndon Baines Castro. Castro emigrated from Berkeley, California to College Station, Texas. Castro arrived equipped with educational accomplishments, such as valedictorian from Berkeley High School, sans science, a BA in Arguing with Judge Judy, and a minor in The Joy of Garbage from U.C. Berkeley, a Masters in Romance Languages and Literatures from U.C. Berkeley, and a PhD in The Application of Logic in an Abstract Educational Environment from U.C. Berkeley. Upon arrival, he immediately applied for a position as a professor at Texas A&M University. Not exactly sure what he was qualified to teach, or what he actually knew, he left the position portion of the application blank. Being born and spending the entirety of his life in Berkeley, California by parents who were first generation immigrants from Miami, English was a third language for Castro, with Spanish first, the detached dialectic vernacular of Hippie second, and of course English third.

Castro was denied the job. During the course of the interview and background check, it was determined that, even with all his degrees, Castro appeared to not have a functional and serviceable level of education. The university was puzzled with Castro’s inability to engage in comprehensible conservations in English considering his education. There was also great concern and curiosity regarding his pathological inability to integrate with a foreign culture. A psychiatrist was summoned to assist the university in understanding Castro’s inability to comprehend and adapt to the traditional, conventional, and preferred cultural characteristics of a functioning citizen, and his inability to communicate at an educated level.

Although Castro was offered a paying position as a test subject in the Anthropology Department, he sued the university citing racial, linguistic, educational, and unlawful national origin discrimination.

The filing was initially delayed as his council, Dewey Rush, was replaced by Will Delay, then the filing was finally completed by a third partner, Will Rush, who stated that “never before have I seen this level of discrimination before since the last time  saw it, but certainly not since have I seen it before now.”

All three appeals were dropped by the defendants because the Supreme Court refused, in a vote of 5-4, to hear the oral arguments in Spanish and Hippie. The defendants refused, on principle, to conduct the hearings in English. They felt they were discriminated against by the Supreme Court, and have since, with the help of the Obama administration and Eric Holder, taken their case to the International Court of Justice at the U.N. in their quest for justice.

When asked their opinions regarding the ruling, and the potential ramifications if the International Court of Justice ruled in their favor, the plaintiffs stated, “no hablo Inglés, dude.”

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