eXterminating the eXemplification of Xenophobia

June 18, 2007 at 6:00 pm (God thoughts, Politics thoughts)

I recently had to delete a comment on my Fast Food Wars post because it contained some vulgarities and insults that I consider inappropriate for my blog. Unfortunately the comment contained a number of topics I consider relevant and worth discussing. The following is an edited version of the accusatory comment.

Your little racist tangent about hating it when your fast food workers don’t speak English is exactly the kind of crap we would expect the Grandwizard of the Ku Klux Klan to say. Are you so ethnocentric and xenophobic that you believe that English is the only language used in this great country of ours? Did you stop to think that they are on their second language? How many languages can you speak? I’m sure your ancestors who first came to this country and killed all the Indians probably had a hard time communicating with the redman too, but I guess that’s the Christian way, isn’t it? It’s people like you who bring us a bad name around the world. How dare you call yourself a patriot. go back into the bubble where you hide from reality and stay there.
Mr. In Touch With Reality

Mr ITWR has several misconceptions about me (which I could let pass, but won’t) and also many misconceptions about the definition of words and Christianity as well. I will do my best to try and address those misconceptions in the hopes that Mr ITWR actually comes to grips with the reality he thinks he is in touch with.

Personal misconceptions-

Mr ITWR accuses me of being “ethnocentric” and “xenophobic”. I am neither.

Ethnocentric is defined as “the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture.”

This is a strange accusation to make of me simply because I desire to be able to communicate in my native language. I am fairly certain that EVERYONE given the choice between trying to order something in their native tongue or in a foreign tongue would prefer their native tongue.

I will go on record as saying I do believe that there is a general superiority in the ability to take my fast food order on the part of native English speakers. This has nothing to do with the color of their skin. It has to do with their English proficiency. Therefore my suggestion for people who want to excel in America is very similar to governor Schwarzenegger’s. “Turn off the Spanish television.” This isn’t ethnocentric, it’s common sense.

Similarly the accusation of me being “xenophobic” is ridiculous. Xenephobia is defined as an unreasonable fear or hatred of that which is foreign or strange.

I am not this either. Rather I could be considered xenophilic, that is, I am attracted to foreign cultures. This attraction has lead me to visit 11 different countries in my short life.

The fact that I am MOST comfortable in my hometown surrounded by things that are familiar to me (including my language) is pretty darn normal. Not only that, but I think it is the illegal immigrants (and the amnesty supporters) who are more xenophobic than those who support English proficiency standards.

Consider this analogy. If a man breaks into your house and demands you to to give him your money; which would be the more “fearful” thing to do? A) give him your money, or B) force him out of your house. Who is the “robberphobe” in this situation? Obviously it’s the guy who submits to the demands of the intruder (foreigner). And yet when it comes down to politics it is the people who aren’t willing to give up the rule of law who are being labeled “ethnocentric” and “xenophobic”.

Those are just big words thrown around by small minded individuals like Mr ITWR.

The more offensive misconceptions have to do with Christianity. As if Christianity is a “white” religion or an “American” religion.

Christianity is the reason why there is any cross-cultural interaction on earth. Prior to the emergence of the church cultures rectified their differences in some of the most hostile and evil ways imaginable. The Muslim religion is still in the process of trying this. It simply doesn’t work.

There is quite simply nothing more culturally transcendent than the gospel message of salvation for all nations through the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)– 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

It’s the church that we are built into. It is Christ that saves us. It is his blood that makes foreigners into citizens. and this citizenship doesn’t cost a thing, It’s free to all! All who receive him, all who believe in his name!

Xenophobia and the gospel do not mix well. Xenophobia is not a distinguishing mark of true Christianity. Xenophibia, as a far as I’m concerned, is neither reasonable nor acceptable lifestyle, thus the title of this post.

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7 Comments

  1. Matt S said,

    Your little racist tangent about hating it when your fast food workers don’t speak English

    You think this is something that is exclusive to American society ITWR?

    Spend a few months in Europe and you might have a new appreciation for the leniency afforded foreigners in this country.

    If you go to France or Italy (the two places I have spent time) and expect to get anything as minute as a meal, taxi, or directions by speaking in your native tongue you have something to learn.

    Natives of these countries are proud of their heritage and they will be darned if some “Yankee” is going to come to their country, make no effort to learn their customs and their language and expect to get anything accomplished let alone a JOB!

    It is only natural and respectful of visitors to make an effort to learn the language and the customs of the country they are visiting. And conversely is rude and disrespectful to expect to be able to speak your native tongue in a country that you are visiting.

  2. Bruce S. said,

    How many languages can you speak?

    Two. English – pretty well. The only other is the little bit of Spanish in this

    I’d like a Carne Asada Burrito and a baggie for hot carrots.

    That’s all I need so far.

  3. Albino Hayford said,

    Estoy bien orgulloso de los pensamientos de mi socio, Daniel.

  4. danielbalc said,

    “You know I don’t speak Spanish!”

    Ron Burgundy

  5. gospelordeath said,

    Here are a couple of issues I’d like to raise. If Carl’s Jr. is going to charge me 8 bucks for a stinkin’ burger, the least they could do is hire someone who speaks English to take my order. I don’t have any problem at all with people who struggle to learn English after coming here. But if it’s your job to listen to people – in English – and take notes on what they’re saying in the form of their order, and you’re going to charge them money based on what they’re saying, and if you get it wrong you’ll anger the customer – there is a certain amount of English proficiency required. Every fast food place needs to bear this in mind. And between this kind of thing, 8 bucks for a hamburger, and their horrible commercials – I NEVER eat at Carl’s Jr. McDonald’s is BY FAR the best at having English speakers taking orders. BY FAR. Though they are not perfect. Notice that the problem here, the beef I have, is not with the person struggling to learn English, but with the restaurant, who doesn’t care about making it easy for me to give them my money. So I’m inclined not to give it to them. I have absolutely wanted to get fast food more than once, but changed my mind when contemplating the hassle involved.

    But the problem is with companies, not the poor folks coming here trying to learn English.

  6. itsasecret2u said,

    I agree with Echo on the frustration with the company. It is their responsibility to either a) hire people who can communicate easily with their customers, or b) train their employees to be able to do as much.

    Also, there are a variety of FREE English classes available to people trying to learn the language (at least in our area). When I worked for the elementary school district in Esco we tried to get our Spanish-speaking parents to take them (not an easy task, btw). I sat next to the poor woman who had to try to schedule IEP conferences with all the special ed parents. Half of the parents didn’t speak English and she often got hung up on when she said “school district.” We’d have to wait until there was a translator in the office to call back. Apparently, many of the parents equated “school district” with “someone official who is going to deport me.”

  7. gospelordeath said,

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